Worldpriest is very pleased to announce the winners of this year’s Annual Global Rosary Relay for the Sanctification of Priests Award. The eleventh award goes to the Diocese of Fort Portal, Uganda, East Africa. The award is in recognition of the outstanding promotion and participation of the Global Rosary Relay in Uganda and it is the first time the award has been won on the continent of Africa.
Fort Portal is a very interesting and unique place. People do not normally associate Africa with snow and freezing conditions, but the principal place of worship in Fort Portal is called Our Lady of Snows, Virika Cathedral, because it is within sight of the tallest mountain range in Africa – the Ruwenzori Mountains, the top peaks of which are permanently covered in snow. In 1952 the cathedral was visited by Venerable Patrick Payton, when he addressed the thousands of local parishioners a miracle happened, as Venerable Peyton was speaking in English. He had no translator but everyone who was around still understood everything he said.
Many parishes in the Fort Portal diocese are in rural settings and a priest could travel close to 20 to 30kms to reach every church. The roads are very rough in some places and not suitable for car or motorcycle travel, often making walking the best option.
This is a very special part of Africa and according to the pastoral coordinator of the Fort Portal Diocese the number of Catholics living there is around one million — half of the total local population. A number in the region of 1,500 people participated in the relay on 19 June.
The winners award was presented to the Right Reverend Robert K. Muhiirwa, Bishop of Fort Portal Diocese at Virika Cathedral by Father John Baptist Nsubuga Araali CSC, Local Director of Holy Cross Family Ministries for the Fort Portal Region on Saturday, 17 October 2020.
In accepting the award the bishop stated ‘With humility and in a spirit of gratitude, on behalf of the Diocesan Community of Fort Portal, I accept this award accorded to us by the Worldpriest Global Apostolate in recognition of our participation in the Annual Global Rosary Relay for the Sanctification of Priests on 19 June 2020, with much gratitude, especially to Madam Marion Mulhall, founder of the Worldpriest Global Apostolate and her team. God bless you for the work in mobilising our Christians to pray for us priests all over the world.’
Other team members of the community in Fort Portal who worked so hard to make this day of prayer so special are Father Charles Oyo Amooti and Mrs Cecilia Kakere Amooti.