The Emeritus Bishop of Hoima Catholic Diocese, Rt. Rev. Albert Edward Baharagate Akiiki has died at the age of 92 years.
Bishop Baharagate passed away on Wednesday night at Nsambya Hospital in Kampala where he was receiving treatment according to the statement from Bishop Vincent Kirabo of the Hoima Diocese.
In his statement Bishop Kirabo announced that, “Dear people of God, With deep sorrow the Diocese of Hoima announces the death of the Bishop Emeritus of Hoima Catholic Diocese, the Rt. Rev. Albert Edward Baharagate Akiiki. Bishop Baharagate has passed on at Nsambya Hospital. May his soul Rest in Eternal Peace.”
Who was Rt. Rev. Albert Edward Baharagate
Rt. Rev. Albert Edward Baharagate was born on 25 February 1930, in Nyamigisa Village, in present-day Masindi District, in Bunyoro sub-region, in the Western Region of Uganda.
He was ordained a priest on 7 December 1958.
He was appointed Bishop of Hoima on 7 July 1969 and was consecrated a bishop at Hoima on 1 August 1969 by Pope Paul VI, assisted by Archbishop Sergio Pignedoli, Titular Archbishop of Iconium and Archbishop Emmanuel Kiwanuka Nsubuga, Archbishop of Archdiocese of Kampala.
On 9 March 1991, Baharagate resigned as Bishop of Hoima.
He was one of the 12 bishops who were consecrated on August 1, 1969 by Pope Paul VI during a colourful ceremony at Kololo Ceremonial Grounds.
Currently only one out of the 12 are still live, the former Archbishop of Lusaka, Zambia, Emmanuel Milingo who was ex-communicated and reduced to lay status in 2009 for going against church doctrines.
As Hoima was breaking away from Fort Portal Diocese, Albert Edward Baharagate was due to travel to Rome, Italy to commence his doctoral studies. He had been ordained into priesthood seven years earlier, in December 1958 and was, among other duties, a Mathematics teacher at St. Leo’s College, Kyegobe.
Within two years of the founding of Hoima Diocese, Bishop Kihanhire was transferred to Gulu leaving the new diocese in the hands of a Diocesan Administrator and without a substantive bishop.
In May 1969, Father Baharagate returned from his studies in Rome and reported to his superior, a fellow priest who was the Administrator of Hoima Diocese. In his mind was an assignment as a parish priest but the Vatican had different ideas for, in early July 1969, he received the news of his appointment as the new Bishop of Hoima Diocese.
His approach led to the introduction and growth of the Lay Apostolic Commission which promoted the activities of Catholic Action, Uganda Kolping Society, Catholic Charismatic Renewal, and many other associations and movements.