RT. REV. BISHOP JOSEPH ECIRU, 3RD BISHOP ORDINARY OF SOROTI CATHOLIC DIOCESE
Rt. Rev. Dr. Joseph Eciru Oliach
Great Joy and Excitement abounded throughout and beyond Teso, when the Catholic Diocese of Soroti geared up for the consecration and installation of her 3rd Bishop Ordinary. On 19th March 2019, the Holy Father, Pope Francis, had announced the election of Rev. Fr. Joseph Eciru Oliach as the new Bishop for Soroti Catholic Diocese. This good news triggered tremendous joy throughout the Diocese. Numerous committees worked like bees in different parts of the Diocese and in Kampala.
Rt. Rev. JOSEPH Eciru Oliach was consecrated and installed 3rd Bishop Ordinary of Soroti Catholic Diocese on 25th May 2019, at Fr. Hilders Holy Ground, Immaculate Conception Cathedral in Soroti.. He succeeded His Grace, Most Rev. Emmanuel Obbo, A.J., Acrchbishop of Tororo, who had been Bishop of the Diocese from 2007 to 2014, and Apostolic Administrator of the Diocese from 2014-2019. Bishop Emmanuel Obbo himself succeeded Rt. Rev. Erasmus Desiderius Wandera, who was first Bishop of the Diocese, from 1981 to 2007.
Rt. Rev. Dr. Joseph Ediru Oliach is born of Olelai Village in Gweri Sub-county, Soroti District. His episcopal ordination and installation as third Bishop Ordinary of the Diocese was a great testimony of the growth of the Catholic Faith in Teso Sub-region. He is the first Catholic Bishop from Teso. He also became the first Old Boy (OB) from Angopet P/S, from St. Aloysious P/S, from St. Peter’s Madera Minor Seminary and from St. Paul’s Kinyamasika National Major Seminary to become Catholic Bishop.
Born on 11th August1970 to John Francis Oliach and Anna Maria Aguti (both deceased), Bishop Eciru is the last of 8 children. He went to St. Aloysius Primary School in Ngora for his Primary School education, St. Peter’s Minor Seminary Madera for his O’ Level, and St. Pius X Seminary Nagongera for his A’ Level. He thereafter joined Katigondo National Major Seminary in Masaka for Philosophical studies and St. Paul’s Major Seminary Kinyamasika in Fort Portal for Theological studies. He was ordained priest on 9th August 2003, at the time of the LRA incursion in Teso. Later on, he pursued post-graduate studies, leading to a Licentiate in Sacred Scripture (2009) and a Doctorate in Biblical Theology at the Pontifical Urban University in Rome (2012).
By the time of his appointment, Bishop Eciru was lecturing in St. Mary’s National Major Seminary Ggaba. He was also Chaplain to the Catholic community from Teso who work and live in Kampala and neighbouring towns, coordinated under their umbrella association known as Soroti Catholic Laity Association (SCALA).
The retired 1st Bishop of Soroti Catholic Diocese, Rt. Rev. Erasmus D. Wandera, was born at Osia in Tororo Archdiocese on 16th April 1930. He was ordained priest on 27th December 1956. He was appointed the first Bishop of Soroti Catholic Diocese on 29th November 1980, and consecrated Bishop on 29th March 1981. He retired on 6th October 2007, and was succeeded by Rt. Rev. Emmanuel Obbo, A.J. Bishop Emeritus Erasmus D. Wandera currently residents in Mbale.
Most Rev. Emmanuel Obbo, A.J., 2nd Bishop Of Soroti Catholic Diocese
The Most. Rev. Emmanuel Obbo, A.J., was born in Nagongera Parish in Tororo (Archdiocese of Tororo) on 7th October 1952. He was ordained priest of the Congregation of the Apostles of Jesus (A.J.) on 13th December 1986 in Nagongera Parish. He was appointed Bishop of Soroti Catholic Diocese on 27th June 2007. He was ordained Bishop and installed as the second Ordinary of Soroti Catholic Diocese on 6th October 2007. In 2014, he was appointed Archbishop of Tororo Archdiocese. He was, at the same time, appointed Apostolic Administrator for Soroti Catholic Diocese, an office which he served till the consecration and installation of Rt. Rev. Joseph Eciru Oliach as 3rd Bishop of Soroti Catholic Diocese on 25th May 2019.
Pictorials: Some Events in the Life of Seminarian and Fr. Joseph Eciru
With fellow seminarians & Fr. M. Cockoran With Bp. Wandera and Sem. Etwap R.
Priestly ordination by Bp. Wandera. Holy pose with Cardinal E. Wamala