On Sunday June 24th 2018 at 3pm Fr Jimmy Lutwama, Parish Priest of Ss Mary and Benedict Coventry, celebrated 25 years of his priestly Ordination with Mass followed by a celebration provided by his parishioners.

Fr. Jimmy Lutwama  was born in a little village in Masaka diocese, Kabowoko. His parents Experito Lutwama and Catherine  Namatovu are both deceased.

Fr. Jimmy  attributes his call to priesthood to the positive  compliments that his parents used to make about the priests and to his longing to serve the Mass.  

As his Silver Jubilee approached Fr Jimmy had been reflecting on what this meant to him in his weekly newsletters to his parishioners.

“Looking back I can clearly see how God’s Providence has guided me all these years, saving me from physical dangers and prompting me to make use of opportunities for the good of God’s people.

"It is not long since I became a priest, it is just only 25 years. However during that time God has worked through me what he thought best for me and my people.

"As I get older I discover everyday that God called me for his personal sanctification and decreed that whatever would take place in my life would be as a means of my journey to God.

"Therefore, I have never, ever even once, doubted my vocation or had the slightest thought that I was mistaken in my ministry and all that it entails.”

For the last 10 years that Fr. Jimmy has been Parish Priest in Ss Mary & Benedict, he has baptised 437 babies, prepared 319 children for their First Holy Communion, he has received 70 adults into the Church, married 16 couples and commended the souls of 187 members of his parish to the Mercy of God.

“Twenty five years have passed. Thanks to God for all that has taken place and for the people that have worked hard to make it happen.

"Every journey no matter how long or how short it may be, always starts with a first step. The last step brings us to our final destination.

"I can see the destination on the horizon and it is my prayer that my eyes are kept steadily to it. As every priest begins to close down the curtains of his life, he looks back and the sentiments of St. Paul come to mind: Because of Christ I have come to consider all these advantages that I had as disadvantages “

“As I celebrate with you my 25 years of priestly ministry, I notice that my parents who encouraged me by their word and example will not be here, it is some years since they were called by God.

"None of my family members will be here with me on this occasion for the reasons that they used official immigration channels to come to this country as visitors but they were refused for fear they might claim benefits.

"We as foreign missionaries are used to disappointments. I’m happy that you will be here with me. Please enjoy yourself and make the best of this day thanking God for his love and mercy in the past 25 years”

Retired Kenyan Archbishop Peter Kairo of Nyeri Archdiocese in Kenya attended the Mass along with many of his Priestly brothers in Coventry.

The church was full and there many people sat outside. The congregation also included parishioners from his old parishes as well many students who know Fr Jimmy in his role as Coventry University Chaplain.

The Mass included many emotional moving parts including a dance by children just before Mass started, a dance based Offertory, all accompanied with wonderful singing and music.

After communion there were  several spoken tributes, by those who have known him, during his Priestly Ministry. The Mass was followed by a party to celebrate the occasion attended byall those who attended.

In this week’s parish newsletter Fr Jimmy writes:

“Some people have spoken to me about my tears at the beginning of the Mass. 'Father Jimmy', one child asked me afterwards, 'why did you cry?'

"Well the absence of my family members touched me, just as the presence of each one of you. I wish to thank you for the work you did in preparation and celebration of the 25 years of my ordination.

"Thank you for the food you so generously prepared and brought for all to share. Thanks to the parish choir who sang so well, thanks to the flower lady and for the flowers. Thank you for the cards you sent to me. Thanks to the entire organizing committee.”

To mark 25 years of his ordination, Fr. Jimmy has written a book narrating the first 25 years of his Order 1968- 1994. Fr. Jimmy prays that he may die as a Priest.

May God bless Fr Jimmy with continued joy in his Priestly service.

Photo gallery

Fr. Jimmy Lutwama Silver Jubilee

Links to the photographs and a live stream recording of the Mass can also be found on the Coventry Deanery website.