By Peter Ssebulime
Masaka: Born March 23, 1943, Bishop Emeritus of Masaka Diocese John Baptist Kaggwa has finally been raid to rest today at Bukalasa Minor Seminary cemetery in Kalungu District.
During the requiem mass at his send-off, ordinary of Masaka Catholic diocese Rt. Rev. Severus Jjumba noted that Kagwa’s words and actions have reflected what exactly he has been pursuing through his entire church life with signs that he took the image of a good shepherd who offered his life for the flock.
Jumba narrated that Bishop Kaggwa has been a good shepherd who would listen to everyone, a humble servant, an open-minded, a developmental, educationist, a console, a mediator, a giver of sacramento, a human rights defender who would openly advice where necessary for the well being of Ugandans.
In some of the achievements Kagwa has contributed to Masaka Diocese, he established Masaka Traders Association a body that brings together businessmen and women in greater Masaka, Masaka-Kampala Catholic community headed by Evaristo Kayongo and Centenary group of companies all established to unite Catholics and develop them financially.
Bishop Kaggwa at the helm of Masaka Diocese under the motto “Omnia propter Evangelium profer lumen caecis: All things for the sake of the gospel to bring light to the blind.” will be remembered for his tremendous work he did to teach, govern and sanctify the faithful.
Among the many things he worked for was the Evangelisation of the flock entrusted to him that he erected 30 more parishes from the 25 he found standing by the time of his appointment and not forgetting the many Priests he has ordained.
The steady improvement of the Education Sector through maintenance and building standard Educational policies and institutions, Economic development of his flock through MADDO, Social Communications enhancement through starting up Centenary Radio, the health sector was at his heart through the able services of the Masaka Diocesan Medical services and from other medical centers under the diocese of Masaka.
The Youth Section through the Bishop Kaggwa Cup that promoted talents, to mention but a few. RIP
The Biography Of Bishop John Baptist Kaggwa.
The Most Reverend John Baptist Dr. Kaggwa (RIP) hails from Bulenga-Busiro by then under Rubaga Parish where he attained all his vows accept his episcopate.
Bishop Kaggwa was born on 22/03/1943 by Late Matia Ssentamu and Felista Nazziwa. Among his other 13 siblings includes another who was a God’s servant – Sr. Elizabeth (Rip)
In 1950, Kaggwa started schooling at Ssumbwe Infant school, in 1952 he joined Rubaga for P1-P6.
In 1958 he joined Kisubi Minor Seminary where he served as a timekeeper, choirmaster and Sacristan. In 1964 he joined Katigondo National Seminary with other 10 fellows.
After one and half years of his stay at Katigondo, he miraculously got a chance of going to Rome for studies replacing the one who had been chosen but had forgotten his passport at home.
He obtained a Master’s degree in Philosophy and ordained Deacon in 1970 and later ordained a Priest on 12/12/1971 at Rubaga Cathedral.
Bp. Kaggwa notably recalled that the spark of his calling to the sacred priesthood was the admiration he got when Fr. Brown was chanting the Pater Noster at the former’s first Latin Mass while at the sub parish.
Fr. Kaggwa started his priestly duties as a Teacher in Nswanjere Preparatory Seminary (1972-1975), founded and taught in St. Mbaaga’s Major Seminary (1976-1983), among the 16 pioneer students were now Bishops Christopher Kakooza (Lugazi Diocese) and Paul Ssemwogerere (Kasana Luweero), while at St. Mbaaga, he served as Parish Priest of Ggaba Parish, taught in Kisubi Minor Seminary for one year and served as Parish Priest of Christ the King Parish in Kampala Archdiocese.
He was sent to Rome to specialize in Canon Law and Civil law at the Lateran University obtaining a BA, an MA and PhD in the same disciplines. Meanwhile, he served as the Vice-Rector of Collegio San Paulo in Via di Torre Rossa.
He was nominated Co-adjutor Bishop of Masaka Diocese on Holy Thursday 13 April 1995. He was ordained Bishop on 24 June 1995 at Kitovu Cathedral by the Rt. Rev. Adrian Kivumbi Ddungu assisted by H.E Emmanuel Cardinal Wamala, and Rt. Rev. Paul Kalanda.
He was appointed Ordinary Bishop of Masaka Diocese on January 10, 1998, and enthroned on March 22, 1998, at Villa Maria and retired on April 16, 2019, and appointed Apostolic Administrator of Masaka Diocese from that date to July 6 2019, when he was succeeded by Bishop Severus Jjumba as the ordinary of Masaka Diocese.