UGANDA: Archbishop Emeritus James Odongo Passes on in Kampala

By Njoki Githinji

KAMPALA, DECEMBER 4, 2020 (CISA)-Archbishop James Odongo, emeritus of the Catholic Archdiocese of Tororo has died. The 89-year-old prelate died today, December 4 at St. Francis Nsambya Hospital in Kampala.

The report of his death was made by the Uganda Episcopal Conference on the morning of December 4.

He was one of the Council Fathers who participated in the fourth session of Vatican II in 1965.  Archbishop Odongo was born March 27, 1931 in the village of Molo, in present-day Tororo District. He was ordained a priest of the Catholic Diocese of Tororo in December 1956.  In November 1964 he was appointed as Auxiliary Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Tororo and titular bishop of Bahanna.

He was consecrated as bishop on February 16, 1965 by Cardinal Laurean Rugambwa, then Bishop of The Catholic Diocese of Bukoba.  In August 1968, he was appointed Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Tororo.  In January 1985, Pope John Paul II appointed him to concurrently serve as the bishop of the Military Ordinariate of Uganda.

In January 1999, he became the first Archbishop of the Catholic Archdiocese of Tororo, when Tororo was elevated into an Archdiocese.  He retired as Archbishop in June 2007 aged of 75 and succeeded by Archbishop Denis Kiwanuka Lote.