The auxiliary bishop of our Archdiocese presided Mass which was celebrated under a big tend and in front of hundreds of parishioners.
In our parish we have more than 16 tribes and people from at least 4 different nations and the bishop mastered three languages trying not to exclude anyone. He spoke of the gift of languages by the Holy Spirit and I do wonder where I was when this gift was given... after two years here in Juba I am still struggling with the main local language, Bari, and the spoken common one which is a sort of Arabic.
After Mass we had an afternoon programme with traditional songs and dances. The most touching moment had been the dance and song by our Nuer people. Unfortunately, due to the actual political situation in South Sudan, they are obliged to live in an IDP (Internal Displaced People) camp under the protection of the United Nation. The camp is within the territory of our Parish and I thank the Lord to be their servant priest. I go to the camp as often as I can and EVERY TIME I receive a heartwarming welcoming. I obviously invited them to the Parish for the feast and MANY and I mean MANY of them turned up (they had to walk for 7km to reach the parish). They offered us a couple of song and dances and while I was looking and listening to "my" youth I almost had tears in my eyes and goos-bumps all over. When we see Bari, Nuer, Zande, Lotuho, Acholi and Italians :-) singing and dancing together then hope rise again in our heart and we know that, some day, sooner or later, peace will come.
Enjoy the pictures