P. O. BOX 200,



Tel. 256 (0) 772 954514;           Email:



POPE: Benedict XVI; ARCHBISHOP: John Baptist Odama



Welcome to the Website of the Archdiocese of Gulu - Uganda. The Archdiocese of Gulu is located in Northern Uganda, and covers the three civil administrative districts of Gulu, Kitgum and Pader. It spans an area of about 27,946 sq km with a population of about 1,200,000 people. The Archdiocese is bordered by the following dioceses: Kotido in the East and North-East, Lira in the South- East, Hoima in South-West, Nebbi in the West, Arua in the North-West, and the Diocese of Torit (Sudan) in the North.

Historical Background

The Archdiocese of Gulu is the fruit of the missionary evangelization work that started in 1910 when the Comboni Missionaries first set foot in what is now the northern part of Uganda. The first mission was established at Pakuba, near Pakwach. The missionaries later moved the mission to Gulu in 1911, the site that was to become the seat of the Archdiocese of Gulu. In 1923, the Apostolic Prefecture of the Equatorial Nile was created with Monsignor Vignato as the Apostolic Prefect. Later a vicariate was created in 1933 and eventually the Diocese of Gulu was created in 1953.

In the subsequent years, other dioceses created out of Gulu diocese were Arua 1958, Moroto 1965, Lira 1968, and Nebbi 1996. In January 1999, the Holy Father, Pope John Paul II erected the ecclesiatical province with a metropolican see at Gulu, making Gulu an Archdiocese. Archbishop John Baptist Odama was appointed to the Archepiscopal See as the first Archbishop of Gulu

The (Arch)diocese of Gulu was served by the following bishops and administrators

  TITLE Years
Monsignor Antonio Vignato Apostolic Prefect 1923 - 1933
Bishop Angelo Negri Vicar Apostolic 1933 - 1949
Bishop Cesana Diocesan Bishop 1949 - 1968
Bishop Cypriano Kihangire Diocesan Bishop 1969 - 1988
Bishop Martin Luluga Auxiliary Bishop 1987 - 1988
  Apostolic Administrator 1988 - 1990
  Diocesan Bishop 1990 - 1999
Archbishop John Baptist Odama Diocesan Archbishop 1999 - date

The Quest for Peace, the Greatest Challenge

There are numerous challenges facing the Archdiocese of Gulu. The greatest of all these is insecurity. Due to the civil unrest that has plagued the northern region for the last 21 years, more than 85% of the population are displaced. People have experienced untold atrocities as property and homes were destroyed and plundered, people, especially children abducted and forced to become child soldiers, many are tortured, maimed and killed as a result of raids, landmines and ambushes. The absence of peace has not only challenged the work of the archdiocese, it has become for the most part, the main focus of the ministry of the Archdiocese. The Archdiocese, especially through its Peace and Justice Commission and CARITAS, is working with other religious groups, local and international organizations as well as cultural and civil administrative organs to advocate, promote and mediate for peace in the northern region. These groups include among others, the Acholi Religious Leaders Peace Initiative, Catholic Relief Services (which is an arm of the United States Catholic Conference of Bishops) and other Non Governmental Organization (NGOs)


Dedication in a time of Challenge

The Archdiocese of Gulu relies on the dedicated and sacrificial service of the priests, religious communities, the catechists and the laity. The Archdiocese is served by both diocesan and missionary clergy as well as religious communities. Religious Communities that have worked (and are working) in the archdiocese of Gulu include the Comboni Missionaries - Priests, Brothers and Sisters (formerly popularly known as Verona Fathers, Brothers, Sisters), the Little Sisters of Mary Immaculate of Gulu (LSMIG), the Brothers of St. Martin de Porres, Sacred Heart Sisters, and Marian Brothers.

Diocesan staff have not only been victims but also targets in the midst of conflicts. Malicious and false accusations have been leveled against the clergy and religious. The Clergy, religious, seminarians as well as catechists have experienced and shared in the pain and suffering of the populace. Some have been abducted, tortured and gravely injured and some even killed. A number of parishes were looted during these years.


Strength from the Martyrs

In the midst of all the challenges, the example of the Holy Martyrs of Uganda, and more especially that of Daudi Okelo and Jildo Irwa, the two martyrs of Paimol continues to inspire the Archdiocese of Gulu. These martyrs were witnesses at a time of conflict.

The Archdiocese of Gulu appreciates your prayers and support. If you would like to join hands with the Archdiocese of Gulu and offer support, please click on the link to contact us (click here)