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South Sudan: bishop dies suddenly, one week after celebrating nation's independence

July 19, 2011

Bishop Cesare Mazzolari of Rumbek, South Sudan, died suddenly on July 16 while celebrating Mass—just a week after he had joined in celebrating the independence of the newly emerged African nation.

Bishop Mazzolari, a Comboni missionary, had led prayer services during the independence celebrations on July 9 in Rumbek, the capital city of the new nation. He had worked in Sudan since 1981, surviving the long and bloody civil war that eventually led to the partition of Sudan and the beginning of self-rule for South Sudan. He had been named apostolic administrator of the Rumbek diocese in 1990, eventually becoming Bishop of Rumbek in 1999. He died at the age of 74.


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