Sr. Jecinter Antoinette Okoth, FSSA
At Episcopal ordination of Rt. Rev. Raphael p’Mony Wokorach of Uganda’s Nebbi Diocese on Saturday, August 14, the outgoing Diocesan Coordinator Msgr. Emmanuel Odaga entrusted the faith of the Christians to the newly ordained bishop asking him “to continue deepening their faith and help them grow more in love.”
“I hand over to you today the faith of the people, a God-fearing people who turn their faith into a joy and celebration that even the threat of Covid-19 cannot waiver,” Msgr. Odaga who has been overseeing the activities of Nebbi Diocese from February 2019, told Msgr. Wokorach hours before consecration.
The cleric who hails from the same Nebbi Diocese continued, “The faith of the people is so firm, so real that whatever hard situation come their way, they will actually yearn for the Church to help them.
Referencing Apostle Paul’s message to Corinthians on the essence of love, Fr. Odaga asked the Bishop-elect to ensure that love surpasses all else as he nurtures Christians on ways to deepen their faith in Christ.
“They may have strong and deepest faith ever and they may have strong hope, but remember love is the greatest that turns faith and hope into life of a believer,” the Ugandan cleric clarified and highlighted further, “That love is not anybody else but Jesus Christ himself.”
Fr. Odaga who pledged cooperation and loyalty to Msgr. Wokorach reminded the bishop-elect that after being given the Shepherd’s staff he may use it “to help the people practice their faith and love to build unity,” knowing that “Unity is love and love is unity.”
Addressing the congregation just after his episcopal ordination, Bishop Wokorach a member of the Comboni Missionaries of the Heart of Jesus (MCCJ) appreciated the faith of the people of Nebbi and Msgr. Odaga for nurturing that same faith in the heart of Christians.
“The Church is built on your faith. I am inheriting a faith already built and founded by many people including bishops,” the former Pontifical Commissary of the Congregation of Apostles of Jesus (AJ) shared with the congregants during her maiden speech.
He highlighted that life of faith reveals the power of God and “faith is the love of God that moves us to build.” Hence, “as we move on to build the faith, we walk together with the focus to listen attentively to the voice of God.”
Bishop Wokorach who has become the fourth Local Ordinary of Nebbi Diocese reminded the Prelates, clerics and Religious that as “Church leaders, our role is to awaken the sense of listening so that the faith we are praying for may be strong.”
He appreciated the services offered by Msgr. Odaga for the past two and half years acknowledging him as “a wise man, clear headed, focused, deep in thoughts and attentive.”
“The mark you have left on the many souls you have encountered generate fruits that will last forever,” newly ordained Bishop told the outgoing Diocesan administrator.
The Bishop further asked the Christians to continue praying for him to remain strong in faith and be a “good Shepherd according to the heart of the Sacred Heart of Jesus,” and to emulate the faith of St. Daniel Comboni the founder of MCCJ “whose faith sustained him in different situations of life and made him sensible to people’s needs.”