Uganda Martyrs Catholic Community
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The Uganda Martyrs Catholic Community (UMCC) – originally known as Uganda Martyrs Association (UMA) - has its roots from a choir which had been formed to officiate at various Ugandan functions, like weddings, in the United Kingdom. The choir was started mainly, by members originating from Jjinja Karoli Parish. These were: Mr. Joseph Kateegaya Nsubuga (Music Director), Mr. Emmanuel Sseguya Kibuuka, Mr. John Birozo Kibuuka, Mr. Ceasar Saaka Kibuuka, Mrs Juliet Mutyaba, Mrs Regina Fletcher, Ms Julie Ssozi, Ms. Regina Kiwanuka and Mr. Lawrence Ntale (organist).
It was Mr. Emmanuel Sseguya who first proposed that, as choir members, it would be a good idea to celebrate the feast of the Uganda Martyrs in a special way. The very first celebration took place on 3rd June, 1989, when Mr. Sseguya asked his parish priest to celebrate Mass for them. The Ugandan choir led the singing during that Mass.
Later on, the choir members contacted the late Dominic Mutono and Ms Mary Ddungu and introduced two ideas to them, viz: i) to meet and pray together as Ugandans and ii) to mark the feast of the Uganda Martyrs in a special way. The ideas were welcomed and the first such celebration took place at St. Anne’s Catholic Church, Underwood road, London E1, (Mr. Emmanuel Sseguya’s parish by then), in 1992. Fr. Brian Ventam, was very supportive during the initial stages.
From then on Ms. Mary Ddungu has helped get priests to help us celebrate Masses. Among these were Fr. Ssemanda, the late Fr. Deogratias Mulindwa, Fr. John Chryzostom Kyazze and Fr. Joseph Sembatya.
His Grace, Archbishop Emmanuel Wamala, celebrated Mass for Ugandans and friends and parishioners of St. Anne’s Church, on 15th August, 1993. By then he was attending further studies in spirituality at St. Anselm’s, Kent, UK.
The first Mass formerly organised by UMA, was on 31st October, 1993, and was presided over by Mgr. Joseph Ssebayigga in the same Church.
When Deacon Anthony Musaala was ordained a Priest in 1994, he started leading us in Mass every month. When he was posted to St. Paul the Apostle Catholic Church, 92 Station Road, Wood Green London N22 4SY, it was easier for us to meet there as our central point.
In 1995, we had the honour of hosting H.E. Emmanuel Cardinal Wamala, who had just been made a Cardinal in 1994. It was a historical, Ecumenical and cultural celebration for the UMA. The key members of the Cardinal’s Visiting Committee were Mr. Roy R. B. Nsereko, Chairman, Mrs. Christine Musaala Mukasa, Secretary, late Mr. Dominico P. Mutono, Treasurer, and Rev. Fr. Anthony Musaala (Chaplain).
From then on wards, Mr. and Mrs Roy B, Nsereko, Ms. Mary Ddungu, Mrs. Christine Musaala Mukasa, Mrs. Juliet Mutyaba and Mr. Paul Ssenyonga and the late Mr. Dominico Mutono played a big roll in consolidating the foundation of the Association.
Mr. and Mrs Nsereko, to the right and left have already been touched by the Pope when they celebrated a grand 45 years in MARRIAGE in 2007. Mr. Kizito Bukenya (at the bottom) has made the Sacrament of Marriage a corner stone of UMCC gatherings every year. Father Gerald Balinnya, the UMCC Chaplain, has presided over these ceremonies and many others, sometimes he is aided by Father Musala and other Fathers.
The Uganda Martyrs Catholic Community is governed by an Executive Committe and in accordance with UMCC constitution. During summer, every year, a new Executive is voted in, just after the previous one has been dissolved at an Annual General Meeting. To be voted into a position on the Executive, a member bust be recorded in the UMCC Treasurer's records as being fully paid up member of UMCC before the election. Subsequently, the Executive has to be paid up, within a specified time, once they assume power.
All UMCC positions on the Executive Committee are voluntary. There are other positions too, and they are also of a voluntary nature. For further details on the Executive committee and more please contact the UMCC Secretary via email on firstname.lastname@example.org.
The UMCC advocates non-violence among the youth and has always highlighted this in its monthly newsletter. The community has among its own members, speakers who are in the Metropolitan Police and they have lectured on issues about youth violence.
We also recommend our youth to join organisations like Black Boys Can, The Windsor Fellowship or The Sutton Trust
The Uganda Martyrs Catholic Community, through;
- text messages
- phone calls
- word of mouth
strives to inform its community about any occassions that are upcoming. Every effort is made to ensure the information is correct and up to date.
Please use our contact page for any other queries. You can also find the location of the Church on the Google Map.
By :- Mr. Roy B. Nsereko and Mrs. Margaret M. Nsereko.
The Choir gathered momentum and was so much boosted by Mr. Paul M. Kiyingi, the late Mary Wampamba, the late Mrs Catherine Kigongo, Fr. Anthony Musaala (deacon by then), Josephine Namusisi, Elizabeth Nakachwa, Veronica Nakawuki and Noe Kiwanuka. The seminarians from Totteridge Common (White Fathers Formation House) were very instrumental in guiding and training the choir. On 28th January, 1996, Mr. Richard Ssembuusi Mulinda was appointed co-ordinator of UMA (Charity). When Fr. Musaala left and returned to Uganda in February, 1996, Mrs Regina Fletcher connected us to the White Fathers at St. Edward’s College, Totteridge. Fr. Morrell Luigi (WF) started to help us as acting chaplain, assisted by Fr. Robert Kaggwa.
In October, 1996, The Right Rev. Patrick O’Donoghue (Bishop in West London and Bishop for Migrants at the time), accepted the invitation to become Patron of UMA (The Charity). Bishop P. O’Donoghue was the main celebrant at the Mass, on the feast of Uganda Martyrs which was celebrated on 8th. June, 1997, at St. Paul The Apostle Catholic Church, Woodgreen. Up until the end of September, 1997, UMA (the Charity) and Uganda Martyrs Catholic Community (UMCC) were being run as one unit. It was then decided to separate the two.
In December, 1997, the parish hall of St Paul the Apostle Church, had to be refurbished and this forced us to look for another Church. Ms. Mary Ddungu assisted us in finding a new venue which was her parish church, The Most Sacred Heart of Jesus Church, 62 Eden Grove, Holloway, London N7 8EN. The parish priests, Frs. Teave and later on, David Irwin, were very supportive during this time. The 1st UMCC Mass at Sacred Heart of Jesus Church was on 22nd February, 1998; with Fr. Robert Kaggwa (WF), Fr. Febian Obi and Fr. M. Luigi (WF) as concelebrants. On 26th June, 1999, the Right Rev. Bishop Patrick O’Donoghue (Bishop for West London and Bishop for Migrants), presided over the Mass for the Community. In 2001, Fr. M. Luigi (WF) was transferred to Italy and handed on the mantle to Fr. Robert Kaggwa (WF).
Mr.Richard Ssembuusi Mulinda, resigned as a Co-ordinator of the Community, w.e.f. 10th September 2000. He left behind a pastoral Council to run the UMCC. On 28th April 2002 Mr. Ssembuusi left the Community and at about the same time Fr. Robert Kaggwa handed over to Fr. Gerard M. Balinnya, the current Chaplain. Following these changes, an Interim Committee, chaired by Mrs. Margaret Mary Nsereko and whose Secretary was Mrs. Margaret Hawkins, was formed to draft the first Constitution of the UMCC, which was finalised on 24th August, 2003. Since then, UMCC has been operating under the rules laid down in this Constitution.
The late Dr. Joseph Obunga, was the main celebrant at the Community Mass on 22nd. February, 2003. He was then the Secretary General of the Uganda Episcopal Conference and the National Co-ordinator of Uganda Martyrs Shrine Development Project. He also addressed the Community in the Hall.
UMCC hosted Her Majesty the Nnaabagereka of Buganda, Sylivia Nagginda, on 29th. August, 2004 - She attended Mass and addressed us in the Church on the same day.
The Right Rev. John Baptist Kaggwa, the Bishop of Masaka Diocese, celebrated Mass for the Community on UMCC Sunday 26th September 2004 and later addressed us in the church Hall.
Early this year 2007 we had to change the venue of our celebrations and meetings from Sacred Heart Church, Holloway to St. Gabriel’s Catholic Church, Upper Holloway because the parish hall at Sacred Heart was not fit for purpose according to health and safety regulations. The parish priest Fr. Kevin McDevitt welcomed us so warmly to St. Gabriel. Our 1st Mass here was celebrated on 25th January 2007. This is our current venue.
Roman Catholic Church of St Gabriel, Upper Holloway,
15 St John’s Villas, Upper Holloway, N19 3EE