Catholic Bishop Explains Prayer Formulated for Papal Ecumenical Visit to South Sudan

Bishop Mathew Remijo Adam of South Sudan's Wau Diocese. Credit: Courtesy Photo

Bishop Mathew Remijo Adam has explained the content of the common prayer, which members of the Sudan Catholic Bishops’ Conference (SCBC) formulated, in preparation for the Papal ecumenical visit.

In a statement shared with ACI Africa Tuesday, May 17, Bishop Remijio says the formulated prayer will help Catholics prepare spiritually for the visit, which the Pope Francis is expected to undertake in July alongside the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, and the Moderator of the Church of Scotland, Jim Wallace. 

“We as the Bishops’ Conference of Sudan and South Sudan have formulated this prayer to be recited in all the gatherings in the Dioceses of the two countries because the two countries are still one Conference,” the Catholic Bishop of South Sudan’s Wau Diocese who is heading the Finance Committee for the planned ecumenical visit says.

He adds in the statement issued on behalf of the Catholic Bishops in South Sudan and Sudan, “This prayer will enable people to prepare themselves spiritually to welcome our Holy Father in his pastoral visit to Sudan and South Sudan.”

“In the formulation of this prayer, we started first with the motto of the Holy Father that says, ‘I pray that all may be one’; the gospel is taken from St. John 17,” Bishop Remijio says, and adds, “In the second paragraph of the prayer, we pray for the pastoral visit of the Holy Father that God may guide and protect him during his visit to South Sudan.” 


In paragraph three of the common prayer, the member of the Comboni Missionaries (MCCJ) further says, “We pray for the Church in Sudan and South Sudan as they prepare to receive the Holy Father.” 

“The fourth paragraph is about the Church personnel or the Bishop themselves, Religious, Priests and all people of goodwill that the visit of the Holy Father may be the reason for blessings and to strengthen our hope in South Sudan,” he adds.

He continues, “The fifth paragraph is about our political leaders because the visit of the Holy Father is not basically for the Church but also politically because he is the Head of State.” 

“He is also coming to visit our leaders in South Sudan,” Bishop Remijio reiterates in the May 17 statement, and adds, “At the end, we entrust all these under God’s protection that it strengthens our unity and more love among us as the people of South Sudan.”

“We end the prayer evoking our sins, St. Josephine Bakhita and St. Daniel Comboni because they are our saints for Sudan and South Sudan,” the 49-year-old South Sudanese Catholic Bishop says.

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“At the end we mentioned our lady Queen of Africa as a model for us. We finished it with the hail Mary and glory be to the Father to be said once,” he adds. 

The July 5-7 visit to South Sudan is part of Pope Francis’ two-African-nation pastoral trip that is to begin in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) on July 2.

If realized, Pope Francis will become the first Pope to visit South Sudan, which became the world’s newest nation after gaining independence from the Republic of the Sudan on 9 July 2011.

Last month, the Archbishop of Juba in South Sudan said “the Church is satisfied with” the government’s preparations to welcome Pope Francis in his planned ecumenical visit to the East-Central African nation.





5th-7th July 2022 

Heavenly Father, 

You sent your Son Jesus Christ as our Shepherd and the Holy Spirit to make us one

(Story continues below)

Bless, guide and protect your Servant Pope Francis As he comes on his Apostolic visit to our Land

Look with favor upon us, your Church in South Sudan and Sudan as we prepare to receive the Holy Father

Send your Holy Spirit upon Bishops, Priests, Religious and the entire People of God to continue the work of renewal in our countries

Grant our leaders, wisdom and understanding to lead your people in the ways of justice, peace and reconciliation

May the visit of the Holy Father strengthen hope and unity among our people

St. Josephine Bakhita Pray for us 

St. Daniel Comboni Pray for us Mary 

Queen of Africa Pray for us 

Hail Mary ............. 

Glory be..............

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.