en English
ar Arabiczh-CN Chinese (Simplified)nl Dutchen Englishfr Frenchde Germanit Italianpt Portugueseru Russianes Spanish

Diocesan Profile

Location:

Soroti Catholic Diocese is located in the North-eastern part of Uganda approximately between Longitudes 33°10’ E and 34°17’ E and Latitudes 1°10’ N and 2°27’ N. The Diocese lies in altitude between 1036 m and 1127 m above sea level. It borders Kotido and Moroto Dioceses in the North and East, Tororo Archdiocese in the South, Jinja and Luwero Dioceses in the Southwest (along Lake Kyoga) and Lira Diocese in the North-west. Its Headquarters, Soroti lies a road distance of about 320 Km from the National Capital, Kampala, by the most direct route. 
Geographical coverage & Population:
Soroti Catholic Diocese is located in North-Eastern Uganda. The Diocese covers the ten (10) civil districts of Teso Region, namely, Amuria, Kaberamaido, Kalaki, Kapelebyong, Katakwi, Kumi, Ngora, Serere and Soroti. It covers an area of 12,921 sq. km. Of this 10,983 sq. km (85%) is land, and the rest is covered by water bodies, largely by the norther parts of Lake Kyoga and its tributaries.
The Diocese is bordered by Lira Diocese (Lango sub-region) in the North & North-West, by Kotido and Moroto Dioceses (Karamoja sub-region) in the East & North-East, by Tororo Archdiocese in the South-East, and by Lake Kyoga in the South-West. Of the 2,917,391 people in Teso, the estimated Catholic population is1,629,521people.

Geographical coverage by District:

District

Total Area (Sq. Km)

Amuria & Kapelebyong

2,510

Bukedea

1,615

Kaberamaido & Kalaki

1,680

Katakwi

2,604

Kumi

1,060

Ngora

804

Serere

1,388

Soroti

1,260

Total

12,921

Vegetation, Climate and Soils:

The vegetation of the Diocese can be described as Savannah grassland. 
The Climate of the Diocese is characterised by two seasons: wet and dry. The rainy season runs from March-June and from September to October. However, in recent years, the weather pattern has become unpredictable with peaks of adverse weather in certain periods. Generally, the North-eastern section of the Diocese receives less rain than the rest of the Diocese. The soil type ranges from loam to sandy with varying degrees of fertility from one place to another. 

Socio-Economic Background:

A majority of the people in the Diocese earn their living through small scale crop production and livestock rearing as their traditional livelihoods. The major crops grown include cassava, groundnuts, millet, sorghum and sweet potatoes while the livestock includes cattle, goats, sheep and poultry. Other economic activities include fishing and petty trade.
Over the years, the economic base has continuously been distorted by cattle rustling by armed Karimojong warriors, which lasted for over three decades.This was punctuated by two bouts of rebel activities; first by the Uganda People’s Army (1986-1992) and, later, by the Lord’s Resistance Army (2003). These resulted into mass displacement of persons and loss of most productive assets and capital for communities throughout the region. The difficult economic situation in the region has further been aggravated by harsh and unpredictable weather patterns. As a result of unpredictable economic security, the communities are slowly adopting other non-traditional economic activities, especially petty trade and small-scale production.

Political Background:

It is important to note that the period 1986-1992 was characterised by civil strife and cattle rustling by the Karimojong that resulted into immense destruction of productive assets, loss of human lives and displacement of the population. The impact of these atrocities was manifested in the collapse of the socio-economic stamina of the population.
With the return of relative peace from around 1993, the Government, NGOs and the Faith-Based Organizations worked hard to help the communities resettle and embark on socio-economic activities. There was remarkable improvement in household living conditions as a result of the various recovery programmes that contributed to the improvement of community access to social services. This positive trend, however,was halted by the invasion of the Lord’s Resistance Army rebels in to the Diocese on the June 15, 2003.
The LRA rebel incursion that continued till 2004 had devastating effects on the population, especially in Orungo, Amuria, Acumet, Wera, Katine, Madera, Lwala and Kaberamaido parishes. Hundreds of lives were lost, a number of people (mainly children) were abducted. There was massive displacement of the population into urban centres and neighbouring districts, and loss of property. Five (5) Catholic parishes and a number of Government and Non-government institutions were forced to close.

The Faith/ Spirituality:

It is evident that the Catholic Church in Teso is steadily growing and the faith is deepening, as shown by the number of people receiving various sacraments, the growth in number of new parishes (that has risen from 26 in 2019 to 54 in 2024), the number of active lay associations and the willingness of the laity in supporting the Church (despite their levels of poverty). The Catholic population (1,629,521) is about 56% of the total population (2,917,391) living within the Diocese. Driving the pastoral ministry of the Diocese are 71 priests, 65 women religious and 1,940 catechists.

Statistics:

Area (Sq Km):  

12,921

Population:  

2,917,391

Catholics:  

56%

Diocesan Priests (including those working outside the Diocese):  

87

Diocesan Major Seminarians:  

54

Missionaries of Africa (White Fathers):  

03

Benedictine Fathers

01

Little Sisters of St. Francis of Assisi:  

54

Missionary Sisters of Mary Mother of the Church:  

04

Little Sisters of Mary Immaculate of Gulu:  

04

Sisters of Divine Charity

03

Catechists:  

1940

Diocesan Commission

07

Deaneries

15

Parishes:  

54

Outstations:  

1070

BCCs  
Minor Seminary

01

Catechetical Formation Centre

02

Primary Teachers Colleges

02

Vocational & Technical Training Institutions

07

Secondary schools

33

Primary schools

317

Nursery schools

160

Hospital

01

Health Centers

17

Conclusion:

Over the last 100 years, the Church in Teso has grown into a significant agent of not just evangelization, but also education, socio-economic development, health service provision and a champion of social justice and peace. The Church reaches out with pastoral and socio-economic programs to the whole region with a competent team of 68 priests, 65 Religious Sisters, up to 1,940 trained catechists, and over 4,000 professional educators, social workers, media workers and health workers employed in the various institutions established and run by the Diocese.
The Christian communities in the different parishes of the Diocese generously support the ministry of the Church through their active physical participation in the various lay apostolic ministries, as well as through their regular material and financial contributions. However, the daunting levels of poverty in the same communities undermine the weight of their material and financial support. It is for this reason that the Church in Soroti Catholic Diocese still remains in need of external financial support, to enable her build institutional capacity for a more effective engagement of her pastoral team in undertaking a progressive and sustainable pastoral ministry to communities throughout the Diocese.