At Priestly Anniversary, South Sudanese Bishop Appeals for Unity amid Country’s Challenges

Bishop Erkolano Lodu Tombe of South Sudan's Yei Diocese who is celebrating 51 years in the Priesthood. Credit: Courtesy Photo

The Catholic Bishop of South Sudan’s Yei Diocese has, on the occasion of his 51st Priestly anniversary, appealed for unity in the face of various national challenges, including insecurity and the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We are just in one boat, the boat of the world, the boat in which the situation just finds us as we are, like Coronavirus and insecurities everywhere,” Bishop Erkolano Lodu Tombe said Monday, May 17 during the Eucharistic celebration.

Making reference to cases of insecurity in his episcopal see, Bishop Tombe said, “Such situations can only be withstood when we have strength and stand together. I call you to be patient and take care of the situation.”

“I appeal for our unity especially during the time of difficulties like this in our country, let us be one,” the South Sudanese Bishop who turned 78 last month reiterated.

Addressing himself to the faithful at the Christ the King Cathedral of Yei Diocese during Holy Mass May 17 morning, Bishop Tombe noted, “We have put more attention to COVID-19 and forgot that there are more killers of our life in our communities.”


“What I am appealing for is to take care of ourselves and take care of distancing and washing hands, not only to prevent COVID but also other diseases,” he went on to say.

The South Sudanese Bishop who has been the Local Ordinary of Yei Diocese since November 1986 was ordained a Priest on 17 May 1970 at Vatican’s St Peters square.

Reflecting on his 51 years of Priesthood, the Catholic Church leader noted that “Priesthood is not a private issue, but that it is a public one for the service of the people of God.”

He went on to dedicate the month of May to “Priests serving in the Diocese as well as appealed for cohesion” among them.

On his part, the Parish Priest of Christ the King Cathedral, Fr. Tom Poru Martin, urged the faithful during the anniversary of the Bishop to “pray for the call of seminarians to become Priests and continue with evangelization of the word of God.”

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He prayed that God continues to his Local Ordinary, Bishop Tombe as well as members of the Clergy ministering in the South Sudanese Diocese.