Welcome from Bishop Macram Gassis!
Dear Friends and Supporters,
It is with great pleasure that I share with you this website and welcome you as participants in my critical work on behalf of those in the Nuba Mountains and in the nearby Dinka area.
Christ tells us: “It is better to give than receive.”
Truly, in giving, we share and we care as brothers and sisters in humanity and in Christ.
I continue to be the voice of the Nuba population who are still being targeted by aerial bombardment, and are completely sealed off from the larger world by Khartoum’s Islamist regime. No food, no life-saving medicines, no vaccination of children, no books or teaching materials, no building material for schools, no fuel. At exorbitant cost, we bring in all these necessities from neighboring countries.
In highlighting the plight of my brothers and sisters in the Nuba, I do not forget the Dinka of Abyei whose town was totally razed to the ground, whose church was destroyed and desecrated, and who saw thousands among them killed or rendered refugees.
The church shares in all the suffering and isolation of these communities. Notwithstanding the aerial bombardment and the destruction of villages, the church continues to bring hope, comfort and strength to these afflicted people. After other foreign aid groups left because of the dangers, we –the Sudanese church — are there standing with them!
Our pastoral ministry is vital to every man, women, and children. We tell them about faith, hope, and love. We share the Gospels. We baptize, confirm and pray with them.
We continue to drill wells which supply clean water to schools, villages and markets. Quite simply, water is life! Our well drilling projects are saving countless lives in a region that has been deprived of a water infrastructure. No longer are stagnant pools and mud puddles the only recourse for our people.
We also continue to work to expand our outstanding health care institutions. In addition to Mother Bakhita Maternity Hospital in the Nuba Mountains town of Dilling, we have two general hospitals. One is Mother of Mercy Hospital in Gidel, also located in the Nuba Mountains. Its reputation as Sudan’s best hospital is spreading worldwide. Even the New Yorker magazine wrote of its extraordinary achievements. Opened in 2008, it has become too small for the growing numbers of war casualties. In addition, it is attracting the advent of many sick people from remote areas. This hospital was meant for 80 inpatients but presently we have 240.
Our second is Mother Teresa of Calcutta Hospital, in Turalei, a Dinka area. It has become a life saving resource for all Twic County. Moreover, the facility has become a reality of reconciliation between the two major Nilotic Tribes in South Sudan — the Dinka and the Nuer. Once inside our hospital, they are all brothers and sisters in humanity and both are given the same loving care. Sickness removes all barriers of hostility and fear of each other. There, they have the experience of interacting amicably with each other.
We continue to offer education to the young people without discrimination as to tribe, gender, or religious affiliation. Education is fundamental to the development of our peoples, who are denied access to public schools. We continue to expand these schools — schools where Nuba and Dinka receive not only basic modern education but also lessons in character formation. Our schools are known for the quality of education and formation of our students.
We are engaged, too, in the education and formation of local teachers, particularly in the Nuba Mountains. We have established a teacher training center for both men and women. Catechists also attend this institution because they serve as teachers along with carrying out their pastoral ministry.
We aim to continue our small but efficient radio station — the realization of my long time dream. Through it, the voice of the Gospel reaches many homes. In addition, we transmit other programs — on culture, the customs of the various tribes, the social teaching of the church, lessons on morality, hygiene, civics and other issues concerning society. We do not deal with politics and this has saved the radio from being bombed.
Our charities focus on the formation of youth, and of women who play an extremely vital role in our societies. This is conducted mainly by the nuns whom I have recruited from all over the world to come to these areas.
Due to the daily aerial bombing of the Nuba, many of our people have taken refuge in mountain caves or fled to South Sudan, to a camp called YIDA. We help give basic humanitarian aid to these refugees. There are thousands who abandoned their homes and fled to caves to protect themselves and their loved ones. Between 75-80,000 thousand other Nuba people walked for days to reach Unity State in the Republic of South Sudan where they live now as refugees. Others took refuge in Kakuma camp in northern Kenya and finally others came to Twic County in South Sudan. Our main concern is to give these desperate people not only the basic necessities for a dignified life but also to take care of them spiritually and morally. To speak of refugee aid only as material need, without considering the education and formation of the exiled youth, is to invite tragedy for the future.
I listed our major undertakings: water sanitation, education and formation, pastoral care, health, and refugee aid. When the Nuba people need assistance they do not go to the authorities, they come to the priests, sisters, and catechists.
I invite all friends and people of good will to continue supporting us to be a beacon of justice, peace, and love in one of the world’s harshest corners.
Thank you for support, concern and love.
+ Macram Max Gassis
Bishop Emeritus of El Obeid Diocese, Sudan
“Having spent a week with top guerrilla leaders of the Sudan resistance, I have visual images of the dangers and awful hardships faced by the non-Muslims of Sudan — and even by some Muslims who detest the type of Islam imposed by the current political-religious leaders of Khartoum. In the whole landscape of martyrdom and suffering, maybe no figure stands out so heroically — and creatively — as Bishop Gassis. If you can help him, feel honored.”
Michael Novak, author, philosopher and theologian
“Twenty-five years in the service of the Word and of Charity in a war zone [are] due to [his] generous endeavor and solidarity towards the poorest and the most discriminated. The Sudan became known in the world due to [his] voice …”
Archbishop Leo Boccardi, Apostolic Nuncio to Sudan
“Sudan’s radical Islamic government daily engages in terror bombing, starving villagers, poisoning wells, torturing the church leaders, and enslaving the children. Bishop Gassis attempts to bring them vital supplies and encouragement spiritually even at the threat of his life.”
Chuck Colson upon the presentation of the 2000 Wilberforce Award of Prison Fellowship Ministries to Bishop Gassis
“Over the years, Bishop Macram has tirelessly fought for justice for his people who have suffered and died in great numbers during the war that has plagued the country for the past fifteen years. Bishop Macram reminds us that these men, women and children must not be forgotten. He reminds us of their brave spirit, their hope in the midst of suffering and their quest for justice. He reminds us of our responsibility to speak out, take action and do what we can to help the people of Sudan.”
Rep. Frank Wolf (R-VA)
“Bishop Gassis, one of the great heroes.”
Lord David Alton, British House of Lords
“Nate Wright was moved to act on behalf of others when he heard Sudanese bishop Macram Max Gassis speak at Georgetown during the summer of 2004. Bishop Gassis gave an impassioned speech about the plight of the people of Darfur, and at the end he challenged the students to respond.”
Don Cheadle and John Prendergast: Not on Our Watch: The Mission to End Genocide in Darfur and Beyond
“When historians write about efforts to rescue innocent Africans from oppression in the 21st century, they will surely record the yeoman work of Bishop Gassis. He is a role model for Catholics, and for people of faith from all religions. God bless his courage and commitment to justice.”
Dr. William Donohue, President, Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights.
“Bishop Gassis is a living legend – loving pastor, visionary, voice for the voiceless. He labors faithfully to build and sustain a civilization founded on human dignity in the midst of a bombing zone, in a forgotten part of Africa. Not only does he brave rough conditions and a harsh climate in his ministry, but also an extremist government led by an indicted war criminal who threatens his life.”
Nina Shea, Director of Hudson Institute’s Center for Religious Freedom
“Bishop Gassis has been instrumental in the liberation of hundreds of children abducted by Sudan’s regime.”
Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL)
“Like Bishop Tutu in South Africa, Gassis moves between worlds, serving as a religious leader of his flock and as a passionate, articulate, and sophisticated international spokesman for their plight.”
Dr. Allen Hertzke, Professor of Political Science, University of Oklahoma
“Where there is hatred, he sows love.”
Kathryn Jean Lopez, Editor-at-large of National Review Online, on Bishop Gassis
“I had the pleasure of meeting again in Washington DC, the historical Catholic leader of south Sudan … . He is Sudan’s Msgr Tutu and an eminent spiritual leader of African Christians who are now -along with other communities in Sudan, submitted to ethnic cleansing at the hands of the genocidal Jihadi regime of Khartoum, led by ICC indicted dictator Omar el Bashir. Msgr Gassis briefed me on the ongoing war waged by the regime against Africans in the Nuba mountains. …Gassis drew a very stark picture of the Nuba population’s suppression.”
Professor Walid Phares, Fox News Middle East and terrorism expert and an advisor to members of Congress and the European Parliament