Easter Equatoria State, News

Clerics’ heart on rebuilding shattered Church

By Bida Elly David

Following decades of violence that claimed thousands of lives and torn up Our Lady of Assumption Loa Parish, the clerics of Catholic Archdiocese of Torit have vowed to rebuild it.

This pledge was made during the commemoration of Patron Saint feast of Our Lady of Assumption Loa Catholic Parish, marking its 102 years of existence.

Bishop of the diocese of Tori, Emmanuel Barnandino Lowi Napeta said that the residents of Loa Parish had experienced carnage and the population has been forcibly relocated to refugee camps in East Africa.

“We all know what happened to the church. Hopefully, by next year, you will see new changes in the Church. We have made a plan and we hope to bring changes to the church,” he said.

The parish priest of Loa parish, Dario Modi, emphasized that the young of Eastern Equatoria state, in particular of the impacted Loa, experienced insecurity and majority of them were subjected to criminals’ torture.

He said that two-thirds of the displacements and destructions in Eastern Equatoria, particularly the Madi land, were brought on by young people who never gave their communities first priority.

“You Youth in Eastern Equatoria State must know that we are the eye and teeth of the community. When we talk of the resettlement of the community back home, youth have a greater role to play,” Modi said.

It is time for young people in Eastern Equatoria State to advocate for the return of the displaced communities, he noted.

“In the next year to come, I will be very happy to see that 100-youth building within the community and supporting the congregation here. 102 years of faith in Madi has never been an easy thing.”

Margret Oliver, the head chief of Pageri Payam, claimed that their ruthless adversaries had destroyed schools, hospitals, and important landmarks, ruining the achievements and history of the Madi and Acholi people.

Margret said the displaced are very suspicious to return to their homes with the faith that they are not safe in the hands of the crooks in the wilderness.

“For us to return back from Camps, Loa secondary and primary schools should be renovated and opened. If all these are done, people will return alone,” she said.

Margret added that the Madi people have been God-fearing and hardworking people noting that all shall be well.

Loa Parish is one of the historical churches that has been playing the purpose of transforming the lives of many from paganism into Christianity.

During the conflict of 2013 and 2016, the believers scattered to refugee camps in search of safety. Numerous lives were lost, and families were split apart as a result of the conflict.

The structure, which served as a major gathering place for priest ordinations and celebrations of assumption feasts, has been ruthlessly damaged.

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