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St. Theresa’s Arabic Choir celebrates 39th anniversary

On a beautiful Saturday morning, St. Theresa Cathedral Parish in Kator was filled with excitement as Arabic Choir celebrated its 39th anniversary.

The atmosphere was electric and filled with an air of celebration as the choir members performed various songs and hymns to mark the occasion.

The choir joyously sung songs of praise during a Holy Mass, presided over by parish priest Fr. Gabriel Asida Andrew, amidst ululation.

“It was 39 years ago that a group of our faithful here started the Arabic mass in the cathedral,” said Fr. Andrew.

“Today as we celebrate the 39th anniversary we also remember those who have passed because a number of them have gone to the Lord but their name are still continued because they are still with us and without them we won’t celebrate this day today,” he added.

He added that the upcoming 40th anniversary would be significant because it has a theological meaning in the Bible “The children of God were enslaved for 40 years, took them 40 years to enter the promised land -40 years of hurdles.”

“Those who started it were few groups but today you have seen the number of choirs – they are over a hundred singing but it started with five, four people and it counted to ten and now to over 100,” noted Fr. Andrew.

Father Andrew echoed the message of peace, reconciliation, and forgiveness among South Sudanese.

“As we have heard from the bishops and the head-of-state this year each one is given his message of peace sung by the angels and that is to rest in our hearts and its only in God we rejoice.”

Meanwhile, the head of Arabic gospel singers, Afaf Ambrose, who narrated the history said the choir was established on January 6, 1984, in a Holy Mass presided by Fr. Philipcina during that time.

“I am very pleased because today is a great day as Arabic choir, our group was established in 1984 and it is now turn to 39 and the first priest who conducted the Holy Mass that day was Fr. Philipcina,” she noted.

She mentioned some of the pioneers who are still in the group – in persons of Ustaz Andrew, John Sabit, and Ustaz Al-Haj as well as conveyed her heartfelt condolences to some members who passed on.

“We also have some of our colleagues who passed away and we convey our condolences and appreciate their contribution because they founded this choir group that we are proud of today,” said Afaf.

“We also hope that the upcoming generation will pick from where we left it and continue with the journey,” she continued.

Afra John Hassan, a choir and chairperson of the organizing committee for 39 Anniversary said the preparation for the D-Day colorful started almost three months ago to ensure perfection.

“Our choir group has today reached 39 years since its formation and we are celebrating it today,” said Afra.

“It is a beautiful day for us because it is our Remembrance Day as the Arabic Choir group at St. Theresa Cathedral and I hope that God will continue to protect us so that we keep celebrating this D-Day,” she added.

According to Afra, the anniversary holds special meaning to all choir members, adding it resembles their birthday the same way each one celebrates their birthdays.

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