Unraveling The Mystery: What About Catholic Prayer Centers?

Leticia Nakacwa is a 32year old resident of Mukono. She is a mother of three, with another on the way. Nakacwa says she can’t wait to hold the bundle of Joy in her arms for the fourth time. For Nakacwa this is more than just a pregnancy.

“It’s a miracle,” she stresses. Unsurprisingly, this rosary-wearing mother is a fervent intercessor. And she credits all her blessings to the famed Mount Sion Prayer Center, Bukalango.

“I would otherwise be childless,” she recollects painfully. “I had been married for nearly six years and I had not had a single child. Not even a miscarriage.” She adds. “The Doctors reiterated I had very narrow fallopian tubes and I was technically barren.”

“However,” Nakacwa underscores, “that was all before I heeded to a friend’s call to go to Bukalango to be prayed for. The Doctor’s report has since been reversed. I am now a parent.”

Nakacwa is actually just a case in point. There is indeed such a cloud of witnesses who will attest to the miraculous power that engulfs the entire hill on which the Holy Prayer Center of Bukalango sits. Every single week, a mammoth of faithfuls congregate at this Mountain Of Prayer to seek the face of God and answers to life’s challenges, as, surely, can be found here. Miracles wrought at the Bukalango center are actually very apparent; varying from deliverance of people from demonic attacks, ailing people healed, to others that would simply testify of how they since prospered from grass to grades – all because of the place and the peculiarities therewith.

You Can Not Ignore It

Over time, Bukalango as a place of prayer has become a force to reckon with. Some observers argue that finally the Catholic Church came up with a real solution to counter the acute hemorrhaging that had seen a myriad of believers leave the traditional Church to the alternatives. According to the recent data from the National Bureau Of Statistics, over 750, 000 Catholics left the Catholic Church in the last 10 years and joined the Pentecostal/Mushrooming Churches that appear to offer solutions to the everyday challenges of their people.

It is therefore not surprising how the venue has so quickly grown and expanded into such enormous numbers that throng the Wakiso-based center every week. In 2014, the President Of Uganda, Yoweri Museveni presided over the ground breaking of what is poised to be a multi-seater complex/shrine that would cost over UGX 4 Billion.

The Mystery Of The Prayer Centers

There has however been such puzzle that is yet to be unknotted about why these places of worship seem more blessed than others. According to Fr. Joseph Mukasa of Kampala Archdiocese, different places are revered because of their own peculiar reasons.

“God chooses to rest his presence onto a particular place,” He explains. It is, for example, not surprising that God will choose to rest his miraculous power in Namugongo. God simply responds to the faith of his people in that place. The martyrs prayed in this place, even while they were being mercilessly beaten and murdered. It should not surprise that when people of today come to this place and ask those saints to intercede for them toward God, the prayer will be answered almost immediately.

A place is also holy because the consecrated men of God have prayed upon it, made it pure and dedicated it to God. Such as Namugongo Martyrs Shrine was bestowed upon the status of a minor Basilica, by the Holy Father, in the early 1990s. Therefore when God’s people come for prayer, it is in a place saturated with God’s own power. And apparently, this is why even the people who flock Bukalango receive miracles – all that one has to do is to show up and pray with faith and whole heartedly.

In 1993, Msgr. Expedito Magembe started the Eucharistic Shrine, Mt. Sion Prayer Center. In 1999, he introduced the idea of transforming the programme into a large place and the Archbishop of Kampala happily welcomed it, suggesting that it becomes Bukalango Sub-parish as an ideal place.

Religious commentators like Leonard Kalemba of Christ’s Love Ministries, Mukono say that all great revivals in history begin with the knowledge of God’s own people that they need to rise up to repent, and seek God in a special way, which is exactly what is taking place at Bukalango.

In 2001, Mt. Sion was officially opened and its mission was to bring people back to God through renewal of their Christian faith, commitment to Jesus and change their behavior, attitude and practices towards God.

The strong spirit of prayer, holiness and dedication is exactly what has transformed Bukalango into what it is today – a miracle center of a kind. Counseling, Deliverance and Healing Services and Bible Studies are regularly conducted to help the people of all walks of life and religious backgrounds be anchored in the Word of God.

And of course, all the other places where Catholics make pilgrimage are places with a strong inclination to the fact that the strong men and women of God stood in those places and proclaimed the word of God without fear or compromise. One of such places is Kiwamirembe.

Fr. John De Bernard of the Comboni Missionary Society also known as the Verona Fathers was founder of Kiwamirembe Shrine [Queen of Peace], a prayer retreat center near along Entebbe road. The Italian-born man of God had lived in Kasana-Luweero diocese when he founded the retreat center in between 1982 and 1986, a period ruined by wars in the pre-NRM regime era.

During this difficult period in the country’s history, many people lost their lives as was property. Many of the people felt the brutality of these wars and had lost faith in God.

It was around this time that the late Fr. Bernard, who was then the parish priest of Lweza, conceived the idea of starting prayers at Kiwamirembe, invoking the Virgin Mary as queen of peace, to restore peace in the country.

His pledge was that he would erect a shrine for the Virgin Mary on the hill and dedicate it to her if peace was restored in Uganda.

He built the shrine at the now popular place known as Kiwamirembe at the top of the hill overlooking much of Kajjansi. He named it ‘Queen of Peace Shrine – Kiwamirembe in dedication to the Virgin Mary. The shrine was opened by Cardinal Emmanuel Nsubuga Wamala May 26, 1989.

Kiwamirembe has since then become a popular place of worship for people of various religious denominations despite it being a Catholic establishment.

Many who have made frequent visits to the location have often testified how their prayer requests presented to the Virgin Mary have miraculously been fulfilled.

There is a decorated monument of the Holy Mother where people from all parts of the country collect to say personal prayers and receive miraculous answers because of the premise on which it was founded – hope. And hope always translates into faith and according to Hebrews 11: 6, God always responds to faith.

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