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Ordination of the Bishop of Juba and South Sudan by the Patriarch of Alexandria

The ordination of the newly ordained Bishop Constantine of Juba and Southern Sudan took place in due splendour at the Holy Patriarchal Cathedral of Saint Nicholas in Cairo.

His Beatitude Pope and Patriarch Theodore II of Alexandria and All Africa presided over the Divine Liturgy. The Eminence’s, Metropolitan Gabriel of Leontopolis, General Patriarchal Commissioner, Metropolitan Hieronymos of Kampala, Metropolitan Nicholas of Hermoupolis, Patriarchal Commissioner of the Coptic Orthodox, Metropolitan Nicodemos of Memphis, Patriarchal Commissioner of Cairo, Metropolitan Savvas of Nubia, Metropolitan Panteleimon of Ptolemais, Chief Secretary of the Holy and Sacred Synod, Metropolitan Narcissus of Pelusium, Patriarchal Commissioner of Alexandria, and Bishops Sylvester of Gulu and Eastern Uganda, Nectarios of Gulu and Northern Uganda, and Stephanos of Ippon. Elders of Uganda were also present for the joyous occasion of the ordination of their brother Bishop Constantine.

Elected Bishop Constantine of Juba and South Sudan, in his speech, described the journey of his life to embrace Orthodoxy and expressed his gratitude to important figures of the Orthodox mission who influenced him. He mentioned the late Metropolitans of Kampala, Theodore, and John, who encouraged him to embrace Orthodoxy and later the priesthood by their good example and spiritual guidance.

He also expressed his gratitude to the Elder Metropolitan Makarios of Nairobi, one of his main teachers in Orthodox theology during his years of study at the Orthodox Theological Schools “Archbishop Makarios III” of Kenya and “Holy Cross” of Boston, as well as to their predecessors, the late Metropolitans Narcissus of Khartoum and All Sudan and Savvas of Nubia, now the Shepherd of Sudan, from which the southern part was separated to form the new state, for their contribution to the local Church”.

“Your Eminence, your love has given me this great honour and blessing today. May the grace of the archpriesthood strengthen me to continue my efforts to organise new ecclesial communities through which, with your blessing, I can help thousands of souls to know our Lord…”

In his speech, the Archbishop of St Mark praised the ardent faith of the Archbishop-elect, his theological formation, his humility, his missionary zeal (he has founded 8 new ecclesial communities to date), and his sacrificial willingness to serve as the first pastor in the most recently independent state in the world and one of the most dangerous in terms of security due to internal conflicts.

In his thoughts, he recalled the blessed day he met him in Uganda while working to advance the work of the Church. Encouraged by the late Metropolitan John, he ordained him, Archimandrite, rewarding his efforts to evangelise his brothers. I have observed your activity, my child, and I have praised God. I know that you are one of the true and faithful children of the Church of St Mark and that you will always strive for unity and peace, fighting with your pastoral work against division and demonic pluralism…

…Your name is Constantine. You bear the name of the Holy Emperor to whom we Orthodox owe reverence and gratitude. Together with the Queen Mother Saint Helen, you have given to the world the precious Cross of our Crucified and Risen Lord, the Cross that we will soon venerate as struggling Orthodox Christians. Take in your hands the symbol of the Sacrifice of our Christ and set out on the new path of your life…”.

The Eucharistic synaxis and the consecration of Bishop Constantine of Juba and South Sudan, were attended by representatives of the Greek and Cypriot Embassies in Egypt, as well as representatives of Greek associations and institutions in Cairo. A solemn service was held in the Throne Room of the adjacent Hall of the Patriarchal Commission of Cairo.

Read below the speech of Bishop Constantine of Juba and Southern Sudan

« Your Beatitude Father and Master, Pope and Patriarch of Alexandria and all Africa Theodoros II,

Holy Hierarchs,

Rev. Fathers, Deacons and the Laity,

I would like first of all to thank the Almighty God who has counted my humble and unworthy self, to be elevated to the high rank of a Bishop, may His name be glorified now and forever, Amen.

I would like in a special way to thank your Beatitude and the entire synod of our Patriarchate for having created the New Diocese of Juba and South Sudan and having voted my humbleself as a Bishop and to be its first Bishop.

As I humbly come to receive Ordination as a Hierarch, to raise to this High rank, the Third degree of Priesthood, to serve our Lord as a Bishop of his Church, I simultaneously give thanks to God but also ask of His help and grace to enable me be worthy of this high and holy task. I ask also for Prayers from all of you, to be worthy of what the Holy Synod has entrusted to me.

I would like to extend special thanks to some people whose prayers, blessings and help has brought me up to this hour.

Let me start by thanking the Metropolitan of Kampala which was for long my Diocese of service, His Eminence Jeronymos Muzeeyi for his love and good cooperation even in this time of preparations after my being elected.

I thank my teachers especially Metropolitan Makarios of Riruta who gave me intensive training in Orthodox Theology, and also the OCMC granted me a Scholarship to study in the Holy Cross Theological School USA. Am grateful.

There are many people who have helped me in this long journey to Bishophood whom I cannot forget;The late Metropolitan Theodoros Nankyama who ordained me to priesthood in 1996 and the late Metropolitan Jonah Lwanga who made me an Archimandrite in 2017. May the Almighty rest their souls in eternal peace.

I thank Metropolitan Savas to whom I was communicating what was going on in South Sudan in the period that i have been serving their lately. As also His Grace Nektarios Kabuye of Gulu who also worked well, hand in hand with me.

Dr. Charles Linderman the Head of MRDC, a person with much love and faith in God, a person who loves his Church so much and has all time supported me Economically in the pastoral work in Juba.

Lastly your Beatitude, I thank His Grace Bishop Silvestros Kisitu of Jinja, for whom am glad remembering him from old years as a devoted alter boy, after I became a priest, but even in these years after he became a Bishop, I thank him for his love, spiritual and moral support in this journey, May the good Lord strengthen and bless him in his service.To may late parents, may the good Lord grant them a peaceful Repose and life eternal.

Your Beatitude, as you are aware that South Sudan is one of the 10 most dangerous countries in the world characterised with constant instability due to ongoing wars, I humbly ask for your prayers and support. I believe that the Lord’s grace will enable me , given also the love and blessings of You our dear Father, the little knowledge and experience I have earned while serving there the past months after receiving your Beatitude’s blessings to assist our Church matters there, serving the few standing Orthodox members of the Hellenic community there, but also the period that I got chance to serve in the area on different Peace programs under the Inter Religious forum in which I was an the executive member, representing our Joint Christian Council of Uganda.

Like we read in the prophesy of Isaiah 6:8, I also humbly say to your Beatitude that, “Here I am, send me” I am ready to serve our mother Church of our Patriarchate with one heart. Amen!”

Source: Patriarchate of Alexandria