Celebrated Catholic priest, Rev. Fr. Bartholomew K. Kamugyene who died on Monday at the age of 96 has Wednesday been laid to rest at Nyamitanga Archdiocese cemetery.
During the requiem mass held at Nyamitanga, the Archbishop of Nyamitanga Diocese, Paul K Bakyenga commended Kamugyene for the tremendous work he delivered by planting trees wherever he was posted as a parishioner.
“The man planted forests like at Kitabi seminary they don’t buy firewood. Others hated him claiming that trees were affecting their plantations but he insisted because he knew what he was doing.” Explained the Archbishop
Born on January 1, 1923 in Ihanika, Rubingo, Bukiro Kashari, Kamugyene served as a priest for 64 years.
He was born to the late Teofilo Rwishaija in a family of seven children (4 boys and 3 girls) but unfortunately all the girls died. Only one of late Kamugyene is surviving.
Archbishop Bakyenga also described Kamugyene as a very outstanding figure who had sympathy for the vulnerable people.
“When he was still in Kitabi, people would look at him like a Messiah for help. He was very outstanding in being patient for vulnerable women and children”
He also had a sense of humor and often made other priests happy, the Archbishop said.
“Kamugyene had a gift of humor of making deacons laugh. For sure, he will be missed by many because he would not annoy any person during a conversation”.
Bakyenga told mourners that Kamugyene will always be remembered for his role as being among founding priests of Kitabi Seminary in 1935.
“It was very hard for one to become a parish priest during that time but I want to tell you that father Kamugyene was among the founder priests in Ankole”
The archbishop said that despite his old age, Kamugyene had never fallen sick.
His Grace Paul Bakyenga encouraged the serving priests to emulate the life that Kamugyene lived.
“Do not bring misery to the people you serve because they are already exhausted with miserable life. Instead, copy the generosity that Kamugyene exhibited on earth”
Kyamugyene taught Latin in Kitabi seminary after which posting he retired his service of priesthood.
Other priests described Kamugyene as one who was good at time management. He was also remembered for his charitable acts towards the needy and to the community.
“While at Kitabi, he taught me to be generous. For example, whenever the trees were cut trees, he would tell us to concentrate on logs and leave the branches for the community to benefit”.
One of his relatives, Paul Ndyabahika described late Kamugyene as an educationist who constructed schools and churches, among them St Bartholemew centre in Lusoga parish.
Late Kamugyene also liked looking after the sick and touched on the lives of many people in the different communities he served.
“I want to appeal to our family members wherever you, go do something for which you will be remembered when you die,” said Ndyabahika.