The St Patrick Catholic Parish in Madera, Soroti Diocese, witnessed a unique spectacle as priests and Christian faithful came together in fervent prayer, seeking divine intervention in the face of recurring thefts targeting church properties. This spiritual appeal comes in the aftermath of an alleged break-in at the church kraal, resulting in the theft of two cows valued at over Shs2 million.
The stolen cattle were offerings meant for the construction of the Shs8.2 billion Regina Caeli church building in Aminit, a project blessed by Bishop Eciru. Frustrated by the unrelenting incidents of theft, the parish priest, Fr. Henry Agit, led a congregation in invoking curses upon the unidentified thieves.
Quoting verses from the book of Deuteronomy and Zachariah, Fr. Agit passionately chanted, “This is the curse which is to go forth over the whole earth… Every timber or stone must be burnt in a thief’s house, says the lord.” The ritual unfolded after peaceful attempts to recover the stolen cows proved futile.
Fr. Agit, appointed by the bishop to lead the parish, expressed the challenges faced during his administration, emphasizing the persistent theft of church properties. “We are losing chicken here, even goats, crops, and last year, four of our turkeys were stolen,” he lamented.
The cows, donated for a noble cause, were meant to contribute to the construction of Regina Caeli, the house of God. Despite announcements urging the assailants to return the stolen animals, the pleas fell on deaf ears. Fr. Agit emphasized that the curse could be averted if the culprits repent and return the stolen property; otherwise, they would suffer under the curse for generations.
Sebastian Obula, the parish pastoral chairperson, noted that thieves had been stealing from the church since 2005, starting with the theft of altar chairs. Christian community members supported the prayers and curses, deeming them justifiable in the face of persistent criminal activities.
However, the acting police spokesperson for East Kyoga, Mr. John Tukei, stated that he is yet to receive information about the theft of church animals in his office. The incident highlights the intersection of spirituality and crime, as the faithful seek divine intervention to protect their sacred spaces from theft and desecration.