Kasana-Luweero Diocese is a diocese like no other. Its first and second bishops—Paul Ssemwogerere and his predecessor, Cyprian Kizito Lwanga (RIP)—were elevated to Archbishops of Kampala.
Today, tens of thousands of guests expected to grace the Episcopal consecration at Our Lady of Fatima Queen of Peace Cathedral will fixate their gaze on Lawrence Mukasa as he is installed as the third bishop of Kasana-Luweero Diocese.
Msgr Francis Xavier Mpanga, the caretaker of the diocese, told Monitor tersely that “the faithful at Kasana-Luweero Diocese have been praying for this moment.”
According to Rev Fr Lawrence Kimbowa, the head of protocol of the Episcopal consecration and installation ceremony, a delegation from Kasana-Luweero Diocese will convene at Lumansi Village—a trans-border boundary separating the districts of Luweero and Wakiso—before receiving the bishop elect at 7am.
A section of the faithful that spoke to Monitor can’t hide their joy after a long wait without a bishop.
“I will be witnessing a third consecration [today] (Saturday),” Mr Joseph Lwevuse, a papal knight and catechist attached to Kasana-Luweero Diocese, beamed, adding: “I have served the diocese since 1996 when we got our first bishop and pray that we have a blessed consecration ceremony.”
The faithful at Kasana-Luweero Diocese take great delight in the fact that their diocese groomed two archbishops of Kampala. Mr Charles Ssebyala, a congregant and elder at Kasana Parish Cathedral, says the feat has made the diocese “famous.”
The bishop’s seat fell vacant on December 9, 2021 when Pope Francis appointed Bishop Paul Ssemogerere, the then Diocesan bishop of Kasana-Luweero Diocese, as Archbishop of Kampala Metropolitan Archdiocese. This was followed by the January 25, 2022 installation ceremony of Archbishop Ssemogerere at Rubaga Cathedral, Kampala.
On January 28, 2022, Msgr Mpanga was appointed the Kasana-Luweero Diocesan administrator. Msgr Mpanga had formerly been the Kasana-Luweero Diocesan Vicar General when Bishop Paul Ssemogerere was Bishop of Kasana-Luweero Diocese.
On Saturday April 29, Luigi Bianco, the Apostolic Nuncio to Uganda, broke the news of the appointment of Msgr Mukasa as third Bishop of Kasana Luweero Diocese by Pope Francis. The news was delivered at Kiyinda-Mityana Diocese Cathedral in Mityana District during a Mass organised for the diocesan youth and hosted by the diocese. Msgr Mukasa at the time was the Vicar for the Clergy at Kiyinda-Mityana Diocese.
Who is the bishop elect? Fr Mukasa was born on March 14, 1957 at Nabwiri Village in Busujju, Mityana District. His deceased parents —Stephen Lutwama and Elizabeth Namusoke Nanteza—raised him and seven other siblings in the Catholic faith. Such was the ferocious discipline they enforced that he was baptised at Mwera Sub-parish in 1967, three days after his 10th birthday.
Before that, he had, in 1964 began studying at Kakindu Primary School. By the time he left in 1969, he had decided that he wanted to be a priest and soon went off to a seminary in Nswenjere where he completed his studies in 1971.
In 1978, Mukasa entered St Thomas Aquinas’ National Major Seminary Katigondo to prepare for the priesthood. The 30 seminarians from the selected Catholic dioceses he studied with at the time mostly remember him for reading voraciously as indeed he had done when he was St Charles Lwanga’s Seminary Kisubi from 1972.
After completing his studies at the now century-old Katigondo, Mukasa saw out his pastoral year of internship at Kijaguzo Catholic Parish in 1980. A year later, he joined St Mary’s National Major Seminary Ggaba.
Ordained a priest at Kiyinda Mityana Cathedral on June 29, 1983 by Bishop Emmanuel Wamala, Mukasa and was posted to Our Lady Queen of Angels’ Parish Bukalagi in Kiyinda-Mityana Diocese. His comfort around books soon saw him appointed a lecturer and formator at Katigondo National Major Seminary. That was in 1986.
Four years later, the bookworm was off to the Gregorian University in Rome where he majored in Church History.
Upon completion of his studies in 1992, Fr Mukasa was posted back to Katigondo Seminary; this time as General Spiritual Director and Lecturer of Liturgy.
In 1997, Fr Mukasa was transferred from Katigondo to Bukalagi Parish. He was to serve as parish priest. In 2001, he served at St Mbaaga’s Major Seminary as General Spiritual Director and Lecturer of Spiritual Theology.
On August 22, 2005, Bishop Joseph Antony Zziwa of Kiyinda-Mityana Diocese acknowledged Fr Mukasa’s services and asked him to be part of the Episcopal Ministry.
Later, in 2018, he was appointed the Vicar of the Clergy, a position he held until the latest papal appointment as Bishop of Kasana-Luweero Diocese.