Pray for Candidates to Be Ordained in South Sudan to “become selfless shepherds”: Bishop

A poster announcing the October 8 Diaconate and Priestly Ordination in South Sudan's Yei Diocese. Credit: Yei Diocese

Bishop Alex Lodiong Sakor Eyobo of South Sudan’s Catholic Diocese of Yei is appealing for prayers for the three candidates awaiting ordination in October, the second for the Diocese since 2012, to prioritize the needs of the people in their ministry among the people of God.

In a Sunday, September 24 interview with ACI Africa, Bishop Lodiong also appealed for prayers for more Priestly and Religious vocations ahead of the ordination of Deacon Waran Charles Joseph to the Priesthood, and Seminarians Emmanuel Konga Kenyi and Joseph Unzi Wilson to the Diaconate scheduled to take place on October 8 at Sacred Heart Lomin Parish of Yei Diocese.

In a Sunday, September 24 interview with ACI Africa, Bishop Lodiong who had lamented the departure of missionaries from his Episcopal See for “fear for their lives” said the planned ordination provided an opportunity “for vocation animation and a call on families to reflect on their primary responsibility in the promotion of vocations.”

“My appeal to the faithful of Sacred Heart Lomin Parish in particular and to the faithful of the Diocese in general, is to pray for the new Priest and the two Deacons to be ordained so that they become selfless shepherds among them,” the South Sudanese Catholic Bishop said.

He added, “I appeal to them with the compassion of Christ to pray for more vocations and support morally and materially those who are already in Seminaries and Convents for their journey of formation.” 


The 52-year-old South Sudanese Bishop who started his Episcopal Ministry in May 2022 encouraged young people to “value vocation to the Priesthood and Religious Life as a donation of oneself to God in service to humanity.”

“It is not a career undertaken to earn economic advancement; it is a selfless service offered in the Church and through the Church for the moral and spiritual growth of the human person,” he said, and added, “The life of Priesthood or Religious Life is a call to be poor in spirit but not in health and human relations.”

He explained, “A person who is poor in spirit is one who is ready to give all that he or she has received from God in service to the human person created in the image and likeness of God; thus, it calls for a sanctity of life and humility in service after the example of Christ who though God did not cling to His Divinity but emptied Himself and became a slave to all.”

Reflecting on the October 8 planned ordination of a new Priest and two Deacons for his Diocese, Bishop Lodiong said, “It is significant because it is a blessing from God to the Diocese. From 2012 to 2022 the Diocese didn’t witness any ordination; this is a very long period in the life of a Diocese without a new Priest.”

“With this ordination, the number of active Diocesan Clergy will rise to 15,” he said about the South Sudanese Episcopal See that measures 46,000 km² with an estimated population of 231,950 Catholics, representing 49.1 percent of the population, according to 2020 statistics.

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He continued, “We are grateful that early this year we were able to ordain a Priest, and now with this ordination, the number of shepherds in the Diocese will increase by three. This is a blessing to the Catholic Diocese of Yei in particular and the Church as a whole.”

The ordination of the three candidates, Bishop Lodiong further said, “is significant to Lomin in particular because it is the second ordination of a Priest together with two Deacons after 22 years.”

“I am optimistic about the growth of faith in the Catholic Diocese of Yei despite the challenges through which it operates,” the South Sudanese Catholic Church leader said.

He went on to “encourage the people of the Diocese to be hopeful and united in living their faith. Through the cooperation and support of their partners and friends, they will rebuild the broken structures of the Diocese.”

Bishop Lodiong thanked members of the Clergy, women and men Religious under his pastoral care for their “commitment and sacrifice; the risks they have to undertake in bringing the good news of salvation to all.”


“I thank the lay faithful for their resilience in living the faith amidst insecurity and economic challenges,” the Local Ordinary of Yei Diocese who celebrated 22 years of Priestly Ministry on June 24 further said.

Kerbino Kuel Deng is a South Sudanese journalist who is passionate about Church communication. He holds a Bachelor's Degree in Social Communications from the Catholic University of Eastern Africa (CUEA). He currently works as a Journalist for ACI Africa.