The Good Shepherd Peace Centre was opened on October 15th in Kit, in the Archdiocese of Juba, by the Apostolic Nuncio to South Sudan, Archbishop Charles Daniel Balvo. He was assisted by His Exc. Mgr. Paolino Lukudu Loro, Archbishop of Juba, three other Bishops, an Apostolic administrator, and a large number of Diocesan and Religious priests. A crowd of more than 800 people, including several ambassadors and local dignitaries, gathered for this occasion. “The Centre will be a positive force for the pursuit of peace in this young Country,” Fr. Daniele Moschetti, President of the Association of Religious Superiors in South Sudan, said.
The project was launched last year by the Catholic Religious in South Sudan (RSASS). The centre will focus on human, pastoral and spiritual formation, peace building, and trauma healing. Fr. Daniele Moschetti, provincial of the Comboni Missionaries, said: “The Centre is open to people of all faiths. That the Centre exists at all shows that a lot can be achieved against the odds. It is a gift of hope for the people of South Sudan, especially for all who will receive formation from this Centre”.
There are forty bedrooms with bathrooms, each capable of accommodating two beds, plus a youth hostel that can accommodate sixty people. With spacious conference and dining rooms, a central chapel and many seminar rooms and outdoor tukuls (cone-shaped mud huts) on a peaceful site near the Kit River, it is expected that this quality, multi-purpose facility will be a very positive force in the search for peace in South Sudan. The simple but profound message above the chapel entrance says: ‘Be at Peace’.
The initial community to staff the Centre will consist of a South Sudanese Comboni Priest, two members of Solidarity with South Sudan – a Vincentian priest from the Philippines, and a Sister of the Immaculate Heart of Mary from the USA –, a Jesuit priest from Rwanda, and a St. Martin De Porres Brother from Uganda. This team will live unity in diversity – a message to South Sudan to work together in fraternity for a common vision and future.
Father Moschetti concluded: “The Centre will be a great sign from the religious and the Local Church that the Catholic Church is concretely committed to peace, justice and reconciliation in the Country through its own staff and its facilities.”