“Heaven is meant for all of us”: Catholic Priest in South Sudan Urges Supportive Relations

St. Theresa Kator Cathedral of Juba Archdiocese. Credit: ACI Africa

There is need for Christians to foster supportive relationships, taking deliberate efforts to guard themselves from envy, a Catholic Priest ministering in South Sudan’s Catholic Archdiocese of Juba has said. 

In his Sunday, September 24 homily at St. Theresa Kator Cathedral of Juba Archdiocese, Fr. Gabriel Asida Andrew reflected on the Gospel Reading of the 25th Sunday in Ordinary Time about the householder who hired laborers for his vineyard at different times of the day and gave them the same pay.

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“You need to welcome your brother or sister into the Church because we are not supposed to be begrudging our brothers and sisters, being envious for nothing. Heaven is meant for all of us,” Fr. Asida said, and emphasized, “Don’t begrudge a brother or sister.”

The Rector of the Catholic Cathedral in South Sudan’s capital city continued, “If we want to experience this new kingdom of God, we the baptized, we who are welcome into this new kingdom called the Church of Christ, should begin to live in love because our God is love Himself.”


Fr. Gabriel Asida. Credit: ACI Africa

“We are challenged to love our brothers and sisters in our everyday life because sometimes we begrudge our brothers and sisters as if we deserve heaven and they deserve hell,” he said, referencing the laborers hired early morning, who lamented the householder’s decision to pay all laborers the same wage.

The South Sudanese Catholic Priest since his Priestly ordination in July 1997 went on to caution against attitudes of superiority, saying it is not appropriate to make “yourself higher than the other in the house of the Lord.

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“If this happens then comes the division of the Christian community; and when we begin to divide a portion of the land given to us by God in this new vineyard, then we become selfish,” Fr. Asida who also serves as the Dean of the Central Deanery of Juba Archdiocese said.

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He explained, “From the beginning of the Mass up to the end of the Mass, we call ourselves brothers and sisters; why? Because we have been given this invitation by God Himself in the person of our Savior and Lord Jesus Christ.”

The 52-year-old member of the Clergy of Juba Archdiocese implored, “May the mercy of God rest on us today if we have not done our day’s work, if we have not even shared our faith and our resolve in the Catholic Church with a brother and a sister.”

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“It is time now the Lord is telling us to go into my vineyard to preach my Gospel,” he further said during his homily on September 24.

Fr. Asida added, “The Lord is merciful; He has His own way of giving us His blessings. May we receive His blessings and continue to love ourselves and embrace the moment we are together on earth because our destiny is heaven.”


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.