Papal Dais in Juba, South Sudan, to be “ready by mid-June”, Bishops’ Conference Official

The Papal dais under construction in Juba, South Sudan. Credit: ACI Africa

The Papal dais under construction in South Sudan’s capital city, Juba, is to be ready by the middle of next month, the Social Communication Coordinator of the Sudan Catholic Bishops’ Conference (SCBC) said in an interview.

In the interview with ACI Africa, Fr. John Gbemboyo who cited assurance from the “contractors” expressed confidence about the mid-June timeframe of the construction that kicked off on April 4 at Dr. John Garang Mausoleum.

Pope Francis is expected 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. 

The Holy Father is to realize the South Sudan trip along with the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, and the Moderator of the Church of Scotland, Jim Wallace.

“The place where the Holy Mass will be celebrated is now being developed,” Fr. Gbemboyo told ACI Africa during the May 5 interview, and added, “The dais will be the second phase after the construction of the stage is finished.”


The SCBC Social Communications Coordinator said in reference to the stage for the altar and dais, “According to the contractors, all these things will be ready by early June.”

“We are confident that it will be done soon because they are working from morning to evening,” the South Sudanese Catholic Priest said in reference to those who were contracted to construct the dais, adding “We are assured by them it will be ready by mid-June to give us space for other planning phases.”

 Fr. Gbemboyo further said, “The foundation of the stage has been done and compacted very well and the pillars have been raised for the roofing but now they are in the final stage to let the pillars dry then go ahead to complete the roofing.”

“The area has been cleared and in two weeks’ time, it will be ready to be divided into sections,” the member of the Clergy of South Sudan’s Tombura-Yambio Diocese told ACI Africa.

The construction of the dais kicked off with the blessing of the ground during which the head of the Committee of the ecumenical trip, Bishop Stephen Nyodho Ador Majwok, entrusted the works to God, describing the venue as the place “where the Holy Father will come and celebrate Mass with the people of this country.”

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“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. 

Bishop Nyodho invited the people of God in South Sudan to pray saying, “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.”

“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,” he said.

The South Sudanese Catholic Bishop emphasized the need for the citizens of the world’s youngest nation to “work hand in hand to serve God with all commitment and dedication to this beloved country.”

Patrick Juma Wani is a South Sudanese journalist with a great zeal and interest for Catholic Church related communication. Patrick holds a Diploma in Journalism and Mass Communication from Makerere Institute for Social Development (MISD) in Uganda. He has over 7 years of extensive experience in leading the development and implementation of media, advocacy, communication and multimedia strategy and operations, with an excellent track record of editorial leadership, budget management, and stakeholder outreach. He currently works as a Journalist for ACI Africa.