Annual Bishop Gasi Day: Remembering the Legacy of South Sudan’s Iconic Native Bishop
By Sr. Henriette Anne, FSSA
Bishop Gasi Day is an annual celebration in the Catholic Diocese of Tombura-Yambio, dedicated to commemorating the life and legacy of Bishop Gasi Abangite, who was the first native Bishop of the diocese. Here’s some additional information about this celebration and Bishop Gasi:
Bishop Gasi Abangite:
Bishop Gasi Abangite was born on January 1, 1929. He was ordained as a priest on December 21, 1957, and later consecrated as Bishop on April 6, 1975. He played a significant role in the Catholic Church and the Diocese of Tombura-Yambio, particularly as the first native Bishop.
Appointment as Bishop:
Bishop Gasi Abangite’s appointment as Bishop on March 5, 1974, was a historic moment for the diocese and the Catholic community in South Sudan. His leadership and contributions to the church and community are remembered and celebrated on Bishop Gasi Day.
Bishop Gasi Abangite passed away on September 13, 2014, at the age of 94. His passing marked a significant loss for the Catholic community in the Diocese of Tombura-Yambio.
Bishop Gasi Day is an annual event in the diocese, held to honor the memory and contributions of Bishop Gasi Abangite. Each year, the celebration may have a specific theme, and it provides an opportunity for the Catholic community to come together in prayer and reflection.
This Year’s Theme:
The theme for the 9th anniversary of Bishop Gasi’s passing is “celebrating Titarani Bishop Gasi Abangite in New-Leadership Worthy following.” This theme likely reflects on the enduring impact of Bishop Gasi’s leadership and the importance of continuing his legacy.
Leading up to Bishop Gasi Day, there are various activities and ceremonies. On September 13th, recollection, the Sacrament of Penance (confession), and intense prayer are conducted as a means of spiritual preparation for the main celebration.
The main celebration typically includes a Mass, which is a central part of Catholic worship. Bishop Eduardo Hiiboro Kussala will celebrate the Mass at St. Mary Mother of God Parish in Yambio. During the Mass, Bishop Kussala will officiate the Sacrament of Confirmation and bless associations within the Catholic community.
Bishop Gasi Day serves as a meaningful occasion for the Catholic Diocese of Tombura-Yambio to remember and honor their first native Bishop, Bishop Gasi Abangite, and to reflect on the values and leadership he represented. It is a time for the community to come together in faith and unity.