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JONDORU: A NEW SMALL CHRISTIAN COMMUNITY IN JUBA

01 February 2016 – (By Salvatore Pacifico) - Jondoru is a big area located just about 8 kilometres away from Juba town, East of Yei road, opposite to Eye Radio. The area is densely populated.

Jondoru Christian community clearing the bush

Many South Sudanese ethnic communities share the territory. Also, Congolese, Kenyan, Ugandan, Somali and others live in the area. Other Christian denominations have already opened their prayer centres or are in process of doing it. A beverage factory in the area has drilled a bore hole that helps provide people with clean water.

My impression is that the area will develop into a town, let us say as it happened in Gudele some years ago. You may see well-built new houses coming up every day. Services like transport and schools are inexistent, however. 

The Catholics population are many, but no pastoral service has been offered to them up to now. On Sunday people find their way to Kator or other chapels around Customs. Another option came about with the establishment of the Holy Trinity Parish about two years ago. 

The area fell under Kator St. Theresa Parish. But even with the creation of Holy Trinity parish it was unclear to which parish Jondoru belonged. As consequence, no one was thinking of it.

In May 2015 the Comboni Missionaries opened Fr. Barnaba Deng Formation House (Pre-Postulancy) in Moroyok, a couple of Kilometres ahead of Jondoru, with a chapel opened to the public. 

On Sunday some Catholics from Jondoru started coming there. A turning point was Christmas, when about thirty adults came to pray in the chapel of Moroyo accompanied by children. After the Mass I invited them to a meeting. In the meeting we decided to meet again on the following day in Jondoru, in the house of a Catholic family, to discuss the possibility of having a place for the catholic community in Jondoru. 

On December 26 we met in the house of Thomas lo Moro. About 30 people turned up. We prayed, and then agreed that we would meet every Saturday to pray in the house of one of the faithful taking turn. We agreed also to contact the chief and see if there was the possibility of getting a place for the Catholic Community.  

In fact, after the meeting I myself accompanied by four others went to see Chief Chaplain Wani. His answer was that he was aware of the problem and he had already in mind a piece of land near the stream. He would contact the owner and inform us of the outcome.

The following Saturday, January 2, we met for prayer in another house. Chief Chaplain Wani phoned and asked me to go to the house of a certain Gabriel Ayub, with some members of the community. 

We went, five of us, and met the Chief together with Gabriel, the owner of the land that the Chief had in mind for the Church. They showed us the land. I told them that I would contact the Parish Priest who later on would eventually take action.

On January 6 I met Fr. Thomas, the Parish Priest of St Teresa in Kator, and informed him of the steps taken in order to have a plot for the Church in Jondoru. But with my surprise, Fr. Thomas made clear that Jondoru falls under Holy Trinity Parish.

A couple of days later I met Fr. Masseo, the Parish Priest of Holy Trinity. On Saturday January 16, we went together to see the plot and there we met Chief Chaplain Wani, Gabriel Ayub and some members of the community. 

All agreed that we could start using the place for our prayer meetings. Later on steps would be taken to secure the land for the Catholic community. The chief promised that he would support the request in front of the higher authority. All agreed that at this stage there was no need for a written document.

On Saturday January 23 a group a Catholics joined together at 8.00 am and started cleaning the area. Then, on Sunday, January 24, at the end of the mass in Moroyok, the information was shared about what was going on in Jondoru. The chief of Khor Mundari, Angelo Pitia, said: “We, the Christians of the community of Moroyok have generated our first child by giving life to the community of Jondoru. Praised be to God”.

What we have in mind for Jondoru at present is to start a Small Christian Community and to build a small structure, a shelter, where the community may gather for prayers. People will continue to go on Sunday to Moroyok. 

Later things may change as Jondoru gives the impression of growing fast and in a few years time it may become so big that the Archdiocese may even think of making of it a parish of its own. God knows. 

But it is good to look ahead and while working for the present prepare the future.

Fr. Pacifico, mccj

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