It is always right and just to look in the past with gratitude and pay tribute to those on whose shoulders we are gradually uplifted to higher heights.
Today I intend to start by inviting the entire Family of CUEA to pay tribute to the first Rector of CUEA, the late Rt. Rev. Paul Kalanda, Emeritus of Fort Portal who the Lord called to himself on the on Tuesday 18th August at his residence in Villa Maria Parish in the Diocese of Masaka, Uganda, and was laid to rest in Bukalasa Seminary on Friday 20th August 2015.
The Late Bishop Paul Kalanda was born on February 24, 1927 in Buwunde, Masaka Diocese to Mr. Simon Zilyawukanya Kalanda and Mrs. Agnes Nakachwa, Bishop Kalanda had four siblings including three brothers (all now deceased- RIP) and one sister.
In 1934 he began his Catechism classes at Kabwoko Catholic Church located in the Diocese of Masaka. Upon his completion of his catechism course, he joined St. Francis Primary School and later went to Bukalasa Seminary in 1942 and Katigondo Major Seminary in 1949.
It was after his fifth year at Katigondo that he was offered a scholarship alongside his longtime friend, His Eminence Emmanuel Cardinal Wamala, to pursue their studies at Urbaniana University in Rome.
He was ordained a priest on December 21, 1957 and thereafter continued with his studies at the Jesuit-run Pontifical Gregorian University (Rome) where he earned his Doctorate of Philosophy (PhD) in Canon Law in 1961.
In November 1961 he returned to Uganda and was appointed lecturer at Katigondo Major Seminary and later became Rector at the same seminary, making him the first African to assume that office. He also obtained a diploma in African Social Anthropology at Oxford
University in the United Kingdom in 1967.
He was one of the founders of the Catholic Higher Institute of East Africa (CHIEA). In 1980 he was appointed the first Rector of CHIEA, now the Catholic University of East Africa (CUEA) in Nairobi, Kenya.
On November 29, 1980 he was appointed Bishop of Moroto Diocese located in Tororo Ecclesiastical Province and was consecrated Bishop on March 22, 1981. He was later appointed as Bishop of Fort Portal on April 28, 1991 and installed as the ordinary on November 3, 1991 until his retirement on June 15, 2003. He served as the Apostolic Administrator of Lira Diocese from December 2, 2003 until July 9, 2005.
The Chairman of the Uganda Episcopal Conference (UEC) and Archbishop of Gulu, Most Rev. John Baptist Odama described Bishop Paul Kalanda, the fallen Emeritus Bishop of the Diocese of Fort Portal, as a “profoundly great man who was a mentor, missionary and an icon of wisdom.”
Rt. Rev. Paul Kalanda had abundant love and passion in his mission. He desired unity, peace and holistic development of this country. We have lost one of the most influential, courageous and great men that was still required in the transformation process of our country.” May his soul rest in peace!
Among the fruits of the late Bishop Kalanda, as the first African Rector of Katigondo, Kalanda is credited with nurturing Archbishops Cyprian Kizito Lwanga (Kampala), John Baptist Odama (Gulu-Chairman Uganda Episcopal Conference) and Paul Bakyenga (Mbarara).
Other students who went through his hands at Katigondo between 1969-1979 included bishops Sabino Odoki (Arua), Callistus Rubaramira (Kabale), Robert Muhiirwa (Fort Portal) and the late Deogratius Muganwa Byabazaire (Hoima).
In Karamoja, he learned the local language largely to get close to his flock. He was so much loved and given a local name, “Lokiru.” Bishop Kalanda was referred to as a missionary bishop partly because he had never been to this part of Uganda where the Comboni missionaries reigned.
We thank God for the Gift of the late Bishop Paul Kalanda, a gift to the Universal Church, AMECEA and the Church in Uganda. REST in PEACE!
This is an extract from the main speech by the VC during Convocation.