The phrase ‘creative solidarity’ seems to find its place in his heart. This is pragmatically seen in the many works of charity he has done and continues to offer through lobbying and collaboration in West Nile region.
The second born out of eight boys and two girls of Waigo Masensio and Lucia Tiperu family of Toloro Vilage Moyo Sub County, Moyo district. Of the two girls, Rose Ida died before her second birthday while Esther Bunia died under mysterious circumstances while serving as the Grade one Magistrate of Arua in 2005.
His name is synonymous with almost every development project in Arua diocese.
Fr Grace confesses that he has been mentored by the Comboni Missionaries and little did he know that the vocational skills he learnt from Comboni would be needed throughout his priestly work. Actually right from 1985 he has been holding the Bible with the right hand and the hammer and pen with the left hand. He is a very hard working and innovative priest, strict disciplinarian, and time keeper and always thinks of himself last.
His ordination on 20th of August 1985 at Moyo Catholic parish by His Lordship Bishop Caesar Asili marked a turning point for the people of Madi Sub region. Since 1980 the Madi region had witnessed a large magnitude of people who had gone into exile in Sudan and then Zaire coming home; and many were party to the historical event.
Early Childhood and Education
Fr. Grace Waigo Ayiga was born on 18th December; 1958 to the family of Waigo Masensio and Lucia Tiperu of Toloro Village Moyo Sub County. Both his parents were primary teachers.
He studied Primary 1 to 6 in Moyo Town Council Primary School where he was one of the pioneers between 1965 and 1971 covering a distance of 6km per day and sometimes foregoing lunch.
In 1972 he joined Pokea Preparatory Seminary at Primary six level and continued with the priestly formation to Sacred Heart Seminary Lacor, Gulu between 1974 and 1977. He then joined the Major Seminary at Alokolum for Philosophical Studies in 1978.
He had a break from academic work between 1981 and 1982 to do pastoral work in Moyo Catholic Parish. This was during the turbulent times in the region when the UNLA soldiers activities caused massive insecurity in the region.
He participated greatly in offering supplications for the repose of the souls and burial of many of war victims. He joined the group known as ‘Agana’ Boys who were allowed to move around the villages to burry decomposing bodies. In order to cope with the stench of the decomposing bodies, he started smoking and drinking alcohol.
He used his pastoral year to learn many things from his mentors, the Comboni Missionaries.
The last leg of his formation was in Ggaba National Major Seminary in 1982 to 1985 where he obtained a Bachelors Degree in Theology from Pontifical Urban University of Rome. Fr. Grace also holds a Masters Degree in Theology from the Comillas Pontifical University, Madrid Spain obtained in 1990.
He was ordained priest on 18th August 1985 by Rt Rev Bishop Caesar Asili at Moyo Catholic Parish.
Immediately after his ordination, Fr. Waigo was appointed a curiate in Pakele Parish (1985-86). From 1987 to 1988 he worked in Saints Peter and Paul Seminary Pokea Arua as Bursar and teacher of religious education and physics.
He also served as Chaplain of Ediofe Girls Secondary School (1995-2006), Manager Arua Diocese Procure (1997- 2006), and Acting Hospital Administrator Maracha Hospital (1998-2002). A bigger part of his work in Arua Diocese was spent working as a Diocesan Financial Administrator (1991 - 2006). He spent the years 2007 to 2008 on Sabbatical leave in Navarra, Spain.
He is the current Director of Moyo Multi Purpose Training Center and Adjumani Multipurpose Training Centre. Wherever he went, Fr. Grace worked with great dedication and the Church noticeably grew.
Using his diverse resource mobilization skills, contacts, and honesty, Fr Waigo has contributed greatly to the development of social services and infrastructure in the whole of West Nile Region.
With the permission of and under the direction of his superior, the Right Reverend Bishop Late Frederick Drandua, the Emeritus Bishop of Arua Diocese, he designed, mobilized funds and constructed Moyo Multipurpose Training Center, Adjumani Multipurpose Training Center, Ediofe Girls Multipurpose Hall and Library.
He also designed and mobilized resources with the support of the former Bishop and current Bishop of Arua Diocese to construct Moyo Mission Health Centre. Together with other stakeholders Fr. Grace has been key in planning; fund raising and constructing the Holy Cross Pilgrimage Site and Shrine at Indriani in Moyo. He furnished and made those facilities functional.
He rehabilitated and strengthened the Primary Health Care System in Maracha Health Sub District and installed solar power equipment in the hospital when he was the hospital administrator in Maracha, besides planning and implementing the liquid and solid disposal system there.
Fr. Grace also constructed Arua Catholic Centre Cafeteria Building. In addition he constructed the Arua Diocese Chancery Block and raised the new Nebbi Diocese Cathedral foundation.
He constructed the fathers’ houses in Laropi, Obi Catholic Parishes; the super structures of Dzaipi, Kureku, and Ajaa. He lobbied for the renovation of Fathers’ house in Pakele Parish before being transferred to Pokea. Fr. Grace also did renovate the Fathers houses of Ediofe, Obongi and Aripea Parishes. He is now renovating the Father’s House in Moyo Parish. The on-going construction of the Centenary Ceremonial Ground is his brain child.
Fr. Waigo has also been an advocate for Girl Child Education. Many daughters of West Nile obtained their diplomas and degrees through his efforts in lobbying for scholarships.
Being a priest, Father Waigo does not have a lot of free time apart from when he needs to take a vacation but he spends most of his time doing good for the community and prayer.
Fr Waigo comes from the royal clan of the Madi people known as the Rendike clan; his mother is from Omugo Sub County in Terego County Arua district but grew up at Ociba, in the Wastern suburb of Arua town.
Among the things he learnt from the Verona Fathers were driving, ploughing gardens using tractors, building, carpentry and joinery plus simple mechanics. He too played football, volley ball and these are the skills which Fr Waigo says continue to impact throughout his life.