National, News

First cardinal set for grand reception

By Charles K Mark


South Sudan’s first Cardinal, His Grace, Dr. Stephen Ameyu Martin Mulla, will return to Juba on October 30, 2023, following his consecration in Rome.

The auxiliary bishop of the Catholic Archdiocese of Juba, Bishop Santo Loku Pio, announced on Thursday.

He said a grand welcome of Cardinal Ameyu will take place at 10:00 a. m, right from Juba International Airport.

“The committee for the reception has been working hard and has organized the reception. Preparations are practically, basically set,” Bishop Santo told the media yesterday.

The Assistant Archbishop of the Juba Catholic Archdiocese said the reception of the country’s historical cardinal will be attended by dignitaries, clerics, the church congregation, and the general public.

“At the airport, there will be no ceremony; it will only be a warm welcome reception. And so there will be cultural groups, singers, and other dignitaries at the airport,” Bishop Santo explained.

But as the church tried to limit the entourage from the airport, it designated some different locations, including St. Joseph Parish, the Catholic University, St. Kizito Parish, Holy Rosary, Holy Cross, Terekeka Pastoral Region, St. Charles, and Lwanga Lokwilili.

“The church personnel mean the priests, the sisters, the brothers, and then other cultural groups, government officials, and then the committee of protocols will be the ones at the airport and set up the reception,” Santo said.

The auxiliary bishop directed that people would line up from the airport right to the cathedral for a procession.

“We will be using the airport, Muduria Road, and then Mobil, Malakia, Atlabara, and Kator,” Santo said, unveiling the procession roadmap.

He noted there would not be a special event during the reception, but the Cardinal would only greet the faithful and offer a blessing to disperse the gathering.

However, the church said it is organizing a ‘Thanksgiving Mass’ inclusive of speeches on November 4, 2023, at 10:00 a.m. at St. Teresa’s Cathedral, Kator.

Stephen Ameyu Martin Mulla is one of the 21 bishops that Pope Francis named on 9th July 2023 at a consistory for the creation of Cardinals.

He is also among three African Bishops who have been made cardinals on September 30, 2023, in a consistory occasion in the Vatican City, Rome.

Cardinal Stephen Ameyu, born on 10 January 1964 hails from Torit County of Eastern Equatoria, South Sudan.

He received priestly ordination on 21 April 1991 as a diocesan priest of the Catholic Diocese of Torit.

After his pastoral work in Khartoum, he pursued a doctorate at the Pontifical Urban University from 1993 to 1997, for an award of a doctorate in dogmatic theology.

The title of his thesis was Toward Religious Dialogue and Reconciliation in Sudan.

He then taught at the seminary of Juba, South Sudan, eventually becoming its rector.

Pope Francis appointed Stephen Ameyu Martin Mulla, Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Torit on 3 January 2019. The diocese had fallen vacant for 5 years since March 2013, following the death of Bishop, Johnson Akio Mutek.

On 12 December 2019, Pope Francis also appointed Stephen Ameyu, as archbishop of Juba and 22nd March 2020 marked his installation.

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