A total of 1,547 pilgrims from Hoima Catholic Diocese on Friday evening set off for their expedition to Namugongo Martyrs Shrine ahead of the commemoration of the 45 Christians who were killed for their faith on the orders of Kabaka Mwanga of Buganda between 1885 and 1887.
Hoima Diocese will be leading the mass at the Catholic shrine on June 3rd, 2017 and their pilgrims are expected to arrive on June 1st in time for the commemoration.
The foot pilgrims from Hoima Diocese were flagged off at three different centres of St. Cyprian parish in Hoima town, Bujuni parish in Kibaale district and Nyamigisa parish in Masindi district.
According to Rev. Fr. James Tibezinda, the pilgrims coordinator in Hoima diocese, there are 539 foot pilgrims walking the 198km Hoima-Kiboga-Kampala route while another 596 will ply the Masindi-Kafu-Kampala route. From Kibaale, at least 412 started off their journey to Namugongo.
Fr Tibezinda says that on May 31, all the 1547 pilgrims registered for the three routes and others expected to join them along the way will converge at Kyaliwajala parish in Kira Municipality, Wakiso district before being ushered in to the Namugongo Shrine with a brass band on June 1.
The flag-off at St. Cyprian Parish in Hoima town was preceded by mass led by Rev. Fr. Robert Mugisha, the Hoima diocesan pastoral coordinator who asked the pilgrims to stick to their faith throughout the journey as a way of imitating the brevity of the Uganda martyrs.