Arua Diocese Opens Special Apostolic Mission for Refugees

2461 Views Arua, Uganda

In short
Bishop Sabino Odoki, the bishop of Arua Diocese says the decision to visit the refugee came directly from the pope who says the president of the academy must share the word of God with the refugees before he departs for Rome.

Arua Diocese has opened a vicariate for refugees and migrants in West Nile region. A vicariate in the Catholic Church is an apostolic missionary jurisdiction, similar to a proper diocese, under a titular bishop but organized into missions rather than parishes.

Sabino Odoki, the Bishop of Arua Diocese says the formation of the vicariate is in recognition that refugees and immigrants need spiritual care which may not be provided under the current set up because of language difficulties.

West Nile region hosts close to 700,000 refugees most of whom are running away from fighting and famine in South Sudan where more  than 1.5 million people have fled to neighboring countries in the region, since the outbreak of violence in Juba in July 2016.

Odoki says as the largest refugee-hosting diocese in the country, they are aware of the challenges the refugees are facing and adds that a number of missionary priest have already been secured from both within and outside for the mission. These include among others, priests from South Sudan who came to Uganda as refugees.
 
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Bishop Odoki adds that the diocese has taken an active role in helping the refugees to resettle in their new locations.  He explains that the diocese is currently supporting 1000 refugee children in a single primary school in Adjumani district.
 
Bishop Odoki further calls for dialogue to end the conflict in south Sudan. He says the war in South Sudan cannot end through guns, adding that war creates a bad impact for the defenseless civilians.
 
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The calls comes as the President of Pontifical Academy of Life at the Vatican Monsignor Vincenzo Paglia is prepares to visit refugee camps in Adjumani district where he is expected to deliver a message from the Pope to refugee communities in Uganda.

Bishop Sabino Odoki says the decision to visit the refugee came directly from the pope who says the president of the academy must share the word of God with the refugees before he departs for Rome.
 
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Monsignor Paglia is in Uganda for the official opening of Ediofe Cathedral in Arua district which has been undergoing renovation for the past five years. Monsignor Paglia is accompanied by Fr. Riccardo Mensuali of the St. Egidio Community.
 
 
 

 

About the author

Franklin Ezaruku Draku
Franklin Draku has been a journalist since 2004. In his 12 years of practice, Draku can say he has covered all the journalism beats that exist.

A Uganda Radio Network (URN) staff member since 2010, Draku is based in Arua. This is his second tour of duty in this area. Draku was URN's main education and environment journalist in Kampala for two years 2014 to 2016.

A Kyambogo University graduate, Draku first worked with Arua district based Radio Pacis in 2004. At the station, he was a production assistant, reporter, producer, and then talk show host. In 2008, he joined Transnile Broadcasting Service for a year.

Draku reports intensively on education, tourism, environment and local government. He has twice been a runner up for the National Journalism Awards in 2013 and in 2014.