UCCB | Celebrating the Life of St. Charles Lwanga and the Feast of the Uganda Martyrs Day Boston

Posted June 13, 2017 by Ugandan Diaspora News Team in Uganda Martyrs Day - Boston 2017 ~ 11,092 views


By Ronnie Mayanja — It what has now become tradition, the Uganda Catholic Community in Boston commemorated their annual feast of the Uganda Martyrs on June 11th at Saint Mary’s Parish in Waltham, Massachusetts. The main celebrant this year was was Bishop Robert Kasaija Muhiirwa, the Bishop of Fort Portal diocese in Western Uganda. In his sermon, Bishop Muhiirwa encouraged those attending to emulate the life and sacrifices made by the Uganda Martyrs. He noted how many had been close to the King’s Court yet still made the ultimate sacrifice for their new found faith.

Today he sighted examples and vices that control us and prevent the family unit from being fully functional, blaming the modern technologies that have both parents and children addicted to gadgets. He therefore encouraged all celebrants to emulate Christ at home, reminding them that the lives we lead will always bear witness to those around us.

The Bishop was then followed by Rev. Father Michael Nolan of Saint Mary’s Parish in Waltham, who encouraged those present this year to follow the legacy of Charles Lwanga and his companions who died defending their faith. He then noted that their struggle and victory should always be a source of inspiration for us to overcome the fears we face in the world today.

The new chaplain of the Uganda Community in Boston was also welcomed, having taken over from Father David Martin Ssentamu who during the eight years of his leadership helped to grow the Martyrs Day event to its current status.

Other notable attendees at the church ceremony included a representative from the Archdiocese of Boston, the Mayor of Waltham Jeanette McCathy and the Archbishop of the Anglican Church of Uganda Stanley Ntagali, along with other leading community elders from both the Buganda and Central Government.

On his part, the incoming Chair of the Uganda Catholic Community of Boston, Mr. Ronnie Kabuye Ssebunya, congratulated Father Godfrey Musabe Apuuli on joining priesthood, a milestone he said inspired all Ugandans living here in North America to pursue their faith in God and devote themselves to the service of Christ and the Church.

After what was a very beautiful colorful service attended by believers from across the USA and Uganda, the service came to an end, having been punctuated by spiritual hymns, a thanksgiving ceremony and holy communion.

Following this year’s Uganda Martyrs Day service in Waltham, celebrants were treated to a sumptuous dinner at the Burlington Marriott Hotel, with a ceremony to recognize the various dignitaries present, followed by entertainment.Special recognition and mention was made of the outgoing leadership and the organizing committee led by Mr. Emmanuel Kivumbi.

Other speakers included Archbishop Stanley Ntagali of the Church of Uganda, Uganda Community Church representatives and the Kabaka’s representative in Boston, Owek Kato Kajubi. Bishop Ntagali was happy to see the life of the Uganda Martyrs commemorated many miles from home and encouraged believers to continuously emulate the lifestyle and testimony of the Uganda Martyrs. He also celebrated the harmonious relationship that exists between the Catholic and the Anglican Church in Boston.

Various entertainers took to the stage led by the Carolinas, an excellent Boston-based traditional dance troupe.. It was then time for the grand finale and here, Mesach Semakula, the renown Ugandan singer, did not disappoint, treating his audience to both past and new ballads.

Overall the Uganda Martyrs Day 2017 was a hugely successful affair, thanks in part to the Uganda Boston Community that boasts of more than twenty thousand members that continues to support and turn out in big numbers. We salute the Uganda Catholic Community of Boston for the spirit of togetherness and unity.

About the Uganda Martyrs — These were a group of 23 Anglican and 22 Catholic converts to Christianity in the Kingdom of Buganda, now part of Uganda, who were executed between 31 January 1885 and 27 January 1887. They were killed on orders of Mwanga II, the Kabaka (King) of Buganda. The deaths took place at a time when there was a three-way religious struggle for political influence at the Buganda Royal Court. The Catholic Church beatified the martyrs of its faith in 1920 and canonized them in 1964.

Ugandan Diaspora News now brings you both the highlights from the Church and the Reception in pictures. All photos appear courtesy of Ronnie Mayanja — enjoy!

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Ugandan Diaspora News Team

Ugandan Diaspora News Online is an independent, non political news portal primarily aimed at serving Ugandans who work and reside outside Uganda. Our aim is to be a one stop shop for everything Ugandan and the celebration of our Ugandan heritage.

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