TRAGEDY-Archbishop Lukuduis dead

By James Atem Kuir/ Emelda Siama John

Prominent religious leader, retired Catholic Archbishop of Juba Diocese, Paulino Lukudu Loro has passed on at the age of 81 in Nairobi-Kenyayesterday.

Archbishop Stephen Ameyu Martin Mulla, the Catholic Archbishop of the Diocese of Juba announced the demise of the former archbishop of Juba Diocese in a statement yesterday.

Bishop Ameyu eulogized the fallen clergy asa “star that ceaselessly shines over the church and nation for well over thirty years” and said his death was “the saddest news of my entire life time.”

“My brothers and sisters in Christ and fellow citizens of our great nation, I, your shepherd, by God’s will and design, brings to the saddest news of my entire lifetime: my predecessor and father, his Grace Archbishop Paulino Lukudu Loro, a star that ceaselessly was shining over our church and nation for well over thirty years has this morning flickered out in the Kenyan Capital of Nairobi,” the statement issued Monday morning reads.

“This tragic death and saddest of all news will not affect only the church but indeed the wider community of our South Sudan society,” the statement added.

Archbishop Ameyudeclared four days of mourning for all the Catholic faithful in honour of the departed clergy across the country.

“I therefore announce, beginning as of today, a four-day mourning period for his Grace Archbishop Paulino Lukudu Loro.

“Eternal rest grant unto him, oh Lord and let perpetual light shine upon him. May he rest in Peace. Amen,” the statement concluded.

Fr. Noel Nyombe Santo, former private secretary to late archbishop and director of Bakhita Radio said Bishop Lukudu was transferred to Nairobi for further treatment after incurring injuries to his head after falling in a bathroom in his residence on March 29.

Fr. Santo said late bishop had been in coma since March 27 when he fell and was first admitted to Freedom Hospital in Juba but later airlifted to Nairobi as his condition deteriorated.

“On the 27th of March last month, he fell down in the bathroom and knocked his head against the wall and had a stroke. The stroke put him in coma so practically up to the last two days, he has been unconscious.

“He was taken to Freedom Hospital that very Saturday (27th March) for medical attention but he was transferred to Hagakan Hospital in Nairobi on 29th March and he passed on this morning [yesterday] at 6 a.m.,” he said.

Fr. Noel Nyombe Santo said the late bishop was a peacemaker and a practical leader who had met top leaders to seek for peace.

He was a down to earth but straight forward leader and mediator for peace, Fr. Santo added.

Paulino Lukudu Loro had been the archbishop of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Juba since 1983 before he was replaced by Archbishop Stephen Ameyu Mulla in 2019.

He was born on 23 August 1940 in Kworijik,joined the congregation of the Combonimissionaries and was ordained as priest in 1970 on April 12.

He was later appointed the Bishop of El Obeid on March 1979, after five years of services as Apostolic Administrator  of that Diocese and served as President of Sudan Bishops’ conference between 1989 to 1993 and 1999 to 2006.

Lukudu was appointed archbishop of Juba on 19 February 1983 and serves in this office up to date. In 2015 for his 75th birthday, according to the customs of the Church,

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