Juba, South Sudan: Surprising Christian Vibrancy in a Country Devastated by Civil War

Juba, South Sudan: Surprising Christian Vibrancy in a Country Devastated by Civil War

New Parish – Our Lady of the Holy Rosary.

It is five months since Our Lady of the Holy Rosary parish was inaugurated. Our Lady of the Holy Rosary parish was carved out of St. Joseph’s parish and we are working towards making this new parish function in an organized manner. The celebration of the inauguration of the parish which took place on the 8th April 2018 was full of joy and ululations. People came in their hundreds. Archbishop Paulino Lukudu Loro was there and presided over the beautiful and prayerful liturgy. This centre that began as a catechetical school 35 year ago under a tree had graduated into a fully-fledged parish. The Mill Hill missionaries have been entrusted with the pastoral care of the new parish. The priests ministering here are Frs. Michael Ochwo mhm and Emmanuel Omollo mhm.

Archbishop Paulino Lukudu at church entrance

The people here struggled over many to build a church which now can hold 800 – 1,000 people at any given Eucharistic celebrations. However, there is no presbytery, but the pioneering Mill Hill Missionaries have converted a small former clinic into their provisional living quarters . The parish has a population of about 8,000 Christians with vibrant youth groups who participate in both spiritual and social developmental activities.

Sports Tournament.

Michael Ochwo mhm, Emmanuel Omollo mhm welcome players

Apart from involvement in liturgical and prayer activities, the youth and people at the parish of Our Lady of the Holy Rosary are also involved in social sports activities. The tournament of football is a big thing here. Last year the football competition started at the then chapel and has continued this year at the new parish church. Football tournaments are a way of bringing people together from different cultures, tribes and affiliations to a common purpose of human enjoyment and need. This is a country that has been in conflict for many years and to get people involved playing football is a great thing. It also helps youth to release the tension and stress that may be in their lives.

Cultural Day.

Michael Ochwo mhm with cultural dancers

The Cultural Day is organized once a year and it is the moment when people dress up in traditional local attire, present cultural songs and dances. The celebration starts with the Eucharist and the cultural presentations follow after.  It is another way of bringing people together uniting them and helping them relieve the multiple experiences of stress that people here are going through.

Parish feast day and parish centenary celebrations.

Michael Ochwo mhm, centre

Every year on 7th October Our Lady of the Holy Rosary celebrates its patron day – Our Lady of the Holy Rosary. The archdiocese of Juba is celebration a centenary next year and this year is the celebration of the centenary at parish level. We at the Holy Rosary as the youngest parish were the last to celebrate. The Archbishop came and we had a solemn Eucharistic celebration with songs and dances after lunch. The surrounding parishes joined us in the celebrations and there were various songs and traditional dances performed by people from those different parishes.

Fr. Michael Ochwo mhm

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