Created on Thursday, 13 November 2014 05:41

13 November 2014 – A two days conference on the Plan of Saint Daniel Comboni for the Regeneration of Africa was held in Juba from 31st October to 1st November 2014. The event was organized by the Comboni Missionaries of Juba, the Catholic University of South Sudan and St. Mary College of the Catholic Diocese of Juba as part of the commemorations of the 150th anniversary of Comboni’s plan.


The aim was to bring together the three Catholics high education institutions of Juba, including St Paul Major Seminary, which holds fourteen theology students, to know and to reflect upon the great work and plan that our St. Daniel Comboni.
The Plan of Comboni was envisioned 150 years ago for the people of the Sudan and Africa. It was the first time that these institutions came together, both staff and students. Besides, some staff religious based in Juba and members of the public joined the conference.
Comboni had a special vision and care for education and human promotion or development. He had a dream of setting four universities all around Africa still in the second half of the 19th century. The first Catholic University of South Sudan is part of the fulfillment of Comboni’s plan. This initiative, however, needs a lot of work and efforts from different actors to keep on moving.
The two days conference had three invited guests. Mister William Zaza, a Professor at Juba University, presented a personal biography of Comboni along with the history of Sudan from 1820 to 1956, the year of Independence also reaching to 1964, the year of the expulsion of all the Christian missionaries. Most of the expelled missionaries were Combonis.
Fr. Guido Oliana, a Professor at St Paul Major Seminary, deepened the reflection with an enlightening presentation on the Plan of St Daniele Comboni in the light of some theological and pastoral challenges with focus on the Sudanese society of 150 years ago and on today’s society.
Monsignor Thomas Oliha, Apostolic Administrator of the Diocese of Torit, presented a paper on the challenges that the Plan of Daniel Comboni posed and continue to pose to the Church and the society of this new country.
The presence of Archbishop Paulino Lukudu Loro, a Comboni Missionary and Archbishop of Juba, and of Bishop Paride Taban, Emeritus bishop of Torit, have enriched the Conference and been an stimulus as they both shared their personal experiences in the spirit of Comboni and the Comboni Missionaries they have known since the time of their training and throughout their ministries.
For Bishop Paride, the Combonis of today are the people of South Sudan and Sudan that have to become protagonists of their present and future.
The audience listened attentively and a made lot of questions and interventions. This occasion of the 150th anniversary of the Plan of Comboni has been a great chance and occasion for the people of these three important education institutions to meet and to share knowledge and experiences.
It has also been an invitation for further reflections and actions together for a better service to the South Sudanese Church and society.