Malakal, 10 February, 2024 / 9:45 pm (ACI Africa).
The Prefect for the Vatican Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development (DPIHD) has concluded his eight-day pastoral trip to South Sudan with the blessing of a boat for transporting migrants and refugees along the Nile River from Renk, an “outreach point” in the Northeastern part of South Sudan for those fleeing violence in Khartoum, Sudan’s capital city.
In his Friday, February 9 reflection before the blessing of the boat, which Caritas South Sudan is to use, Michael Cardinal Czerny made reference to the story of Jesus calming the storm from the Gospel of St. Luke 1:22-25.
“The Gospel which we have heard helps us to appreciate how important this boat is, because we can think that the storm at sea is a symbol, is the representation of the terrible conflicts and sufferings which South Sudan has had,” Cardinal Czerny said.
He added, “There has been a great storm and now Jesus is on the boat. And with the help of the boat, you can say he is calming the storm so that we can reach ashore and continue with our mission, with our journey and with our duties.”
The Czechian-born member of the Society of Jesus (SJ/Jesuits) dedicated the boat in honor of St. Josephine Bakhita, the Sudanese-born saint, who is the patron saint of victims of modern slavery and human trafficking.