The 5th May 2023 has gone down in the history of Panyangara parish as a memorable day when all roads within Kotido and outside of Kotido led to Panyangara drawing a mammoth crowd for the celebration of the Silver Jubilee of the Parish. As Christians gathered together with the Bishop, priests, religious and faithful from other Christian confessions, it was clear that the Lord has smiled on us as always with a beautiful sunny morning and happy faces.
Panyangara Parish was established in 1998. The Priests (Philip O’Halloran, Denis Hartnett and Declan O’Toole) reported to Panyangara on 2nd April, 1998. Twenty-five years is such a significant number, and we could not be quiet about it because the Lord has been faithful to us in many ways. And so, this day has been made by the Lord for us to rejoice and be glad.
This jubilee celebration is an opportunity to remind ourselves how much God has walked with the Christians of the parish since its inception especially through the commitment of the Mill Hill Missionaries some of whom gave up their lives for the sake of the Christians in this Parish.
We celebrated the existence of the Mill Hill Missionaries in Kotido Diocese and in Panyangara. As Mill Hill Missionaries, our motto is To Love and to Serve. Guided by this motto and encouraged by the Christian community we have been able to make Panyangara Parish what it is today.
In his homily, Bishop Dominic Eibu, the Bishop of Kotido Catholic Diocese, invited the Christian people to be a sharing community after the example of the missionaries who shared their gifts of faith to establish the mission. He thanked the missionaries for their selfless service and endeavors for the people in Kotido Diocese. The society Representative of the Mill Hill Missionaries, Fr Joe King congratulated the Christians for the celebration and encouraged them to now own and support the Church for the coming twenty-five years.
The beautiful liturgical celebration was spiced with the angelic voice of the youth choir and liturgical dance by the children.
After mass, the politicians and local government officials admonished people to work for peace and unity for the transformation of Karamoja.
To make it a complete feast a meal was shared by all accompanied with some local drink and traditional dance. As the day ended everyone gave thanks to God for the blessings of twenty five years. The renewed sense of community and commitment will keep us as we look forward and tackle the realities that face our people, always putting our FAITH into ACTION as is the theme of this Jubilee.
Ignatius Nshing Tanjua MHM
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