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John Baptist Odama

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John Baptist Odama
Metropolitan Archbishop Emeritus of Gulu
ChurchRoman Catholic Church
ArchdioceseRoman Catholic Archdiocese of Gulu
In officeSince 1999
PredecessorMartin Luluga
SuccessorRaphael p'Mony Wokorach, M.C.C.J. Ugandan Roman Catholic Prelate
Ordination14 December 1974
by Angelo Tarantino
Consecration26 May 1996
by Emmanuel Wamala
Personal details
Born (1947-06-29) 29 June 1947 (age 76)
Riki-Oluko, Arua District
Previous post(s)Roman Catholic Bishop of Nebbi

John Baptist Odama (born 20 July 1947) is a Ugandan Roman Catholic priest, who serves as the Metropolitan Archbishop of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Gulu, in Uganda, since 2 January 1999.[1]

Background and priesthood[edit]

Odama was born in Riki-Oluko Village, in present-day Arua District, in the West Nile sub-region, in the Northern Region of Uganda on 29 June 1947. He was ordained priest in the Catholic church on 14 December 1974, at Arua Cathedral, by Bishop Angelo Tarantino, Bishop of Arua. He served as priest of Arua Diocese until 23 February 1996.[1]

As bishop[edit]

On 23 February 1996, Pope John Paul II appointed Odama bishop. He was consecrated Bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Nebbi, on 26 May 1996, serving in that capacity until 2 January 1999.[1]

On 2 January 1999, he was appointed Archbishop of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Gulu, being the first Catholic prelate to serve in that role; the Archdiocese having been created that same day.[1][2]

Odama was the chairman of the interfaith organisation known as Acholi Religious Leaders Peace Initiative (ARLPI), from 2002 until 2010. The organisation was involved in peace-building efforts in Northern Uganda. As leader of the organisation, Odama met with Joseph Kony and other leaders of the Lord’s Resistance Army and mediated between them and the Government of Uganda. ARLPI received the Niwano Peace Prize in 2004. Odama was also involved in the 2006–08 Juba talks between the two parties in South Sudan.[3][4]

Archbishop Odama has been the chairman of the Uganda Episcopal Conference since 2010.[5]

Other responsibilities[edit]

As of January 2020, Archbishop Odama is the Chancellor of Uganda Martyrs University, a private university affiliated with the Roman Catholic Church in Uganda and whose main campus is in Mpigi District, Uganda.[6]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d David M. Cheney (11 February 2019). "Archbishop John Baptist Odama: Archbishop of Gulu, Uganda". Kansa City: Catholic-Hierarchy.org. Retrieved 22 August 2019.
  2. ^ David M. Cheney (17 February 2019). "Profile of the Archdiocese of Gulu: Historical Summary". Kansas City: Catholic-Hierarchy.org. Retrieved 22 August 2019.
  3. ^ Pax Christi International (2006). "About Acholi Religious Leaders' Peace Initiative". Brussels, Belgium: Pax Christi International. Retrieved 22 August 2019.
  4. ^ Mike Wooldridge (19 January 2011). "LRA: Ugandan Bishop Urges Negotiated Settlement". London: British Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 22 August 2019.
  5. ^ Uganda Episcopal Conference (6 June 2010). "Uganda Episcopal Conference: About Uganda Catholic Secretariat". Uganda Episcopal Conference. Archived from the original (Archived from the original on 9 December 2013) on 9 December 2013. Retrieved 22 August 2019.
  6. ^ Mathias Mazinga (10 November 2018). "Uganda Martyrs University passes out 2040 graduates". New Vision. Kampala. Retrieved 7 January 2020.

External links[edit]