State Official in South Sudan Urges Parents “to encourage” Children Respond to God’s Call

Minister Josephine Napwon. Credit: Courtesy Photo

A government official in South Sudan has urged parents in the East-Central African nation “to encourage” their children to respond to God’s call to the Priesthood and Religious Life. 

Addressing the congregation during the Episcopal Ordination of Bishop Alex Lodiong Sakor Eyobo of Yei Diocese, South Sudan’s Minister of Environment and Forestry Diocese said she is encouraging her own children to serve God as Priests and Nuns in the Catholic Church.

“I’m asking our fathers and mothers to encourage our children to embrace Catholic vocations to help them spread the gospel in the right way,” Josephine Napwon said during the May 15 consecration event, and added, “We want many Bishops and Priests.”

She continued, “We are seeing people becoming Priests after ten years, why can’t we put our children to go the way of God? I’m even encouraging some of my children to become Catholic Nuns and Priests.”

Mrs. Napwon shared about her upbringing in the Catholic faith saying, “I’m one of the girls brought up by the Catholic Church, educated by the Catholic and if it was not because of the Catholic Church, I was not going to stand before you today.”


The South Sudanese Minister acknowledged with appreciation the role the Catholic Church has played in South Sudan in inspiring young people to become leaders.

She said, “If you see most of our leaders in South Sudan, they are all brought up by the Catholic Church.”

“I would like to salute my Father Bishop Emeritus Paride Taban for making me who I'm today,” Mrs. Napwon said about the 86-year-old South Sudanese Catholic Bishop who resigned from the pastoral care of Torit Diocese in February 2004 at the age of 68.

The South Sudanese Minister further said, “I salute the Bishops who are here today for inspiring many of us.”

Minister Napwon who represented the President of South Sudan, Salva Kiir, during the Episcopal Ordination told the congregation, “The president sent me to congratulate the new Bishop and the Catholic faithful under the Diocese of Yei.”

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She added that President Kiir had sent her to deliver a “message of peace for it is important for us to live together as South Sudanese.” 

“Let's forgive each other to open a new chapter because many people lost their loved ones during the conflict,” the Minister said, and added, “Let us encourage those outside the country to come back home to build our country together; this is the message from the President.”

Patrick Juma Wani is a South Sudanese journalist with a great zeal and interest for Catholic Church related communication. Patrick holds a Diploma in Journalism and Mass Communication from Makerere Institute for Social Development (MISD) in Uganda. He has over 7 years of extensive experience in leading the development and implementation of media, advocacy, communication and multimedia strategy and operations, with an excellent track record of editorial leadership, budget management, and stakeholder outreach. He currently works as a Journalist for ACI Africa.