Bishop Ceasar Mazzolari of Rumbek Diocese is Dead

Bishop Mazzolari of Rumbek Diocese is dead.

At last, all-powerful Master, you give leave to your servant  to go in peace, according to your promise. For my eyes have seen your salvation which you have prepared for all nations, the light to enlighten the Gentiles and give glory to … your people.

Monsignor Caesar Mazzolari died this morning  in the town of Rumbek (South Sudan), the Episcopal seat of his diocese. According to the news posted in Radio Vatican, the death took place at 8.00 am local time and is attributed to cardiac complications which started as he celebrated mass. Bishop Mazzolari was born on February 9, 1937 in Brescia.

CISA  reports that according to Fr Don Bosco Ochieng, Director of Radio Good News Rumbek, Sudan the bishop was con-celebrating at the morning Eucharistic celebration presided over by Fr Justin Atit, Director Healing the Healers. Right at the beginning of consecration, the late prelate fell back on his chair in what seemed a total lack of strength, raised his head which fell back beyond the back of the chair, and was clearly gasping for breath with his left hand holding firmly on his chest. With the help of fathers, sisters and some faithful, the late was carried to the sacristy and a few minutes later to his room, while a Rumbek-based doctor was being contacted. The bishop was pronounced dead after some basic tests were carried out on him.

Monsignor Caesar Mazzolari belonged to the congregation of  Comboni Missionaries of the Heart of Jesus. According to the Comboni Missionaries Superior General, Bishop Mazzolari performed many good deeds and he was seen as a symbol of hope for the Church in South Sudan.

Mazzolari was ordained a priest in the USA on March 17th, 1962. His first years after ordination were spent in diocese of Cincinati where he ministered to the American and African populations. In 1981 he arrived in Sudan where he worked first in the diocese of Tombura-  Yambio, later in the Archdiocese of Juba, which also covered  the position of provincial superior of the Comboni Missionaries of the entire South Sudan.
In 1990 Monsignor Mazzolari was appointed by John Paul II as Apostolic Administrator of Rumbek. Those were years of the war that brought to the local population  unspeakable pain. In those circumstances the bishop worked tirelessly to meet the spiritual and material needs of his diocese. In 1991 he opened a mission in Yirol despite fighting that raged throughout Equatoria.  In April the same year was forced to abandon the mission under pressure from government forces but he never lost hope.  In 1994 he was captured and held hostage for 24 hours by rebels of the SPLA (Army Sudan People’s Liberation), the armed struggle wing of Sudanese People Liberation Movement (SPLM) which was struggling against the cruel treatment of the South Sudan by the  Khartoum government in the North Sudan.

On 6 January 1999 he was ordained a bishop by Pope John Paul II and was co-consecrated by archbishop, Cardinal Giovanni Battista Re Francesco Monterisi. The presence of Monsignor Mazzolari alongside a people so shamefully humiliated and crushed in their dignity has always been a sign of extraordinary hope for the Church of Sudan.

During his numerous trips to Italy he always “giving voice to the voiceless”, resulting in a strong resonance
in public opinion. The death of the Bishop comes at a time when the many years of the struggle for liberation have led to the birth of a new nation of South Sudan on 9th July 2011.  The churches should continue putting more effort to ensure that  the people of Southern Sudan are not forgotten even after the creation of a new republic of South Sudan. They should continue working for peace, justice and promoting the dignity and respect of human rights.

In Rumbek is the cathedral of the Holy Family, which was built and destroyed several times during the Civil War, showing the resilience of the late prelate.  This resilience bore fruits  as evidenced last week when the  late prelate graced his presence during the ceremony of Independence of the new Republic of South Sudan in Juba. May the Good Lord receive him in paradise.

Advertisements

11 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Bro. Charles Taban, sdb
    Jul 16, 2011 @ 15:23:19

    I met Bp. Mazzolari for the first time in 2001 when I made my first trip to Rumbek on my way to the mission of Tonj, a parish of the diocese and he had come to the air strip to greet those of us who were arriving to diocese to give a help in the missions. he welcomed me and wished me well in the new adventure that i was to undertake. following that we met several times during his frequent visits to the mission of Tonj and thus we became good friends. Early this month while at Wau airport waiting to travel to Juba and then to Nairobi for a course, he called to wish me all the best and then he told me to get back to Tonj as soon as the course is over. Yesterday, I had gone to Bethany house to inquire about the residence permit of one of our salesians in the sudan and did ask about him but was told he is doing well in the sudan. May His soul rest in peace. He was indeed a man of God who worked so hard through thick and thin in southern sudan. He will be missed by all the people of his diocese and south sudan as a whole.

    Like

    Reply

  2. Dolores
    Jul 17, 2011 @ 07:57:45

    I was so sorry and surprised to hear Bishop Mazzolari was dead, I new Bishop Mazzolari during the turbulent years of war and hunger and suffering of the people of South Sudan, and for us missionaries it was isolation too, but he was the man who went the extra mile to help or just to greet and bring some token even if was a bag of potatoes so rare at that time in that place, he was human in the real sense of the ward, kind and gentle man. May God rest his soul in peace. Sr. Dolores-CMS

    Like

    Reply

  3. James
    Jul 17, 2011 @ 09:05:17

    I was always meeting Bishop Mazzolari in Shalom House where I always visit. Each time I would greet him and he would gladly greet me back and talk to me for a few minutes and he never seemed in a hurry or seemed to be disturbed by my interference in his busy schedule, though he did not know me well. The fact that he would speak to me, made me feel so good. He was a common man and you could not imagine that he was “a bishop”. It is this humility that always attracted me to him. I love bishops, but always feel afraid to get so near to them. Mazzolari helped fill this void in me and I thank him.

    Last month I met him as he was going back to his car in Shalom House and I went to greet him again. He seemed to be in a hurry but he stopped again, looked at me very gracefully, smiled as usual and then a most beautiful light conversation ensued. However, he looked very frail physically but there was too much extra ordinary secrete energy in him. I really did enjoy this conversation with him. I did not know that It would be the last time I ever get to see him and that he is the only Bishop that I have greeted many times and shared many brief light moments with; despite being strangers with each other.

    Today I am abit far from Shalom house but when I get back I will visit the spot where he used to park his car. Just to be in a physical place where we used to encounter each other. The Bishop and Comboni missionaries have always been a blessing to Africa! Bishop, I WILL SADLY MISS YOU! Requiescat in pace!!!

    Like

    Reply

  4. David Farajalla
    Jul 18, 2011 @ 09:04:06

    On behalf of my family and on my own behalf, I would like to register my heartfelt condolence to the Catholic congregation in Sudan and especially the Diocese of Rumbek for the death of his servant Bishop Caesar Mazzolari.

    I don’t have the right words to describe the personality of the late bishop Caesar.

    The contributions he made in the liberated areas (New Sudan) especially Rumbek during the struggle can’t be denied.

    May his soul rest in peace.

    Sincerely,
    David Farajalla
    Juba, South Sudan.

    Like

    Reply

  5. judith nichols
    Jul 18, 2011 @ 17:28:27

    I was a secretary for Bishop Mazzolari many, many years ago, during his tenure as pastor of St. Pius Church in Cincinnati, OH. Our friendship has prospered over the years, in spite of the distance between us and the demands of his very active mission work. I thank God for the privilege of having let me know his servant for such a long time. I’ll miss his communications across the miles. His gentle, Godly influence will continue to guide me for the rest of my life.

    Like

    Reply

  6. Marie Rose Obert
    Jul 19, 2011 @ 00:25:19

    I have been prividged to have known Bishop Mazzolari and his family in Brescia, Italy for over 35 years. A highlight of my life was to be present at his episcopal ordination in Rome. Once you had met him, you could never forget hm. As always, he is only a prayer away. Marie Rose

    Like

    Reply

  7. majong kau
    Jul 20, 2011 @ 16:05:39

    i have known Bishop ceasar few years before i became a minor seminarian in kitale dio. of Rumbek. He had a very clear vision and good intentions for us. It is a great lost and he will always be remembered for life by the people of Rumbek, may his soul rests in eternal peace AMINA.

    Like

    Reply

  8. Judith Shikanda
    Jul 25, 2011 @ 10:39:30

    I worked for the comboni provincial superior in Kenya, and later New people here I met Bishop Mazzolari I will never forget him and what I can say God to rest his soul in eternal rest. When I lost my Job at Comboni due to restructuring Bishop supported me as a father embraced the prodigal son. because of him I had strength to move on with my life and as tears drop down my cheeks. I was hoping that one day I will met him and tell him how far I have climbed the ladders in life because of him . but I know he is watching me now and . Judith Shikanda

    Like

    Reply

  9. Fr. John Laurence
    Aug 01, 2011 @ 06:43:43

    Thanks for the good comments and condolenses made to our Diocesan family of the Diocese of Rumbek. Our Late Bishop Caesar Mazzolari is definitely in Heaven with God. May God rest his Soul in His Eternal Happiness.
    Fr. John Laurence- DOR

    Like

    Reply

  10. Angelo Ugwaag wod Arun Dud
    Dec 19, 2011 @ 11:44:47

    Being of the many people he trained in St Josephine Bakhita Formation Centre-Kitale-Kenya, the late Bishop led a very inspiring life, lavishly dished out indiscriminately to all. He leaves behind a life well shared and well lived. He lived not for himself but for His Glory through His people on earth and in particular South Sudan. He was selfless, hardworking, prayerful, dedicated, visionary, courageous, holy, resilient, focused, knowledgeable, humble…no one can perfectly complete the list! He tried me and many others in St. Josephine Bakhita Formation Centre, which was a minor Seminary, Teachers Training Centre and also a Catechetical Centre. Some were trained in St. Mary Major Seminary-Molo-Kenya, Apostles of Jesus Philosophicum-Nairobi-Kenya, Mapourdit Minor Seminary-South Sudan, Khartoum, and some in Rome including the current DOR priest Fr. John Mathiang Machol. He built several schools in Greater Bahr el Ghazal regions of Rumbek and Aweil as well as health centres mainly for TB, leprosy and other diseases. The late leaves behind a legacy of a life lavishly poured out to all at no cost for God’s Glory. He is no doubt resting in eternal peace with Father whom he well served with his memorable deeds among the people of South Sudan in the ugliest times of war!

    Like

    Reply

  11. Tito Tong John
    Dec 17, 2014 @ 13:53:40

    Comboni postulant Tito Tong John. I have seen good intention of late Bishop for the people South Sudan since he was appointed as Apostolic administrator of war zone Diocese of Rumbek. When i was studying at St. Daniel Comboni Warrap primary school,one day all the pupils were told that Bishop Ceasor is coming today and visited you. All pupils ran to the air-strip and wait for him even the elderly and the chiefs. After few minutes the a plane landed immediately and people flock near to the door of the plane,what so was really tremendous,one of the ex-chief saw the Late coming from the plane retch towards him, the man happiness to lift him up but he couldn’t until they collapsed both of them and people were very sorry . In 2008 i joined minor seminary at St. Josephine Bakhita Mapuordit,one day Late went to visited us together with the new rector Fr.Mark Ofuho and he give us the African Bible and say, make the word of God fresh in your hearts and pray for peace. God knows where is a heading our diocese to. Lets pray for Fr. John Mathiang who was ordinate by late as his first fruit from Dinka land.

    Like

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: