Start from Self “to embrace peace, reconciliation”: Catholic Bishop in South Sudan

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

The Catholic Bishop of South Sudan’s Wau Diocese has called upon the people of God in the East-Central African nation to start from the self in striving “to embrace peace and reconciliation” during the Lenten Season.

In his Wednesday, February 22 homily at St. Mary’s Cathedral of his Episcopal See, Bishop Mathew Remijio Adam said Lent is a time for the people of God to “repent from their sins” and seek conversion.

“During this Lenten Season, we need to embrace peace and reconciliation starting from ourselves to others,” Bishop Remijio said, and added, “The Lenten Season also teaches us to share with other people.”

Lent is a “time for us to repent from our sins and to receive God’s mercy and love,” he further said, adding in reference to Lent, “We have to repent because it signals transformation towards better lives and abstinence from things that contradict Christian lives.”

The South Sudanese member of the Comboni Missionaries (MCCJ) underscored the need for the people of God in the country to repent and forgive one another, saying, “If we can really repent there will be unity among us and this is what we need to do during this Lenten Season.”


He went on to urge South Sudanese “to change from the life that separates them through tribalism to the life that can bring unity, peace and reconciliation.”

“All of us as Christians need to distance ourselves from all the bad deeds that are happening among our people,” the 50-year-old Catholic Bishop who has been at the helm of Wau Diocese since his Episcopal Ordination on 24 January 2021 said.

He continued, “This is the time for us to come together to share with each other the word of God.”

“If anyone talks about wrong things near you, bless him and walk away,” the Catholic Church leader said, and added, “We need to refrain from those thoughts that can bring conflict and violence to our community.”

He added, “There are bad thoughts that bring conflict and instability among the people and people need to restrain from them.”

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Meanwhile, the Catholic Bishop of South Sudan’s Diocese of Rumbek has cautioned against “hypocrisy” and advocated for genuine fraternity that is based on a spirit of appreciating and valuing the gifts from God.

“Let this journey of lent not be a moment of hypocrisy or something that cannot sustain our life of faith as a Christians community,” Bishop Christian Carlassare of South Sudan’s Rumbek Diocese said. 

Bishop Carlassare who was presiding over Ash Wednesday Holy Mass at Holy Family Cathedral of his Episcopal See on February 22 added, “This Lenten journey is a journey we do together as a Church and let it not be a pain and sadness although walking is also demanding.”

“Let us really value the spiritual gift and reward that we receive from God which is peace, joy, humility, service that is in the new relationship with him and the new relationships with our brothers and sisters,” he said.

The Italian-born member of the Comboni Missionaries (MCCJ) who has been at the helm of Rumbek Diocese since his consecration on 25 March 2022 further said, “The ashes by themselves cannot stand but with the spirit of God, these ashes that we are, take life dignity and beauty.”


He continued, “This season should be a time of joy, rest, staying with the Lord, with one another.”

“It’s a time for us to prepare ourselves for Easter, the feast of new life in Christ that we all receive as individuals and community,” the Catholic Church leader who has ministered in South Sudan since 2005 added during his February 22 homily.

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.