Talking to Msgr. Dr. Richard Kayondo of Lugazi Diocese, you get this impression that Msgr. Ngobya cannot be anywhere but at home in heaven with his God. In fact all has been said of him is a mouthful albeit it remains mysteries to the comprehension of ordinary man.
Mariam Nambuusi, 29, a Muslim lives in Masaka and after a series of devastating miscarriages, she was advised by a Catholic friend of hers, early 2011 [just after she’d conceived again] to go make his request known to God through Fr. Ngobya at Kitovu Parish. It was a recommendation she took seriously, went to Kitovu Cathedral for prayer and on December 5, 2011, Nambuusi successfully gave birth to a healthy baby. She was immeasurably obliged to the late Monsignor.
Mariam Nambuusi is just one among a whole cloud of witnesses who attest to the miracle power there is in Msgr. Ngobya’s name. To this day, in Masaka, there has been birthed some sort of prayer movement that was ignited by the Msgr. Ngobya buzz that inundates the entire community – and not even disparity in religion will stop men from putting in an appearance at the Church altar every morning to make their supplications to Msgr. Ngobya before they proceed to work – almost all Boda-boda riders at Masaka stage attend morning mass at Kitovu and it cuts across all creeds. Question today is not as much who Msgr. Ngobya is as it is who doesn’t pray to/through Fr. Ngobya!
Who Is Msgr. Ngobya?
His name is Msgr. Aloysius Ngobya. Born on November 18, 1896 at Mulema village in Kyanamukaaka Sub-county, Masaka, Msgr. Ngobya served in the Catholic Church for over 70 years, having been consecrated as a priest in 1915. During this period, he is said to have performed miracles that made him both well-liked priest and feared, as his curses were proven to be effective.
On Saturday, however, March 31, 2012, his body was exhumed for further investigations before he’d be declared a saint. On April 19, 2012, the Catholic Church displayed his casket containing the remains of the priest at Our Lady of Sorrows Cathedral, Kitovu for public viewing. John Baptist Kaggwa, the Bishop of Masaka Catholic Diocese told hundreds of Christians at the church that they had found the heart, kidney, liver, and some other parts of Ngobya’s intact – something that was extraordinary to the ears.
“The Lord enabled Msgr. Ngobya to remain with part of his heart, part of his brain and liver, plus one of his kidneys,” declared Bishop Kaggwa, “He still has all his bones and robes in which he was buried.”
To this moment Msgr. Ngobya had been buried for 26 years.
In this mass, Bishop Kaggwa also publicly announced the team that would do the task of investigating and verifying the acts of Msgr. Ngobya about the widespread claims that he performed miracles – before they’d be declared saints.
Notwithstanding the investigations the grave where he’d be reburied was declared a holy place where Christians would be allowed to go and pray.
Why Msgr. Ngobya?
Ngobya died in 1986 and his remains were laid to rest at Kitovu Cathedral Cemetery which myriads of Catholics and non-Catholics have since flocked. His grave has always been perceived as holy and here, people pray for miracles and healing. As a result, Pope Benedict XVI declared the dead priest a servant of God and sent a delegation from Rome led by Bro. Reginald Cruz to investigate the intercessory authority of the priest. The most puzzling question is; why him?
Catholic believers across this nation find themselves at variance with each other over the performance of miracles in church.
Early this year, on Bukedde TV’s Omuntu W’abantu, Retired Bishop Matthias Ssekamanya denied the existence of any miracle workers in his Diocese even though there had for years been Rev. Fr. Maurice Kigoye of Kabimbiri Parish well known for exorcism and performing miracles in the name of the Virgin. Needless to say that various versions have always surfaced questioning the source of his authority to perform such astounding acts of spirituality including others who have straight down attached him to Satanism. Could it be the snag that stood between the late Msgr. Ngobya and the full elevation of his ministry!
After all; on this, whilst some priests will simply explicate on how every member of the Church is part of the body of Christ, and therefore have a peculiar role predestined for him or her, others would rather differ on a detail; “No mortal man should boast of making miracles but God,” said one priest friend of mine.
Aside from the Lugazi Diocese, however, the Catholic Church was also against, before it was for the work of Rev. Fr. Joseph Bill who is dead now. Today we see a more liberal Catholic Church that is even tolerant to the Charismatic Renewal, a movement Miracle-working Fr. Bill championed. Today, such as Fr. Jacinto Kibuuka is a renowned city intercessor and miracle worker.
Could it be he practices Mark 16 a bit more precisely? Or is it the clergy does not always have answers to why some can and others can’t perform miracles. In any case, what is the mysterious source of power for the few like Msgr. Ngobya?