Monday, October 24, 2022
The Catholic Bishop of South Sudan’s Rumbek Dioceses, Christian Carlassare (in the picture), has urged the people of God in the East-Central African nation to continue praying for peace, unity and reconciliation towards “a shared peaceful future” in the country. (Credit Photo: ACI Africa)
Speaking to journalists Tuesday, October 18 in Juba as he was leaving for Khartoum for the Plenary Assembly of the Sudan Catholic Bishops’ Conference (SCBC), Bishop Christian Carlassare underscored the value of prayer in the search for lasting peace in the world’s youngest nation. Bishop Carlassare called “on the people of God and Christian community, especially the Catholics of South Sudan, to pray for unity, peace and reconciliation so that the spirit of God will lead the people of this great nation towards a shared peaceful future that we are yearning for.”
He added, “Without prayers, there will be no peaceful future because it's only prayers that will bring you closer to God and to have what you want in life and the country”. The member of the Comboni Missionaries (MCCJ) who has ministered in South Sudan since 2005 further said, “You know this country has been going through many challenges that need the blessing of God.”
“We need to continue praying because it’s God who will protect us and remove us from all the challenges we are going through,” he emphasized. Making reference to the October 19-25 SCBC Plenary Assembly Bishop Carlassare said that he planned to present “four pillars that focus on evangelization, justice and peace, education, and human development to the other bishops.”
“In the Diocese of Rumbek, we have mostly four pillars, the first pillar is evangelization, (through) the formation of the pastoral agents, and also formation of our seminarians,” the Italian-born Bishop who has been at the helm of Rumbek Diocese since his consecration on March 25 said. The second pillar, Bishop Carlassare said, “is justice and peace which is an important ministry where we want to bring together all communities within the Diocese.”
“The third pillars is education because in the Diocese, we have a great investment at school level with 21 primary schools, seven secondary schools, three vocational training centers, the teacher training and also now the desire to have a Catholic University and the last pillar is Human development,” he said. Making reference to the weeklong Plenary Assembly in Sudan’s capital city, Khartoum, Bishop Carlassare said, “The conference is an opportunity for me to share ideas about the Diocese and the Catholic Churches in Sudan and South Sudan.”
He looked forward to the encounters during the Plenary Assembly, saying, “My expectation is to sit together with my brothers and the elder Bishops of the different Catholic dioceses in Sudan and South Sudan to discuss the strategies and the pastoral plans”. The 44-year-old Bishop added, “The conference will help us to propose all together to prioritize evangelization in our country and evangelization that takes the name of reconciliation.”
“This is because evangelization and reconciliation is very important for the people of this country because they have been going through many difficult things in life,” Bishop Carlassare said during the October 18 press conference. On October 18, SCBC members convened their weeklong Plenary Assembly in Khartoum to review the achievements and challenges the people of God are facing in the two-nation Dioceses.
In an October 18 interview with ACI Africa, the Social Communication Coordinator of the Sudan Catholic Bishops’ Conference (SCBC) said the October 19-25 Plenary Assembly will see Catholic Bishops in the two neighboring countries deliberate on approaches to their pastoral ministry among the people of God. “The Bishops will come together as the (Local) Ordinaries of Dioceses to talk about pastoral issues that they have in their various Dioceses,” Fr. John Gbemboyo told ACI Africa.
[Patrick Juma Wani – ACI Africa]