On Saturday 30th, January 2021, St. Peter’s Catholic parish, Dzaipi was filled to capacity, as many came for the first time to witness a priestly ordination. The excitement on that sunny Saturday morning was overwhelming, A long procession of religious priests, Bishop, relatives to the Deacon and schalasticate, young girls dancing and friends snaked their way through the crowd to the altar. The colorful ceremony attracted people from as far as Karamoja, Arua, Pakele, Kampala, Gulu and Dzaipi itself, where the enthusiastic congregation braved the 3-hour Ordination mass just to be witnesses to the first priestly ordination in Dzaipi Catholic parish. During his homily, the Ordinary Bishop of Arua Diocese, Sabino Ocan Odooki said it was the first ordination the parish had witnessed after the Comboni missionaries handed it over to the diocese and moved to Indriani. He explained that when the Comboni missionaries first came to Uganda, they first settled at Dzaipi but later moved to Indriani. This first ordination at the Parish was for Isaac Amoko Izakare, a Comboni missionary priest and Deacon, Ronald Alionzi from Ombachi Parish. The Bishop called upon parents in Dzaipi to be generous with their children and give them to the Church so that they can help in evangelization and also for the Parish to witness more ordinations.
Bishop Sabino said history was repeating itself with the ordination of the first Comboni Missionary in the parish just like when the Comboni missionaries first settled there before going to Indriani. He cautioned parents against praying selfishly and giving God conditions. To him, parents should offer their children willingly to God no matter how many they have. The Bishop added that Arua diocese has the potential of opening more parishes but they are having a problem with human resources; he noted that they don’t have enough priests to work in the parishes. He explained that the diocese has acquired 60 parishes and recently opened six new parishes with one in Adjumani at Oryangwa but had no priests to work in the parishes. He was grateful to Torit diocese in South Sudan for giving them priests to help in Arua diocese.
Dzaipi Parish is being headed by Fr Jimmy Milla from Torit Parish, who followed the refugees and helping them with their spiritual needs. The Parish priest of the new parish in Oryangwa is Fr Taban James Clement is also from South Sudan.
Meanwhile, at the thanksgiving mass at Agwarapi, Fr Isaac’s parents’ home, Fr Achilles Kiwanuka, the Comboni Provincial Superior of Uganda advised parents to raise their children in the Christian faith. Fr Isaac’s dad, Azoru Donasiano was overwhelmed with joy at the ordination of his son. He said, the struggle was not easy and he was grateful to God that his son had achieved his goal after a long time and after investing so much in him. He noted that Isaac had persevered all the challenges from the time he started school until his ordination.
He was grateful for receiving visitors from all over the country, while his mother on the other hand called upon Christians to help children who want to join the seminary with financial emotional and physiological support. Edema Joseph and Limio Harriete Edema who are Fr Isaac’s foster parents could not express the joy they felt that their son had achieved his goal after a long and challenging time. They only thanked God for making it a great day and they confessed that they were very proud of him.
Fr Isaac made his first vows on 1st May 2014 at our Lady of Africa Mbuya Catholic parish, Kampala diocese, then his final vows on 15th July 2020 at Comboni spirituality center Layibi, in Gulu diocese. Three days later, he was ordained deacon on 18th July 2020 in Moroto diocese at Nativity of the Lord Matany Parish by the ordinary Bishop of Moroto, Damiano Giulio Guzzetti. Then on 30th January 2021, he was ordained a priest at Dzaipi Parish in Arua diocese by the ordinary bishop of Arua Sabino Ocan Odooki. As a missionary, he has been assigned to Kanawat Parish in Kotido diocese