29 January 2013

Kenya: African Migrants Bring 'New Blood' to Local Church

The recent wave of African migrants is bringing "new blood to the Australian Church", Sudanese Bishop Santo Loku Pio said in Adelaide during a solidarity visit by a group of African clergy, reports The Southern Cross.

Bishop Santo, Auxiliary Bishop of Juba, South Sudan, together with Mgr Roko Taban the Apostolic Administrator of the Diocese of Malakal and Fr Samuel Akoch the Parish Priest of Bentiu were visiting African-Australians from South Sudan.

"This is a solidarity visit," Bishop Santo said. "Coming to Australia has given us an opportunity, after being invited by the Australian Bishops Conference's Office for Migrants and Refugees, to encourage the young migrant community in Australia.

"We've come especially to encourage them in their faith and their responsibility, to really resettle as Christians and as Catholics and to carry out their duties and responsibilities."

Bishop Santo said he was particularly happy to see young Africans in lay ministry in the Australian Church. "They're getting involved," he said.

"Some are now commissioned catechists here and in other dioceses and many professionals are assisting them to get them to join into the church life in Australia, which is so different from the life back in South Sudan.

"They're getting trained. They're getting the capacities to fit into the church and to give the support that they need in their communities.

"Also we have a permanent deacon ordained already in Melbourne from this migrant community." Deacon George Piech Meat was ordained for the Melbourne Archdiocese on October 27.

"We realise that here there are many people who came from the Democratic Republic of Congo, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, Tanzania, Kenya, and so on," Bishop Santo said.

"They're forming up a family, a family of the African community.

"We're encouraging them to carry out their leadership responsibility, to be good Catholics and carry out their duties."

Copyright © 2013 Catholic Information Service for Africa. All rights reserved. Distributed by AllAfrica Global Media (allAfrica.com). To contact the copyright holder directly for corrections — or for permission to republish or make other authorized use of this material, click here.

AllAfrica publishes around 2,000 reports a day from more than 130 news organizations and over 200 other institutions and individuals, representing a diversity of positions on every topic. We publish news and views ranging from vigorous opponents of governments to government publications and spokespersons. Publishers named above each report are responsible for their own content, which AllAfrica does not have the legal right to edit or correct.

Articles and commentaries that identify allAfrica.com as the publisher are produced or commissioned by AllAfrica. To address comments or complaints, please Contact us.