By Emelda Siama John Lopula
The Catholic Diocese of Yei under the stewardship of Bishop Alex Lodiong Sakor has ordained Deacon, Justin Salah Martin Juma as the parish priest of St. Joseph the Worker Parish-Lutaya area in Yei River County.
Deacon Salah was ordained under the theme, fiat, behold, I am the handmaid of the lord may it be done unto me according to your words, LK 1:2.
Over hundreds of catholic faithful including the goivernor of central Equatoria State gathered at St. Joseph the Worker Parish- Lutaya on Saturday, to witness the priestly ordination of Deacon Justin Salah Martin Juma, into priesthood.
The main celebrant, Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Yei, Alex Lodiong Sakor said they the gracious ordination marks the important beginning of the activities in the area.
In attendance were also other clerics from the sisterly countries of Uganda and DR-Congo including other key government officials who joined the ordination of Deacon Salah as priest?
Bishop Lodiong underscored the significance of the ordination and the immediate resumption of robust pastoral activities in the area to instill trust and confidence as one way of accelerating the return of the refugees and the internally displaced persons into their places of origin to rebuild on their livelihoods.
“St. Joseph the Worker Parish-Lutaya remains as one of the nearest parishes in Town and as well as a historic vocation in the Catholic Diocese of Yei since time immemorial,” Bishop Lodiong Said.
On his part, the newly ordained parish priest, Justin Salah Martin Juma conveyed his heartfelt gratitude’s to his immediate family and the entire diocesan family for the thoughtful mentor-ship and prayers accorded to him since he joined the Catholic Church. He also appealed for team work as he embark on the priesthood.
The priestly ordination came after twelve (12) years which many faithful within the Catholic fraternity described it as Peace dividends and as well as beginning of renewed momentum towards propagating the gospel of Christ to some of the unreached localities following the just ending violence that has engulfed most parts of the State.
Meanwhile the governor of Central Equatoria State, Emmanuel Adil Anthony, in his remarks at the occasion pledged his Government’s commitment to works with the church and the newly ordained parish priest to move the State to its full path of sustainable peace and development.
He also acknowledged the vital role that the church plays in propagating messages of peace, reconciliation and service for humanity through their pastoral interventions which is clearly evidenced by the recent pastoral tours across the Diocese of Yei by Bishop Alex Lodiong Sakor.
“I appealed to the church to continue consolidating the Government’s efforts on Peace building through re-engaging those who are still carrying up arms against the Government to denounce violence following President Kiir’s unwavering commitment on the resumption of the Rome peace initiative,” Adil said.
The governor further pledged 400 iron sheets to the Catholic Diocese of Yei under the stewardship of Rt. Rev. bishop Alex Lodiong Sakor to start renovation of St. Joseph Senior Secondary school in Lutaya. A Catholic aided school in the area.
Governor Adil made the pronouncement during an inspection tour to the vandalized facilities in St. Joseph the Worker Parish-Lutaya following the 2013 crisis that left many infrastructural set-ups destroyed in Yei River County.
He further urged the Diocesan administration to swiftly submit their bill of quantity (BOQ) to the State Government Secretariat for immediate consideration saying this is essential in improving quality Education in the area.