52-year-old St. Mary’s National Major Seminary, Ggaba, in Uganda has been hailed for realizing the formation of the “pastorally minded Priests”.
In his homily during Holy Mass to mark the Golden Jubilee of the Major Seminary that is Uganda’s first Theologicum, Bishop Joseph Anthony Zziwa said, “St. Mary’s National Seminary has fulfilled the purpose for which it was founded: to form pastors configured in the life of Jesus Christ the Good Shepherd.”
The Major Seminary “has produced pastorally-minded Priests who have the flock entrusted to them at heart,” Bishop Zziwa said November 12 about the Catholic institution that is owned by the Uganda Episcopal Conference (UEC) and hosted by the Archdiocese of Kampala.
The Local Ordinary of Uganda’s Kiyinda-Mityana Diocese who doubles as Chairman of (UEC) added, “As of today, St. Mary's National Major Seminary has produced nearly 2000 Priests, has produced 19 Bishops, some of whom are present here.”
“The seminary continues to support the Catholic Church in Uganda and beyond to transform itself into a self-administering, self-propagating and a self-supporting entity,” he said during the Golden Jubilee celebration that was held at the Seminary grounds, some nine kilometers from Kampala city center towards Lake Victoria harbor.
He said former Seminarians who did not make it to the Priesthood “are and have been responsible and respectable citizens in the various parts of Uganda and beyond in the public and private sectors.”
“Keep the candle which you received from this place burning,” the Ugandan Catholic Bishop said, addressing himself to all the alumni of the 52-year-old Major Seminary.
The Golden Jubilee celebrations of St. Mary's National Major Seminary that had been initially scheduled for 2020 were postponed because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
In his November 12 homily, Bishop Zziwa recalled that the Major Seminary was established in view of forming Priests with “a natural character for this country Uganda.”
St. Mary's National Seminary, he said, was established “to give a national character to the Church in Uganda, to build unity, to build solidarity among Priests, wherever they work in this country.”
“This Seminary has brought us together from different cultural backgrounds and formed us as a Clergy for this country, Uganda, a Clergy for the Church in the world,” the 66-year-old Bishop further said, adding, “We are grateful to God and we thank him indefinitely.”
Also speaking during the November 12 event, the Apostolic Nuncio in Uganda, Archbishop Luigi Bianco, said, “There is more to Priesthood than what people think.”
“Priesthood is not about obtaining certain comfort and privileges, rather, it is about the humble missionary of service and total surrender of one’s life to the cause of evangelism,” Archbishop Bianco said.
He added, “Priesthood is not an isolated way of life, rather, a Priest must always be a man of communion in communities and should be a beacon of light and hope using the guiding principles of love, unity, and reconciliation in local churches and beyond.”