My life as Catholic and journalist

By: Anna Nimiriano

Dear readers of Juba Monitor, today I would like to share with you my spiritual life since I was young up to this time and a journalistic experience in the field of journalism. It was not my hope to tell you about my life in the church, but because on the 1st of January, 2020, the Apostolic Administrator and Emeritus Archbishop Paulino Lukudu Loro criticised Juba Monitor and I (Anna Nimiriano) at St. Theresa Cathedral Kator during the third mass ceremony, on the story published on 30th of December, 2019 in Juba Monitor Daily English Newspaper. The comment is published today in the same newspaper.

In part of his comments, he said, I quote “I would disqualify Anna Nimiriano to report about information in the Catholic Church. You cannot do that, you are not qualified to get the messages of the Catholic Church to the public. In this case here you are not correct; you are not qualified for that.  He continued: you are not qualified about the information of the Catholic Church and anybody of this kind who is not qualified to report about the Catholic Church please you keep quiet and never, never proceed.

I was in the church by that time, after the mass has ended, many people who came to me were asking what was the problems, instead of people talking about New Year message, people were talking on this issue. In addition to that, I received many calls from that day up to today. It has become hot news of the day according to the way I judged. Therefore, I thought it is better for me to make the readers of Juba Monitor clear, let them know my position regarding my life in the Catholic Church, and my journalistic experience in the field of journalism, whether I have right to report information or to be banned.

However, I had my Christian teaching at St. Theresa Cathedral Kator when I was less than ten years old.

I got Holy Communion and had other sacraments according to the tradition of Catholic Church at the same church, after that I joined Crusaders. When I was above ten years, I left Crusaders and joined Bari Choir for some years; lastly I joined English Choir, up to now I am a member. I was issued certificate of appreciation as a singer during the ceremony of silver Jubilee of English Choir. I studied Theology in the institute of Theology for the Laity at Archdiocese of Juba; I graduated with Diploma that is why sometimes I was writing stories on peace, forgiveness and reconciliation, quoting verses from the Bible. 

I worked for Sudan AID Archdiocese of Juba in the office of Women Desk as Assistant Supervisor under the leadership of Apostolic Administrator and Emeritus Archbishop Lukudu more than five years. I was representing Catholic Church in Sudan Council of Churches (SCC). We were organizing peace prayers during those years of war with women of other denominations. I was in the section of information, making announcement around Juba town mobilizing women and men to attend peace prayers.

In 2000, I went to Khartoum to study in the University of Juba; during those years I was a member of English Choir at St Matthew Cathedral in the evening. When I joined Khartoum Monitor newspaper in 2006, I was still an active member of the Catholic Church and covering events of Catholic Church and other sisterly churches in various places within Khartoum/ Sudan. I was a member of steering committee of information during the Centenary celebrations in the Archdiocese of Juba. I wrote several stories about activities of the Centenary right from the time of launching one hundred years of Christian’s faith in the Archdiocese of Juba on the 1st of November 2018 at Rejaf Parish.

In December, 2019, I wrote stories on the appointment of Bishop Stephen Ameyu Martin Mulla by the Vatican and the crisis that occurred in the Archdiocese of Juba on this appointment.  Lastly was the story published on 30th December, which caused this writing of today?  

I am always attending morning and Sunday prayers unless I traveled or I am sick that was the time you could not see me in the Church. Besides attending monthly peace prayers being organized by women Desk Office, South Sudan Council of Churches (SSCC), I was writing stories about those events. All my life is in the Catholic Church that is to say more than 20 years. This is briefly what I can tell you on the side of the church.

Centered on the above explanation I made what requirements were needed to qualify me in order to write information about Catholic Church. All those years I was writing, there were no problems.

On the other hand, I am more than 15 years working  in the field of journalism; I traveled to many countries, I have several certificates, won local and international Awards. Last year on 2nd of June,  I won Africa Award in Glasgow in the United Kingdom (UK), by women in News Editorial Leadership, in October 22nd , 2019  I won International Award around the United States of America by International Women’s Media Foundation (IWMF). I was number 8 among 50 people recognized as greatest leaders in the world by Fortune International Magazine, and among 10 top leaders in the world recognized by IWMF all those recognition took place in 2019.

Therefore, if there is any mistake that might have occurred in the newspaper or in my column, it doesn’t mean that I am not qualified or to tarnish the name of Juba Monitor. In the point of Apostolic Administrator who said I distorted Christmas messages, I would like to tell him that what I wrote was what I saw as news and can benefit people of South Sudan. If he was not satisfied, he is supposed to write the information and bring to the newspaper to be published.

News item can be valued by a journalist during coverage; he or she knows what news is and what is not news ethically. I cannot write all the Christmas messages said in the church and publish it in the newspaper.

Dear readers of Juba Monitor, I don’t want to be banned from writing stories of Catholic Church or any institution that means my work is being distorted in the country. I am still young, I want to participate in the development of this country and advocate for peace which is the interest of the people of South Sudan. The real source of peace messages are in the church as Jesus Christ is the prince of peace.

Dear readers, some Journalists left this country due to censorship, threat, intimidation and harassment. Few of us who remained in the country should not be discouraged with things that could be resolved in administrative way. The peace we are talking about, need all of us. Without media the messages of peace could not reach other areas. I prefer dialogue as the best way of solving problems of Juba Monitor and myself. My office is open to all of you during working hours.   

It has been a bad started of New Year for me in the Church. I hope we can improve in our way of approach and continue forgiving each other as people of God and one nation.

Let us cooperate in any situation that has occurred in the newspaper. If I am not capable, after I taken over the position of Editor in Chief from late Alfred Taban in 2017, Juba Monitor will not remain the leading newspaper in the country, or not continue to maintain the paper in Uganda and now we are finishing the process of registration in Nairobi.

I need all of us to work hard and support peace in the country so that South Sudanese refugees in the neighboring countries would come home, instead of making differences among us right from the beginning of the New Year where everybody hope for peace. In conclusion, I invite peace makers to write stories about peace as we have dedicated one page for peace stories. May God bless us all.

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