Bukoba Catholic Diocese at P.O., Bukoba, KR Private Bag TZ - NYAKIJOGA: LOURDES OF BUKOBA TANZANIA
NYAKIJOGA: LOURDES OF BUKOBA TANZANIA
LOCATION OF NYAKIJOGA SHRINE
Nyakijoga, a shrine of Our Lady of Lourdes, is a place of pilgrimage in the Parish of Mugana, Bukoba Catholic Diocese, where the faithful may obtain, through the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary, God’s benefits like the pilgrims who go all the way to the shrine of Our Lady at
The shrine, under the jurisdiction and care of the Diocese of Bukoba and the Parish of Mugana respectively, is beautifully situated at a small Nyakijoga stream meandering through an eucalyptus wood on the western boundaries of the Mugana Parish mission plot. This holy place lies about 29 kilometres north-west of the regional capital of Kagera , Bukoba.
Mugana Parish itself, founded in 1905 by the Missionaries of Africa, commonly known as the White Fathers, was handed over about 1948 to the local clergy in the process of the establishment of the local hierarchy. In 1952, Mugana with four other parishes, formed the new Vicariate of Lower Kagera but a few years later the name was changed into Rutabo Diocese under bishop Laurean Rugambwa. In 1960 when Rugambwa was created Cardinal, they joined Bukoba Diocese.
According to the statistics, Mugana Parish had then a population of 22,647 people of whom 17,407 were Catholics, 30 Catechumens 2,772 Protestants, 1,640 Moslems and the rest traditionalists.
THE BEGINNINGS OF NYAKIJOGA
On the western bank of Nyakijoga stream and several yards below it where the people drew water, stood a cave with a pressed gravel rock. The entrance of the cave had a pillar of the same kind of rock apparently supporting the roof while its twisted shape made it look like a root of a tree. Thus the local people rightly called it, “ OMUZI GW’EIBARE”, meaning, “the root of a rock”.
Then 1954, proclaimed “ The Marian Year” by Pope Pius XII, came. This was the jubilee year to mark the centenary of the definition of the Immaculate Conception, confirmed by the apparitions of Our Lady of Lourdes in 1858. This Marian year proved to be the occasion of the foundation of the Nyakijoga Shrine. The priests of the then Rutabo Diocese worked indefatigably to promote and spread the devotion to Our Lady, especially the Holy Rosary.
Fr. Melchiades Kazigo
Mugana Parish, under Father Melchiades Kazigo, a priest of very deep devotion to Our Lady, was in deed very enlivened religiously during this period; and then something happened.
Fr. Kazigo in his usual evening walk around the church compound and Nyakijoga area was led by a kind of curiosity to the Nyakijoga cave. In the cavehe noticed a resemblance between this and the cave at the shrine of
After a reflection he decided to build a shrine in honor of Our Lady of Lourdes on the occasion of the centenary celebrations. The faithful in the neighboring villages, on the other hand, found this spot a favorable place for concluding their house-to-house rosary prayer visitations.
Then came 1955, the year of the fiftieth anniversary of the foundation of Mugana Parish (1905 – 1955). This occasion boosted further the devotion to Our Lady and spiritual life in this parish as it included the mission preaching which was a special spiritual preparation of the faithful for the anniversary celebration. The mission programme included all: school children and adults – men and women. Every participant and non-participant in the mission was required to have his or her own rosary.
The visit of Father Patrick Payton, of the Congregation of the Holy Cross (C.S.C) from the
Family Rosary Rally
The devotion to Our Lady was growing from strength to strength through the rosary and other devotions at Nyakijoga and the Mugana parishioners always responded positively to the parish priest’s call to beautify the place and all its surroundings for the proper setting for all kinds of devotions, including pilgrimages there.
For example, according to the parish announcement register, on the Eighth Sunday after Pentecost,
Marian Devotion Growing
Fr. Payton’s Family Rosary Rally bore instant fruits. Soon after, many people begun registering themselves and binding themselves to a pledge to pray the rosary daily in their families and from home-to-home. The Thirteenth Sunday after Pentecost,
For Information contact: Fr. Godwin e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Tel. +255784635753