I greet you all in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ,

As Hoima diocese prepares to host the 53rd World Communication day on Sunday 12th May 2019, and as we draw closer to these important Church celebrations, I hereby take this opportunity, on behalf of Rt. Rev. Vincent Kirabo, Bishop Ordinary of Hoima Catholic Diocese, and the Organizing Committees at all levels, both diocesan, regional, as well as National, to offer you some important insights with regard to the upcoming celebrations, for a more meaningful and informed participation of all.

1.0 What Is Meant By World Communication Day & It’s Significance In The Catholic Church
World Communication day 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. This means, these celebrations anticipate the Ascension liturgical celebrations according to Church calendar.
On this day, World Communication day, all faithful and people of good will are obliged to do two important things: 1. To pray for the Church’s mission to evangelize all peoples as mandated by the Lord Jesus, and; 2. To make a special (obligatory) collection to support communication and media activities for this same work of evangelization. This support is basically financial. It is an obligatory collection instituted by the Universal Church. It is specially geared towards the putting in place of a variety of infrastructure meant to facilitate the work of evangelization through print, radio, television, internet, etc. It could also mean acquisition of equipment that directly help the Church to communicate the word of God to his people. For example, as we host these celebrations in Hoima Catholic Diocese, the special collection on that day (at this national level), will be geared towards the purchase of a good public address system for Hoima diocese so as to enable us be more efficient and effective in the fulfillment of the Church mandate to evangelize all peoples.

2.0 To explain on the Pope’s Message On World Communication Day – For The Universal Church
In order to underline the significance of this day, World Communication day, every year the Holy Father sends a message to the entire world for reflection. 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 (Eph. 4,25), that reads: “For we are all members of one body” (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”. (more insights can be discovered as you reflect on the Full Text of the Pope’s message for World Communication Day 2019)

3.0 How World Communication Day Is Celebrated In Uganda
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 ( as I already mentioned above) being preceded by a National Communication Week. This arrangement is normally organized in one of the four Ecclesiastical Provinces on a rotational basis. We have four ecclesiastical provinces in Uganda, namely: Gulu province in the North comprising of the dioceses of Gulu, Arua, Nebbi and Lira; Tororo province in the East comprising of the dioceses of Tororo, Soroti, Moroto, and Jinja; Kampala province in the centre comprising of the dioceses of Kampala, Lugazi, Kasana-Luwero, Masaka and Kiyinda-Mityana; and Mbarara province in the west comprising of Mbarara, Kabale, Kasese, Fortportal, and Hoima. And as for the year 2019 our Province, that is Mbarara Ecclesiastical Province was chosen to lead the celebrations and being hosted by Hoima Diocese from 7th May till 12th May 2019

4.0 Preparations In Hoima Diocese To Host The Annual Communication Week And World Communication Day
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 now 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:

4.1 Annual Communication Week – Workshop:
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. These participants come from the 19 diocesan communication offices, and some delegates from all catholic media houses in Uganda.
This year’s selected topic for the workshop is “Networking for effective communication and resource mobilization”. The workshop presents an occasion for these communicators and journalists to reflect on some crucial aspects for their important task in order to become more effective and efficient.

4.2 Report giving 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 their communication activities and the making of strategic plans with regard to media and communication related activities in the Country.

4.3 Outing/ Picnic:
On the 5th day, i.e. Saturday 11th May 2019 participants normally spend a whole afternoon visiting and touring exciting and interesting sites. For this year, the participants will have the privilege of visiting and touring the upcoming Oil industry and the on-going Hoima International Airport construction works. Ground work preparations and contacts with relevant offices towards this effect are already underway and very promising. Thereafter, participants will spend the rest of the evening hours in a free and relaxed picnic mood at a desired location.

4.4 Climax day celebrations: Sunday 12th May 2019:
On the climax day, i.e. Sunday 12th May 2019, the celebrations will be crowned with a Pontifical Mass beginning at 9.30am in Bujumbura Cathedral. The liturgy will be led by Our Lady of Lourdes, Bujumbura Cathedral Choir.
The Chief Guest invited for the day will be Hon. Frank Tumwebaze, Minister of Information Communication Technology and National Guidance. Hon. Matia Kasaija, Minister of Finance, has been invited as Guest Speaker for the collection of funds for our diocesan media project (already mentioned above), i.e. a public address system. The day will be honored by a cross-section of other invited guests both from National, regional, and local levels. These will include all Bunyoro MPs, RDCs in Bunyoro region, CAOs, LCV Chairpersons, Mayors, District Information Officers, Town clerks, and not forgetting Cultural and religious leaders from Bunyoro Kingdom. We shall also welcome guests from the corporate and business community. Delegates from each of the 45 parishes in Hoima Diocese have also been invited. Journalists and press men from all media houses, be it print, radio, tv, etc, both local and national, have been invited for these important celebrations.
Before the conclusion of Holy Mass, there will be an exciting handover ceremony of the traditional communication drum to the next hosting region and diocese. This function will be performed by the Rt. Rev. Joseph Franzelli, Bishop Chairman Social Communications Commission, of Uganda Episcopal Conference assisted by the Bishop Ordinary of Hoima Diocese, Rt. Rev. Vincent Kirabo Amooti.
After mass there will be a tree planting ceremony as a memorial of these important celebrations in Hoima diocese. And to crown it all, the Guest of Honor and all invited visitors at the function will be taken through an exciting tour of exhibitions of products and services from selected institutions, companies, and organizations in Bunyoro region. The purpose for this planned exhibition is two-fold: 1. To provide a rare opportunity to those selected to show-case and advertize, part of what we, in Bunyoro are proud to offer to the community, not only local, but also national and international, and; 2. Reveal the context of integral (holistic) evangelization in the diocese which is supported by all stakeholders, be it from within the church or from the wider society.
Of course, guests will be treated to a variety of interesting cultural presentations (entertainments) by some renowned Banyoro Music Dance and Drama presenters.

5.0 Final Invitation
On behalf of the Ordinary Bishop of Hoima, Rt. Rev. Vincent Kirabo, the Diocesan Organizing Committee as well as the Regional and National Planning committees, I take this opportunity to invite all of you people of God to come and personally be witnesses of this rare opportunity to celebrate World Communication day here in Hoima Diocese on Sunday 12th May 2019.
You are all welcome to the Oil city. I wish you all Happy celebrations.

Rev. Fr. Dr. Bonny Kyaligonza Ateenyi,

Education Department, Hoima Catholic Diocese.