The Bishop who has been at the helm of SCBC since January 2020 further said, “We Bishops also extend our sympathy, condolences and prayers to the entire community and relatives and friends who mourn this great leader, pray for your peace, and comfort at this time of difficulties.”
In his message of condolences to the family, friends and the leadership of the Archdiocese of Juba, one of the Vice Presidents of South Sudan, Dr. James Wani Igga likened the event of Archbishop’s death with that of South Sudan’s founding father late Dr. John Garang Mabior, saying the news of the two deaths presented “the saddest day” in the country.
“Archbishop Lukudu was indeed an uncommon hero of holiness. He was consecrated Metropolitan Archbishop during a very stormy and difficult period where unprecedented prosecutions were conducted by Khartoum soldiers on all South Sudanese without discrimination,” Dr. Wani Igga said.
The South Sudanese political leader recalled his youthful days with the late Archbishop saying he “a great leader (who) became a model to many South Sudanese. Since 1962 of the seminary days, I became a close friend because I was in the seminary.”
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“May be if the forces of Khartoum did not come and disperse us at the seminary, probably I would have become one of these holy Priests,” Dr. Wani Igga went on to say.
He added, “Lukudu stood very firm and protected the people; over 500 were killed at different times during the Sudan’s conflict. He visited the White House many times to release South Sudanese jailed or being tortured.”
Dr. Wani Igga urge Catholics in the Archdiocese of Juba to remain united saying, “Let us unite as South Sudanese and be God-fearing people. If we fear God in all that we do, South Sudan can become another paradise before reaching the real Paradise.”
On his part, the Governor of Central Equatoria state that is headquartered in Juba, Emmanuel Adil Anthony, described the late Archbishop as a Clergy who stood firm and unshakable to defend the most deprived people in then Sudan and in present South Sudan.
“As we mourn our leader in Christ, we should rethink and confess our sins that we have perpetuated against ourselves just because we want to satisfy individuals’ desires that we didn’t work for,” Governor Adil said.
The late Archbishop was laid to rest April 12 evening in a crypt inside St. Theresa’s Kator Cathedral of Juba Archdiocese during the event that Cardinal Zubeir presided over, becoming the first Local Ordinary to be buried inside the Cathedral of the South Sudanese only Metropolitan See.
His predecessor, Archbishop Ireneo Wien Dud was buried in South Sudan’s Catholic Diocese of Wau where he was the first Bishop in line with his will.
The late Archbishop Lukudu was ordained a Priest in April 1970. Four years later, he was appointed the Apostolic Administrator of Sudan’s El Obeid Diocese.
He was appointed Bishop of the same Sudanese episcopal see in March 1979 and ordained a Bishop in May 1979. The member of the Comboni Missionaries was transferred to Juba Archdiocese in February 1983, succeeding Archbishop Dud.
He remained the Local Ordinary of Juba Archdiocese until December 2019 when Pope Francis accepted his retirement.