By; Jjunju Francis
25th January 2021
Bishop Kaggwa was laid to rest in the Chapel at Bukalasa Seminary summitry, on January 23, 2021, where Bishop Paul Kalanda and Bishop Henry Ssentongo were also buried.
The last mass to bid farewell to Bishop Kaggwa was led by the Chairman Uganda Episcopal Conference Rt. Rev. Bishop Antony Zziwa together with Rt. Rev. Bishop Serverus Jjumba the Bishop of Masaka Diocese who succeeded Bishop Kaggwa in July 2019.
Bishop Jjumba drew his moving homily on, “OMNIA PROPTER EVANGLIUM PROFER LUMEN CAECIS” the motto for the late Bishop Kaggwa translated,“ I do all, for the sake of the Gospel so that I may share its blessings 1 Corinthians 9:23”.
Right from the time he was ordained a Priest 1971 by Cardinal Emmanuel Nsubuga at Lubaga, Bishop Kaggwa has spent his all to proclaim the gospel, followed his flock and addressed their needs.
This kind of service full of humility always put him in the eyes of all categories of people, smelt his sheep that is why, he would never relent on fighting for the rights and freedom of all most especially the vulnerable.
Such relentless service, express and define Bishop Kaggwa’s life journey as a human being, priest and as a Bishop who answered God’s call without hesitation for the 50 years as priest and 26 years a bishop.
Mother Mary I am ready to do God’s will, you know how I have served with humility, 2000 treasure of Masaka and 2004 as vicar general he saw a man who was committed to his work, guided wisely where mistake could fail activities.
He always strived for unity in the diocese that can support its people because development hinges on each ones contribution. This was the reason for him to start associations, self help groups for communities and later formed Masaka Diocese Development Organization MADDO that has become a recon of development, through improved agriculture that can yield high production for home consumption and market to boast family income.
Bishop Kaggwa was born on March 2nd 1943 at Bulenga in Lubaga Parish Kampala Archdiocese to Mr. Matia Ssentamu and Mrs. Felista Nazziwa Ssentamu. He was the 2nd born in a family of 14 children with seven girls and seven boys.
Since his ordination as a priest on December 12th 1971, he served;
1972 – 1975 Dean of Studies, Teacher and Sports Master.
1976 – 1983 St. Mbaaga Seminary as Rector, Teacher, Bursar, Vocations Director and Acting Parish Preist Ggaba Parish.
1984 Kisubi Minor Seminary at a Teacher of Latin and English.
1985 Christ the King Parish Kampala as Parish Preist.
1986 – 1994 Lateran Univeristy Student BA, MA, PHD.Canon and Civil Laws.
1989 – 1994 Collegion San Paolo Apostolo as Vice Rector, Academic and Students Fare.
1995 – 1997 Co-adjutor Bishop of Masaka Diocese.
1998 – 2019 Diocesan Bishop – Masaka Diocese.
1995 – 1999 Vice Chairman – Laity Commission
2000 – 2018 Chairman for Priestly Formation’s Commission
16th April – 6th July 2019 Apostolic Administrator – Masaka Diocese
2019 – 2021 Assistant Chairmen for Priestly Commission.
Bishop Kaggwa died on January 19, 2021 at the age of 77. A medical report issued after his death from Mulago National Referral Hospital in Kampala indicated that although Bishop Kaggwa had reportedly acquired Covid-19 around mid of December 2020 which caused his admission at Kitovu Hospital in Masaka and later transferred to Mulago, by the time of his death he had no Covid-19, but rather died of heart failure.
Bishops present at the last prayers and send of Bishop John Baptist Kaggwa were; Rt. Rev. Joseph Antony Zziwa chairman Uganda Episcopal conference, Rt. Rev. Paul Ssemogerere Bishop of Kasana Luweero , Most Rev. Lambert Bayinomugisa Archbishop of Mbarara, Rt. Rev. Francis Aquirinus Kibira Bishop of Kasese, Rt. Rev. Egidio Nkaijanabwo Bishop Emeritus of Kasese, Political and Cultural leaders like the Katikiro of Buganda Kingdom Charles Peter Mayiga.
On behalf of the Catholic Bishops of Uganda, Rt. Rev. Bishop Antony Zziwa said Bishop Kaggwa has lived a true life as a priest ever ready to evangelise the peoples and celebrate the sacraments.
He added that his evangelization depicted what is required of a shepherd because he has been highly praised for not have feared to speak the truth even to the Politicians if he sensed any form of injustice.
He used the same occasion to remind Ugandans of the latest pastoral letter entitled ‘blessed are the peace makers Mt 5:9, that was released on January 5, 2021 a head of the January 14th general elections that serves to prove solutions to the country’s standing situation before, during and after elections.
President Yoweri Museveni won the elections for the 6th term since he came to power in 1986 with 5.85 million votes presenting 58.64 percent, but his main challenger Robert Kyagulanyi a.k.a Bobi Wine of the National unity platform who got 3.48 million votes presenting 34.83 percent but remains under house preventive arrest in Magere Wakiso District since January 14, 2021.
Political leaders including the Katikiro of Buganda Charles Peter Mayiga commended Bishop Kaggwa for his role as a peace keeper, teacher of both spiritual and social-economic aspect for the integro development of a person, a voice for the voiceless and a patriot who always strived to see Uganda follows the tenets of democratic principle.
Bishop Kaggwa loved his clan “Mbogo”, has been the patron of all students associations, adviser and a leader who always brought light and hope that Uganda is praying for.