God is the God of surprises. And his surprises, even though challenging, carry always a blessing. I did not expect this appointment, but I welcome it with spirit of faith and availability. May the loving plan of God for the Church of Rumbek and South Sudan be accomplished.

I am grateful to pope Francis and the Church for the love and trust that have shown by calling me to the episcopal ministry and appointing me to be the bishop of Rumbek.

My thought goes to all the people of the diocese and their desire to encounter Christ in the Church. My obligation goes to all priests that are serving in the diocese, in particular Fr. John Mathiang for his commitment to lead the diocese in the past years as diocesan coordinator. I also recall the person of the late bishop Caesar Mazzolari who gave his life to the people of Rumbek with the spirit of a good shepherd. My appreciation goes to all the religious institutes and communities of men and women that enrich the diocese with their charisms, among them I show special gratitude to my confreres, the Comboni Missionaries and sisters, especially those we have shared in the ministry. I am also indebted with the diocese of Malakal for the spirit of communion, support and kindness: may God reward you. I also acknowledge the commitment of many lay people, whether native from Rumbek or from other places and countries, those who work in the offices and institutions of the diocese, and committed Christians such as catechists, members of church councils, associations, men and women, youth and elders who form and build up this family of God.

I want to express my readiness to join the diocese of Rumbek entering in the journey that you have been doing so far and offering my humble self. But, at this moment, what I ask you more is for your prayer, with the trust that our Lord who started this good work will assist me with his grace and bring it to completion.