Kasese, Uganda, Feb 13, 2021 / 07:00 am (CNA).- Among the 12 men ordained priests of the Diocese of Kasese earlier this month was a pair of twins.
Fr. Peter Katuramu Isingoma and Fr. Andrew Kato Katuramu told ACI Africa their Feb. 6 ordination was the highlight of their lives, and a fulfillment of dreams they had harbored from childhood.
“It was a satisfying experience, which brought me so much excitement. So many people attended and they were all very happy,” said Fr. Peter in an interview with ACI Africa Feb. 10.
He added, “There were so many of us being ordained priests and many other deacons. For many years, I had never seen such a big number of priests ordained on the same day in our diocese. It was a very beautiful celebration.”
Fr. Andrew told ACI Africa, “At ordination, I felt great. To many, it was a mystery that twins were being ordained priests. I knew that God had chosen us before we were born and like Peter and his brother Andrew, the disciples of Jesus that our parents named us after, we had indeed been chosen to work with God’s people.”
The twins grew up inseparable and were difficult to tell apart. In fact, Fr. Peter jokes that the scar on his brother’s nose, which was left after he was injured during their pastoral work, now makes it easier for people to tell the two apart.
The brothers went their separate ways when their parents enrolled Peter at the Kasese diocese’s St. John the Evangelist Minor Seminary, while his brother proceeded to join a secular school.
“Growing up, my brother and I often talked about our dream to become Catholic priests. We admired the lives of priests who came to our homes, ate with us in humility and prayed for us,” Fr. Andrew recalled. “After we completed Primary seven, we made our desire known to our parents and said that we wanted to join a seminary for our education.”
Their parents, however, did not have enough money to enroll both boys in seminary, and Andrew joined a nearby Catholic School for his O-levels. The two re-united during their A- levels when Andrew joined his twin brother at the minor seminary.
For his studies in philosophy, Fr. Peter went to St. Thomas Aquinas Major Seminary, Katigondo in the Diocese of Masaka, while Fr. Andrew went to Uganda Martyrs Aloculum Major Seminary in Gulu.
For their year of pastoral experience, Fr. Peter went to St. Mathias Mulumba Ibanda and Our Lady of Assumption Nsenyi parishes in the Diocese of Kasese, while Fr. Andrew went to neighboring Immaculate Heart Parish, Hima and St John the Evangelist, Bukangara parish.
They proceeded with their theology at St. Mary’s National Seminary and St. Paul’s Major Seminary in Kinyamasika in the Archdiocese of Kampala.
Fr. Peter recalled their parents’ shock when the two announced that they wanted to join the priesthood.
“In the minor seminary, our parents thought that we were not serious about our desire to become priests and they thought we’d drop the idea to pursue other things. They were shocked when we announced that we wanted to proceed with philosophy,” Fr. Peter said.
He added, “Some people told our parents that we were throwing away our lives by joining priesthood. Being the eldest sons in our family of eight children, we were expected to marry to preserve the clan’s dignity.” The twins have another brother, and five sisters.
At one point, the twins were advised by their parents to decide who between them would drop out of formation to the priesthood, but they were both unwavering in their desire.
“Our parents wanted one of us to stay at home. It was an impossible decision to make so we both went to the major seminary,” Fr. Peter recalled. “Today, they are very proud of us and happy that we decided to pursue our dream.”
While in formation the brothers “called each other and talked about the importance of being humble and prayerful, respecting our formators as our own parents and the other seminarians as our own brothers,” Fr. Andrew said. “We took advice from people very seriously and that helped us a lot.”
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