South Sudanese Catholic Bishop Shares “vivid, enduring” Memories of Late Predecessor

Bishop Edward Hiiboro Kussala of South Sudan’s Catholic Diocese of Tombura-Yambio (CDTY) during the celebration of Bishop Gasi Day. Credit: CDTY

Bishop Edward Hiiboro Kussala of South Sudan’s Catholic Diocese of Tombura-Yambio (CDTY) remembers his late predecessor, Bishop Joseph Abangite Gasi , as a prayerful man, who also taught others to be prayerful.

In his homily during the conclusion of the annual death anniversary memorial that has been dubbed “Bishop Gasi Day” on Friday, September 15, Bishop Hiiboro said that he has clear and lasting memories of his predecessor’s prayerful lifestyle.

“My memories of Bishop Gasi Abangite are vivid and enduring. He touched the lives of many people in ways that are not forgotten,” Bishop Hiiboro said during Holy Mass at St. Mary Mother of God Parish of CDTY.

Bishop Edward Hiiboro Kussala. Credit: Catholic Diocese of Tombura-Yambio (CDTY)

He added, “What I cherish most about Bishop Gasi is his image as a man and teacher of prayer.” 


The South Sudanese Bishop continued, “Bishop Gasi knew that only prayer can answer the aching emptiness so often deep in our hearts.”

Credit: Catholic Diocese of Tombura-Yambio (CDTY)

“His prayer and his teaching about prayer and his call to us, always to be a people of prayer has (left) vivid memories in my mind,” he said about the late South Sudanese Catholic Bishop, who died on 12 September 2014 at the age of 86.

Making reference to Bishop Gasi’s prayerful lifestyle, Bishop Hiiboro underscored the value of prayer in the life of Christians, saying, “All of us in the Church must become more deeply spiritual. Prayer is a priority for all of us. This is our first duty and our highest calling daily to open our hearts to the promptings of God's Holy Spirit and ensure that there is always time for prayer.”

Credit: Catholic Diocese of Tombura-Yambio (CDTY)

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The 59-year-old Catholic Bishop, who has been at the helm of CDTY since his Episcopal Ordination in June 2008 said that his predecessor “often spoke of his morning prayer and how, when his mind was tired, he would simply gaze at the figure of Jesus.”

“His prayerful gazing at the crucifix was formed by the eyes of faith,” he said about his predecessor who served as Local Ordinary of CDTY for 33 years, since his Episcopal Ordination in April 1975 till his retirement in April 2008.

Credit: Catholic Diocese of Tombura-Yambio (CDTY)

The late South Sudanese Catholic Bishop “told people who asked for his prayers that he remembered them each day,” Bishop Hiiboro recalled during his homily at the conclusion of the annual death anniversary memorial that has been dubbed “Bishop Gasi Day”.

“Only in prayer, especially before a crucifix, will we find the balm for which we long,” Bishop Hiiboro noted, adding in reference to the late Bishop Gasi, “A great privilege in my life is to be able to pray each day in the chapel where he prayed; to pray before the same crucifix which was so often the focus of his prayer.”


Credit: Catholic Diocese of Tombura-Yambio (CDTY)

The South Sudanese Catholic Bishop encouraged the people of God to “embrace prayer in their lives and follow the footsteps of Bishop Joseph Gasi Abangite.” 

Kerbino Kuel Deng is a South Sudanese journalist who is passionate about Church communication. He holds a Bachelor's Degree in Social Communications from the Catholic University of Eastern Africa (CUEA). He currently works as a Journalist for ACI Africa.