Planning. After a church ministry career spanning more than four decades, Bishop Dunstan Kopoliano Bukenya was scouting for something else to do when his retirement came, writes Jessica Sabano
To Bishop Dunstan Emeritus Kopoliano Bukenya, retirement is something he knew would come at one time in his life but he did not prepare for it.
He says retirement just occurred to him and he had to return to his house in Mukono. He had built his house in Butebe Village but not for retirement.
And as he agonised over what to do, he recalled he had had land in Kyankwazi District and it was time to think and start using it for some projects such as starting up a school and chapel.
He also continued making himself busy by serving God since he had built his church while at Bishop Tucker Theological College known as St Dunstan church one of the best parishes in Mukono and also involved in other projects.
Opts for a school project
Bishop Bukenya decided to build a nursery and primary school on his land in Kyankwazi.
He organised some money and developed a vacant portion of it into four structures and the school which he named Bishop Bukenya Nursery and Primary School was complete.
When the school was complete, Bishop Bukenya opened it to the public. Having the income from the venture, Bishop Bukenya says, he could no longer control the appetite to expand. At the age of 73, together with his wife Phoebe as a business partner, Bishop Bukenya is an inspiration to many people as he embarks on building an empire in education after spending years at the pulpit for a stipend.
Bishop Bukenya has kept himself busy during his retirement time by engaging in activities such as marriage counselling. This is an association they started moments after retiring and they offer counselling services to married couples in 50 villages in Kyampisi Sub-county Mukono District. He also does counselling and has a counselling unit.
He does liturgy such as reviving the reading of the Bible.
The retired bishop is always holding meetings with the provincial assembly since he is a member of provincial assembly standing committee top policy organ of Church of Uganda representing all the retired bishops since 2014.
Bishop Bukenya is also the main minister at St Dunstan church Mukono and Anglican Church of the Good Shepherd in Kalagi.
Today he does not regret serving God and this has helped him to live a comforting life ever since he retired in 2008.
Bukenya says he started serving God when he was still a youth. He was introduced to church by his parents who took him for education at the Bible College in Mityana District.
“Serving as a Bishop in Uganda was interesting as I was preaching the word of God. I learnt early in life way back at the age of 21 while at my pre ordination course at Bishop Tucker Theological College when God touched me and saved me and changed my life and he forgave me of my sins forever,” says Bishop Bukenya.
“I have no regret for doing church work because I have participated in different church activities and I am living a comforting and fulfilling life in retirement, so I am not regretting,” says Bukenya.
The retired bishop is a free and easy man, friendly and approachable with a minimum of protocol everywhere.
He feels God loves him and wants to use him in his vineyard.
Coping with retirement
Much as people often find a hard time to cope with life after work, Bishop Bukenya is copying up well. He says he is happily retired and properly fixed just as he used to be before retiring.
He says he did not find any difficulty in coping with retirement just like his working days, he still receives the same calls as he used to get.
Additionally, he also considers his spiritual life as important, Bukenya reads the Bible regularly, studies it and prays regularly to keep good with spiritual challenges.
He also says he keeps himself updated and informed by reading newspapers and different books.
How he spends his free time
He always reads a Bible and other books from the home library. He uses his free time to write summons and also writes books. He has written books such as Retired Bishops and Their Wives, The Secret of Marriage and Sex and Stewardship in Christian Marriage.
Bishop Bukenya was born on October 17 1943 to Mr and Mrs Nsamba Misayili and Deborah of Kyabasita Kyankwanzi District.
He went to Kisujju Primary School and Bukwiri Primary School then Kikoma Junior School.
He joined Kiryagonja B Memorial High School in Mityana in 1960.
In 1962 he went for Bible studies after Bishop Festo Lutuya of then West Uganda Diocese visited their home
and parents handed him over.
In 1963, Bishop Bukenya enrolled at Bishop Tucker Theological College, now Uganda Christian University (UCU) for a course as a lay leader.
He was ordained deacon in 1969 in Mityana.
In 1971 he married Phoebe and the couple have four children and 10 grandchildren.
In 1979, he graduated with a Masters of Divinity in Austin, Texas US.
He would later attain a doctorate in Divinity from the same university.
Her served as Bishop of Mityana Diocese from 2002 to 2008 the same year he retired.