For many months, the world has been watching the slow movement of Southern Sudan towards separation from the North and independence as a separate nation. For many years, the South has suffered terribly at the hands of the central administration in Khartoum. The civil war between the Arabic North and the Christian South (there are also many Animist in the South) has brought terrible pain and destruction, but at last hope is at hand. Many feared that the Khartoum government would not accept a decision to separate, but as of this date these things remain calm and there is every reason to hope that the South will gain its independence without suffering any more violence and suffering.
The Catholic Church is one of the strongest institutions in the Southern Sudan and wonderful work has been done for many decades by Italian missionaries, the Camboni Missionary Society. Despite pathetically inadequate resources, they have established many parishes, schools, and clinics. The Church runs seven radio stations and these are crucial for communication within the country because, other than radio, it is hard to get the news around.
I am fascinated by the great work of Sister Cecilia Salcido, herself a Camboni Missionary Sister. Her station, called Bakhita Radio, one of the largest in the country, is a great source of encouragement to Catholics throughout the South. I am sure you are praying for your sick relatives and good friends who have problems of one sort or another, but we should all take the time to pray for the heroic Camboni Missionaries of Southern Sudan, asking God to give them the courage to keep going to bring peace and justice into this battered country.