Bishop Raphael Wokorach appointed Archbishop of Gulu Archdiocese

Pope Francis has appointed Nebbi Diocese Bishop Raphael P’Mony Wokorach as the Archbishop of Gulu Archdiocese.

Wokorach, who was only appointed Bishop in 2021, replaces John Baptist Odama who is heading into retirement at the age of 76.

The announcement was made by the Apostolic Nuncio, Luigi Bianco, on Friday.

He said Archbishop Odama will remain in the role until Wokorach is installed at a date yet to be announced.

When contacted on Friday, Bishop Wokorach, a Comboni missionary, described the appointment as an ambush but nevertheless said he is ready for service.

Wokorach was born on 21 January 1961, at Ojigo Village in Wadelai, in the Arua Diocese in present-day Arua District the West Nile sub-region, in the Northern Region of Uganda.

He attended Ragem Primary School, before entering the highly selective Saints Peter and Paul Minor (Preparatory) Seminary at Pokea, in Aria, studying Sciences, Mathematics, Social Studies and Latin from 1975 until 1979, for his O-Level education. He transferred to the all-boys’ boarding school, St. Joseph’s College Ombaci, also in Arua, where he completed his A-Level education, graduating in 1982, with the equivalent of a high school diploma.

Between 1983 and 1987, Wokorach studied philosophy at Uganda Martyrs’ National Major Seminary Alokolum, in Gulu, Uganda. In 1987, he was awarded a Bachelor of Arts degree in Philosophy, by the Pontifical Urban University, in Rome. He continued with his studies in Kenya, graduating with a Master of Arts degree in Philosophy from the Catholic University of Eastern Africa in 1994.

He is a member of the Comboni Missionaries of the Heart of Jesus (Latin: Missionarii Comboniani Cordis Iesu), also known as the Comboni Missionaries of the Sacred Heart, the Verona Fathers, or the Sons of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, and originally called the Sacred Heart of Jesus(Congregatio Filiorum S. Cordis Iesu), a male religious institute of papal law: the members of this congregation, known merely as Comboni, bear the letters MCCI. It was founded on June 1, 1867 by Italian priest Daniel Comboni.

Wokorach was ordained priest on 25 September 1993 at Wadelai Parish, in Arua Diocese, by Martin Luluga, the Bishop of Gulu at that time. He served as priest in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Nebbi, until 31 March 2021.He was appointed bishop on 31 March 2021 by Pope Francis. He replaced Bishop Sanctus Lino Wanok, who served as Bishop of Nebbi from 8 February 2011 until 23 November 2018, when he was transferred to Lira Diocese as Bishop. During the absence of a bishop at Nebbi (2018 to 2021), Monsignor Emmanuel Odaga served as the Diocesan Administrator.He was installed as Bishop of Nebbi Catholic Diocese on 14 August 2021.Wokorach was consecrated bishop on 14 August 2021, at Immaculate Heart of Mary Cathedral, Nebbi, in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Nebbi by Archbishop John Baptist Odama, Archbishop of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Gulu, assisted by Archbishop Luigi Bianco, Titular Archbishop of Falerone and Papal Nuncio to Uganda, Bishop Giuseppe Filippi, M.C.C.I., Bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Kotido and Bishop Sanctus Lino Wanok, Bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Lira.

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