Bishop Eduardo Kussala of the Catholic Diocese of Tombura Yambio, attended the recent ceremony of the newly appointed bishop in Wau, Reverend Matthew Remijio. The celebration took place in the Wau Diocese, which reaches a population of some 3.7 million people, of which 75% are Christian, with 22 parishes and 29 clergy. The arrival of Bishop Remijio brings to an end a ten-year period of the Diocese having no bishop.
A delegation of church dignitaries, sisters, and hundreds of lay people among others, attended the event. A large caravan carrying many of the local governmental and church dignitaries was flanked by hundreds of people cheering and singing hymns as they followed the procession, despite the dusty conditions and extreme heat.
A native of Wau, the newly appointed Bishop Remijio was originally ordained a Comboni priest in 2004, of the Comboni Missionaries of the Love of Jesus, and served as such until his appointment as bishop.
Bishop Eduardo took the opportunity at the expansive gathering to urge local people to turn from divisions and tribal dissension, and to embrace forgiveness and unity moving forward.
“Forgive the past, open a new page with this new bishop; build new ways in your relationships so that all of you would celebrate the joy that God has brought to you,” he said. Adding, “You have a gift now, make use of it, celebrate it; work together to reclaim the glory of the Catholic Diocese of Wau.”
As part of the rebuilding of the Wau Diocese, renovations have been underway on the church building and surrounding structures that have fallen into disrepair, to improve the offices, the kitchen and dining areas, and the priest’s half-completed residence. Construction is also taking place on a new boarding school in Rimenze. Sudan Relief Fund donated a Land Cruiser vehicle so that the school and Diocese could have a reliable source of transportation to serve the many needs of those in their area.
At the consecration ceremony, Bishop Kussala expressed gratitude for the arrival of the new bishop. He further gave thanks for Pope Francis for “being so keen about the needs of his children” there, and reiterated the Pope’s “desire for a peaceful and prosperous South Sudan.”