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History of the Archdiocese of Tororo

The Story of the Archdiocese of Tororo is closely linked with the development of the Vicariate of the Upper Nile.  This Vicariate was established by Pope Leo XIII in 1894 and entrusted to the Mill Hill Missionaries.  It comprised the area stretching from St. Peter’s Church, Nsambya (Uganda) to St. Patrick’s Church, Naivasha, (Kenya). Its subsequent history can be looked at in four phases.

            First Phase (1896-1924): This phase saw the building of mission stations in East Buganda namely: - Busoga, Bukedi, Bugisu and Teso.

            Second Phase (1925-1950): This phase was marked by the creation of the Vicariate of Kavirondo (later Kisumu) in 1925, thus cutting off the Kenyan portion of the Vicariate.  Beginning in the 1930s, there was an increase in the number of people asking for Baptism, to which the Mill Hill Missionaries responded by sending more priests and brothers and doubling the number of parishes.  The Vicariate also began to harvest the first fruits by the ordination to the priesthood of the first African priests in this area, namely, Fr. John Eneku (1939), Fr. Raphael Kajengo (1940) and others.  Then in 1948, the Vicariate was further divided into two Vicariates. The Vicariate Apostolic of Kampala was under Bishop Billington, resident in Nsambya.  The remaining section was formed into the Vicariate Apostolic of Tororo, under Bishop John Reesinck.

            Third Phase (1951-1968): During this phase, the Vicariate was formally erected into the Diocese of Tororo in 1953. This phase came with the retirement of Bishop Reesinck and the succession by Bishop John Greif in 1951.This period saw the building of many new parishes, schools, convents, hospitals and dispensaries and a growth in the Catholic population.

            Fourth and final Phase: Upon the death of Bishop Greif in 1968, Bishop James Odongo, took over the reins of the diocese.  Since that time, many more parishes have been opened and many indigenous priests ordained.  In 1981, the Diocese of Soroti was created, comprising of the then districts of Kumi and Soroti.  Fr. Erasmus Wandera was named the first Bishop of Soroti.

            On the 2nd day of January 1999, the Holy Father erected the Ecclesiastical Province of Tororo, elevating it to the rank of Metropolitan Church, and assigning to it the dioceses of Jinja, Kotido, Moroto and Soroti as suffragans.   He appointed Bishop James Odongo as first Metropolitan Archbishop of Tororo.

On 27th of June 2007, the Holy Father accepted the retirement request of Archbishop Odongo and appointed Bishop Denis Lote Kiwanuka as the Second Metropolitan Archbishop of Tororo.

            On 1st of January 2014, the Holy Father accepted the retirement request of Archbishop Denis Lote Kiwanuka and appointed Most Rev.  Dr.  Emmanuel Obbo,  A.J., as the Third Metropolitan Archbishop of Tororo.



Historical Summary





Vicariate Apostolic of Upper Nile

July 13, 1894


Vicariate Apostolic of Victoria-Nyanza

Vicariate Apostolic of Upper Nile {Nilo Superiore} (erected)

July 15, 1925

Territory Lost

Vicariate Apostolic of Upper Nile {Nilo Superiore}

Prefecture Apostolic of Kavirondo (erected)

June 10, 1948

Territory Lost

Vicariate Apostolic of Upper Nile {Nilo Superiore}

Vicariate Apostolic of Kampala (erected)

Vicariate Apostolic of Tororo

May 10, 1951

Name Changed

Vicariate Apostolic of Upper Nile {Nilo Superiore}

Vicariate Apostolic of Tororo

Diocese of Tororo

March 25,1953


Vicariate Apostolic of Tororo

Diocese of Tororo

Nov 29, 1980

Territory Lost

Diocese of Tororo

Diocese of Soroti (erected)

Archdiocese of Tororo

Jan 2, 1999


Diocese of Tororo

Archdiocese of Tororo


Bishops (those Living)

Most Rev. Emmanuel Obbo, A.J. (Archbishop of Tororo from Jan 2, 2014 to date)

Most Rev. Denis Kiwanuka Lote (Archbishop: Jun 27, 2007 to Jan 2, 2014)

Most Rev. James Odongo (Auxiliary Bishop: Nov 25, 1964; Bishop: Aug 19, 1968; Archbishop: Jan 2 1999 to Jun 27, 2007).

Bishop Sons of Tororo
Rt. Rev. Charles Martin Wamika  - Current Ordinary of Jinja

Rt. Rev. Erasmus Wandera – Emeritus Bishop of Soroti

Rt. Rev. Joseph Oyanga – Emeritus Bishop of Lira ( Deceased)

Past and Present Ordinaries

Henry Hanlon, M.H.M. † (17 Jul 1894 - 17 Nov 1911)

Johannes Biermans, M.H.M. † (24 Apr 1912 - Aug 1924)

John William Campling, M.H.M. † (13 May 1925 - Feb 1938)

John Reesinck, M.H.M. † (29 Mar 1938 - Mar 1951)

John Francis Greif, M.H.M. † (10 May 1951 - 17 Aug 1968)

James Odongo (19 Aug 1968 - 27 Jun 2007)

Denis Kiwanuka Lote (27 Jun 2007 - 2 Jan 2014)

Emmanuel Obbo, A.J. (2 Jan 2014 to date)
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Contact Us

Office                                                    Telephone
Archbishop’s Secretary                 +256-772-525-182 , +256-753-603-635
Vocations Director                        +256-783-494-922 , +256-701-646-858
Rector Nagongera Seminary          +256-772-660-051 , +256-773-737-666
HM Mbale College                         +256-751-054-098
Communications & Radio Maria      +256-758-722-342 , +256-785-765-551
Headteacher St. James Achilet       +256-772-485-851
Health Department                        +256-784-889-151
Education Secretary                      +256-772-183-193
Pastoral Coordinator                      +256-772-446-197
Caritas                                         +256-772-328-592
Youth                                           +256-781-678-987
Sacramentary Shops                     +256-772-328-592
(Procure, St. Austins Parish, benedictine Sisters)