Current Situation and Needs in the Archdiocese of Juba, South Sudan

Children at a water collection point in Central Equatoria State, South Sudan
Photo: UNDP South Sudan/Brian Sokol

On July 9, 2011 South Sudan became an independent Nation State. On that day, Sudan disintegrated into two nations: The Republic of South Sudan and the Islamic Republic of the Sudan. On July 9, 2012, South Sudan celebrated its first independence anniversary. Given the long violent history between the people of the north and south, which resulted in the present breakup of the country, the relationship between the governments and the people of the two nations is and will certainly continue to be contentious, inimical and possibly violent.

Already in April 2012, armed confrontations between the armies of South Sudan and Sudan have taken place on the international border leaving many dead and a great displacement of peoples. There is a serious call for humanitarian care for the displaced people of the Sudan in South Sudan. There are also thousands of South Sudanese uprooted from their homes in need of assistance.

The presence of the oil in South Sudan close to the border is the main cause of the conflict. It is hoped that the talks in the Ethiopian capital of Addis Ababa will yield an agreement on the border and the post-Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) issues between the two nations.

Our Church, finding herself on the crossroad between the two countries, must continue to bear witness to Christ’s reconciling Gospel of love and mercy. Our Church must be a voice of reason to the contending people of the two nations. A monumental task indeed.

Creative Commons License. Photo: John Ferguson/Oxfam http://flic.kr/p/crWMQS

On the evangelical and pastoral fronts, we are facing a flood of returning destitute refugees and internally displaced people to whom we must minister and proclaim the Gospel. The Archdiocese of Juba is the receiving church and being in the capital of the new country, many of the returnees prefer to remain there, causing a great pastoral challenge. In the face of this, our Church must recruit and train many more clerical and pastoral agents. We must rebuild our churches, chapels, prayer centres, seminaries, convents, rectories, catechetical training centres, etc.

On the socio-political front, the Church is and will continue to play a vital leading role in building peace and advocating for justice, the equitable sharing of resources, good governance, security and the rule of law which must be built on the solid foundation of Christ’s Gospel.

On the socio-economic front, the Church, in partnership with the government and other religious and social institutions, is providing a leading role in sheltering, feeding and educating the citizens of our new nation. We are promoting traditional and new economies–farming, small businesses and supplying clean drinking water to the people. We must rebuild our social institutions– schools, health centres, trade and technical centres. Most of our facilities were damaged or totally destroyed during the long civil war.

Creative Commons photo by babasteve http://flic.kr/p/a7VE83

Our people are desperate. They have lost everything, and are unable to help themselves. Many, particularly the most vulnerable children, women and the elderly, are dying daily from starvation and curable diseases. A salary of about 200 South Sudanese Pounds equivalent to $50.00 cannot maintain a family of over five persons according to today’s standard conditions of living.

We in the Church are the hope of our people. Our clergy, religious, catechists and lay leaders are fighting against all odds to keep the flames of faith burning in our country. While burying the dead, supporting the survivors, sheltering the displaced, healing the wounded and broken-hearted, feeding the orphans, displaced children and elderly, we continue to proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ vigorously, build the Church and consolidate faith in our country.

We need your help to continue to keep hope alive among our traumatized people. We need your help to strengthen faith in the Lord Jesus who never fails us. I am therefore appealing to you our brothers and sisters in faith to support us to be able to survive on our own. Thank you in advance for standing in solidarity with us in our time of need. May our Risen Saviour Jesus Christ bless you with the fullness of grace, peace and health.

Comments

  1. Fr. Kizito Jalango OYIIMUNGU, AJ says:

    I am a colleague of Fr. Peter Loro, a religious missionary priest of the institute of the Apostles of Jesus, Ugandan by nationality. I am still living in Rome to complete my studies at the Pontifical Biblical Institute during the next academic year for a Licentiate.
    We have lived together in Rome with Fr. Peter for the last three years at the Pontificio Collegio San Pietro Apostolo and we have come to know each other better then, though we had vague acquaintance with each other even before coming to Rome as he used to make his official journeys from the Sudan to Nairobi where I was a student seminarian and later worked in our major seminary at Langata. We have shared a lot at personal level and especially dreams of what we can do after here for the good of our people as pastors and much more.

    I appreciate those efforts being made by your office towards supporting us sustain our meaningful struggle to uplift ourselves and the people spiritually and materially. Fr. Peter and all of us who have had the grace to live outside our home countries for a while and have obtained not only academic knowledge but also general experience of life outside here must commit ourselves to take the center stage once we get back home and together work with our people within all possibilities.
    To you our brothers and sisters in Christ we say, you are the righful ones we need to lean on, the ones to strengthen our frail hands and to inspire us always in your solidarity with us. God bless you abundantly.

    • As Father Peter travels across the Archdiocese of Boston raising spiritual and material support for the Archdiocese of Juba and The Society of St. Peter Apostle, the Pontifical Mission Society responsible for funding his priestly formation in the missions, we wish him Godspeed. Donors should also be aware that priests like Father Peter and the writer in the comment above, Fr. Kizito, receive no salary for their work in their home countries. Therefore, they depend heavily on Mass offerings that come from the office of The Pontifical Mission Societies, more commonly known in Boston as the Propagation of the Faith. Indeed, Father Peter and Father Kizito both received Mass stipends from our office while they studied in Rome and lived at the Pontificio Collegio San Pietro Apostolo.
      A Mass can be offered for someone living or deceased and for a person’s intentions. A variety of Mass cards are available through the Propagation office, but many people simply make the offering and have the Mass said for their loved one, knowing that a mission priest will unite them with himself and his mission community as he celebrates the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.
      For more information on how to help priests in the missions through Mass offerings, call 617-542-1776 or go to this link on our website http://www.propfaithboston.org/Boston/propfaith_mass_offerings.html to download an order form.
      May God bless Father Peter and all mission priests who struggle against tremendous odds to bring the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the ends of the earth!