He recognized the commitment of laity serving in the Rumbek diocese, saying, "I also acknowledge the commitment of many lay people, whether native from Rumbek or from other places and countries, those who work in the offices and institutions of the diocese, and committed Christians such as catechists, members of church councils, associations, men and women, youth and elders who form and build up this family of God."
"I want to express my readiness to join the Diocese of Rumbek entering in the journey that you have been doing so far and offering my humble self," the bishop-elect said.
At this moment, he added, "what I ask you more is for your prayer, with the trust that our Lord who started this good work will assist me with his grace and bring it to completion."
"I also recall the person of the late bishop Cesare Mazzolari who gave his life to the people of Rumbek with the spirit of a good shepherd," Fr. Carlassare said.
He went on to thank the people of God in the Malakal diocese, among whom he has been ministering since he arrived in South Sudan in 2005, saying, "I am also indebted with the Diocese of Malakal for the spirit of communion, support and kindness: May God reward you."
Meanwhile, Fr. Mathiang has expressed his best wishes to the bishop-elect, promising collaboration.
In an interview with ACI Africa March 8, he said, "The message is just wishing him the best and then we promise collaboration and a good progress, whatever we have been doing he comes and joins us and we push ahead."
In his service as diocesan coordinator, Fr. Mathiang told ACI Africa he has learned love, and collaboration from the people of God in the diocese, as well as the "spirit of hard work and interest in development that they have been expressing to me and to the Church for all the things done over the years."
The love, collaboration and hard work needs to continue, he said, adding, "It's not all about me, it's about Jesus Christ and about the Church. The people have to continue that spirit; what we need is the progress ahead."