Archbishop Emeritus Paul Kamuza Bakyenga of Mbarara Archdiocese Passes Away, Leaving Behind a Legacy of Faith

By Senior Reporter

NEWS – The esteemed Archbishop Emeritus of Mbarara Archdiocese in Western Uganda His Grace Paul Kamuza Bakyenga has departed this mortal coil.

 

He breathed his last at the age of 79.

 

Bakyenga, whose sacred journey as a priest commenced in 1971 at the tender age of 27, passed away in the wee hours of Tuesday at St. Francis Hospital, Nsambya.

 

He had been in and out of the hospital over the past five years, battling the frailties of life.

 

In 2022, Bakyenga joyously celebrated his golden jubilee of priesthood, bidding farewell to the faithful in the Mbarara Archdiocese.

 

“Our beloved Archbishop Emeritus Bakyenga has departed from us,” mourned a close confidant of the deceased.

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The Catholic Church is expected to release an official statement today to commemorate Bakyenga’s passing.

 

Bakyenga received ordination as a priest at Mushanga Parish in Bushenyi district in 1977.

 

A mere day after his ordination, he assumed the role of Catholic Chaplain at Ntare School in Mbarara.

 

Subsequently, Bakyenga took up a position as the Curate at Nyamitanga Parish.

 

He also served as the Rector at Kitabi Seminary and later as a Pastoral Coordinator at Nyamitanga Cathedral.

 

In 2018, plagued by ill-health, Bakyenga petitioned Pope Francis for retirement.

 

He disclosed that he was slated to undergo an operation in the United States, but upon consultation with an expert, he was diagnosed with what he referred to as an “incurable ailment.”

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In 2020, Pope Francis graciously accepted Bakyenga’s resignation and appointed Auxiliary Bishop Lambert Bainomugisha as the new Archbishop of Mbarara, Uganda.

 

The Catholic Church permits archdiocesan/diocesan bishops, including cardinals, to submit their resignation when they suffer from illness or face grave circumstances that hinder them from fulfilling their ecclesiastical duties.

 

Bakyenga revealed that the year began on an unfortunate note for him, necessitating his travel to the United States, where he sought medical treatment for an entire month.

 

Born in 1944 in Bumbaire, Igara, Bushenyi district, the Emeritus Bakyenga was appointed and consecrated as the Bishop of Mbarara in 1989, succeeding the late Bishop John Baptist Kakubi, who had previously resigned.

 

In 1999, when Mbarara Diocese was elevated to an archdiocese, Bakyenga was appointed as the Archbishop of Mbarara, becoming the inaugural holder of the prestigious title. He served in this esteemed position until his retirement in 2020.

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