(By Pelegrine Otonga) [Picture: Bishop Santo Lino Wanok(R) and Fr George Ogwal Akaca]
The church in Lira is ready to conduct services through Radio Wa 89.8 FM during the days when gatherings for prayers have been ban due to the Coronavirus pandemic.
On March 19th that was also the Feast of Saint Joseph, the Uganda Episcopal Conference issued a 16 point guidelines in conformity to that of the Ministry of Health and reaffirmed by President Yoweri Museveni that include “ban on religious gatherings such as prayers in churches, mosques, open air and services on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.”
Radio Wa has therefore made arrangements to broadcast two masses on Sundays; one in Luo starting at 6:am to 7:30 am and English from 8:30 am to 10 am. The Morning prayers from Mondays to Saturdays shall be from 6 am to 6:50 am. The Managing Director of Radio Wa Magdalene Kasuku said the times were agreed upon in a meeting called by the Parish Priest of Lira Cathedral Parish Rev. Fr. George Ogwal Akaca after consultations with the Bishop of Lira Diocese, Rt. Rev. Santo Lino Wanok on Friday.
Bishop Wanok on Friday 20th March 2020 while communicating the guidance by the Catholic Bishops of Uganda on the Coronavirus on Radio Wa said the prayer to be conducted in the studio of Radio Wa should be attended by not more than 10 people that include the priest, the alter server, a few choir members and the laity. He said the family which is the first church should tune in for the broadcasts saying, “We shall be keeping in touch with in the holy spirit where we worship in truth and then in the family which is our primary church where the spirit of the Lord stays”. Asked by a listener how their offertory can reach the church, the Bishop replied that they can use the mobile money transactions through their phones.
Apart from the Radio broadcast, Bishop Wanok said the priests and the catechist are available to celebrate the Eucharist with any prayer group of not more than 10 people.