Remains of Comboni Missionaries Laid to Rest

The remains of two Comboni Missionaries who succumbed to the deadly Coronavirus disease have been laid to rest.

Brother Benito Ricci, the former Diocesan Treasurer for the Archdiocese of Gulu and Father Jesus Aranda Nava who worked at Palorinya Refugee Camp in Moyo district were all in their seventies.

A parishioner who asked for anonymity said that the two priests had underlying health conditions.

The missionaries were buried at the Gulu Archdiocese Burial Ground in Negri Village, Layibi-Bardege Division in Gulu City on Friday afternoon.

The two died from St Mary`s Hospital Lacor in Gulu from where they were receiving treatment for COVID-19.

The burial ceremony started with a requiem mass at St Joseph`s Cathedral Catholic Church in For-God Parish, led by Bishop Sabino Ocan Odoi, the Archbishop of Arua Diocese.

In attendance were sisters, priests and the Provincial Superior for Uganda and Sudan while other Catholic faithful.

Their bodies were wrapped in body bags recommended for burying COVID-19 victims. The entire exercise was conducted by the COVID-19 and health workers from St Mary`s Hospital Lacor.

During the requiem mass, Bishop Odoki praised the two for their dedication towards serving humanity. He noted that Father Aranda offered great spiritual guidance to the refugees while working at Palorinya Refugee Camp.

For Brother Benito, Odoki said that his guidance on financial management in the Gulu Archdiocese will forever be felt.

Bishop Odoki also used the same occasion to rally the masses to follow the COVID-19 guidelines as prescribed by the Ministry of Health and the Standard Operating Procedures by the government.

In his condolence message, Msgr. Matthew Odong the Vicar General for Gulu Archdiocese said that they received news of the death with great sorrow adding that God will reward the deceased with Eternal Life in return for their missionary work.

Uganda has registered 13,568 cases of Coronavirus and 117 cumulative deaths since March this year.