14 February 2015

All roads to Mucwini for St.Janani Luwum memorial prayers


Just days to the historical memorial prayer at the site where St. Janani Luwum the former Archbishop of Uganda Rwanda, Burundi and Boga Zaire was laid to rest. The service is slated for 16th February 2015 at Mucwini the home village of St. Janani. The Current Archbishop of the Church of the Province of Uganda  his Grace Stanley Ntagali is already in Kitgum. He had a stopped over in our Diocese and had Lunch together with his team and a cross section of the Christians of the Diocese of Northern Uganda led by Bishop Johnson Gakumba.

At Janani Luwum Theological College, the Principal Sandra has organized the students to attend the service. The college, situated in Gulu, is a brainchild of St. Janani Luwum.  St. Janani

 once said “the need to train manpower is so great…… we have many people who are baptized, confirmed but still remain babies” According to Him having trained manpower helps the Church to nurture men and women for ministry.

In the Diocese of Northern Uganda almost 90% of the clergy went through Archbishop Janani Luwum Theological College including the current Bishop of the Diocese of Northern Uganda Johnson Gakumba.
As we remember St. Janani let us continue to pray and support the Theological College here in Northern Uganda.
Janani Jakaliya Luwum (c. 1922 – 17 February 1977), was the Archbishop of the Church of Uganda from 1974 to 1977 and one of the most influential leaders of the modern church in Africa. He was murdered in 1977 by either Idi Amin personally or by Amin's henchmen.
Luwum was born in the village of Mucwini in the Kitgum District to Acholi parents. He attended Gulu High School and Boroboro Teacher Training College, after which he taught at a primary school. Luwum converted to Christianity in 1948, and in 1949 he went to Buwalasi Theological College. In 1950 he was attached to St. Philip's Church in Gulu. He was ordained a deacon in 1953, and the following year he was ordained a priest. He served in the Upper Nile Diocese of Uganda and later in the Diocese of Mbale. In 1969 he was consecrated Bishop of the Diocese of Northern Uganda at Gulu. After five years he was appointed Archbishop of the Metropolitan Province of Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, and Boga (in Zaire), becoming the second African to hold this position. On 16 February 1977, Luwum was arrested together with two cabinet ministers, Erinayo Wilson Oryema and Charles Oboth Ofumbi. The same day Idi Amin convened a rally in Kampala with the three accused present. A few other "suspects" were paraded forth to read out "confessions" implicating the three men. The archbishop was accused of being an agent of the exiled former president Milton Obote, and for planning to stage a coup. The next day, Radio Uganda announced that the three had been killed when the car transporting them to an interrogation center had collided with another vehicle. The accident, Radio Uganda reported, had occurred when the victims had tried to overpower the driver in an attempt to escape. When Luwum's body was released to his relatives, it was riddled with bullets. Henry Kyemba, minister of health in Amin's government, later wrote in his book A State of Blood, that "The bodies were bullet-riddled. The archbishop had been shot through the mouth and at least three bullets in the chest. The ministers had been shot in a similar way but one only in the chest and not through the mouth. Oryema had a bullet wound through the leg."
According to the later testimony of witnesses, the victims had been taken to an army barracks, where they were bullied, beaten and finally shot. Time magazine said "Some reports even had it that Amin himself had pulled the trigger, but Amin angrily denied the charge, and there were no first-hand witnesses".
Janani Luwum was survived by a widow, Mary Lawinyo Luwum and nine children. He was buried at his home village of Mucwini in the Kitgum District. He is recognised as a martyr by the Church of England and the Anglican Communion and his death is commemorated on 17 February as a Lesser Festival. His statue is among the Twentieth Century Martyrs on the front of Westminster Abbey in London.

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