Message from the Archbishop of Kampala
Dear People of God in St. Charles Lwanga, Parish Ntinda, I congratulate you upon the celebration of your 5th anniversary as a parish. We have gathered here as the family of God, the Church of Ntinda parish, to offer our deep most thanks and praises to God for the abundant blessings He has bestowed upon us spiritually, pastorally, socially and in other various aspects of our life since our last celebration of the parish day.
As the Psalmist says, God has been so good to each and every one of us (Ps. 116:12), so let us thank and praise Him. You have chosen a beautiful and relevant theme for your 5th anniversary that is, “Growing together in faith, hope and love, what a wonderful God!” The first part of the theme is a clear invitation to all of us to grow in these three theological virtues, that is; to have faith in God, hope in God and love of God, and of neighbor for God’s sake. Generally, it is a call to be virtuous; to do what is right and avoid what is wrong.
Therefore as we celebrate our parish day, let us pause to reflect on these three virtues inscribed in our theme. Hebrews 11: 6 tells us that without faith you cannot please God. Faith is belief in God, and in the truth of His revelation and promises, and this virtue should lead us to entirely rely on God. For unless the Lord builds the house, the builders labor in vain. Unless the Lord watches over the city, the guards stand watch in vain (Ps. 127: 1). So dear people of Ntinda parish let us grow in and jealously guard our faith in God. The second virtue is Hope and as Catholics we ought to be hopeful people. Hope is the confident expectation of what God has promised and Psalm 146: 5 says that, blessed is he whose hope is in the Lord his God. Let us never allow our hope in God to die. The third virtue calls us to love God with all our heart, mind and soul; and love our neighbor as we love ourselves. 1 John 4: 8 warns us that whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. So dear people of Ntinda parish let us continue to grow in love; for it is by loving that we shall most resemble and please God. The second part of the theme “What a wonderful God!” invites us to recall the wonders God has done for us as Ntinda parish.
Indeed in the past five years, God has been so wonderful to you and it is my heartfelt joy to join you on your anniversary to offer our utmost gratitude to the Almighty God. When we consider your accomplishments as a parish in five years of existence, we are astounded! For you have completed the construction of the Parish Church, the Presbytery, the Perpetual Adoration Chapel, and with a very beautiful compound. A Parish is supposed to be a communion of communities, and in that sense, I highly commend the unity exhibited among the parishioners of Ntinda which beautifully depicts the people of God growing together. Furthermore, I take this opportunity to applaud you upon the establishment of the parish SACCO which is to be officially launched today, this SACCO is a good sign of the unity flourishing in the parish; and a revelation that the parish ministry is attending to both the soul and body. I also highly regard your efforts in strengthening ecumenical and inter-religious relationships with the neighboring brothers and sisters of the Church Of Uganda and other communities of believers. Besides that, I am aware and greatly support you in the plans to assume control and upgrade Ntinda Primary School to better serve the interests of the Church and the wider community. With all your achievements taken serious note of, I wish to extend my heartfelt gratitude to the Priests serving in Ntinda parish; Fr. Muwanga Edward the Parish priest, Fr. Bwowe Julius and Fr. Martin Masiisa, his assistants. I thank you for the various spiritual and pastoral programs you are implementing in this parish; indeed your apostolate has brought forth abundant fruits.
I also thank in a special way the parish council and all parishioners for the good collaboration with the priests and for all your tireless efforts in making Ntinda an icon of a modern day parish. The book of prophet Ezekiel 47: 1-12 describes the vision of water flowing from the temple and wherever that water flows, it brings life; to the plants, sea creatures and human beings. This is an image of the life from God that should flow from the Parish Church to everyone and everything in the parish. Wherever the Church is, it is supposed to be life giving, not life less.
So I encourage the priests and all the parish council members that through your various apostolates, keep on ensuring that Ntinda is a life giving parish; inspiring a holistic life based on the Gospel values among all the parishioners in their families, schools and places of work. I wish you happy celebrations on your 5th anniversary as a parish and entrust all of you to the intercession of St. Charles Lwanga and the Holy Uganda Martyrs.