May 13, 2020

Arua Catholic Diocese Investigates Suspected Maracha Apparition


Area LC 1 Chairperson of Minako village showing Red Pepper the point where the apparition appears in an Ovacado tree at the compound of the widow.

Arua – Arua Catholic Diocese in West Nile, Uganda has commenced investigations into a suspected Marian apparition in Maracha district.

Fr. Moses Apangu, the Parish Priest of Nyadri town Parish, within whose jurisdiction, the incident is reportedly happening, has told Red Pepper Digital in an interview that the Church has taken an interest.

On 2nd May, Ms. Philister Lekuru, a member of St. Elizabeth’s Small Christian Community in Omba Eucharistic Centre encountered a strange occurrence. It eventually came to be suspected as a possible apparition of the Virgin Mary with Jesus Christ by locals.

They claim it is happens under an Avacado tree in Lekuru’s compound.

Thousands of people, Christians and non-Christians are flocking the area with some claiming to have encountered the apparition.

But the parish priest says the Church has already set up a team to take notes of every event taking place on a daily basis and report their findings to him.

The parish priest, in turn, says he forwards the anecdotes to the Bishop through the Church’s hierarchy.

“Normally, the Church is not on a hurry. The Church takes her time to give a final position” the Parish priest says.

Fr. Apangu discloses that the team on ground to gathers everyday occurrences from the suspected apparition to give supportive evidence for the Church to authenticate the phenomenon as a Holy event.

“As a parish priest, I’m the Parochial Vicar of this place, so the office of the Bishop will get information through me. I have set up a team to collect such information” he reveals.

The Nyadri Town Parish priest notes that the Pastoral Coordinator and the doctrinal department of the diocese whose roles are to analyse the information from the parish before passing it to the Bishop for decision making, are also aware on what is going on in this parish.

“Good enough, those ahead of me have also heard. The pastoral coordinator, Fr. James Edema, the priest in charge of doctrine, Fr. Felix Epima, the dean of the deanery, Fr. Ochimati Francis, even came up to that place and are aware of what is taking place,” he explains.

But the chief Pastor of the parish rules, he is the team leader of fact-finders to ascertain the authenticity of the apparition.

“Every day, we are taking notes of what is taking place there. As being the chief pastor of this place, it’s my duty, to update the authorities above me, like those in the diocese and also give a proper understanding to the public, especially, the parish and the district, on what we can do best in such a situation” Fr. Apangu discloses.

Among those testifying positively to have encountered the apparition are three security personnel, says Fr. Apangu.

Acknowledging the existence of apparitions in the Catholic Church, Fr. Apangu notes there are tasks the investigation team performs, adding that the final decision maker is office of the Bishop.

Fr. Moses Apangu, the Parish priest of Nyadri town parish in Catholic Diocese of Arua.

“The fact is that Apparitions do exist. There are private and public apparitions but it’s the office of the Bishop, it’s in his authority, in such kind of cases to define and in future, evaluate the shreds of evidence of the apparition according to the guidelines that the Church has given” he emphasises.

In an articulate, guided manner, so as to avoid errors and omissions, Fr. Apangu took Red Pepper Digital through the stringent Church regulations for an apparition to pass for an authentic consideration.

“The facts, in this case, are whether they are free of error, the person (s) receiving the messages; are they psychologically balanced, honest, morally sincere and respectful of Church authority? Does the suspected Apparition bear doctrinal errors not attributed to God, Our Lady or to the Saints? Are the Theological and Spiritual doctrines presented therein free of errors? Are the alleged apparitions for money-making or they are healthy religious devotions and Spiritual? Is there no evidence of collective hysteria” the Parochial Vicar explains the measures.

He adds: “Judgement can find that an apparition shows all signs of being an authentic or truly miraculous intervention from heaven. Or, that it is clearly not miraculous or there are not sufficient signs manifesting it to be so or that it’s not evident whether or not the apparition is authentic.”

Ms. Lekuru Filister, the woman who claims being visited by Blessed Mary and her son Jesus Christ

Fr. Apangu assures the faithful that when a suspected Apparition passes all these tests, then the Bishop blesses the site and later it becomes a pilgrimage centre with authority from the Pope.

“If a Marian apparition is recognised by the Bishop, it means that the message is not contrary to faith and morals and that Mary can be venerated in especial way at that site. This particular site, in future, if all these verifications are done, especially, by the Bishop, then that place can become a pilgrimage centre” Fr. Apangu observes.

At the moment, they are calling us to pray over it, analyse the situations, what is happening on the ground and give them updates. At least every day, we should keep noting things happening and they will give a final say on the apparition at an appointed time” he reveals.

Like the investigation team deployed on ground, Fr. Apangu tasks other members of the congregation at Ms. Lekuru’s home to pray and partake in giving, with evidence, occurrences or changes in their lives as a result of the suspected apparition.

“I encourage our people to be calm, to be patient, let them pray over this apparition, so that the intentions, the message that mother Mary has is revealed to us. Let’s continue to pray through the intercession of the Virgin Mary that her coming to Lekuru’s home should bring us graces and also transform us,” he expresses.

“Those experiencing changes or miracles in their lives with evidence should report to the parish” Fr. Apangu adds.

The Church is observant as the 42 years old widow who embarked on fasting is expected to finish the days allegedly mandated by Mother Mary, on Sunday.

“We are still waiting for the message Lekuru Philister is to give to us after finishing the days she was directed by Mother Mary. She is doing fasting and praying. As a parish, we are also offering sacrifices of Mass in Private not public, for these intentions” Fr. Apangu states.

Like the Biblical proverbial gardener who sowed good seed and the wizard adding weeds at night, the suspected Holy event has been marred by some acts of curiosity and fun making which Fr. Apangu notes shouldn’t be the case.

“Those who come here, all of them should have been in prayer mood and in devotion but some take it for curiosity and entertainment and that is very wrong because matters of faith are not to be joking with” Fr. Apangu notes, saying the police had to come in to contain the situation.

According to Fr. Apangu, the Church’s involvement is due to the religious nature of the event.

“As a Church, we have to intervene in this matter because it is spiritual in its kind” he observes.

HEAVY SECURITY DEPLOYMENT.

Additional security personnel have been reinforced from Arua and Koboko but the high number could not deter the crowd.

Every morning breaks with an addictive population increasingly swarming Minako Village.

Despite the pleas of the parish priest to the faithful to follow presidential directives of keeping social distance and pray
individually at homes, the gathering at Lekuru’s village keeps bulging, each day.

” I urge the people to pray at their home ” Fr. Apangu notifies.

This message of the Chief pastor is supplemented by directives from Maracha district police commander, ASP Hassan Hiwumbire but this only meets deaf ears of the people who act to the contrary.

“We can’t encourage people to gather at this time of Coronavirus pandemic but I urge them to pray at home until the lockdown is lifted. More so, the mothers and children should respect authorities. These are clear presidential directives that there shouldn’t be any gathering but you find the people don’t respect orders,” ASP Hiwumbire notes.

The forces, who would have easily used any means to disperse them within few minutes are at times fixed to deal with faithfuls and more so that the president restricts them from wielding “kiboko” against the civil population.

“You chase people even for ten kilometers and by the time you return, you get the person you chased has also come back. What do you want? Stay at home” DPC keeps telling the people trying to force their way through the bushes.

He urges the people to desist from provoking the security officers on the ground.

Heavy security Deployment

Additional security personnel have been reinforced from Arua and Koboko but the high number could not deter the crowd.

Every morning breaks with an addictive population increasingly swarming Minako Village.

Police camps at Lekuru’s home to maintain observance of presidential directives to fight COVID-19 pandemic as the people crowd to see the suspected apparition.

Despite the pleas of the parish priest to the faithful to follow presidential directives of keeping social distance and pray individually at homes, the gathering at Lekuru’s village keeps bulging, each day.

“I urge the people to pray at their home,” Fr. Apangu notifies.

This message of the Chief pastor is supplemented by directives from Maracha District Police Commander, ASP Hassan Hiwumbire but this only meets deaf ears of the people who act to the contrary.

“We can’t encourage people to gather at this time of Coronavirus pandemic but I urge them to pray at home until the lockdown is lifted. More so, the mothers and children should respect authorities. These are clear presidential directives that there shouldn’t be any gathering but you find the people don’t respect orders,” ASP Hiwumbire notes.

The forces, who would have easily used any means to disperse them within few minutes are at times fixed to deal with faithfuls and more so that the president restricts them from wielding “kiboko” against the civil population.

“You chase people even for ten kilometres and by the time you return, you get the person you chased has also come back. What do you want? Stay at home,” DPC keeps telling the people trying to force their way through the bushes.

He urges the people to desist from provoking the security officers on ground.

1 thought on “Arua Catholic Diocese Investigates Suspected Maracha Apparition

  1. Its out of faith that such apparitions happen to the faithful which shouldn’t be opposed by those who lack Faith and are still in darkness.

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