Commit to “living a true image of Christ”: Cardinal in South Sudan to Sacred Heart of Jesus Sisters at Jubilee Launch

Credit: Ginaba Lino Michael

Members of the Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, popularly known as Sacred Heart Sisters (SHS), have been urged to commit themselves to imitating the person of Jesus Christ as women Religious, manifesting love through sacrifice as He did.

Founded in South Sudan’s Catholic Archdiocese of Juba in 1954 by Bishop Sisto Mazzoldi , Italian-born member of the Sons of the Sacred Heart of Jesus (FSCH) that later merged with Comboni Missionaries of the Heart of Jesus (MCCJ), SHS is “missionary institute” of women Religious from different countries, who “respond to the needs of the poor, the neglected, and those who have not heard the good news of salvation”.

In his homily during the launch of 75 years of the existence of SHS, Stephen Cardinal Ameyu Mulla assured SHS members, who have the mission “to witness the love of Christ through serving and empowering the vulnerable to restore their dignity and to promote a sustainable environment” of God’s presence amid challenges, and cautioned them against fear.

 Stephen Cardinal Ameyu Mulla. Credit: Ginaba Lino Michael

“As we remember the Sacred Heart Sisters in this feast, let’s us also commit ourselves to living a true image of Christ who cares by love and who for the love of others, he died on the cross,” Cardinal Ameyu said during the June 14 celebration at St. Theresa Cathedral of Juba Archdiocese.


He added, “I know that the Church in South Sudan is going through difficult and testing moments as we live; yours is a long-suffering my dear brothers and sisters, but you are a church that God has blessed with many trustworthy people.”

“Do not be afraid; God is always in the midst of those difficult moments we experience,” the South Sudanese Catholic Church leader, who was one of the three Africans created Cardinals during the 30 September 2023 Consistory in Rome said.

He encouraged SHS members to continue to “wander and move ahead” as God steers them on in His service.

Credit: Ginaba Lino Michael

The South Sudanese Cardinal urged SHS members to have hearts full of love, trust, and courage, adding that “it will help to encourage each and everyone so that they understand that the sacred heart of Jesus is there for the entire people, not only the Sacred Heart Sisters.”

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He advocated for collaboration among SHS members, saying, “We need solidarity among ourselves; if this solidarity is missing, then that brings us to despair.”

The Local Ordinary of Juba extended his call for solidarity to two men Religious Orders founded by MCCJ members, including the Brothers of St. Martin de Porres, and the Apostles of Jesus (AJ) Missionaries.

Credit: Ginaba Lino Michael

The Local Ordinary of Juba who doubles as the President of the Sudan Catholic Bishops’ Conference (SCBC) urged SHS members to take care of those who are fragile in their community.

“It’s only by this helping deliverance that we can experience the bright love of God that is manifested in many of us in the faith that we embrace,” the Cardinal whose transfer from Torit Diocese to Juba Archdiocese in December 2019 was met with resistance from a section of the Clergy and Laity of South Sudan’s only Metropolitan See said.


He continued, “This history that you, my dear sisters, have written ... shows that you are committed to serving your Dioceses in Sudan and South Sudan.”

“Sacred Heart Sisters have written a letter of joy,” the Cardinal said, referring to the seven decades of the existence of SHS, adding that their members have been a source of “transformation to the society” for their availability, which “they have given to the people of God in Sudan and South Sudan.”

Credit: Ginaba Lino Michael

“Many of our people are alive today because of your service my dear Sisters; they are educated today because you have been there for them,” he said, adding, “These contemporary developments can potentially form a distinctive future that inspires vocations in the Archdiocese of Juba.”

He encouraged SHS members to look to Jesus Christ for inspiration in their formation programs, saying, “The strength of your formation should embrace the love for Him who has called you and the people whom He sends to you.”

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“The world will try to lead you on different paths with excuses that they are more appealing than your vows in Religious Life,” Cardinal Ameyu observed, and called upon SHS members to remain faithful to the Evangelical Counsels because “your vows to the Lord are better than this world.”

Ginaba Lino Michael contributed to the writing of this story

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