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History

BASIC HISTORY OF THE DIOCESE OF WAU


1846   Pope Gregory XVI establishes the vicariate of Central Africa. The first 5 missionaries (2 Jesuits, 2 Diocesan Priests and a member of Mazza Institute) arrive in Khartoum on February, 11th
1850   The missionaries go up to Jebel Lado (Rejaf)
1853   The missionaries open the mission of Gondokoro, near Juba
1854  The Holy Cross of Shambe mission is established in Abu Koka near Bor, 150 Km from Yirol. It is the first in Bahr el Ghazal  
1858  Comboni with 4 companions of Mazza Institute (3 priests and a brother) stay one year in Holy Cross. Another priest of the group remains in Khartoum
1862  The Vicariate of Central Africa is suspended because of the high number of deaths:  48 missionaries die in 16 years. The Mission of Central Africa is administered by the Apostolic Vicar of Egypt up to 1872.  During this period Franciscan missionaries are present only in Khartoum. A church is started at Kaka, Upper Nile
1872  The Vicariate of Central Africa is re-opened and entrusted to Comboni as Pro-Vicar and to the Institute he founded in 1867 in view of the evangelization of Central Africa
1877   Comboni is made Bishop for the Vicariate of Central Africa
1882   The Mahdist revolution, known as the Mahdiya, spreads in Kordofan. Some missionaries can escape before the arrival of the Mahdi, some are made prisoners and die while in captivity. Some other can escape from captivity. Francis Xavier Sogaro is made Bishop for the Vicariate of Central Africa
1895   Antonio Roveggio is made Bishop for the Vicariate of Central Africa
1898   The Mahdiya ends
1899  Comboni Missionaries, priests and sisters, come back to Omdurman and Khartoum
1902  Bishop Roveggio, while returning from Gondokoro to Khartoum, expresses the desire to open a mission in Bahr el Ghazal. But he dies on 2 May, in Berber, while on his way back to Europe
1903   The Condominium Administration is established in Bahr el Ghazal. The Condominium Government does not allow missionaries to evangelize east of the ideal line joining Meshra er-Rek and Yubu. Francis Xavier Geyer is made Bishop for the Vicariate of Central Africa
1904   Bishop Geyer arrives in Wau on February, 15th with 9 missionaries. Because of the difficult situation (lack of disposal to welcome the Church), the missionaries move to Kayango and Mbili to open the first missions in Bahr el Ghazal
1905    The Colonial Government divides the country in two religious influence zones: North of 10th parallel, to Islam; South of 10th parallel, a zone each to the British Missionary Societies, to Catholics and to the American Mission. Opening of the mission in Wau
1912   Opening of the missions in Mboro and Mupoi
1913  Wau becomes Prefecture Apostolic and Antonio Stoppani becomes the first Bishop of Wau
The Prefecture includes the whole South Sudan and Northern Uganda except Upper Nile that continues to be under Khartoum
1917   Wau becomes Apostolic Vicariate. A permanent Church is built in Wau
1914   Opening of the mission in Raffili
1919   Comboni sisters arrive in Wau on March, 23rd
1923   Opening of the missions in Kwajok and Yubu Source. First division of the Vicariate of Wau: creation of Equatorial Nile/Gulu Diocese, including Northen Uganda and Bahr el Jebel
1926   Opening of the mission in Deim Zubeir
1931   Opening of the mission in Raja
1933   Opening of the missions in Bussere and Nyamlell
1934   Rudolph Orler becomes Bishop of Wau
1935   Opening of the mission in Thiet
1936   Five girls apply to be sisters
1940   Bishop Orler thinks of a Congregation of Brothers whose main aim would be teaching catechism in schools
1941   Profession of Bro. Mario, the first Sudanese brother
1942   Profession of Sr. Sidonia, the first Sudanese sister
1944   Ordination of Fr. Ireneo Dud, the first Sudanese priest
1946   Edoardo Mason becomes Bishop of Wau
1947   Opening of the missions in Rimenze, Naandi and Mayen
1949   Second division of the Vicariate: creation of the Diocese of Mupoi (Apostolic Prefecture)
1950   Opening of the mission in Aweil
1951   Opening of the mission in Kpaile. Wau Cathedral building starts
1952   Opening of the mission in Warap
1953   Opening of the missions in Gordhim, Rumbek and Tonj
1955   Bishop Mason founds the Nazareth Sisters in Nazareth, close to the Intermediate school for girls that opened in the same year. Third division of the Vicariate: creation of the Diocese of Rumbek (Vicariate Apostolic). Opening of the mission in Abyei
1956   Independence of Sudan. The Government starts a policy of Arabization and Islamization. Wau Cathedral is completed
1960   Ireneo Dud becomes Bishop of Wau
1962   The government adopts the Missionary Societies Act, regulating the missionary activities
1964   Expulsion of all the expatriate Christian missionaries from South Sudan. Only the Bishop, 3 priests, 15/18 Nazareth Sisters, 15 St. Joseph Brothers and 300 catechists remain in Wau
1972   Addis Ababa Agreement grants certain autonomy to South Sudan and the expatriate congregations can come back to Sudan
1973   The Jesuits come to Wau
1974   Vicariate of Bahr el Ghazal becomes Diocese of Wau. Gabriel Zubeir Wako becomes Bishop of Wau. Sudan is divided into two ecclesiastical areas, under the leadership of two metropolitan archbishops, Khartoum with El Obeid as suffragan, and Juba, with all the other dioceses of the South as suffragan. The Hierarchy is established on December, 12th: the Bishop and local Church are fully responsible for the provision of pastoral agents and means to the Diocese
1975   All Vicariates in Sudan becomes dioceses and all the missions became parishes
1981   Joseph Nyekindi Bilal becomes Bishop of Wau
1982   The Salesians of Don Bosco arrive in Sudan
1983   Imposition of Shari’a throughout Sudan
1984   The Salesian sisters come to Wau
1996   Rudolf Deng Majak becomes Bishop of Wau