Annual Anniversary of Late South Sudanese Bishop to Focus on “peace, reconciliation”

Late Bishop Joseph Abangite Gasi. Credit: CDTY

The annual anniversary in memory of the late Bishop Joseph Abangite Gasi, Bishop Gasi Day, will focus on peace and reconciliation in South Sudan, a member of the Clergy of South Sudan’s Catholic Diocese of Tombura-Yambio (CDTY) where the late Bishop served has said.

Bishop Gasi who passed away on 12 September 2014 had been at the helm of CDTY since his Episcopal Ordination in April 1975. He retired in April 2008 at the age of 80.

This year’s Bishop Gasi Day is to be marked from September 11-14.

In a September 2 interview with ACI Africa, Fr. Dominic Sasa said messages calling for peace and reconciliation in South Sudan are being prepared for this year’s Bishop Gasi Day celebration.

“This year’s commemoration of Gasi Day will focus on peace and reconciliation in South Sudan because the late Bishop was a man of peace,” Fr. Sasa said about the event that is being prepared under the theme, “Peace is what I leave you with” (John 14: 27).


The Parish Priest of Our Lady of Fatima Maridi Parish of the CDTY added, “We have organized prayers and commitment in a moment of preaching peace, unity, reconciliation in South Sudan.”

“We are preparing the message of peace by having some quotation from the word of God because Bishop Gasi was the peace initiator who contributed to the comprehensive peace agreement, which was signed in Naivasha 2005,” he said.

He added in reference to the peace pact between Sudan and South Sudan, “Bishop Gasi stood very strong to bring the two governments together by pleading to the people of South Sudan.”

“That’s why we are preparing to go with the message of peace, unity and reconciliation among the people of this diocese,” Fr. Sasa said.

The South Sudanese Catholic Priest went on to highlight some of the prayer intentions during the four-day event, saying, “We are going to pray for our Bishop that he may intercede on our behalf.”

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“We are going to pray for peace in South Sudan because we want God to bring peace in our hearts, words, and actions,” he said, and continued, “We all know what happened in Tombura and other places in the region; this prayer and the messages will be able to bring peace among us.”

The annual Bishop Gasi Day is organized by one of the six Deaneries of the CDTY. The Corpus Christi Eastern Deanery Maridi is spearheading this year’s celebration. 

The celebration will begin with Holy Mass to be presided over by the Local Ordinary of the CDTY, Bishop Eduardo Hiiboro Kussala at St. Mary’s Mother of God Parish in Yambio. 

The shrine of St. Mary Mother of God, where late Bishop Gasi was laid to rest, will be officially inaugurated.

In the September 2 interview with ACI Africa, Fr. Sasa recalled the mandate that Bishop Hiiboro gave to “Christian community of Corpus Christi Eastern Deanery to spearhead the celebration of the late Bishop Gasi this year.”


“We have prepared liturgical songs and prayers for the four-day event. Our Christian community of Eastern deanery will go as pilgrimage for that occasion,” he said.

He continued, “We have prepared for the pilgrimage that will begin on September 8. We have also started our novena at our deanery and parish level where we have our adoration every Saturday evening, for God to help us to celebrate very well.”

“Christian community of the Catholic Diocese of Tombura-Yambiois celebrating the life of the first bishop of the diocese in order to remember him because he was a gift from God to the Christian community of the diocese and the people of South Sudan,” the member of Clergy of the CDTY told ACI Africa.

He added, “This is a moment that we are going to commit ourselves as the Christian community of the Tombura-Yambio Diocese for prayers.”

“The event will end with the family day where all the Christian community in the catholic Diocese of Tombura-Yambio and those in diaspora will have to come together to support the Diocese and the Bishop in order to grow with any kind of support that we may have,” Fr. Sasa said. 

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He added, “We are doing collections and contributions that we may go and distribute among ourselves as sharing of brotherhood and sisterhood in one occasion.” 

The Parish Priest of Christ the King Parish highlighted some financial challenges the Deanery is facing for the celebration of the event.

“We have little budget but we are still struggling to seek contributions from good Christians and well-wishers for us because transportation is a problem,” Fr. Sasa said, added, “We have also given some letters that call for every good Christian to support us with whatever they have.”

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.