The Chairman of Uganda Episcopal Conference, Archbishop John Baptist Odama, launched the Golden Jubilee (50th anniversary) celebrations of the Association of Religious in Uganda (ARU) at ARU Secretariat on November 8, 2017. Twenty Bishops, more than 60 Major Superior of Religious Women and Men and religious brothers and sisters attended the colorful function. Launching the yearlong celebrations, Archbishop Odama of Gulu Archdiocese, commended the work done by religious in the country.
The celebration will last for one year, from November 1, 2017 on the diocesan level in the various religious institutes, until November 3, 2018 on national level at Uganda Martyrs Shrine, Namugongo. The theme of the celebration is “In God’s Mercy we are no longer strangers but friends”.
The launch of the celebration occurred at the close of a three day Annual General Assembly of the Majors Superiors of Women and men Religious, during which time they evaluated the activities of the associations, and listened to reports from the departments and programs. The Major Superiors commended ASEC for empowering women religious with leadership and administration skills and also enabling these women religious to access higher learning.
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The Association of Religious in Uganda is an umbrella body for all religious Congregations serving in Uganda that are registered with the Association. ARU membership comprises 98 Religious Institutes of Women and Men Religious who work in many institutions such as schools, health centers, and homes for disadvantaged children and adults in the 19 Catholics Dioceses in Uganda. ARU is led by the Major Superiors of Religious Congregations that form the body of the Assembly of Major Superiors of Religious Institutes in Uganda AMSRIU.
ARU was founded by Women Major Superiors of Religious Institutes in 1968, following input from Pope Paul VI requesting major superiors to set up National Associations of Congregations in each country for the purpose of collaborating on issues of common interest, and finding ways to address issues/ challenges arising from their work of evangelization. In 1995 the association of religious men and of women merged into one Association.