In a gracious gesture of generosity, Mukono Municipality Member of Parliament, Betty Nambooze Bakireke, extended an offer to donate a portion of her family’s land for the construction of a chapel. However, the Catholic Church in the Lugazi Diocese has graciously declined the offer, citing the need to adhere to established procedures.
Nambooze shared her intentions during a public gathering attended by the Bishop of Lugazi Diocese, Christopher Kakooza, and the Vicar General, Msgr. Richard Kayondo.
She expressed her desire to construct a chapel on her property and later hand it over to the bishop upon completion as a way of giving back to God, noting that similar initiatives have been undertaken by legislators from the Muslim community in constructing mosques on their properties.
The idea for this generous offer originated during the COVID-19 lockdown when access to church services was limited. Nambooze sought the assistance of the St. Paul Parish priest, Rev. Fr. Paul Ssebitoogo, who conducted Mass every Sunday evening at her home. This practice continued even after the lockdown restrictions were lifted, with other Christians from her neighborhood joining in.
The proposed chapel aimed to provide a more formal and accommodating space for church services, including lunch-hour services and morning and evening Mass. Given the presence of numerous Catholic pupils and students in nearby schools, the chapel would also serve the educational community’s needs.
However, the Vicar General, Msgr. Richard Kayondo, clarified that there are established procedures for making such donations to the Catholic Church.
He emphasized the importance of humility and adherence to the proper channels when approaching the Church for assistance or collaboration. Msgr. Kayondo pointed out that accepting one request and rejecting another could create an awkward situation, which is why following established procedures is essential.
Moreover, Msgr. Kayondo clarified that, within the diocese, it is the Bishop who has the responsibility for building structures such as churches and Golto, and anyone seeking to assist with such projects should consult the bishop through the proper channels rather than making public announcements.
Although Bishop Kakooza was present during the discussion, he did not provide a direct response to Nambooze’s offer.
However, it is clear that the Catholic Church values the established procedures and wishes to ensure that all initiatives are carried out with humility and adherence to tradition and authority. Betty Nambooze Bakireke’s generous offer, while not accepted at this time, demonstrates her commitment to her faith and her desire to contribute to the community.