He was shot during the early hours of April 26, 2021, when two armed men fired multiple bullets at his door, gaining access to his room in a block that houses priests serving at the Diocese of Rumbek’s Holy Family Cathedral.
After initial treatment in Rumbek, he was airlifted to Kenya’s capital, Nairobi. He was discharged from the hospital for home care on May 17, 2021.
In a video recording from his hospital bed the day after the attack, the bishop-elect described the shooting as life-threatening but called for reconciliation and “justice with the same heart of God” among the people of Rumbek.
“It will take some time for my legs to be able again to walk, but I assure you that I will be back and I will be with you,” Carlassare said.
The Diocese of Rumbek became vacant in July 2011 upon the death of Bishop Cesare Mazzolari, who was also a Comboni Missionary.
On May 5, 2021, before his discharge from the hospital, the bishop-elect said that he was imploring God for an end to “violence, division, [and] selfish desires” in the diocese of Rumbek.
“I bend low in front of God to intercede for the church of Rumbek. I pray for the conversion of sinners,” Carlassare said in a message recorded by ACI Africa, CNA’s African news partner.
“I offer the pain I’m going through so that the Lord our God may purify the church of Rumbek from all errors and things like these may happen no more; no room for violence, division, [and] selfish desires that come from the devil.”
In June 2021, police in South Sudan’s Lakes State arrested a second person suspected of involvement in the shooting.
The arrest brought the number of those detained concerning the incident to six, among them Father John Mathiang, who served as Rumbek’s diocesan coordinator.