|We got up this morning and walked to Mass at the compound of the Comboni Fathers, founded for the African missions by Daniel Comboni, an Italian missionary, in the 19th century. The Mass was really delightful: held outdoors, under wonderful trees that provided us with plenty of shade; there were plenty of Africans in attendance, along with a wide diversity of people who had clearly come from many parts of the world to visit or work or minister in South Sudan. There were a number of Sisters who belong to an indigenous congregation founded in the 1950’s, The Sisters of the Sacred Heart. They are easily identified by their distinctive habit with the red buttons and their beautiful cross on a red cord. In fact, their habit reminds me of the way bishops often dress in tropical climates, with white cassocks with red trim.
The presider of the Mass was prayerful and creative and employed song a number of other elements to bring the Mass to life: we experienced the Rite of Blessing and Sprinkling with Holy Water, and, instead of merely reciting the Creed, the presider led us in a Renewal of our Baptismal Vows. There was nice singing and I found the celebration moving and meaningful.
Back at the Solidarity House, I assisted Brother Felipe with preparations for lunch. This guy is quite gifted in a number of ways, including the fact that he is an excellent chief! He manages to take whatever he finds in the kitchen and turn it into something visually appealing and quite tasty! We had a delicious lunch, with some good stories being sharby several around the table. After cleaning up the kitchen, we adjourned for “siesta”, something that is essential in this very hot and humid climate.
There is a fellow here, an administrator who, along with Brother Felipe, assists Father Jim with a variety of tasks, whom I will mention in closing: Samuel Ading. Samuel is an impressive guy: a real gentleman, a man of deep faith, genuinely committed to his country and her people, highly intelligent, quiet and unassuming, with a beautiful smile. He has done a lot to prepare the way for my visit and has been most helpful to me since I arrived.
Nov 10, 2021
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