Christians asked to converge in Juba ahead of papal visit

The South Sudan Catholic Bishops’ Conference has extended a public invitation to people in the remote areas to start their journey to Juba for Pope Francis’ visit early next month.

Pope Francis is set to visit South Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) in late January to early February 2023.

“We are assuring you today [that] the Holy Father is coming. Let us prepare ourselves; those who are near to Juba should start coming on foot and those who are far also should start coming from today on,” said Stephen Nyodho, Catholic Bishop of Malakal Diocese, in a joint Press conference on Wednesday.

While briefing the media on the committees’ preparations of the papal visit, the Archbishop of Juba Diocese, Stephen Ameyu, called on the citizens to prepare for the coming of the Holy Father by embracing reconciliation and unity.

“This is an opportunity for us to get our minds together and bring together the people of South Sudan for peace, reconciliation and love for one another,” he stated.

“The Holy Father’s coming will enrich us in peace and love. We pray that his visit will be successful and it will not be like any other visit.”

The Vatican said His Holiness together with the Archbishop of Canterbury and the moderator of the general assembly of the Church of Scotland will start the Apostolic Journey to Democratic Republic Congo on 31 January and proceed to South Sudan where he will spend two days from 3-5 February.