Evangelizing Through Media
The Social Communications Department
Aware of the significance of the media in pastoral ministry, missionaries started newspapers and magazines to help them in their work. Munno Newspaper, Musizi and Kizito magazines plus other secular media outlets which were very educational in many aspects, were widely circulated and read as the country continued growing. The period after Independence was characterized by civil wars and gradual worsening of the economic welfare of readers. This weakened the Church media, notably, the gruesome murder of Fr. Clement Kiggundu, the then editor of Munno, by Idi Amin. Following the desecration of Lubaga Cathedral, Rev. Fr. Joseph Mukasa Nkeera (curate by then) played a central role in the dissemination of information in collaboration with the secular Media. It was after this, that Archbishop Emmanuel Cardinal Nsubuga officially commissioned Kampala Archdiocese Information department in 1984 and Rev. Fr. Nkeera was appointed to run it. Guided by the Vision, To evangelize using existing Media Avenues, he did a tremendous work in drawing up a strategy, establishing a fruitful relationship between the church and the media besides maintaining church activities in the secular media.
The great work done was a result of committed guidance and support from Fr. Francis Xavier Tebukozza, Mrs. Thereza Matovu and Imelda Ssennoga of UTV, Herbert Kiragga of Radio Uganda, Freddie Ssekitto of Munno, just to mention a few. Before Fr. Nkeera left for the United States, in 1988, to pursue a Masters degree programme in Journalism, he had started a newsletter known as Newsreport, which was stencil cycled and it was intended for internal communication among the clergy and religious, featuring mainly instant information about themselves and political activities during the Luweero Civil war. This newsletter was afterwards turned into a full fledged magazine known presently as Catholic Newsreport. In his absence for two years, Late Fr. Mugwanya and later Rev. Fr. Bioaggoli kept the work moving on. He returned in 1990, and re-appointed as Information Secretary of the Archdiocese. His tenure which lasted until 2000 saw the starting of Catholic Newsreport, Wekembe magazines and several other media projects. He was succeeded by Fr. Kannamuwangi, Mr. Freddie Ssekitto then Fr. Mpagi and Fr. Kerunga until 2016 when Rev. Fr. Deogratius Kateregga Kiibi and Rev. Fr. Lawrence S. Lugoloobi took over the office as director and assistant director, respectively. Currently, Fr. Joseph Nkeera is the Head of the Archdiocese’s Communications’ Department.
All the remarkable work done since the commissioning of the department has led to a developed network between Information Secretaries from various parishes and established strong relationship between the Archdiocese and the secular media personnel regardless of their religious affiliation. Major events in the Archdiocese are covered and, the current information outlets include: Catholic Newsreport and Face book so as to cope with the advancing technology. The immediate future plans are revival of Munno and Kizito Magazine before the end of this year. The above publications have enabled the strengthening of the bridge between the clergy and the laity as information is easily disseminated. The bi- monthly publication has played a vital role in mobilizing Christians for church events and easing accessibility of knowledge that re-affirm the catholic catechesis.