Prayer for Sudan
Voting in Hai Jalaba, a polling station in Juba, Sudan. Photo by Sara A. Fajardo/CRS
In 2011 the people of southern Sudan voted to secede from the north by an overwhelming majority. The referendum was unprecedented in its nonviolence, in the people's insistence upon peace.
Little Angels school teacher Oscar Noel Bwire, 24, leads students in prayer in Bor, Sudan, in October 2010, just a few months before the referendum. Photo by Sara A. Fajardo/CRS
The 101 days leading up to the election were marked by prayer throughout the world for a peaceful process.
And the prayer was heard. And it was answered.
A young man in Juba carries the new flag of South Sudan Photo by Kim Pozniak/CRS
Sudan will never be the same again.
While there is great joy, there are also those who are saddened at the division of our country. There are fears and concerns about the future. Problems still remain.
-Sudan Catholic Bishops' Conference
Members of the Legion of Mary of St. Theresa Cathedral of Juba, South Sudan, participate in their first Mass in an independent nation. Photo by Sara A. Fajardo/CRS
And so we must continue to lift our hearts in prayer, and our voices in solidarity with people who long for peace.
Photo by Kim Pozniak/CRS
A version of the following prayer was used in the 101 days of prayer leading up to Sudan's referendum.
Let us pray
We pray with Catechist Paustino Jada who helps tend the church in Palotaka, Magwi. Photo by Karen Kasmauski for CRS
Lord Jesus, who said to us: "I leave you peace. My peace I give you":
We pray with the members of Paustino Jada's church, which has been damaged by war and disrepair, yet keeps its door open despite decades of violence. Photo by Karen Kasmauski for CRS
Look upon our Sudanese sisters and brothers, as they continue the struggle for peace.
We pray with this boy from the village of Lualdit in Jonglei State, as he listens in on a health training. Photo by Sara A. Fajardo/CRS
Give them the wisdom they need to choose their future
We pray with this woman from West Darfur who relied on food from CRS and the World Food Program when violence brought hunger to her village in 2009. Photo by Debbie DeVoe/CRS
Where they will know your true peace.
We pray with those who rejoiced at the independence of their new country as delegations from around the globe helped usher in the world's newest nation-the Republic of South Sudan-in Juba, South Sudan, on Saturday, July 9, 2011. Photo by Sara A. Fajardo/CRS
You call us out of slavery, oppression and persecution
We pray with Sandy and her mother, Atoo Joska, who provides child care for young mothers in job training in Magwi, Sudan. Photo by Karen Kasmauski for CRS
So that we may have life in abundance.
We pray with the children of Jonglei, whose state is inaccessible 6 months out of the year because of rain and mud. Photo by Sara A. Fajardo/CRS
Grant us peace with one another.
We pray with those in South Sudan who lit candles and planted trees on the eve of independence to remind each other that their country would need care and cultivation for it to prosper. Photo by Sara A. Fajardo/CRS
Give peace among ethnic groups.
We pray with Drabuga Henry Simon Osodsi, left, Caroline Auavo and Father Joseph Mawa of Nimule, Sudan, as they share the locking of a box of funds that is lent to a different community group each year. Photo by Karen Kasmauski for CRS
Help us to work together for the good of all.
We pray with Father Joseph Otto of St. Theresa Parish in Magwi as he presides at daily Mass. Photo by Karen Kasmauski for CRS
We ask this in your name, Lord Jesus. Amen.
We pray with the people of Wau, South Sudan, who remember a time when the cathedral in their city was one of the few safe places where people from throughout the city could meet and celebrate together. Photo by Sara A. Fajardo/CRS
Mary Queen of Peace, pray for us.
We pray with Saint Josephine Bakhita of Sudan for all women who have been trafficked, enslaved and raped during the hostilities in Darfur. Photo by David Snyder/CRS
Saint Josephine Bakhita, pray for us.
We pray with Saint Daniel Comboni, a missionary of Sudan, for all who work tirelessly for Sudan's future, such as these young men who learned masonry after fleeing violence in southern Sudan. Photo by CRS staff
Saint Daniel Comboni, pray for us.
We pray with the parishioners of All Saints Catholic Church in Rajef, Juba, Sudan, as they worship. Photo by Karen Kasmauski for CRS
All holy men and women of God, pray for us.