In his maiden speech following his Episcopal Ordination, Bishop Lodiong pledged to live by “the protocol of simplicity and work”.
“I don’t want to see unnecessary protocols. I want the protocol of simplicity and work. The more we do our work in humility, simplicity and correctly, the more our church will succeed,” Bishop Lodiong said during the May 15 event.
The newly Ordained South Sudanese Bishop added, “These protocols don't make things succeed. That's why I have chosen my motto of Episcopal ministry as ‘Be rich in good work.’”
“The riches we have is love and mercy because once we have all these, we will be able to move forward,” Bishop Lodiong said, and added, “I'm ready to administer this Diocese but it's going to be by the strength of God.”
Credit: Courtesy Photo
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“The mission that I am going to undertake, we are going to do together. It's going to be the Church of Synodality where every human being and Christian is going to be involved,” he said, adding, “We are going to sit down after this. I am going to have a pastoral visit to communities wherever I can go because many people are still living in bushes.”
The South Sudanese Bishop said he will prioritize visits to “our people who are in the bushes”. He continued, “I want to visit each one of them because there are so many of them who are being taught catechism; they are not baptized and they are not confirmed; they want confirmation and baptism.”
He called on those blocking people from reaching remote areas of the Diocese to allow him to reach out to the people of God under his pastoral care in person.
“Please give me a chance to visit them because I go there in the name of faith,” the newly ordained South Sudanese Catholic Bishop said, and added, “After this visit, we will come and sit down with all the groups and plan for this Diocese.”
On his part, the Apostolic Nuncio in Kenya and South Sudan said the event of the Episcopal Ordination was “a special” day for the local church of Yei.
“Today is a special day because God and the Holy Spirit are working with us by giving us the new Bishop Alex Lodiong,” Archbishop van Megen said.
“This is a special year for the Church in South Sudan. Remember just two months ago we had another ordination in Rumbek of Bishop Christian Carlassare,” he said making reference to the March 25 event.
The Nairobi-based representative of the Holy Father further said, “We all know what happens and is still happening within the Diocese of Yei but at least God is planting his seed.”
Bishop Lodiong has succeeded Bishop Erkolano Lodu Tombe who has been at the helm of the South Sudanese Diocese since his Episcopal Ordination in November 1986.
Speaking during the May 15 event of the consecration of his successor, Bishop Lodu Tombe invited the people of God in Yei Diocese to “cooperate with the newly ordained Bishop”.
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The 79-year-old South Sudanese Bishop urged the faithful “not to be afraid as God is among each (one) as (a) witness through the presence of the religious leaders.”
He lauded those who facilitated the preparations for the consecration of his successor for the success of the May 15 event.
The new Bishop is to oversee the South Sudanese Diocese that measures 46,000 km² with an estimated population of 231,950 Catholics, representing 49.1 percent of the population, according to 2020 statistics.