The Catholic Church still needs Shs 414 million to organize this year’ Uganda Martyrs Day celebrations.
The Archbishop of Gulu diocese Dr John Baptist Odama says many of the pledges towards preparations have not been fulfilled - creating a shortfall in the initial Shs 900 million budget.
Addressing the press at the Uganda Catholic Episcopal Conference in Nsambya, Odama said that the secretariat has received contributions from among others, MTN Uganda, which delivered Shs 20 million to Gulu foot pilgrims on Wednesday, and an additional Shs 15 million from dfcu bank which was presented to the archbishop in Gulu.
According to Odama, the government had been asked to contribute three-quarters of the budget. However, the government contributed just about Shs 40 million. An additional Shs 96 million was contributed by the Uganda Tourism Board (UTB) this morning.
The archbishop says that the window for the fulfillment of the pledges remains open. He also used the occasion to announce the official beginning of the celebrations which will culminate with the celebrations on June 3, at the Uganda Martyrs Catholic Shrine in Namugongo.
The archbishop also called upon Christians to intercede for the people of Apaa, an area whose ownership is disputed between Amuru and Adjumani districts in northern Uganda. Bradford Oceng, deputy executive director Uganda Tourism Board said Uganda is blessed to pay the ultimate price of faith despite its small size.
He says Uganda’s target is to position faith-based pilgrimage to foster sustainable development. Oceng says the objective is to encourage visiting pilgrims to keep coming for the homepage to the holy shrine.
He says popularizing the martyrs among the one billion Catholics in the world will propel the country's faith-based pilgrimage to a greater height throughout the year.