Providing for the Vulnerable in Rumbek
Outreach to the Most Vulnerable in Rumbek
With a message of reconciliation that’s become a hallmark of his ministry, Bishop Christian Carlassare partners with Sudan Relief Fund to oversee projects to empower the vulnerable in Rumbek.
Shortly after his appointment as Bishop, Carlassare suffered gunshot wounds to his legs in a sudden attack one night in his home. Even more astonishing than his recovery to walk again, was Bishop Carlassare’s return to South Sudan after recuperating – a message of forgiveness and trust he said he was sending the people.
Another hallmark of Bishop Christian’s ministry is his clarion call that “together we can do great things” and bring positive change to South Sudan – a guiding principle evidenced in the life-changing work at Sudan Relief Fund projects in the Rumbek diocese.
Loreto Schools and Loreto School for Girls
One example of this transformative work is seen at Loreto Schools. In a country where a recent UNICEF report says 3 of every 5 children haven’t set foot in a classroom, Loreto Schools is changing the statistics. Students at Loreto Schools consistently score among the highest in their state, and the school sets the stage for graduates to go on to higher education.
Loreto is leading another critical transformation – empowering girls to go to school in a country that often denies them the chance. At Loreto Secondary School, girls live on campus where they can complete high school and avoid being victimized as child brides in forced marriages. Fighting a woeful statistic that girls under 18 are more likely to die in childbirth than finish high school, Loreto is paving the way for girls to not only attend school but go on to higher education.
Missionary Sisters of Charity Orphanage
Ministering to the most vulnerable is poignantly demonstrated by the work of the Missionary Sisters of Charity Orphanage in Rumbek. Here a group of incredibly dedicated sisters take in extremely malnourished and orphaned babies. The tiny victims often arrive just breaths away from death’s door. But with around the clock nursing care and the tender attention of the sisters, many of these young lives thrive. It is a powerful and heartwarming illustration of heeding the call to remember the orphan and care for “the least of these.”
Leper Colony of Malou
It’s difficult to imagine a more marginalized population than outcasts suffering from leprosy. Tragically, this curable disease still plagues victims in South Sudan and other nations. But in the leper colony of Malou, tragedy is being replaced with joy and hope.
Once there were hundreds of people sorely impoverished, deathly ill, starving, and accepting the fate they were just waiting to die. Now there is a bustling community with food, a clean water well, agricultural projects, new shelters, a health clinic with medicine and ongoing treatments that can stop the progression of their illness.
There is occupational training to give adults self-supportive life skills. And there’s a community church – the ultimate symbol of hope for the future.
Walk for Peace
In spring of 2023, Bishop Christian led a group of young people on a 250 mile “Walk for Peace” to meet the Pope at his historic visit to Juba. But the journey was just as important as the destination. By demonstrating unity to villagers and communities along the route – and welcoming throngs of people who randomly joined in – the Bishop said the young people were “writing a new chapter for South Sudan.”
Bishop Carlassare says his challenging experiences have served to help him “bear the wounds” the people of this country suffer. It only strengthens his resolve to pursue a mission of unity and positive change. And that starts with Rumbek’s most vulnerable.