On January 25 Srs Philippa, Lorraine and Mary Batchelor visited Blacktown, at the invitation of our OLSH sisters, Terry McNamara and Margaret Jennings who work there. We had lunch with the Sisters and attended the Sudanese Mass at 2pm in the Parish Church. This was a joyful occasion as all three of us had spent time in South Sudan living and working with the Dinka people. We had all experienced the tragedy of war and its aftermath, as well as the more recent tribal conflicts which are destroying the newly acquired independence in the country.
So many South Sudanese have found way to Australia and are making a new life for themselves here. Many of these have settled in Blacktown. To share a celebration of the Eucharist with them last Sunday was a great experience, a "visit back home" to the three of us. We were greatly welcomed and met up with many Dinkas from Mapuordit and surrounding districts
What impressed us very much was the number of Sudanese people who attended the Mass, and do so each Sunday. Their faith is truly alive and strong, to be passed on to the next generations.
Please pray for the people of South Sudan, that they may forget that they are Dinka or Nuer or Jur or whatever other tribe, and remember that they are South Sudanese one nation, one people - free from the conflicts caused by tribalism, hatred and revenge.
God bless the South Sudanese People, wherever they are in the world.
Mary Batchelor olsh