St. Kizito, the youngest Martyr’s Birth Place to Become International Tourism Site
In a bid to pay tribute to the contribution of St. Kizito’s strength in faith, a campaign has been launched to mobilize shs1.5b to redevelop his birth place into an international based faith tourism site.
Rt. Rev. Paul Ssemogerere the Bishop of the Catholic diocese of Kasana-Luweero has urged all well wishers to contribute towards this cause.
Speaking Saturday, immediately after the end of the marathon dubbed St. Kizito the Martyr annual marathon at Waluleeta in Nandere Parish, Bishop Ssemogerere said St. Kizito being the youngest Uganda martyr and the patron of the diocese, there is need to honor him in special ways like never before.
“This marathon is part of the activities we are doing to honor our [Diocesan] patron,” he said.
Tickets were sold to participants to raise money.
Bishop Ssemogerere was thankful to people like Mr Ssebaggala the diocesan lawyer who bought so many tickets for participants, saying all this is helping the diocese to raise funds.
He said they want to redevelop this place so that tourists can come here on two grounds to witness St. Kizito’s deeds in faith by praying and also see where St. Kizito was born, what he used to do, used while playing among many other things.
Bishop Ssemogerere was the chief-runner in the marathon. The participants were flagged off by the diocesan pastoral coordinator Rev. Fr. Denis Ssebuggwawo at exactly 7.am after the Prelate blessed the event at the diocesan headquarters at Kasana.
The participants used Kampala-Gulu highway up to Wobulenzi after they branched off to the murram road that led them to the finish line at Waluleeta.
Traffic police was deployed to ensure safety to the participants among who was Luweero District Police Commander Paul Wataka.
DPC Wataka said after the end of the marathon that it was successful without any incidents as they used the busy highway.
Rev. Fr. Dr. Lawrence Kimbowa who heads the Kasana Tourism Initiative [KATI] committee which was instituted by Bishop Ssemogerere to oversee the redevelopment of St Kizito pilgrimage site said they plan to finish the redevelopment in 5 years.
“According to our work plan, we want the redevelopment of this place finished in 5 years. But if we get the shs1.5b so quickly, we can finish it before even that. We are now sourcing funds from all possible sources,” he said.
“We are now partnering with the Uganda Tourism Board [UTB] and we hope we are going to have good results, we want Waluleeta to be the next to Namugongo in being big an international faith based tourism site,” he added.
The proceeds from the tickets sold to participants each at shs10, 000 in the marathon according to Fr Kimbowa are meant to be used as contribution towards the redevelopment of the site. He added that some people have also started contributing generously.
St. Kizito was born in 1872. He was martyred on June 3, 1886 (aged 14) at Namugongo. He was beatified in 1920 by Pope Benedict XV. St. Kizito was Canonized on October 18, 1964 by Pope Paul VI.
Fr. Kimbowa also revealed that the committee is not going to stop at Waluleeta but there are three other places which are listed for redevelopment into international tourism sites including; Lukumbi in Kiwoko Parish the birth place of St. Denis Ssebuggwawo, at Nsonda Kikuma in Mulajje Parish the birth place of St. Atanansi Bazzekuketta and the last one is Kankoole in Kikyusa Parish a prayer place named after Mary mother.
Other Games after the Marathon
There were many other games after the marathon including: soccer, volley ball among others.
Meanwhile, the week-long Caritas exhibition dubbed ‘Lemerako’ was opened. The exhibition will be closed on Sunday, July 30, 2017 after the St. Kizito annual pilgrimage to Waluleeta.
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