Kitumbi Parish is located in the counties of Burahya and Karugutu in the districts of Kabarole and Ntorokorespectively (the Albertine Region). The parish stretches from River Mpanga in Kabarole to River Semuliki at the border with the democratic republic of Congo.
Kitumbi Parish traces its origin to as far as 1903 when a small village of grass thatched huts was put up by Pere Achete, a priest of the Missionaries of Africa, commonly known as the White Fathers. It was one of the first outstations of Virika Parish. Most of the Missionary priests who came to Virika used to come to Kitumbi for pastoral activities who included Pere Bauchamp (Pere Bossa), Pere Heyes and Fr. Henry Valette the only serving priest.
From 1970 to 1079, the number of Chrstians was increasing and many people were baptized. On 1st January 1979, a foundation stone was laid by Bishop Vincent McCauley for a church which was replaced by the current Parish Church.
It is remembered that bishop VincetMaCauley gave the Christains of Kitumbi some old iron sheets got from the theolf cathedral of Vikika which had been destroyed by the 1966 earthquake.
With Rt. Rev. Serapio B. Magambo(R.I.P) as a new Bishop, Kitumbi was announced a parish on 11 August 1985. In 1986, Rev. Fr. Paul Nyakairu(R.I.P) was officially appointed Parish Priest of Kitumbi.
On 1st January 1986, Fr. Tom Smith of the Congriagtion of Holy Cross accompanied the two residential priests to Kitumbi, namely: Fr. Paul Nyakairu and Fr.Tarcis Museesa as Curate all have passed on. Consequently, on 30th March 1986. Palm Sunday, the two priests came to stay at Kitumbi for good. After the first priest, the other priests have followed in the following order:
|30th Dec. 1987-1991||Fr. Anselm Mabiiho(R.I.P)||Fr. Peter Kaija|
|1991-1993||Fr. Josephat Kansiime Isingoma||Fr. John Kaliba(R.I.P)|
|1993-Sept 1993||Fr. Tadeo Balinda||Fr. Robert KamaraFr. Leopold Kaahwa (RIP)|
|Sept 1996-15.07.200||Fr. John Bosco Musingura||Fr. Sebastian Twinomugabi|
|15.7.200-9th Oct. 2011||Fr. Sebastian Twinomugabi||Fr.Joseph RwatooroFr. John TumuhairweFr. Samuel Musiimenta
Fr. Benedict Mugisha
Fr. Peregrine Ntsinda
Fr. Adolph Tubeyalirwa
|9th Oct. 2011 to date||Fr. Adolph Tubeyalirwa||Fr. Alex IsingomaFr. Simon MapeeraFr. Joseph Muwanga|
Kitumbi parish has got sub parishes comprising 32 churches/outstations and 8 sub parishes. Since February 1994 when the Western part of Uganda suffered destructions by the earthquake, the structures of living and worship have put the parish to great task to undergo reconstruction and renovations. In fact the first parish church was built in semi-permanent materials. The first plan for the current church was initiated by Fr. Tadeo Balinda in 1994; he made an application to Missio Aachen seeking financial support. His request was honored in August 1996 at a tune of USD 30,000.
All in all, kitumbi parish is a fruit of hardworking and dedicated Christians men and women who rallied behind Mr. Selevano Irumb Atwooki, the head catechist by then and his council. The collection of money according to pet names, the buying of pieces of land to expand the parish headquarters, all started during those days. Kitumbi parish has got a unique history. It was opened by indigenous priests. The catechists have since then got a sense of self-reliance.
There has been a change over the years a sign of civilization. The priests working in Kitumbi Parish have great hope that the parish will continue to grow and expand.
Kitumbi parish is divided into two regions namely;
- The upper region which is located in Kabarole district and part of Ntoroko district that takes all the churches of Karugutu sub-parish.
- The Albertine region that covers sub-parishes around Lake Albert which include Rwangaara, Rwebisengo and Ntoroko.
The upper region has more people with more Christians. There are five (5) sub-parishes with twenty (20) churches while the Albertine region has three (3) sub-parishes with twelve (12) churches.
The Albertine region has some of the challenges which may include among others the following:
- The distance from the three sub-parishes in the Albertine region to the parish headquarters is a very big challenge. For example, from Ntoroko to the headquarters it is 85 kilometres, Rwangaara sub-parish to the parish headquarters, it is 90 kilometres and Rwebisengo to the parish headquarters it is about 66 kilometres not forgetting the distance to the farthest which is 105kilometres from the parish.
- The economic status of the Christians in the area doesn’t favour the construction of good church structures leading to the construction of semi-permanent churches and sometimes having shades for churches that are being started.
- In the areas around the Lake Albert, many people are taken up by the fishing activity which is seasonal and doesn’t favour active participation of the Christians in church activities.
- Most of the people in Rwebisengo sub-parish are cattle keepers practicing pastoralism. This reduces the number of Christians who come for Sunday prayers.
- Means of transport to churches around the lake such as Kamuga, Rwangaara, Ntororko, Kanaara and Kacwankumu is by boat which is locally made. This is a very big risk as for the pastors working in this area. You find the priest boarding a boat that carries all variety of things not to be mentioned.
- There is a very big National Park that is Semliki National Park that covers a very big part of the area. Crossing this National is a very big problem.
- There is a problem of lack of medical facilities in the area. The only Health Centre which can give reliable services is found in the district is at Karugutu Town Council which is in a distance of 75kms from Rwangaara, 45kms from Rwebisengo and about 55kms from Ntoroko.
Looking at some of the challenges, this area needs more services such as a new parish opened in the area, means of transport provided, and the construction of churches and other infrastructure.