AN OPEN INVITATION:
Pope Francis have called for a dedicated day of prayer for Peace in South Sudan and he himself will preside over this prayer on 23rd November 2017, at 4:00 PM Vatican Time!
At the close of our Annual Plenary Assembly of the Bishops Conference I would like first and foremost wish to thank God and all of your Archbishops, Bishops and Ordinaries including our collaborators the priests for the great work of ten days well done. I want to thank the administration of Good Shepherd Peace Center Kit for offering us a very conducive environment and impressive services during our ten days meetings.
I now therefore place this in our loving prayerful hands as people of South Sudan to join our Holy Father in praying for PEACE next Thursday 23rd November 2017, at 4:00 PM at the Vatican City!
As we thank and appreciate our Holy Father Pope Francis for keeping abreast with us in our horrors of wars, let us too pray for him!
My beloved people of God in South Sudan and Sudan, we know fully what war has done to us in the past and now in this present period!
We truly before God want an end to the violence perpetrated by harsh words, deadly weapons of all types, or cold indifference. May our homes, our nation, and countries around become havens of peace.
Practical suggestions for this prayer with the Holy Father may include some of the bellows:
- Personal prayer or with family members (traditional)
- Attend Holy Mass
- Say decade of Holy Rosary
- Walk the walk of prayer or visit the visit of prayers
- Act of charity or solidarity with the needy
- Gesture of good will, forgiveness, cancelling of debts, e.g.
- Fasting or public support like clearing roads or public places, etc.
Let us pray with our Holy Father for the grace to see every human being as a child of God, regardless of tribe, regional attributes, race, language or culture.
We have to pray together with Pope Francis indeed for the wisdom to receive the stories and experiences of those different from ourselves and to respond with respect.
Together with Pope Francis pray for the strength to teach our children how to resolve differences non-violently and respectfully, and the courage to model it in our own behavior.
With Pope Francis let us pray for our faith community, our dioceses, also that God may give us new Bishops into the 04 vacant diocese of Malakal, Torit, Rumbek, Wau, that we may celebrate and welcome the diverse faces of Christ in our worship, our ministries, and our leaders.
Together with Pope Francis we pray for our faith community, that we may respond boldly to the Holy Spirit’s call to act together to end violence, sectarian, regionalism and tribalism.
Together with Pope Francis let us pray for healing and justice for all those who have experienced violence and political, tribal and regional hatred.
Together with Pope Francis let us truly pray for the protection of all police, all organized forces and especially the first responders who risk their lives daily to ensure our safety; for fair and just policing that will promote peace and wellbeing in all our neighborhoods.
Together with Pope Francis let us take this opportunity to pray for our public officials, government official especially our President Salva Kirri, Rebel leaders, that they will strive to work for PEACE and fair services to include education, health and sanitation, adequate housing, and equal opportunities for employment for all.
Together with Pope Francis let us take this opportunity to pray for our parish, places of worships that we may cultivate welcome, extend hospitality, and encourage the participation of people of all cultures, ethnicities and backgrounds.
Together with Pope Francis let us take this opportunity to pray for the courage to have difficult conversations about tribalism, regionalism and for a better appreciation of how our words and actions – or even our silence – can impact our communities.
We pray with Pope Francis for solidarity and true Compassion in our human family, that we may work together to protect those who are most vulnerable and most in need.
During our 2017 Annual Plenary Assembly of the Sudan Catholic Bishops of Sudan and South Sudan held in Kit, Juba, we resolved to keep together as Bishops in Sudan and South Sudan.
This purposely underlines our role as Bishops in one Conference of working together to promote the church’s mission, but also to support Peace-building and human development throughout our two nations and elsewhere.
Although primarily concerned with coordinating the church’s pastoral activity in a specific area, bishops’ conferences are naturally concerned for the welfare of the entire church by virtue of the communion that unites bishops, and their particular churches, with one another and with the pope as the successor of Peter.
This collegial spirit has always marked the Sudan Catholic Bishops Conference which began as a practical means of providing guidance of restrain and also relief to those suffering the effects of the 1956-1973, 1983-2005 and 2013 civil wars to date. Today, the conference continues to be ‘catholic,’ not only in its concern for the pastoral commitments of her people and the needs of our fellow Christians anywhere, more generally, in its efforts to support Peace-Building and human development throughout Sudan, South Sudan and the neighbouring countries.
We also made some major decisions and undertakings during this plenary such as change to our historical name of Sudan Catholic Bishops to `Conference of the Catholic Bishops of Sudan and South Sudan. This will take effect as from January 2018.
Dear people of God we need your prayers for us your Bishops! As you know, Bishops conferences have an essentially pastoral responsibility. As such it needs conversion to the Lord Jesus in order that our activity must be carried out prudently and in a spirit of communion, both with the bishop members of the conference and with the larger church. Surely time and experience are healing elements; they will help to clarify how this is best to be productive.
During this year`s annual plenary of the Bishops we have written for you a Pastoral Letter on Family. Titled: `Family, the School of Love and Peace`
Our beloved Pope Francis describes the current situation in dramatic manner in these terms: “Today, we know, the family is in crisis, it’s a worldwide crisis; the young don’t want to marry or they (decide to) live together. The pastoral problem of the family is very large, very large.”
In the words of Pope Francis, a family is a home and a school of life, love, and peace from good God fearing leaders and people come. In the natural family plays a critical role in ensuring that society flourishes, because it is the place where people best learn virtue and receive the formation that makes them good citizens and good future parents.
Let pray for Peace in our nations together with Pope Francis on 23rd November 2017. May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit inspire and guide all our families as we sail through the stormy times in our countries into true durable peace. Amen!
God bless you all,
Barani Eduardo Hiiboro Kussala
Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Tombura-Yambio,
President of Sudan Catholic Bishops Conference