By Nathan Eyagu
SOROTI - The sorrowful news of the demise of Papa Bishop Emeritus Thomas Edison Irigei, the retired Bishop of the Diocese of Kumi, has left Bishop Kosea Odongo of Soroti Diocese in profound grief. The sad event occurred on the morning of Tuesday, December 5, 2023, at Soroti Regional Referral Hospital, where Bishop Irigei had been receiving medical care.
In his heartfelt condolence message, Bishop Odongo expressed the deep sympathies of the Diocese of Soroti, extending condolences to the family of Papa Bishop Thomas and the Bishop and Christians of the Diocese of Kumi. He lamented the tragic loss, describing Bishop Irigei as a faithful servant of the Lord.
Bishop Odongo remarked, "In the army of the Lord and in the leadership of the Church of Uganda, another general has fallen. His passing brings immense pain and sadness to us, as we had hoped for his full recovery to continue his faithful witness for Christ in retirement."
He acknowledged the inevitability of life's cycles, quoting Psalm 31:15, "Our times are in God’s hands," and expressed acceptance of God's will, thanking the Lord for the time given to Papa Bishop Thomas and his contributions to the church and society.
"Papa has left a legacy of good deeds for us to emulate. Let us draw inspiration from the words of our Lord in John 11:25, 'I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die,'" Bishop Odongo added.
Reflecting on the rest that Papa Bishop has found, Bishop Odongo urged acceptance of his departure and encouraged the community to release him in their hearts so that he may rest in peace.
He concluded with a heartfelt prayer for the Almighty God to comfort, strengthen, and sustain the bereaved family, the Diocese of Kumi, and the people of Teso during this challenging time. "May God grant Papa Bishop eternal peace," he prayed.