YUMBE. Christians in Yumbe parish joined the rest of Arua diocese in celebrating the 3rd anniversary of late bishop Frederick Drandua on Sunday.
The memories of what late bishop did to help the church, individuals, the Muslim community among others were still fresh in the minds of the Yumbe community.
Mr Paul Alule, a Christian in Yumbe said the late bishop was a great man and did a lot of development in the diocese.
"Late Frederick helped us spiritually, physically and developmental but unfortunately, we missed him. Bishop could have done a lot in development but he was barred from doing other developments", he said.
Ms Jane Alejo one of the orphans the late bishop brought up in their family said the late bishop has left behind a legacy in the diocese which can't be forgotten.
"Instead of inviting the rich or big people, the Bishop lowered himself down to help the vulnerable people like the poor, lame, orphans, the sick. I was brought up by late bishop because of being an orphan and what he did to help me and my family was a great job and we pray that his soul should rest in eternal peace", she said.
Mr William Aniku Kazimiro the Yumbe Chapel chairperson said late bishop Frederick teamed up with Late Fr Toni which resulted in the establishment of Yumbe parish.
"One good thing the two have done and has made a good foundation for the people here is the dialogue they have been making in the different religious sectors in the district. The dialogue created a harmonious environment for us but if they were like other people who go dividing the community, the Catholic faith in Yumbe wouldn't be strong", he said.
Fr Robert Ayiko the curate of Yumbe parish said the late bishop was a great father and that is why people continue to remember him in his death anniversaries.
"Bishop was a sign of unity and lived to his motto "Utu Unum Sint" meaning may they be one and I ask the Christians to continue to pray for him", he said.
Late bishop died on the 1st of September 2016 and churches in the diocese of Arua are set to celebrate his death anniversary every year at their respective churches as declared by Arua diocese bishop Sabino Ocan Odoki.
At Ediofe Cathedral, in Arua, the Arua district secretary for finance Mr Camilo Sabo who represented the resident district commissioner said the late Emeritus bishop Fredrick Drandua was an embodiment on consensus whom the country will remember in eternity.
“He worked with one heart, he brought respect, peace, and unity in the region, he loved development, if you don’t love these things then you have not learned anything from him”, Sabo said.
The Vicar General of Arua diocese Msgr Casto Adeti said “his life touched many people, not as a bishop but even when he was an ordinary priest, he disliked oppression, he considered the weak, the poor and orphans to be very important, he was even ready to borrow to help the poor because he never liked to see someone to suffer”.
This was the first time since his death that Christians were converging at the Cathedral to remember and pray for the late Emeritus bishop. The first one was in Ulepi parish in Nebbi diocese while the second one was celebrated in Masaka diocese with authorities in Arua fearing of an outbreak of violence.
The Rt Rev Frederick Drandua was born in Uleppi Parish, Nebbi Catholic Diocese on 12th August 1943. He was ordained a priest on 9th August 1970, appointed Bishop of Arua Diocese on 27th May 1986 and consecrated on 15th August 1986. Due to his health condition, Bishop Frederick retired from the Episcopal See of Arua Diocese on 19th August 2009.
Additional reporting by Clement Aluma