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Fr. John's Update, March 21 /  April 19th.

March 21st: Hi Everyone.

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 in it.

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 here.

Blessings.  John

 

Hi.

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.

Thanks.  John

April 19th:

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.

 

Blessings.    John