Christians in Soroti and Kumi dioceses have finally come to a consensus on the burial place for Bishop Geresom Ilukor who died on Sunday after a snake bite.
Ilukor 78, the retired Bishop of Soroti Diocese, will be buried on Friday at St. Stephen Cathedral in Kumi town.
A disagreement had emerged on Monday with both dioceses pushing to have Bishop Ilukor buried at their respective cathedrals. Soroti Christians had wanted Bishop Ilukor to be buried at St. Peter’s Cathedral in Soroti town where he served as a bishop for 25 years, while Kumi preferred St. Stephen cathedral in Kumi town.
Canon Abraham Eruku, a sub dean in Soroti diocese confirmed that they have resolved the issue of the burial.
Jean Aarakit, the daughter of the late Bishop Ilukor, told local media that as a family they have resolved that the body be laid to rest at St. Stephen Cathedral in Kumi.
Canon Eruku said the body of Bishop Ilukor will leave Kampala for a requiem mass at Soroti Sports ground at 2:00pm. The burial preparatory meeting for receiving the body will be held at 8:00am in St. Peter’s Cathedral in Soroti Municipality.
Canon Eruku added that after the prayers, the body will lay at St. Peter’s Cathedral for a night vigil before being taken to his village home in Codong-Kidongole, Kidongole parish, Bukedea district on Wednesday.
On Thursday, the body will be taken to St. Philip Church in Ngora district for prayers and then a vigil at his home in Kumi town. On Friday, the body will leave the deceased’s home for St. Stephen Cathedral in Kumi town for prayers and burial.
Former Kapelebyong County MP Johnson Malinga, a member of the burial organizing committee in Soroti, described the late Bishop Ilukor as a person who has been a uniting factor in Teso.
BISHOP ILUKOR GERESOM, A LIFE WELL LIVED
Bishop Ilukor was born on March 2 1935 to Yakobo Opolot and Ajuleri Akol of Akibui village, Aterai parish, Atutur sub-county in Kumi district. He was baptized and confirmed in 1946 and 1948 respectively at St. Stephen Church of Uganda Kumi.
Ilukor started his education at Kumi primary school, and then he went to join Deanery training centre in Ngora between1955 – 1956. He enrolled at Buwalasi Theological College for a lay reader course from 1958 – 1959 before going for urban training in 1960 and ordination course from 1963 – 1964.
He worked as a lay reader in Kumi Church of Uganda, Agule church, Kabata church in Kumi district and Ajeluk in Ngora district. He later became a deacon at St. Phillips Church Ngora in 1964 before being transferred to St. Mark Church in Serere as Deacon/Curate.
Bishop Ilukor went to the United Kingdom in 1965 for further training in Church ministry.
In 1966, Ilukor was transferred to St. Peter’s Cathedral Soroti as a Reverend. In 1967 he became a diocesan secretary in the then Teso diocese before becoming a bishop for Teso and Karamoja in 1976 after the death of Bishop Athanasius Maraka the previous year.
In 1976 Karamoja diocese was created and he remained as a bishop for Soroti diocese till his retirement in May 2000.
Bishop Ilukor held various responsibilities that included; Dean of the Province Church of Uganda, Board Member Uganda AIDS Commission, founder member of the proposed Teso University, and Chairperson Board of Governors Kumi hospital and Ngora Freda Car hospital.
He was Chairperson Board of governors Ngora High school, BKC Ngora, Soroti Core PTC and Member Board of Trustees Kumi University.
At the requiem mass at All Saints Cathedral Kampala, retired Archbishop Livingstone Mpalanyi Nkoyoyo described Bishop Ilukor as a straight talker, frank advisor, kind and good servant. Archbishop Nkoyoyo told mourners that he relied on Ilukor’s advice to discipline errant priests.
He leaves behind a widow Loyce Mary Aluka Ilukor and seven children.