bishop_in_sudanOur Diocesan Connection with Southern Sudan

Marty Roers, native of the St. Cloud Diocese served as a Maryknoll Lay Missioner in Sudan a number of years ago. In addition, Bishop John Kinney and Fr. Bill Vos have visited Sudan on multiple occassions. Our diocese has been friend and supporter of Bishop Paride Taban, nobel peace prize nominee and Bishop emeritus of the Diocese of Torit in Southern Sudan. Read more about the situations in Sudan and Bishop Taban’s great ministry in what is now the newest country on earth, South Sudan.

Struggles in Sudan

International headlines about the humanitarian crisis and genocide in the Darfur Region of Sudan has brought our diocesan connections to Southern Sudan to the forefront. In August of 2004, all the parishes in the Diocese of St. Cloud reached out in solidarity and with compassion to the people of Sudan. The conscience and faith of our diocese was raised and called us to action on behalf of our brothers and sisters in Sudan.

sudanese_bishops2006Since 1999, the St. Cloud Diocese has supporting Bishop Paride Taban, former Bishop of the Diocese of Torit, and the missioners in Sudan. The St. Cloud Diocese has also supported the Southern Sudan Catholic Bishops Conference for a number of years. The St. Cloud Diocese was instrumental in assisting with the formation of the Southern Sudan Catholic Bishops Conference’s regional office in Nairobi, Kenya, when it had to move out of its own country due to the extreme violence. In 2006 the Sudanese Bishops Conference met for the first time since then in their homeland, accompanied by our own Bishop John Kinney, expressing his on-going solidarity with his brother Bishops of Sudan.

In both 2002 and 2006, Bishop Kinney, along with Fr. Bill Vos (former Mission Office director) visited Bishop Taban in Sudan. These visits have been the foundation of an on-going relationship with Bishop Taban, the Diocese of Torit, the Holy Trinity Peace Village founded by Bishop Taban, and the Catholic Dioceses of Southern Sudan.

As a universal Church, our relationships with the war-torn Church of Southern Sudan has allowed us to open ourselves, be present to their suffering, learn from each other, reach out to our brothers and sisters in Sudan, and grow spiritually.

tabanBishop Paride Taban and the Peace Village

Bishop Paride Taban is the former bishop of the Diocese of Torit in Southern Sudan. During his time as Bishop he saw the incredible pastoral and development needs of his people in the war-torn country. And while media coverage continues to paint a bleak picture of the Darfur and Northern Sudan area, Bishop Taban tells us of the continuing needs in Southern Sudan as well, an area receiving less governmental and charity aid than the more widely heard about Darfur.

Although he is retired as the Diocesan Bishop, Bishop Taban continues the important work of peace-building through the Holy Trinity Peace Village in Kuron, Sudan. The Peace Village strives to bring feuding ethnic groups together for retreat, reflection and mediation, as well as education and development needs. It is a grassroots effort to bring sustainable peace to Sudan.

peacevillage_logoVisit the Web site for the Holy Trinity Peace Village in Kuron, South Sudan.

The St. Cloud Diocese welcomed Bishop Paride Taban of the Diocese of Torit, Southern Sudan to central Minnesota in late October of 2003. Bishop Taban celebrated the Eucharist with Fergus Falls Parish and the Catholic Primary School. He also visited and gave presentations with the Religious Education Classes at Urbank Parish and a dedicated group of St. Cloud Area Mission Circle Members. In the fall of 2005, Bishop Taban again visited the diocese, as well as in the fall of 2009.

Bishop Taban, despite his extremely busy schedule and many speaking arrangements across the US when he comes State-side, continues to seek out a visit to the St. Cloud area due to the strong connection he feels for the people of our diocese and his gratitude for our walking in solidarity with him and his people. Thank you to all who have, and continue to, walk with our brothers and sisters in Sudan.

taban_peacevillageRead more about Bishop Taban and Sudan in past newsletters (contact the Mission Office for this past edition):

  1. Summer 2013
  2. Spring 2010
  3. Winter 2009
  4. Winter 2007