Catholics in South Sudan’s Yei Diocese Urged to “work together with the new Bishop”

Bishop Alex Lodiong Sakor Eyobo, ordained Bishop of South Sudan's Yei Diocese on 15 May 2022. Credit: Courtesy Photo

The Cardinal in Sudan has urged Catholics in the Diocese of Yei in South Sudan to collaborate with their new Bishop “to strengthen the body of Christ” in the South Sudanese Diocese. 

In his homily during the Episcopal Ordination of the new Bishop of Yei, Mons. Alex Lodiong Sakor Eyobo on Sunday, May 15, Gabriel Cardinal Zubeir Wako invited the people of God to help their new shepherd carry out Jesus’ ministry in their midst.

“We should work together with the new Bishop of Yei for the glory of God to strengthen the body of Christ in Yei and South Sudan,” Cardinal Zubeir Wako said.

He added, “Let us welcome him as a Bishop to continue the work the apostles carried out when Jesus left them because it was not their work but the work given to them by Christ and they accepted although they faced a lot of difficulties.”

Credit: Courtesy Photo


The Archbishop emeritus of Sudan’s Khartoum Archdiocese further said during the May 15 event, “Today, Bishop Alex comes into your mind with good news to everyone because God established the life of Christ that works in each and every one.”

“We are Christian simply, not because water is poured on our heads but because Jesus Christ lives in us. Because we realized that Jesus is in us, we try to live like him,” the Cardinal said during the event held at Christ the King Cathedral of Yei Diocese.

The native of South Sudan’s Wau Diocese continued, “Live as a child of God; live as brothers and sisters because people are all saved by Jesus Christ to make that news spread in our place.”

“Let us march always to goodness, brotherhood, peace, and working together for a better future because that is why God created us; that’s why we are Christians in this country,” the 81-year-old Cardinal who was at the helm of Khartoum Archdiocese till December 2016 said.

Credit: Courtesy Photo

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“What we have done today is the beginning of what the Pope is coming to do here,” the Cardinal said during the May 15 event that had the Apostolic Nuncio in Kenya and South Sudan, Archbishop Hubertus van Megen, in attendance.

Mons. Lodiong who had been serving as Formator, Teacher and Treasurer at St. Paul National Major Seminary in Juba was appointed Bishop on February 11.

A native of the same Episcopal See he is expected to oversee, the 51-year-old Bishop-elect was ordained a Priest in June 2001 after completing his Philosophy and Theology studies at St. Paul National Major Seminary.

He previously served as General Secretary, Diocesan Bursar, Coordinator of Communication and Education, Diocesan Youth Chaplain, and Rector of St Augustine's Diocesan Minor Seminary in Yei Diocese.

Credit: Courtesy Photo


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”.

Credit: Courtesy Photo

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.

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.