Mapuordit Comboni mission is located in Lakes state. The ethnic communities found in the are are: the Dinka-Atuot and Dinka-Agar and some Dinka-Apak, and Jur Modo and Jur Supi (non-Dinka groups).
The Dinkas are pastoralists: cattle keeping, goats rearing. They also cultivate during the rainy season though it is valueless compare to cattle keeping. The importance of a person is estimated according to the number of cows and wife and children he has. They are strongly attached to the culture which they are even proud of.
The Jur, on the contrary are hard workers people and involved in agriculture and production of honey and other activities in the area. They are more settled in one place.
This cultural made of is a richness and at the same time bears a lot of challenges such as looting, ethnic fractions leading killing. A culture where revenge is regarded as a value, people live in a constant environment of fear and distrust.
The majority of the people belong to a patriarchal society, where the man is the center of the family and the authority. Polygamy is common as part of this patriarchal system. A man can have several wives, which can show the rank he has in the place. The chief (Beny) is an important figure in all places. The organization of the dinka is: Family – Clan – Section – Community – Payam – County.
The respect towards the elders is still present nowadays. They usually represent the voice of the family or the village.
Parish church of Mapuordit
Our parish is dedicated to Saint Josephine Bakhita, whose feast is celebrated on the 8th of February. The center of Mapuordit is the soul for the parish. Priests, sisters, catechists and other lay people are actively involved in the running of the parish. This year, we have 12 outstations under Mapuordit center and 30 catechists with monthly incentive until last may and some volunteers’ catechists.The catechists ought to lead the Sunday celebrations in their Christian communities, animate the communities, prepare catechumens for the reception of sacraments, visit the families and pray for the sick. Other initiatives are done, following the pastoral guidelines of the diocese.We try to encourage and strengthen the existing groups in the pastoral field such youth group, women group, Alleluia dancers group, choir group, small Christian community groups and family life group.
Since the opening of the parish in 1993, as a refuge and safety for people being victimized by the war, St Josephine Bakhita parish of Mapuordit has witnessed a growing number of people who lost their relatives during war and number of people who had been attacked by wild animals and abandoned soon after by their family, and number of people who had developed some kinds of sickness which are regarded by the family as a curse. Life had become therefore unbearable for those people and they ought to seek consolation and support from the church.
The life experience one of them is as follows: David Amuor Mayen is a poor and blind man married to Martha Adut with 3 children. According to David, his close relatives were killed during the war. Besides this, he became blind because of the hyena that attached him and destroyed completely his eyes in 1992. Life has become meaningless for me and I really wonder how the world could be so unfair. Thanks to God, the church has become my family, taking care of me and my family. The church has given back hope; I am married and have 3 children. I am now blessed. I pray that God may bless all the people of good will who assist me and give new hope in life. Now, my life has positively changed.
Currently the disabled are around 60 people under the complete care of the parish. The parish assists them in the following ways:
– Building and restoration of their huts.
– Distribution of food (sorghum, rice, oil, salt, sugar, beans and this once a month) and of clothes, mosquito nets and blankets and other basic needs such health care thanks to the hospital which offers us a great service.
The parish is committed to empower them by making them protagonists of their own future. We carry this out in the following ways:
– Provision of seeds (Groundnuts, green beans, okra, sorghum…) for agriculture during the rainy season.
– We also provide some with goats, sheep to rear. This is of a great help for them especially during the dry season when they have nothing to live on.
– We also provide some (children and wives of the blind) with some little money to see their abilities to do something for themselves such as small business.
– We do assist also their children in the school by paying for their school fee and the school materials.
The Comboni Missionaries currently working in Mapuordit are:
Br. Gaspar Abarca Andrés, from Mexico
Br. Bozza Claudio, from Italy
Br. Rosario Iannetti, from Italy
Fr. Pellerino Giuseppe, from Italy
Fr. Stefano Trevisan, from Italy