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Livinhac, Leon
Catholic (White Fathers Mission)
1846-1922
Uganda

 

Of the White Fathers Mission. In 1878 he was appointed leader of the first White Fathers caravan to East Africa, with the rank of apostolic delegate. The party reached Kageye at the southern end of Lake Victoria on 30th December, and on 17th June, 1879, he reached Entebbe with Frs. Barbot and Girault. On arrival at the court of Kabaka Mutesa, the Catholics found that Anglican missionaries of the Church Missionary Society had already gained a foothold, and Mackay in particular opposed him. There were also Muslims at court and much religious dissension followed. In 1882 the Catholic missionaries temporarily left Buganda on account of opposition from Mutesa, and went south of Lake Victoria where the station of Notre Dame de Kamoga (Bukumbi) was founded. On the 31st May, 1883, he was appointed vicar apostolic of the Vicariate of Nyanza and titular bishop of Pacando, and he was consecrated in Algiers on 14th September 1884). He arrived back at Rubaga on 28th May, 1886. The same year he paid a further visit to Bukumbi, remaining there until May 1888. In October 1888 all the missionaries were expelled from Buganda following the Muslim coup d'etat and once again he was at Bukumbi. In 1890 he returned to the Sesse Islands and to Rubaga, but in the same year was recalled to Algiers to become Vicar-General of the White Fathers. In April he went to Rubaga to take his leave of Kabaka Mwanga and to announce Bishop Hirth as his successor. He consecrated Hirth at Kamoga on 25th May. in 1892 he succeeded Cardinal Lavigerie as Superior-General of the White Fathers. In 1894 he visited London to negotiate with Cardinal Vaughan and the Duke of Norfolk about the possibility of sending English-speaking Catholics to Uganda in an attempt to resolve the tension which had arisen when politics and religion became confused during the Wars of Religion. The negotiations resulted in the creation of a Vicariate of the Upper Nile which was given to the care of St. Joseph's Foreign Missionary Society (Mill Hill Mission) founded by Cardinal Vaughan. In 1921 Cardinal Livinhac was made titular Archbishop of Oxyrhynque.

Louise Pirouet


This article, used by permission, was written by Louise Pirouet, as part of A Dictionary of Christianity in Uganda (Department of Religious Studies, Makerere University College, 1969), p. 36. Copies available at Africana Section, Makerere University Library (AF Q 276.761 MAK and AR/MAK/99/1); Bishop Tucker Library, Uganda Christian University and in UK at the University of Birmingham; Crowther Centre Library, CMS Oxford and Louise Pirouet Papers, Cambridge Centre of African Studies.