Thursday, February 10, 2022
In 1871, Daniel Comboni sent from Khartoum a group of three missionaries to the west of the country to look for a suitable place where a mission could be established in weather conditions that were more suitable and friendly to the expatriate Missionaries. The people in the expedition included, P. Stanislao Carcereri as the head of the group, Fr. Giuseppe Franceschini and Bro. Domenico Polinari.
These arrived at el Obeid on 15th January 1872. El Obeid was chosen as a suitable place and a little Church was erected and eventually blessed by Comboni in May of the same year at a place called Suk al-dalala. Ten years later, in 1882, just a year after Comboni’s death, the Church was abandoned due to the Mahdiyya revolution and was eventually destroyed. The missionaries only returned in 1900. After their return, they re-established themselves where we now have the current cathedral consecrated by Mons. Edoardo Mason on May 3rd 1963 under the protection of Our Lady, Queen of Africa.
The celebration on January 16th 2022 was in commemoration of the arrival of these gallant men of faith. The Christians, as the Bishop mentioned during the celebration and during the preparatory days leading to the occasion, owe their faith to these brave missionaries and their successors. The Christian community has grown despite the various challenges and the Church is slowly growing towards being self-supporting, self-propagating and self-ministering.
The Bishop, Mons.Yunan Tombe Trille, who is himself a Nuba, born and brought up in El obeid, invited the Christian community to learn from the missionaries who left everything to bring the faith so that the Cross of Christ, his Word and presence in the Eucharist may be always the living signs of growth among them. Many religious men and women, the diocesan clergy and the lay faithful, attended the celebration. While there are approximately 1.1 million Catholics in Sudan, about 3.2% of the total population, el Obeid Diocese has only about 100,000 Catholics.