Isaac Ojok

The Chairperson of communications commission at Uganda Episcopal Conference Rt. Rev Joseph Franzelli has disclosed that the network of Catholic radio stations in Uganda have helped church ministers reach out to their flock during the Coronavirus lockdown in the country.

In an interview with AMECEA News correspondent when asked to share his experience during Covid19 lockdown, the Bishop said although lockdowns brought a lot of social challenges among the people, the network of Catholic radio stations in the country and other radios helped church minsters to reach out to their flock.

On 6th June, 2021 in the second wave of the Corona virus pandemic Uganda, HE Yoweri Kaguta Museveni the President of the Republic of Uganda announced closure of all places of worship including other public gatherings as a measure to contain the rate at which Covid19 was spreading in the country when the cases of infections were at its peak.

The presidential directive rendered all churches and mosques closed while religious leaders were advised to use televisions and radio stations including other social media platforms to reach out to the worshippers.

This, according to Rt. Rev. Joseph Franzelli who is also the Bishop Emeritus of Lira Diocese, led to loss of personal contact with people from the pastoral perspective through regular communication and celebrations of the Holy Eucharist in the church, many more people who listened to radio were reached than before the lockdown measures were pronounced by the President.

Bishop said church ministers used the available media houses to preach the messages of hope and comfort the lives of people who were anxious and tormented because of the challenges associated with the Covid19 related restrictions in the country.

He is hopeful that the people will soon commence living together as one family of God when Coronavirus infections are no more a pandemic in the country.

Although the lockdown came with its negative consequences, he noted that it as well created avenues for people to come up with various innovation and inspiration in trying to reach out to one another through various channels of communication.

The prelate went on to share that Catholic radio stations in the country also faced financial challenges during the lockdown since many clients closed down their businesses during the second wave of Coronavirus, making media houses to meet difficulties in paying salaries and other utility bills.

He also informed the AMECEA correspondent the establishment of Uganda Catholic Television-UCTV faced similar challenges when lockdown started.

He implored the Christians and the people of good will to unite and put their resources in supporting Uganda Catholic Television so as to achieve the purpose to promote evangelisation and socio- economic transformation of the people in Uganda.

The establishment of Uganda Catholic Television with its motto, “Good News for All” is an initiative of Uganda Episcopal Conference it has drawn excitement from Christians who say it is going to disseminate the Good News and propagate faith among the people of God.

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