The late Bishop Emeritus, Erasmus Desiderius Wandera of Soroti Catholic Diocese died a very happy man, according to Rev. Fr. Dominic Eibu, the bishop – elect of Kotido Catholic Diocese.
Rev. Eibu was appointed the 3rd Bishop of Kotido Catholic Diocese on October 25, 2022, and his consecration is scheduled for January 14, 2023.
He is one of the priests ordained by the late Bishop Wandera in 2002 from Lwala Mission, one of the parishes in Kaberamaido district that make up the Soroti Catholic Diocese.
According to Eibu, the late Bishop has been like a father to him.
“He confirmed me on October 30, 1983, and ordained me a priest in 2002 in Lwala Parish”, he said.
He added that when he visited Bishop Wandera ten days earlier, he found him in good spirits.
“He told me that he was very happy to see two of his sons (Joseph Ecru Oliach and Dominic Eibu) become Bishops.
“He asked me to bless him and I also asked him to bless me. That’s how we parted, ten days to his demise”, Eibu added.
Eibu says the late bishop was a very simple but courageous man of God who worked under the difficult times of Teso.
During his 29 year reign as Bishop of the Soroti Catholic Diocese, Wandera faced hardships characterized by civil wars and rebel activities in Teso.
Wandera was appointed Bishop in 1980, about two years after the Uganda – Tanzania war of 1978-1979. As he was being installed as Bishop in March 1981, the Luwero war was beginning and lasted about five years before the NRA victory in 1986.
But before he could settle, Teso started the UPA war that ran up to 1992. Bishop Wandera again battled the LRA in Teso where he was deeply involved in peace talks and helping the communities recover.
Bishop Wandera died aged 92 on Thursday at his home in Mbale.
According to the program released by the Soroti Catholic Diocesan Chancellor, Padre Gonzaga Waziwazi Ongereny, the journey to the final resting ground of the late bishop emeritus starts with a mass later today at 2:00PM in St. Austin Church Mbale today.
After the mass, the body leaves for Ngora for a vigil at 06:00PM before another mass takes place on Monday at 09:00AM being animated by Kumi deanery.
The remains of Bishop Wandera shall leave Ngora for Immaculate Conception Church in Soroti where it will lie for a vigil, prayers, and burial on Tuesday.