As we prepare to celebrate World Communication Day 2019, hosted by Hoima diocese, the Executive Secretary Social Communications Office in Hoima Diocese hereby wishes to briefly share and reflect on the following aspects in connection with that Universal and Liturgical annual event.

World Communication Day in the Catholic Church is the day on which the Universal Church underlines the prime importance of the Church’s mission to evangelize as commanded by the Lord Jesus on his return to the Father (Mk 16,15). The Universal Catholic Church has traditionally marked Ascension Sunday as World Communication Day. It is also the day when all faithful and people of good will are obliged to make a special collection to support communication and media activities for the work of evangelization, e.g. Radio, Print, Television, Internet, etc.

Every year the Holy Father sends a message to the entire world for reflection on World Communication Day. This year we celebrate the 53rd World Communication Day. Pope Francis’ message for this year has a theme that reads: From social network communities to the human community. The Holy Father makes a scriptural reference for this year’s theme from St. Paul’s Letter to the Ephesians that reads: “We are members one of another” (Eph. 4, 25). With this message, and by use of images and metaphors of the net, the community, the body and the members (St. Paul), the Holy Father invites us to reflect on the foundation and importance of our being-in-relation and to rediscover, the desire of the human person who does not want to be left isolated and alone. “The community as a network of solidarity”, says the Pope, “requires mutual listening and dialogue, based on the responsible use of language”. (See Full Text of the Pope’s message for World Communication Day 2019)

The Catholic Church in Uganda through the arrangement and implementation by the Uganda Episcopal Conference Social Communications Commission marks this annual celebration at a National level being preceded by a National Communication Week organized in one of the four Ecclesiastical Provinces on a rotational basis. And as for the year 2019 our Province, that is Mbarara Ecclesiastical Province comprised of Hoima, Fortportal, Kasese, Mbarara, and Kabaale dioceses, was chosen to lead the celebrations and hosted by Hoima Diocese on the above dates.

At the close of similar celebrations last year 2018 which took place in Nebbi diocese (Gulu Ecclesiastical Province), the drum, which is a traditional symbol of Communication, was handed over to Hoima diocese (Mbarara Ecclesiastical Province) to prepare and host this year’s Annual Communication Week and World Communication day. Preparations are in high gear both at regional and diocesan level in Hoima diocese. The above celebrations will be held in four phases along the week, as follows:

During the Annual Communication Week, the celebrations will kick off with a 3 – day Communication workshop – from Tuesday 7th – Thursday 9th May 2019 at Riviera Hotel in Hoima Municipality attended by about 50 participants from all the 19 dioceses in Uganda, i.e. diocesan communication coordinators and delegates from all catholic media houses in Uganda. The selected topic for the workshop is “Networking for effective communication and resource mobilization”.
Reports and Business meeting: Participants will then proceed with the giving of individual reports from their respective communication offices and media houses followed by an annual business meeting. The meeting is aimed at reflecting on communication activities and the making of strategic plans with regard to media and communication related activities in the Catholic Church and the country at large.

On the 5th day, i.e. Saturday 11th May 2019 participants will spend a whole afternoon on a picnic, visiting and touring exciting and interesting sites in the Bunyoro region, especially the upcoming Oil industry and the on-going Hoima International Airport construction works. Thereafter they will spend the rest of the evening hours in a free and relaxed picnic mood at a desired location.

The functions will be crowned on Sunday 12th May 2019 with a Pontifical Mass beginning at 9.30am in Bujumbura Cathedral with a variety of invited guests from all the 45 parishes in Hoima Diocese and other important dignitaries. The liturgy will be led by Our Lady of Lourdes, Bujumbura Cathedral Choir. Before the final blessing, there will be a few speeches concluded with an exciting handover ceremony of the traditional communication drum to the next hosting region and diocese performed by the Rt. Rev. Joseph Franzelli, Bishop Chairman Social Communications Commission, Uganda Episcopal Conference.

After mass there will be a tree planting ceremony and a tour of an exhibition intended to show-case both diocesan as well as other relevant products that reflect culture and economic activities in the Bunyoro region, brief interesting cultural presentations (entertainments) by some renown Bunyoro Music Dance and Drama presenters will follow to crown the day.

More updates will be given in due course.