WELCOME TO THE CATHOLIC DIOCESE OF FORTPORTAL

Find on this website information about the history of the diocese, its bishops (the Ordinary, and his Auxiliary), the main functions in the diocese, diocesan statistics, religious communities of men and women with their respective addresses, other institutions including seminaries, catechetical centres, hospitals and health centres, parishes, centres with resident priests, diocesan and religious priests with their dates of ordination

LOCATION OF THE DIOCESE

The Catholic Diocese of Fort Portal (commonly known as Fort Portal Diocese) is situated in Western Uganda with its headquarters below the Rwenzori Mountains on Virika Hill, two kilometer from the City Centre of Fort Portal. The Diocese of Fort Portal has a general population c. 2,794,665 with Catholics c. 1,103,892. It covers an area of 13,553 sq. kilometers comprising the districts of: Kabarole, Bunyangabu, Ntoroko, Bundibugyo, Kamwenge, Kyenjojo, Kitagwenda, Kyegegwa, and Fort Portal City. The diocese has 33 parishes divided into three deaneries of Virika, Katoosa and Kamwenge. 

Katoosa Parish as the headquarters of Katoosa deanery is the home of Saint Adolf Ludigo Tibeyalirwa one of the 22 Ugandan martyrs who were killed at Namugongo in 1886. He was born in  Katoosa Parish, about 53 kilometers from Fort Portal along Kampala road, where famous Uganda martyrs shrine has been established and it attracts thousands of pilgrims every year on 27th January.

Fort Portal Diocese borders with the Democratic Republic of Congo to the west, Hoima Diocese to the north, Kasese Diocese to the south west, Mbarara Archdiocese to the south and Kiyinda-Mityana to the east.

The topography of Fort Portal Diocese is generally characterized by the hilly country side, the gigantic Rwenzori Mountains overlooking a larger section of the diocese from the western side, the rocky hills of Kyaka (Kyegegwa) in the east, and the flat low lands in the rift valley near the lakes Edward and Albert in the south and northwest respectively. It is a very richly endowed area.

Lying almost along the Equator, the major part of the diocese experiences two rainy seasons in the year. This, plus the good and fertile soils render the area very favorable for agriculture which is the major livelihood activity of the population across the diocese. It is generally green with a fairly distributed forest cover. The good soils and reliable rainfall make Fort Portal the food basket of the country. There is also commercial tea and coffee farming in the area.

The rich cultural heritage of the people and their hospitality, the Snow-capped Rwenzori Mountains, the Semuliki National Park and Sempaya Hot Springs, the Kibaale National Park which a home to the highest number of primates in the world, the good road network for accessibility to Queen Elizabeth National Park, the concentration of more than 50 breathtaking  crater lakes in fairly small radius, etc. have led to Fort Portal being named the Tourism City of Uganda and indeed one of leading world tourist destination areas.         

The diocese of Fort Portal hosts St. Paul’s National Major Seminary at Kinyamasika, the Holy Cross Novitiate for the East African Province at Saaka and the Uganda Martyrs’ University Campus. 

HISTORY OF THE CATHOLIC DIOCESE OF FORTPORTAL

The Diocese of Fort Portal was created by Pope John XXIII on April 19th, 1961 together with the appointment of Rt. Rev. Vincent Joseph McCauley CSC, now Servant of God as its first Bishop.  The Diocese was detached from Mbarara Diocese which up to 1953 was Rwenzori Vicariate.  
The founding of Fort Portal Diocese was a fruit of the missionary work of the Missionaries of Africa, also known as the White Fathers and the Missionary activity of Fr. Auguste Achte (Pere Akiti) who introduced the Catholic faith in Tooro.

When Pope Paul VI visited Uganda in 1969, he ordained among others Bishop Serapio B. Magambo, Auxiliary Bishop of Fort Portal on 1st August, 1969.  Bishop Magambo took Canonical possession of the Diocese of Fort Portal as its Ordinary on 1st January, 1972.

Bishop Serapio B. Magambo was succeeded by Bishop Paul L. Kalanda by then the Bishop of Moroto.  He was appointed to the See of Fort Portal on 28th August, 1991 and was installed as Ordinary, taking Canonical possession of the Diocese on 3rd November, 1991.  

In 1999, the Diocese was graced with the appointment of Rt. Rev. Joseph Mugenyi Sabiiti as Auxiliary Bishop.  Bishop Paul L. Kalanda was succeeded by Rt. Rev. Robert K. Muhiirwa who was ordained and installed on June 15th, 2003.  The Diocese comprises of 33 Parishes divided in three Deaneries namely: Virika, Kamwenge and Katoosa.  The Diocese covers the civic districts of Kabarole, Bundibugyo, Kamwenge, Kyenjojo, Kyegegwa, Ntoroko, Bunyangabu and Kitagwenda. Fort Portal is a suffragan Diocese within the Archdiocese of Mbarara since 1999.

The Catholic Diocese of Fort Portal is part of the Universal Church, it stands and exists solely for the Mission of Christ who came that all people may have life in its fullness (Jn. 10:10). The Diocese of Fort Portal fosters the active participation of the people in fulfilling Christ’s will of evangelization.

THE VISION OF THE DIOCESE

A prosperous and an integrally developed Catholic Diocese of Fort Portal as a family of God’s people.

THE MISSION 

To foster active participation of all the people of Fort Portal Diocese in fulfilling Christ’s will of evangelization (preaching, teaching, sanctifying, leading and healing) through economic empowerment.  

ORDINARY

Rt. Rev. Robert K.  Muhiirwa

The Right Reverend Robert K. Muhiirwa was born on 23th October 1958 at Ibonde, Virika Parish, Fort Portal Diocese. He was ordained priest on 11th August 1985 at Virika Cathedral by His Lordship the Rt. Rev. Serapio B. Magambo. He was appointed Bishop of Fort Portal Diocese on 18th March 2003, ordained and installed as Bishop of Fort Portal Diocese on 15th June 2003. 

During the Annual Plenary of 2018, members of the Uganda Episcopal Conference, elected The Rt. Rev. Robert K. Muhiirwa as Vice Chairman of the conference and served for four(4) years.