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Construction of Papal Dais in South Sudan Kicks Off, Catholic Bishop Blesses Ground

Bishop Stephen Nyodho Ador Majwok blesses ground for the construction of the Papal dais. Credit: Radio Bakhita/Facebook

The construction of the Papal dais has kicked off in South Sudan’s capital city, Juba, with the blessing of the ground.

The head of the Committee of the Papal Visit, Bishop Stephen Nyodho Ador Majwok, presided over the Monday, April 4 event that took place at Dr. John Garang Mausoleum

Pope Francis is scheduled to arrive in South Sudan on July 5 in his two-African-nation pastoral trip that is to begin in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) on July 2.

Addressing the congregation at the blessing ceremony, Bishop Nyodho entrusted the work of the construction of the Papal Dais to God, describing the venue as the place “where the Holy Father will come and celebrate Mass with the people of this country.”

“My dear brothers and sisters, people of South Sudan, we are here this morning to ask for blessing from our heavenly Father,” the Local Ordinary of South Sudan’s Malakal Diocese said during the April 4 event. 

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He proceeded to sprinkle holy water at the venue of the Papal Dais saying the spot will be a point of sanctification and holiness for the people of God when the Holy Father visits the country. 

Bishop Nyodho invited the people of God in the world’s youngest country to pray especially for those who are involved in the construction of the Papal Dais and recognized with appreciation the support of the South Sudanese government in the preparations of the Holy Father’s pastoral trip. 

“We also entrust our President and government who are helping to achieve this project in the hand of God because God is the one guiding everything so that it may come to fulfillment at the time he promised,” the South Sudanese Catholic Bishop said.

He challenged his compatriots to foster unity and work toward “lasting peace” ahead of the July 5-7 maiden Papal visit.

“It is vital for all citizens to change, strengthen their faith and work together as one people in order to realize lasting peace as children of God,” Bishop Nyodho said.

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He added, “We have been waiting for the coming of the Holy Father and it is time we pray that this moment will be for change for all of us in South Sudan, the time to strengthen our faith and to work together.”

The Local Ordinary of Malakal Diocese emphasized the need for South Sudanese to “work hand in hand to serve God with all commitment and dedication to this beloved country.”

Also speaking at the April 4 event, the Executive Director in the Office of the President said the government will address all issues raised by the Juba city mayor in relation to the preparation for the Papal visit. 

“The reception of the Pope in Juba is our collective responsibility as people of South Sudan to make sure that this is a success,” James Deng Wal said, and added, “The peace that we are enjoying in our country has been prayed for by his Holiness Pope and all the religious leaders around the world.”

On his part, the Mayor of Juba City, Michael Lado Thomas Allah-Jabu, said his office is working on improving infrastructure in Juba.

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“For this, I had even gone further in order to meet the preparation of the city with all the city authorities, by preparing the people and the road leading to the Vatican embassy” he said.

Last month, Catholic Bishops in Sudan and South Sudan launched the logo and the motto of the visit of Pope Francis. The visit is to be guided by the motto, “I pray that all may be one”, drawn from John 17.

When realized, the July 2-7 pastoral trip to DRC and South Sudan will mark Pope Francis’ third visit to sub-Saharan Africa, and the third Papal visit to DRC, which is home to Africa's largest Catholic population.