MESSAGE OF THE PROVINCIALS AND DELEGATES OF THE COMBONI MISSIONARIES WORLDWIDE TO THE PEOPLE OF SOUTH SUDAN
24 February 2017 – The Provincials and Delegates of the Comboni Missionaries worldwide, gathered in Rome from 06-24 February, have sent a message of hope and encouragement to the people of South Sudan. In their message, the missionaries pray for peace and that South Sudan’s political leaders “may look beyond personal or group interests, and engage in a deep national dialogue of pardon, reconciliation and redress”. They also pray for the religious leaders of South Sudan that they may guide people “through paths of forgiveness to pastures of pardon and peace”.
Provincials and Delegates in Rome
Reade below the full message
“MY PEACE I GIVE YOU” (John 14: 27)
Dear sisters and brothers in South Sudan,
We greet you in the name of Jesus.
Saint Daniel Comboni had a great love for you, “the first love” of his youth.
We, the leaders of the Comboni Missionaries worldwide, have the same love beating in our hearts. We suffer with you in these times of untold misery and death, and follow your situation with great preoccupation.
The blissful dream of Independence Day was shattered by the war that broke out in Juba and, like wildfire in a forest, slowly spread to the whole country.
The blood of thousands of dead civilians and soldiers cries for peace; the wounded and the raped need healing, comfort and justice.
We earnestly pray that peace may return to South Sudan!
We pray for your political leaders: that they may look beyond personal or group interests, and engage in a deep national dialogue of pardon, reconciliation and redress!
We pray for your religious leaders: that they may guide you through paths of forgiveness to pastures of pardon and peace!
We beg Christians to turn to Jesus “for he is the peace between us, and has made the two into one entity and broken down the barrier which used to keep them apart, by destroying in his own person the hostility” (Ephesians 2:14).
Pope Francis made a strong appeal on behalf of South Sudan on February 22nd 2017. He is concerned “with the painful news coming from martyred South Sudan” where “a fratricidal conflict” and severe food crisis “condemn to death by starvation millions of people, including many children.”
“Now, it is more necessary than ever that all commit not to stop at making statements, but also to provide concrete food aid and to allow it to reach suffering populations. May the Lord sustain these our brothers and all those working to help them” – the Pope said.
Taking the Pope’s lead, we call on the international community to continue assisting with food and practical security arrangements to alleviate your great suffering.
We ask God’s blessings upon each one of you through the intercession of Saint Josephine Bakhita and Saint Daniel Comboni.
The Circumscription Superiors and the Members of the General Administration of the Comboni Missionaries gathered in Rome.
February 24th 2017