The meeting opened with a message from the Archbishop who had decreed that the month of October shall be a month of intense preparations. He appealed for unity among the COC.
Former woman MP of Agago, Hon. Akello Franca drove all the way from Kampala for the meeting in Kalongo and was welcomed by the Liturgy committee.
There were then progress updates from the subcommittees on the issues of publicity, site construction, accommodation, transport, pilgrims, catechists, catering and finance.
- A successful publicity roard drive had been held in Gulu City to raise awareness of the event with a banner that was printed with funding support from The Kalongo Times. A total contribution of 718,500/= was made. The drive would be repeated in Kitgum and Kalongo next. More banners would be printed and used at all the COC meetings. The banners would be placed in all the Acholi District Headquarters. Most radio stations in Agago District had given free airtime for this publicity effort.
- A presentation on the beatification would be delivered at the Makerere Conference to raise awareness and encourage fundraising.
- The Deans had been asked to organise a meeting with the Parish Priests.
- The government had accepted a fundraising request and IGP had consented to that arrangement.
- A letter would be drafted to accompany the jingles to be played on radio stations.
- The Kalongo Times was producing a film on the beatification to raise awareness which would be available the following week. They were providing weekly updates on the beatification and members were asked to contribute to this at firstname.lastname@example.org.
SITE CITE CONSTRUCTION
- Engineer Owiny represented the Chair.
- An assessment of the roads has been conducted with the Ministry of Works and a follow-up would be completed with UNRA. Mr. Ocana Moris District Chair Agago said they were contacting the Central government to work on all the roads coming to Kalongo and surveillance cameras would be mounted at all key points.
- Approximately 13 acres of land had been chosen for the event. This was the area in front of the Church and behind St. Theresa. A detailed plan would be drawn up to see what could be done about seating arrangements.
- Demolition of the temporary shades in front of the Church was completed by the Kalongo community.
- Finance would be directed towards the construction Subcommittee for work to start.
- Cultivation would stop on the outside site so it could be cleared for the event. The shade would take over Ugx.140million to complete, so some old but strong facilities would remain for use. The Parish Priest was waiting for approval. Fr. Joe advised that a breakdown of costs would be provided by the construction team.
- Brother Elio provided his plans for Fr Dr Ambrosoli.
- St Mary’s Lacor Hospital would give a donation for the construction and a team from St Mary’s Lacor would be travelling to Kalongo Parish next week.
- MPs were also expected to offer support.
- The Archbishop was planning to have a mass in Parliament on this event.
- All the primary schools around were surveyed to check available facilities. Washrooms were to be improved.
- Enough clean drinking water with sustainable sources would be provided.
- The completion of the roads to Kalongo would enable all the surrounding towns of Gulu, Kitgum and Pader to provide accommodations.
- There are various types of accommodation available in Kalongo Parish to suit every budget such as the Green Oasis. Brochures will be available for visitors setting out available options.
- Some pilgrims would be able to reside from around the site.
- The Chairman of Kitgum invited all hoteliers to the next meeting to confirm the accommodation they had available for visitors.
- Further detailed information on accommodation would be made available at the next COC meeting.
- Discussions were held about transportation to and from the accommodations to the venue. It was agreed that hoteliers or accommodation managers would provide transport for their guests to and from the venue.
- All the Subcommittees were asked to submit their transport needs to the transport Subcommittee for planning.
- A website for the Diocese would provide information on the venue and other important details.
- All the Parishes have been asked to provide information on the number of pilgrims attending.
- Pilgrim groups from Lira and Kitgum were expected to be large in number due to their proximity to the venue.
- Some food would be provided for those walking long distances.
- Pilgrims were scheduled to arrive ten days before the event.
- Prayers would commence on the 10th of November with a climax on the 20th of November 2022.
- Mego Rosemary Opoka said they already had four talk shows in Kitgum.
- People had responded and asked for information on how they could donate to support the beatification so a bank account number and Mobile money numbers were given out.
- “Opotiwa matugu” a book written about the life of Fr Dr. Joseph Ambrosoli was good, however, more information was needed to raise more awareness.
- A question was raised about how the blind and deaf would be helped to understand the beatification arrangements. This was discussed with actions to follow.
- Subcommittee Abala Vincent Kalule from Kitgum represented the Chair and said that catering provided would depend on the number of people attending the event, which was estimated to be 20,000 people.
- Catering work would begin five days before the day, with one catering team to serve for five days and two for the event day on 20th November.
- More discussion was to be held to determine whether that number was enough.
- Welfare funds would be sent early to the COC meeting. The committee urged to provide a budget.
- IGP accepted the move for fundraising under the following conditions.
- The funds allocated must not be spent on other activities that did not relate to the programmed event.
- Following the programmed event, a letter of accountability would be sent for audit.
- Financial accounting principles must be followed and all receipts or invoices must be obtained.
- The above conditions had to be fulfilled otherwise the event would not be permitted to go ahead.
- Fundraising plans for Urban Parishes were 1m shillings and 500k Parishes in the villages.
- Schools and Universities had different targets as discussed in the previous meeting.
- Envelopes had numbers to help account to the IGP.
- Service providers were contacted, umbrellas, Tyre covers, and caps were being printed with some adjustments being made according to recommendations from members. Key holders and T-shirts are also being printed.
- Daniel Komakech was printing the envelopes for free, only cartridges were being provided.
- Contribution forms were to be distributed next week. For example, Fr. Joe would select a parishioner to do the collections for Paimol.
- Committees could ask for request funds attached to a budget to be presented to the Chair and upon approval, funds could be withdrawn from the bank. No diversions of funds would be allowed.
- Upon spending, all the necessary documents must be attached for accounting purposes. The funds must be raised as soon as possible for activities to go ahead as planned. Bank all receivables and keep original receipts.
- The issues shall be addressed in the next COC meeting.
- Football matches being organised to help fund raising.
- Msgr. Mathew Odong said Committees must exist in all the Parishes to ease mobilisations.
DATE OF NEXT MEETING
- The next COC meeting would take place on 23 September 2022 at Christ the King, Kitgum District.
- All other meetings would be held in Kalongo Parish from October 2022.
The Kalongo Times is a news publication which celebrates progress and development in Kalongo town and the wider Deaconry (formally Kalongo Mission). The Deaconry encompasses present-day Agago, part of Pader, part of Kitgum and part of Abim.