Moyo parish, in diocese of arua, celebrated her centinary jubilee Saturday 19th August 2017. The celebration was led by His Excellence Rt. Rev. Michael Blume, the Apostolic Nuntio in Uganda.
Concelebrating ministers were Rt. Rev. Sabino Ocan Odoki the ordinary of Arua Diocese, Rt. Rev. Joseph Franzelli - Ordinary Bishop of Lira, Rt. Rev. Paride Taban - Bishop Emeritus of Torit diocese, a good number of diocesan and missionary priests. Many religious and the lay faithful turn up for the celebration. The ceremony was graced by presence of two centinarians: a man of 106 and a lady of 103 years old.
Here is the intervention of Our Founder Bishop Angelo Negri
One of the first papal appointment in Northern Uganda as chief shepherd that cannot go without recognition is that of Bishop Angelo Negri. Negri was appointed the first Bishop of Equatorial Nile. Equatorial Nile was made up of the current Ecclesiastical Provinces of Gulu, Arua, Nebbi and Lira ( GANAL). It also included the current dioceses of Moroto, Kotido, Yei and Torit in South Sudan. Negri was born on 19th November, 1889 and died in Arua on 11th November 1949. He first came to Gulu as a missionary in 1921 and stayed on until 1926. On 10th December 1934 he became the first Apostolic Vicar of the Equatorial Nile province his predecessor being Fr. Antonio Vignato. On 5th May 1935 Mgr. Angelo Negri was consecrated Bishop with his Seat in Gulu where he is buried. In 2007 he was declared “The Servant of God” and the process of his beatification is currently on-going. This great bishop never missed passing by Moyo Parish when on pastoral journey. Moyo was his stopover passage to West Nile region. Each time he stopped over to spend the time with his priests; Fathers Molinaro, Albino, Colombaroli, Audisio, Beduschi, Cazzolara, Salvariano and Consolaro all of who were indeed first hour workers in the Lord’s vineyard. From Moyo, Bishop Negri would usually proceed to Lodonga, Maracha and on to Arua, Nebbi, Angal, Nyapea and War and back to his Seat in Gulu by the same route. Oral tradition reveals Negri’s fun in hunting .He would stop around Calla and Amua area at the footsteps of Otze massif after crossing the Nile at Laropi to hunt and takes the game along for the meals of the fathers and sisters in Moyo. Negri blessed the foundation stone of Lodonga, the first Basilica in Africa South of the Sahara, constructed by Fr. Bernardo Satori, now Servant of God, with the support of the experienced guidance of Bro. Aroso. In 1938 on the occasion of the Silver Jubilee of his priestly ordination he laid the foundation of the current Sacred Heart Seminary Lacor admits the gloomy signs of hostility against the Italian Missionaries. In 1938, Bishop Angelo Negri had the great joy of ordaining the first two indigenous priests in Gulu; Fr. Donasiano Bala and Fr. John Ongom Oniri on 24th December 1938.That day Fr. Antonio Vignato, newly elected Father General, flew to Gulu to witness the ordination. Bishop Angelo Negri with joy and excitement wrote in his diary of the ordination" beyond any human dream the seed sown in tears and watered with blood has now germinated and given life to a flourishing church which can now count priests among members." Mgr. Negri was at the center of the World War II and the imminent internment of which the Papal Nuncio Mgr. Riberi had sent directives to be followed in case of war between Great Britain and Italy. The main points of the agreement between London and the Holy See were very limiting and with restriction. The Comboni Missionaries were closely to be and actually watched on. However in-spite of it, Bishop Negri launched the first Synod which gave rise to new ideas for the Church in his Province. 42 Parish North Western Uganda (1917-2017) The current Cathedral of Gulu had its foundation laid by Mgr. Vignato but the construction was implemented by Bishop Angelo Negri. He joyfully, on the occasion of the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart Jesus, had it consecrated under the patronage of St. Joseph, Patron of the Universal Church on 13th June 1947. Archbishop David Matthew, Apostolic Delegate to British Africa officiated it accompanied by Bishop Negri. Mr. Benedict Kiwanuka was in attendance with the Governor General of Uganda, Sir John H. Hall. Soon after Bishop Negri had to witness the exile of his priests and sisters while the Comboni fathers were on this internment, Moyo Mission was given into the care of the White Fathers. Later, he himself was also on internment. The few sisters freed from the internment with his permission transferred Mary Immaculate Girls school form Gulu to Moyo which later came to be Christ the King Vernacular Teacher Training College /Teacher Training College and later returned to Gulu to its current spot in 1954. One of the greatest achievements of the episcopate of Bishop Angelo Negri between 1936 and 1942 was the Institute of the first indigenous religious women Institute which he named “Little Sisters of Mary Immaculate”. In his writings, Mgr. Angelo Negri made the plans to also have the indigenous men's Institute which he intended to name as, “Little Brothers of Immaculate Heart of Mary” (currently called Marian Brothers) but he unfortunately died before he could start the institute for the brothers. His successor Bishop Giovanni Battista Cesana with the support of Fr. Albrigo helped to ensure it started. In 1930, in a publication of Nigrizia, Bishop Negri wrote intention of these institutes by the following lines, "I have opened the way so that there too among the tribes of Northern Uganda a new flower may blossom, the flower of virginity…” In fact, soon after he communicated to Sr. Angioletta Dognini and in 1942 the congregation of the Little sisters of Mary Immaculate kicked off. The first religious women ever were from Madi region Sisters Maria Santina Abjumani LSMI number one and Sr. Maria Rosa Koi LSMI number two Bishop Angelo Negri stands to be honored as the Patriarch of the currently flourishing dioceses of Gulu, Arua, Nebbi, Lira and others. He set and established the roots of the Catholic faith. He focused his commitment in improving the living conditions for his missionaries and of the local population. He was a pastor in the field with his flock and by that established a firm pastoral formation in the dioceses with the indigenous men and women