Episcopal installation of New Gulu Archbishop Raphael P'Mony Wokorach set for July 12

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Episcopal installation of New Gulu Archbishop Raphael P'Mony Wokorach set for July 12
Raphael P'Mony Wokorach

The installation of the Most Reverend Raphael P'Mony Wokorach MCCJ as the new Archbishop of Gulu has been announced, following his appointment by the Holy Father Pope Francis on March 22, 2024, with the date for his official installation and the imposition of the pallium set for Friday, July 12, 2024, at St. Joseph's Cathedral in Gulu.

The announcement was made by Emeritus Archbishop of Gulu, John Baptist Odama, who expressed joy and anticipation for the upcoming ceremony as he prepares to retreat from the Gulu Bishop's presbytery following his retirement.

"I have the joy to announce to you that the date for the installation of the Most Rev Raphael P'Mony Wokorach MCCJ as Bishop of Gulu archdiocese and the imposition of the pallium on him is now set for Friday 12th July at St. Joseph's Cathedral Gulu," said Archbishop Odama.

The installation and imposition of the pallium will take place during a solemn Eucharistic celebration scheduled to begin at 10:00 am.

In an event set to mark a new chapter in the spiritual leadership of the Gulu catholic archdiocese, the appointment of Archbishop Raphael P'Mony Wokorach MCCJ signals a period of transition and renewal for the Catholic community of Gulu.

Archbishop Wokorach, 63 a member of the Comboni Missionary until the appointment has been Bishop of Nebbi Catholic Diocese since March 2021.

Born on 21st January 1961, at Ojigo Village in Wadelai, in the then Diocese of Arua, he attended Ragem Primary School, before entering Saints Peter and Paul Minor Seminary at Pokea, in Arua, studying Sciences, Mathematics, Social Studies and Latin (1975-1979).

He then moved to St. Joseph’s College Ombaci, in Arua, where he completed his A-Level Education, graduating in 1982. Soon after, he joined the Comboni Missionaries Institute.

As a ‘postulant’, he studied philosophy at Uganda Martyrs’ National Major Seminary, Alokolum, in Gulu Archdiocese.

Two years later, he entered the Comboni Novitiate, in Tartar (Kenya) and Kampala (Uganda), where, at the end of two years, he took his first religious vows in April 1989.

After taking his perpetual vows in December 1992, he was ordained a priest on 25th September 1993, in his Parish, by the then Bishop of Nebbi Diocese, Mgr. Martin Luluga.

He continued his studies in Kenya, graduating with a Master of Arts degree in Philosophy at the Catholic University of Eastern Africa.

In 1993, he was sent to DR Congo, where he worked for two years as a curate in a parish in Kisangani, before being posted as a formator to the Comboni Postulancy for candidates to the priesthood.

His qualities as a teacher and educator immediately attracted the superiors of the Institute, who placed him in various Comboni formation houses around the world.

From 2001 to 2003, he was in Lomé, Togo, as a formator at the Postulancy for candidates for the brotherhood.

Then, he was sent to Chicago (USA), as a formator and professor in the Comboni Scholasticate. In 2007, he was called to the Scholasticate for candidates for the priesthood in Nairobi.

Besides taking care of the scholastics’ formation, he taught as a lecturer at Tangaza University College, where he served for several years as Chair of the Governing Council of the College.

Appreciated by his confreres, he was elected vice-provincial of the Kenyan Province of the Comboni Missionaries, from 2011-2013.

In June 2018, the Vatican ordered the suspension of activities of the Kenya-based Congregation of Apostles of Jesus (AJ), the first religious missionary congregation to be founded in Africa, placing it under a Pontifical Commission of Inquiry.

The drastic action was ordered by Cardinal João Braz de Aviz, the Prefect in charge of the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life, who also appointed the then Fr. Wokrach to head the Commission, taking over all the duties of the leadership of the society and conducting a further investigation into priests’ misbehaviour.

Fr. Wokrach headed the initial investigation as Pontifical Commissary, mandated by the Holy See to oversee the process of internal reforms and re-organisation of the life of the members and the 56-year-old Institute, founded by two Comboni Missionaries, Bishop Sixtus Mazzoldi and Fr. John Marengoni, in Moroto, Uganda, to evangelise Africa and the world.

A glimmer of hope for the AJ society under the stewardship of Fr. Wokorach came in August 2019, when the Apostolic Nuncio in Kenya, Archbishop Bert van Megen, presided over the ordination of 14 AJ deacons as priests. On 19th March 2020, other 16 deacons and 5 priests were ordained.

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