Counting on Young People as South Sudan’s Juba Archdiocese Marks 100 Years

Rajaf Church, Juba Archdiocese, South Sudan
Credit: Public Domain

The role of young people in the Archdiocese of Juba is being viewed as significant as the Church continues the yearlong centenary celebrations of Catholicism in what is now the capital of South Sudan, the head of the Committee for Centenary celebrations, Bishop Santo Loku Pio has said.

“As the young missionaries came and became old in our land, we also feel that as missionaries of today, our young people, not only become religious, priests and sisters but also (become) true Catholics in responding to the needs of the Church,” Bishop Loku told ACI Africa Thursday.

“Missionaries brought us this Church and this Church is to be carried on,” Loku who is the Auxiliary Bishop of Juba Archdiocese said, emphasizing the need for young South Sudanese to see themselves as the axis of Catholicism in their country.

“My message to the young people is to embrace the gospel and to continue to respond to the challenges of the gospel by taking up our responsibilities in the church,” Bishop Pio said. 

The yearlong celebration was officially launched on November 1, 2018 under the theme: Renewing our faith and responding to its challenges.

The celebrations are set to conclude in a grand celebration on Friday, November 1, 2019.

Comboni Missionaries first came to establish Rejaf Parish on the west bank of the White Nile in July 1919.

Since then, several missions have been erected and the work inaugurated by the Comboni missionaries has expanded to other parts of the country, resulting in the creation of three ecclesial territories: Juba Archdiocese, and the dioceses of Torit and Yei.

Thousands of Christians from these dioceses gathered at Rejaf Parish of Juba Archdiocese on September 21 to celebrate the achievements of the Catholic Church.

“We are trying to celebrate this mission and we are ready to move forward despite the challenges we are facing as a Church today,” Bishop Loku said and clarified the theme of the celebrations saying, “We want to renew the missionary of the diocese to reach out to as many people as possible and at the same time encourage our people to be  missionary.”

October 10, the death anniversary and feast day of St. Daniel Comboni, has been reserved to honour Missionaries as part of the activities of the centenary. St. Comboni He died in Khartoum, Sudan on October 10, 1881 at the age of 50.


ACI Africa was officially inaugurated on August 17, 2019 as a continental Catholic news agency at the service of the Church in Africa. Headquartered in Kenya’s capital, Nairobi, this media apostolate will strive to facilitate the telling of Africa’s story by providing media coverage of Catholic events on the African continent, giving visibility to the activities of the Church across Africa where statistics show significant growth in numbers and the continent gradually becoming the axis of Catholicism. This is expected to contribute to an awareness of and appreciation for the significant role of the Church in Africa and over time, the realization of a realistic image of Africa that often receives negative media framing.

Father Don Bosco Onyalla
Editor-in-Chief, ACI Africa
[email protected]