Recalling the events of the months following his appointment, the 56-year-old South Sudanese Prelate invited all in attendance to “pray that the devil that would like us to be separated will be cast out.”
“Here today we are standing together, we are standing together to reconcile,” he said and added, “Our church is matured. We are just celebrated the centenary of faith in this Archdiocese and the theme was renewing our faith in Christ, not in anybody else, not in the Bishops.”
“We must refrain from violence,” the new Archbishop of Juba concluded.
The well-attended event was presided over by the President of the Sudan Catholic Bishops’ Conference of (SCBC), Bishop Tombe Trille Kuku of El Obeid diocese in Sudan along with three South Sudanese Bishops, the Delegate of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, Msgr. Visvaldas Kulbokas and the Charge d’Affaires of the South Sudan Apostolic Nunciature, Msgr. Mark Kadima.
Bishop Tombe invited the people of God in the Archdiocese of Juba to “open a new page of forgiveness, a new page of grace for spiritual growth and effective pastoral fruits.”
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“The scripture speaks to you; do your best to preserve the unity, which the spirit gives each one of you in this Archdiocese of Juba by means of peace that bind you together,” the Sudanese Prelate said and added, “We thank God for providing us with the new Shepherd in the Church; we thank God for the formation of government of national unity in South Sudan; congratulations.”
He went on to express his gratitude to Pope Francis for his solidarity with the people of God in the Archdiocese of Juba saying, “we are also deeply grateful to the Holy Father Francis for his profound spiritual and fatherly stand for you the people of the Archdiocese, for you the people of South Sudan.”
The Sunday occasion was graced by the President of South Sudan, Salva Kiir and three of the Vice Presidents, including Dr. Riek Machar among other government dignitaries.
Bishop Stephen Nyodho of Malakal and Bishop Paride Taban, the Bishop emeritus of Torit witnessed the installation of the new Archbishop of Juba alongside the heads of the two vacant dioceses in South Sudan, Rumbek and Wau.
Meanwhile, the Vatican-based Msgr. Kulbokas announced the appointment of Archbishop Ameyu “as the Apostolic Administrator of Torit Diocese,” granting “him all the necessary faculties to govern that diocese appropriately.”
ACI Africa Correspondent in South Sudan, Peter Mapuor Makur contributed to this news report.
Fr. Don Bosco Onyalla is ACI Africa’s founding Editor-in-Chief. He was formed in the Congregation of the Holy Ghost Fathers (Spiritans), and later incardinated in Rumbek Diocese, South Sudan. He has a PhD in Media Studies from Daystar University in Kenya, and a Master’s degree in Organizational Communication from Marist College, New York, USA.