Juba (Agenzia Fides) - "I have encouraged seminarians belonging to the nine dioceses in both Sudan and South Sudan to prepare themselves for the mission of the Church", said to Agenzia Fides His Exc. Mgr. Michael Didi Adgum Mangoria, Archbishop of Khartoum and Episcopal Chairman of the Commission of Seminaries at the Sudan Catholic Bishops’ Conference (SCBC). "I just visited our major seminary in Juba where I met our seminarians and staff".
Archbishop Didi is in Kenya for the Executive Board meeting of the Association of Member Episcopal Conferences in Eastern Africa (AMECEA) taking place at Gaba Institute, Eldoret.
"In talking and listening to them, apart from some complaints here and there, some of the seminarians seem to understand why they are there and therefore represent the hope of Church leadership for Sudan and South Sudan, which is a positive thing", says Mgr. Didi.
South Sudan has been witnessing violent conflict since December 2013 since soldiers loyal to President Salva Kiir clashed with those loyal to his deputy, Riek Machar, with Juba city being most affected.
"Everyone in a war zone is traumatized, including the seminarians and the staff that accompany them", says Mgr. Didi.
However, he explains to Fides: "The seminarians and staff are better off this year than last year when there was fighting within Juba town; some of them dropped out of the seminary, returning to their respective dioceses. This year, they seem to be happy".
"I encouraged the seminarians to keep up and use all the means, resources, and talents they have to prepare themselves for the mission ahead of them", he continues.
There are some 100 seminarians in the two sections (philosophy and theology), coming from all the nine dioceses of the two Sudans.
"There are about 15 resident staff for both sections; there are some part-time teachers including two Comboni missionaries and some lay persons coming mainly from the university of Juba", says Mgr. Didi to Fides.
The Archbishop of Khartoum appeals for prayers for the seminarians saying: "Surely prayers are very important for these seminarians who are aspiring to serve in the mission of our Lord. We are still at the stage of war and people can also try to help through prayer" concludes Mgr. Didi. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides, 20/10/2017)