He was airlifted to Nairobi for specialized treatment after receiving initial treatment from Doctors with Africa CUAMM in Rumbek.
After receiving treatment in Kenya and his native country of Italy, the member of the Comboni Missionaries (MCCJ) returned to South Sudan on March 18, and arrived in Rumbek to a heroic reception on March 23 ahead of his Episcopal Ordination on March 25.
The 44-year-old Bishop who had a private meeting with Pope Francis on March 14 has “Omnes unum in Christo (You are all one in Christ Jesus)” as his Episcopal Motto.
Pope Francis with Mons. Christian Carlassare in Rome. Credit: Vatican Media
He succeeds his confrere and compatriot, Bishop Caesar Mazzolari who died on 16 July 2011, a week after South Sudan had gained independence from Sudan.
(Story continues below)
In his homily during the March 25 Episcopal Ordination event, Cardinal Zubier invited the people of God in Rumbek Diocese to support their new Bishop.
“The Bishop needs people to help him,” the Archbishop emeritus of Khartoum said, and added, “Those who say that they are the big people, the strong people, use your strength and greatness to support the Bishop who is supporting the poor people in your place.”
Credit: Fr. Wanyonyi Eric Simiyu, S.J. (Rumbek)
The Cardinal added, “Encourage him to go on in his ministry for the greatest support of the Bishop is you the faithful.”
He prayed that God blesses Bishop Carlassare in his Episcopal Ministry to “work and help our Church to grow to be a Church founded by Christ, leaning on Jesus Christ and proclaiming Jesus Christ.”
Also speaking at the March 25 event, the Governor of Lakes State, General Rin Tueny Mabor congratulated the new Bishop saying, “On behalf of the government and the people of Lakes State, I congratulate Bishop Christian Carlassare for his consecration as the Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Rumbek.”
Bishop Christian Carlassare with his parents (left) and sister (right). Credit: Fr. Wanyonyi Eric Simiyu, S.J. (Rumbek)
“We thank Pope Francis for appointing Bishop Carlassare and we thank His Lordship Bishop Matthew Remijio Adam, the Bishop of Wau Diocese, who was Apostolic Administrator of Rumbek,” Governor Tueny said.
He added, “This is a wonderful day for the people of Lakes State and South Sudan.”
“We are blessed to have our new Bishop. This is a new beginning and a new chapter for the Diocese of Rumbek after our beloved Bishop was called by God in 2011,” the Governor of Lakes State said March 25.
Jude Atemanke is a Cameroonian journalist with a passion for Catholic Church communication. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from the University of Buea in Cameroon. Currently, Jude serves as a journalist for ACI Africa.