en English
ar Arabiczh-CN Chinese (Simplified)nl Dutchen Englishfr Frenchde Germanit Italianpt Portugueseru Russianes Spanish

Lay Apostolate


Its overall task is to coordinate and promote the participation and co-responsibility of the laity in the Life of the Church and in the Work of Evangelization. To achieve this, the department works to ensure that the laity are adequately helped to understand their identity and vocation. It is a duty of the department to also see that diocesan and national policies on the apostolate of the laity are properly implemented in the Archdiocese.

Structure of the Department:

The department falls and works under the Lay Apostolate Commission, an advisory and supervisory body instituted after the Second Diocesan Synod of Gulu (8th-20th May 2011). The Commission has eleven members and has constituted itself into three committees.
a. Children, Youth and Family
b. Associations and Movements
c. Planning and Finance

Into each of these, some laity are coopted. The day to day management of the department is carried out by a priest, appointed by the Archbishop as the Coordinator of the apostolate. He serves as the Executive Secretary both of the Lay Apostolate and to the diocesan Lay Apostolate Commission. This is in keeping with the designation and responsibility at the national level in the Uganda Episcopal Conference.

For ease and effective carrying out of the various activities by the different categories of the laity, the department is divided into five sections or desks as follows:-

a. The Family Desk
b. Children and Youth Desk
c. Women Desk
d. Men Desk
e. Lay Associations and Ecclesial Movements Desk

Each desk focuses on its specific work and purpose, and has its own leadership structure and system of work however always conscious that it is part and parcel of the one lay apostolate department. The establishment of this department, as a separate pastoral organ of the Archdiocese, has helped to highlight and draw the attention of the laity to their own specific involvement, as laity, in the work of Evangelization and the life of the Church.

Grouped lay apostolate is carried out mainly through lay associations and ecclesial movements. In the Archdiocese of Gulu the following associations and movements are active.


a. Catechists Association
b. Catholic Action
c. Catholic Women Association
d. Christian Family Association


a. Catholic Action
b. Catholic Workers Movement
c. Comboni Youth Missionary Group
d. Communione e Liberatione (CL)
e. Holy Childhood
f. Marian Movement
g. The Catholic Charismatic Renewal
h. The Crusaders (Eucharistic Crusade of the Apostleship of Prayer)

Charitable Church Organizations:

There are also a number of charitable Church organizations present and active in the Archdiocese. These are yet to be fully verified and documented.

Strategies and Activities:

The primary strategies and action plans of the Department for the last five years were stipulated in the Synod Acts of the Second Diocesan Synod (June 19th 2011) 19.D9 – 25.*PA.14. The department was to carry out the followings:-

– Draw up guidelines to regulate and harmonize the activities of all the Associations and Movements within the Archdiocese.
– Encourage the promotion of Family apostolate by the parish priests, catechists, and various Movements and Associations so that the families become true “schools” for catechesis.
– Ensure that all lay Associations and Movements are properly identified and made to work under the Lay Apostolate Department
– Help the Archbishop to appoint chaplains and patrons of Movements and Associations.
– Help the parish priests set up effective youth structures in the parishes.
– Help the parish priests to establish Small Christian Communities in their respective parishes.
– Restructure the diocesan Youth office for effective apostolate among the youth and by the youth.

In addition to the above, the department, in the course of the five years planned to visit all the parishes and meet together the Executive members of all the Associations and Movements to know what each does as apostolate, and also to help the Associations and Movements know each other. The department also planned to carry out Lay Formation workshops/seminars on what is lay apostolate, and on the rights and duties of the laity in the Church.


– By identifying and recommending to the Archbishop names of suitable laity, priests, and a religious sister, the department helped the Archbishop institute the diocesan Lay Apostolate Commission.
– Efforts to ensure that all the Lay Associations and Ecclesial Movements are formally recognized and documented has been made and are ongoing.
– The Small Christian Communities exist and are active in a number of parishes
– The Youth office has been restructured and is active.
– The Guidelines to regulate activities of the Lay Associations and Ecclesial Movements have been drafted. It is yet to be submitted to the Archbishop for approval.
– Half of the parishes have been visited and meetings together with the Executive Committees Associations and Movements in those parishes were done.
– Three workshops for the formation of the laity have been done.


– A very small percentage of the laity is involved in group apostolate. The laity constitutes 98{ca5687182cc41134e368c62df725900c732c8bc7a7591b5b39990f8f1d24652a} of the total catholic population in the Archdiocese of Gulu.
– The laity, in general, have insufficient knowledge of what Lay Apostolate means.
– Statutory annual contribution per parish towards the activities of the lay department, at both diocesan and national levels, is very wanting.
– Some pastoral agents are selective in the promotion and proper guidance of some of the lay movements and associations in parishes and institutions.
– There is a strong conviction in many of our Christians that the local Church is financially rich and therefore there is no need to give to it. Many, on the contrary expect the Church to give to them.
– The department has the challenge to promote unity in diversity of all the lay Associations and Movements so that each appreciates the charism of the other.
– The impact of the over 20 years of war between the Lord’s Resistance Army and the Government Army of Uganda continues to affect the general lives of the people and work of Evangelization

Future Plan:

The department plans to do the following in the future:
a. Implement all the Acts (Decrees and Plan of Actions) of the Third Archdiocesan Synod
b. Carry out rigorous Formation of the Laity on their Apostolate
c. Organize a diocesan laity Congress each year
d. Establish a Men’s Desk within the lay apostolate department.
e. Ensure that Lay Apostolate Council is established at all levels: parish, deaneries, vicariate and the Archdiocese.