Greetings once again from South Sudan. I am now in Juba, the capital of south Sudan.
I am staying with a Franciscan from Italy - Federico -on the outskirts of Juba.
He was one of 4 Franciscans who came here 5 years ago to open up a new mission in
Juba- but 3 have already left due to the difficult working conditions in South Sudan
at present and especially after the outbreak of violence in July of last year. Hopefully,
I will be the "old dog for the hard road" !!! I have been asked to assist him as
he has a very large area to cover and his parish has over 38000 displaced people
My work will be primarily in the U.N. camps, which are part of the parish here. As
I said there are roughly 38000 in the camps, mainly from the Nuer ethnic group, seeking
safe shelter from the violence all around them. The work , I think , will consist
of pastoral and humanitarian assistance to them. Still getting my papers processed
for working in these U.N. camps.
We had food distribution in the parish a few days ago by a Turkish aid organization
-so everyone is chipping in. The situation here where I am is not too bad famine
wise- but Very bad further up North and in the interior of the country.
Hope to head up into the interior of the country on Thursday. We have 3 Spiritans
there so I want to assess the situation that they are in.
A local plane that we often use crashed today killing everyone on board, not sure
yet if there were any church personnel on it. Will keep you updated on the situation
Just following on my last email, the news coming through from the plane crash earlier
today, is that there are no deaths reported, which is great news for all of us here.
Easter season greetings from South Sudan. We had very good Easter celebrations here
in Juba – South Sudan. Easter Sunday morning I was in the UN camps for Mass with
the displaced people who are being given protection by the UN . It was most impressive
how they decorated themselves and made the most of a
very difficult situation that they find themselves in. The young girl bringing up
a copy of the gospel had balloons tied in her hair as decoration !.
As a Church, we hope that the Paschal Candle can symbolise Jesus’s Light and Hope
for the people of South Sudan at this very difficult time in their history.