Emmanuel Katabaazi 25 years of priestly ordination and 16 years of service as health coordinator for Masaka Diocese

The journey to priesthood is a long one and only a few of those who undertake it reach ordination. While many aspire to become priests but being a priest is not as simple as anyone may assume, it is one of the hardest realities one can undertake. In fact it is called the burden of priesthood! But this is not just a burden but a sweet one because one carries it with Christ.

That is why those who ultimately make it to the priesthood get overjoyed for reaching the mile stone looking back at how hard the journey had been. But the greater joy is seeing the many years one covers as “being” a priest. For Fr. Emmanuel it was on 3rd August 1996, 25 years ago. Of these 16 have been as health coordinator of Masaka Diocese where he has been fully involved in promotion of Christ’s healing ministry which endeavors to give life to the fullest for everyone. Fr. Emmanuel after years he feels he is a fulfilled person and he is energized more than ever to continue serving.

Mr. Joseph Mary Ssemwogerere who has been his Assistant DHC noted that since Fr. Emmanuel started working as the DHC of Masaka in 2006, he transformed the image of the health office. He has made the office more functional and ensured its Expansion and sustainable. He updated Diocesan Health Policy and ensured their implementation. He intensified management and administration systems at lower level health units i.e.: renewing health unit management committees and conducting their inductions, carrying out support supervisions regularly and guided them to ensure relevancy and sustainability.

Fr. Emmanuel has seen the establishment of new health units like Mannya, Busibo, Namabaale, Birongo, and Busagula. He has strengthened the coordination with other Diocesan health Institutions namely; Kitovu Hospital, Villa Maria and Kitovu Mobile. He strengthened the working bond with district health systems in Masaka Diocese and other development partners in health that is MRC and RHSP. He has attracted many development partners in health like Life-Net International, Microfinance Partners Africa, and Reach Out to Africa among others.

His vision has been to transform the health sector of the Masaka Diocese into a model system that can be a light to all. He spearheaded formation of Masaka Diocesan Medical Services and partnered with Joint medical store to start up a pharmacy that eased accessibility to quality medicines and health supplies. He mobilized funds to construct medical store and an Office block. He has written many project proposals which have attracted assistance to the health department, Diocesan health Units as well as implementing community based health programs. He has been involved in lobbying and advocacy through conducting Diocesan health Assemblies.

Mr. Ssemwogerere has observed Fr. Emmanuel as a committed priest, deeply involved in pastoral care activities at different levels including organizing world day of the sick at the Diocesan Level. He has devoted time and energy into serving the people of God. Noting that he is the kind of person devotes all his energy into the work he was given.

We congratulate him and pray for him.