Yambio, South Sudan, May 31, 2019 / 03:00 am
Ave Maria, the parish church outside Mupoi, South Sudan, fell into disrepair decades ago. It was abandoned at the beginning of Sudan's civil war, and then ransacked. It is dilapidated and practically unusable.
But two strong-willed Spanish missionaries in South Sudan are working to change that. They have a vision for the church, which they hope to turn in a continental Marian Shrine of Our Lady of the Rosary.
The church, near Mupoi, in the South Sudanese diocese of Tombura-Yambio, is massive. It was built almost a century ago by Combonian missionaries from Italy.
The missionaries are followers of St. Daniel Comboni, the first Bishop of Sudan, who founded their order in the late 19th century. The Combonians became the leading evangelizing force of Sudan, and were especially successful in converting to Catholicism the tribes in the territory that today comprises the new nation of South Sudan.