New Bishop for Sudan’s El Obeid Diocese Appointed, SCBC President Welcomes Him to Conference
CANAA || By Father Don Bosco Onyalla, Nairobi || 16 February 2017
Pope Francis has appointed Father Yunan Tombe Trille Kuku Andali as Bishop of El Obeid diocese, one of the two dioceses of Sudan, which together with the seven dioceses in South Sudan constitute the Sudan Catholic Bishops’ Conference (SCBC).
SCBC President, Bishop Barani Eduardo Hiiboro of Tombura-Yambio has welcomed the Bishop-elect to the conference and expressed gratitude to Pope Francis for the Monday, February 13 appointment.
“History is in detail of our time with the appointment of Fr. Trile Tombe Bishop of El-Obeid,” Bishop Barani told CANAA Thursday and added, “I am extremely grateful to the Holy Father who has appointed Fr. Yunan Tombe Trille Kuku Andali as bishop of Obeid gracing the year 2017 for us.”
“I sincerely welcome Bishop-elect Rev. Trile Tombe into the college of Bishop of Bishops for Sudan and South Sudan,” Bishop Barani went on to say, adding, “This is indeed a great intervention by the Holy Father into our minority conference.”
The Bishop-elect will be succeeding Archbishop Michael Didi who was appointed Coadjutor Archbishop of Khartoum in August 2015 and eventually succeeded Gabriel Cardinal Zubeir Wako. Cardinal Zubeir officially retired in December 2016.
Until his appointment, 53-year old Father Trile Tombe has been serving as Rector of the Inter-diocesan St. Paul’s Major Seminary in Juba.
“I know Father Trile personally, he was two classes ahead of me but we lived and shared room together,” Bishop Barani told CANAA, referring to the Bishop-elect as “not only a friend but (also) a brother!”
“He is well-known and loved as a spiritual father. His experience as Rector of both Minor and Major Seminaries of the diocesan and National Major Seminary over many years has equipped him with expertise in governance and administration. He is deeply intelligent, gentle but firm, faithful and compassionate,” SCBC President revealed.
Previously, the Bishop-elect served as parish collaborator in El Nahud, Nayala, El Fasher and Kadaguli (1991-1995); rector of the minor seminary of El Obeid (1995-2002); vicar general of the diocese (1997-2002) and pastor of All Saints Parish in Saraf Jamus.
“In a sign of the changing face of the church in South Sudan and Sudan Bishop-elect Tombe will be the Second Nuba Bishop and first Nuba-Tira Bishop; his appointment also signals the growing strength of Nuba Catholics in the Sudan, one of the fastest growing ethnic groups in the Church in this country,” SCBC President told CANAA.
Born in Torojo in Sudan and ordained priest in 1991, the Bishop-elect obtained his licentiate and doctorate in Canon Law from the Catholic University of Eastern Africa (CUEA) in Nairobi, Kenya.
According to SCBC President, the Bishop-elect is expected to be consecrated in El-Obeid in early March 2017 before the Lenten period.
“The people and priests of El Obeid will be very blessed by the appointment of their new bishop,” Bishop Barani said, imploring all the faithful in Sudan and South Sudan “to pray for Fr. Trile and also that the Holy Father will be able to give us more ordinaries for the vacant dioceses of Malakal, Torit, Rumbek and possibly Wau.”
Bishop Barani thanked the Bishop-elect “for accepting this service call" and wished him God's blessings.