The Archbishop of Kampala, His Grace Dr. Paul Ssemogerere, has reshuffled priests, reassigning numerous individuals to new positions and deploying recently ordained clergy members.
The transfer list, signed off by the Archdiocesan Chancellor, Rev. Fr. Dr. Male Ssentumbwe, and seen by our reporter, primarily affects parish priests, assistant parish priests, Deacons, priests serving in institutions like schools, chaplains, lecturers, and formators in seminaries.
The Archdiocesan Communications Director, Rev Fr Joseph Mukiibi, has confirmed that the newly announced appointments have already been implemented.
“The changes have already been set in motion; priests have received their assignments, and many have already or they will soon arrive at their new stations or assume their new roles,” Rev Fr Mukiibi told our reporter.
Notably, among the changes, Rev. Fr. David Ssenkaayi, who has been serving at the Catholic University of East Africa, has received approval for his new role as the Rector of the historic Katigondo Seminary in Masaka Diocese. Additionally, Rev. Fr. Simon Peter Katende, previously the Chaplain at Kisubi Technical, has been appointed as the Vice Rector at Kisubi Seminary.
Rev. Fr. William Ggayi, who was at Kisubi Seminary as a Formator, has assumed the position of Spiritual Director at Kisubi, succeeding Rev. Fr. Charles Herman Ssuuna, who is now the new Parish Priest at Kitagobwa Parish.
Upon closer examination of the transfers made in parishes, it becomes evident that a deliberate effort has been made to facilitate an exchange, bringing priests who have previously served in rural areas of the archdiocese to urban areas while simultaneously reassigning those who were in urban areas to rural posts.
For instance, Rev. Fr. Denis Kizito Ssebunnya, formerly of Mitala Maria in Mpigi district, has been reassigned to Ggaba Parish, where he will continue his role as a parish priest.
Rev. Fr. Francis Xavier Kikomeko has been relocated from Kisubi Parish to Mitala Maria, assuming the position of Parish Priest. Furthermore, Rev. Fr. Charles Ssengendo, who previously served as Parish Priest at Ggaba Parish, has now taken on the role of Kisubi Parish Priest.
The new appointment has also brought about promotions for several priests. For instance, Rev. Fr. Paul Ssekayala, previously the Parish Priest of Kamuli Parish, and Rev. Fr. Peter Lugobe, who served as Parish Priest at Kigoowa Parish, have both been elevated to the positions of Deans. Rev. Fr. Ssekayala is now the Dean of Ggayaaza Deanery, while Rev. Fr. Lugobe assumes the role of Dean at Christ the King Deaneries.
Additionally, some assistant priests have also received promotions. For instance, Rev. Fr. Alex Kambagira, who previously held the position of Assistant Parish Priest at Lubaga Cathedral Parish, has been appointed as the new Parish Priest at Kiziba Parish. Rev. Fr. Joseph Ssentongo, formerly the Assistant Parish Priest at Mitala-Maria Parish, has now taken on the role of Gombe Parish Priest.
Seven priests have been selected to further their studies at various institutions in Uganda and abroad. For example, Fr. Julius Bwoowe, who has been stationed at the Archbishop’s residence, and Fr. Lubwaama from Katende Parish, are both headed to the Catholic University of East Africa in Kenya for their studies.
Three others have been chosen to pursue Master’s degrees in education, with Rev. Fr. Joseph Balikudembe from Ggoli Parish, Rev. Fr. Lawrence Mbabaali from Jinja-Kaloori Parish, and Rev. Fr. Julius Kanyike from Kiwatule Parish pursuing their studies at Makerere and Nkozi Universities. In addition, Rev. Fr. Alvin Tendo, a lecturer at St. Mbaga Seminary, has received approval to pursue a Ph.D. in Philosophy at Maynooth University in Ireland.
On the list, three priests including Fr Martin Massisa, Richard Ssendugu, and Everest Kiweewa sent on missionary work in the United States of America and Canada.
Rev. Fr. Edward Bwanika has been granted approval for a sabbatical leave. In the Catholic Church, sabbatical leave is obligatory for every priest after serving a period of seven to ten years. This sabbatical provides the priest with a designated time away from their regular assignments, aimed at enriching their life and ministry.
Sabbaticals are intended for various purposes, including spiritual, pastoral, educational, theological, and ministerial enrichment. They also serve as an opportunity for the priest to experience renewal through rest and a change of pace.
The changes have minimally affected the higher echelons of the administration within the archdiocese, including leadership positions at vicariates, directorates, commissions, and departments. Noteworthy exceptions to this include the appointments of Rev. Fr. Emmanuel Sita as the Director of the Justice and Peace Department and Rev. Fr. Joseph Ekutte, who now serves as the Coordinator for the Kampala Archdiocesan Health Department.
Upon assuming leadership of the archdiocese last year, Dr. Ssemogerere initially chose to affirm the positions and duties of all the current priests, thus maintaining the existing leadership structures established by his late predecessor, Dr. Cyprian Kizito Lwanga.
During this period, there was speculation among both priests and lay leaders regarding his intentions. Some believed that his objective was to provide each priest with an opportunity to demonstrate their potential, especially considering the changes implemented by the former archbishop in 2020.
Others suggested that he was adopting a cautious approach, carefully assessing the situation before making any new appointments.