Mass for the Ugandan Martyrs

Ugandan Martyrs Mass photo 2015 cropped

Abdullahi Suleiman carries images of the Ugandan Martyrs at the annual Mass remembering St. Charles Lwanga and his 24 companions, held June 6 at St. Rose of Lima Church in Haddon Heights. (Photo by James A. McBride)

The fifth annual Mass for the Ugandan Martyrs, who were executed for their Catholic faith in the 19th century, was celebrated  June 6 at St. Rose of Lima Church in Haddon Heights.

Father Alfred Onyutha, from Holy Angels Parish in Woodbury, was the main celebrant for the 11 a.m. liturgy, while Father James King, from St. Vincent de Paul in Mays Landing, gave a reflection on St. Charles Lwanga and his 24 companions. Receiving the faith from missionaries to Africa, the men were martyred under a tribal lord, but their death did not stop the spread of Catholic teachings. By 1890, there were an estimated 10,000 Christian converts in southern Uganda.

A joint choir made up of diocesan Gospel members and the Igbo community provided music for the celebration, which was followed by lunch in the school cafeteria.