Posted: 3/14/2017 5:01:40 PM
Church members and citizens of South Sudan are mourning the passing on of Bishop Rudolf Deng Majak, 76, of the Catholic diocese of Wau.
Bishop Deng died Monday, March 6, at a relative’s residence in the city of Siegburg, Germany, while awaiting an operation that had been scheduled for Tuesday, March 14.
“His death has touched the hearts of thousands of faithful here in Wau who came already during night hours to the cathedral to express their sympathy and who prayed for him,” reads in part a message from the late Bishop’s diocese of Wau, shared via email on Tuesday, March 7 by Sebastian Kämpf and Tatjana Gerber.
Before traveling to Germany, late Bishop Deng had stayed in Nairobi for close to two years attending to his health.
Reacting to the Bishop’s death, the Apostolic Nuncio to Kenya and South Sudan, Archbishop Charles Daniel Balvo, has said, “The death of Bishop Rudolf Deng was a surprise. Although he had some health difficulties, I had seen him from time to time here in Nairobi.”
The Nuncio went on to say in a message to CANAA on Wednesday, March 8, “Since I have been Apostolic Nuncio in South Sudan, I met him on a number of occasions, particularly at the meetings of the Bishops and Ordinaries of South Sudan. In December 2014, I spent some days with him in Rumbek, at the combined Eucharistic and Youth Congress. It was a memorable occasion, with the participation of a good number of young people.”
The Nuncio hopes to join the clergy, religious, and faithful who will turn up for the burial of the late Bishop Deng.
“As of yet, I have not had the opportunity to visit the Diocese of Wau but I am sure that the priests, religious and lay faithful will feel and mourn his loss,” the Nuncio told CANAA and added, “I join in their sorrow and, although the details of his funeral are not yet known, I expect to be present.”
The death of Bishop Deng leaves four of the seven Catholic dioceses of South Sudan without Bishops.
“With regard to the appointment of bishops for the vacant Diocese of South Sudan, we are working hard at it, despite the many challenges presented by the situation in the country,” the Holy Father’s representative in Kenya and South Sudan told CANAA.