25 November 2017 - "With this initiative we want to make the South Sudanese and Congolese know that there are people outside of their two countries who care and pray for them", says Sister Yudith Pereira Rico to Agenzia Fides, of the Congregation of the Religious of Jesus-Mary, Associate Executive Director of "Solidarity with South Sudan", who explained the purpose of the prayer for peace in South Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo, scheduled today, November 23, at 5.30pm in St. Peter’s Basilica.
"The population of these two devastated Countries feel they have been abandoned by all. So we want to give hope and dignity to these populations. What the Pope says to them "you are important to the universal Church" is a strong message of hope and encouragement", says Sister Yudith.
Very often, discouragement prevails in public opinion, if not indifference in the face of war like that in South Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo that seem endemic and without solutions. We therefore ask Sister Yudith where can hope in these situations come from. "From my experience I can say I receive hope from the South Sudanese: Every time I go to South Sudan I receive their hopes on the possibility of peace. There are seeds of hope in South Sudan as in the DRC, women and youth and the various civil society realities that are engaged in pacification. There are so many movements born from the bottom that want a better future for their country. And it is to these people that we want to give voice", concludes the religious.
In conjunction with the prayer to be held in the Vatican Basilica, Cardinal Laurent Cardinal Monsengwo Pasinya, Archbishop of Kinshasa, has invited the parishes of the capital of the Democratic Republic of Congo to join in prayer with the Holy Father for peace in the DRC and in South Sudan.
The Church in South Sudan will also join in prayer at the same time. "Let us pray with the Holy Father to obtain the grace of seeing every human being as the son of God, without distinction of tribe, regional belonging, race, language, or culture", writes His Exc. Mgr. Barani Eduardo Hiiboro Kussala, Bishop of Tombura-Yambio and President of the South Sudan Episcopal Conference, in a message sent to Fides. "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", adds Mgr. Kussala.
Mgr. Kussala emphasizes that "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".
In addition to today's prayer, Solidarity with South Sudan will organize a round table titled "Let us build peace" to be held on January 18, 2018 at 4:00 pm at Urbaniana University. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides 22/11/2017)