Southern Sudan - A Success Story To Celebrate
The Comboni Fathers and Sisters inherited from their founder, St Daniel, a passion for the mythical land of Gondokoro, an elusive port on the Nile in Southern Sudan that set alight the mind of the first missionaries to Central Africa. Today it is nowhere to be found. Perhaps it remains a spot where tombs of young heroes lay, men and women who dared to pay with their life and blood, for a dream of change and rebirth of the vast lands that today we will call South Sudan.
“Abuna” Vinco, a missionary who first set foot in this unknown land, used to come back to Don Mazza’s College in Verona to address young people that dreamt of evangelization and adventure, and tell them of a mythical spot on the Nile where he experienced poverty, ignorance, slavery and abduction of tall, black, tribal people grazing cattle. To die in that land became the destiny and the glory of young missionaries unaware of the treachery of tropical diseases and pending dangers from the enemy – the same blood – the north!
Comboni embraced the vision of Abuna Vinco and dreamed of a land of hope where one day free people, renewed and energized by Christian faith, would witness to the transformation that the power of belief could bring about. He embraced that land; he invested his entire life on this people; he died proclaiming on his death-bed that his dream and his work would not die with him!
Southern Sudan remained the favourite legacy embraced by his sons and daughters, the Comboni Fathers and Sisters. So much so, 130 years on they have carried out, and fulfilled his vision. On July 9, 2011, all his work and dreams will bear fruit and become true. We will witness the day of the Declaration of Independence; the day of birth of a new beautiful people, Southern Sudan, whose motto “Justice Dignity and Peace” is rightly deserved!
Our Comboni Open Day on July 9, 2011, was a time to celebrate along with some of the Southern Sudanese present here in Leeds, and with our presence made a statement to everybody that behind the Missionary drive and efforts of all people of vision who support evangelization and mission, there is always a SUCCESS STORY in waiting!