The re-opening of Sacred Heart Cathedral, Ediofe was such a spiritual colorful ceremony that attracted more than one million people of good will in the History of Arua Diocese. The renovation of Sacred Heart of Jesus Ediofe Cathedral had started way back on 18th May 2010.
Pope Francis also gave his message for the re-opening and consecration of the Sacred Heart of Jesus Cathedral Ediofe, which the Apostolic Nuncio in Uganda His Excellency, Archbishop Michael August Blume read on the occasion stating that- Ediofe Cathedral Church represents God’s household living in Arua Diocese; what a normal house for the ordinary human family is. That the temple is a common house, which we should love and be proud of because it is the house of God in which dwells His family. The Holy Father said.
The guest of honor, His Excellency Mons. Vincenzo Paglia, the President of the Pontifical Academy for, who rededicated the Cathedral urged Christians to define the consecration by changing their lives. He said the Sacred Heart of Jesus is the greatest love of God for humanity. He said Jesus asks the faithful to open their hearts to all their sisters and brothers especially the most poor and vulnerable so that no one is left alone and no one is left outside the mercy of God.
His Grace Archbishop John Baptist Odama, the Archbishop of Gulu appealed to Christians and all mankind to love one another. He had strong words for the leaders in South Sudan to stop fighting and killing one another.
Bishop Sabino Odoki, the Bishop of Arua Diocese urged the Christians to respectfully receive the gift of God through which His blessings will flow to us through the sacraments.
The Bishop stressed that in the Cathedral, the gift of life, baptism, and the spirit, confirmation, and other sacraments will be administered.
The friends of the Diocese in UK and U.S.A particularly Larry and CeCe Carroll, contributed greatly with their resources to complete the work by sponsoring the doors, windows pews/ furniture of the Diocese. Larry Carroll who was present at the reopening of the Cathedral received a Papal blessing from His Excellency Mons. Vincenzo Paglia.
Rev. Fr. Tonino Pasolini the Chairman of Central Organizing Committee for the renovation and extension of the Cathedral while handing over the keys and other documents of the Cathedral to Bishop Ordinary of the Diocese of Arua thanked God for all the friends who shared their resources for the renovation and extension of the Cathedral.
Other distinguished guests included His Eminence Emmanuel Cardinal Wamala, Bp. Santos Linus Wanok of Nebbi diocese, Bp. Martin Luluga Emeritus of Nebbi, Bp. Joseph Franzeli of Lira, Bp. Vincent Kirabo of Hoima, Bp. Robert Muhindo of Fort Portal, Bp. Acquirino Francis Kibira of Kasese and Bp. Mathias Ssekamanya-Bishop Emeritus of Lugazi Diocese. Also present were the retired Bishop of Madi and West Nile Diocese, Rt. Rev. Joel Obetia who called for unity in West Nile while addressing the congregation, the Bishop of Northern Uganda Rt. Rev. John Kakumba.
Present at the ceremony were; the Chairman of West Nile Parliamentary Caucus, Hon. Bernard Atiku, called upon Christians to equally give support in building Parishes.
Gen. Moses Ali who represented President Yoweri Museveni has appealed to the Christians of Arua Diocese to embrace reconciliation in order to move forward. The first deputy Prime minister said the government will continue to provide law and order in the Diocese. He also called upon Bishop Odoki to continue shepherding the Christians of Arua Diocese.
The Resident District Commissioner Arua Peter Debele asked the Christians of Arua Diocese to leave the past and look forward to a better future.
Similarly the state minister of Internal Affairs, Obiga Mario Kania expressed his joy in the re-opening of the Cathedral. He urged the faithful to be in communion with their Bishop. End