Home   |  About Us   |  Contacts   |  Products    
 News Items
 Top Stories
 News Briefs
 Vatican
 Origins
 Africa
 Headlines
 Also Featuring
 Movie Reviews
 Sunday Scripture
 CNS Blog
 Links to Clients
 Major Events
 2008 papal visit
 World Youth Day
 John Paul II
 For Clients
 Client Login
 CNS Insider
 We're also on ...
 Facebook
 Twitter
 RSS Feeds
 Top Stories
 Vatican
 Movie Reviews
 CNS Blog
.
 For More Info

 If you would like
 more information
 about Catholic
 News Service,
 please contact
 CNS at one of
 the following:
 cns@
 catholicnews.com
 or
 (202) 541-3250

.
 Copyright

 This material
 may not
 be published,
 broadcast,
 rewritten or
 otherwise
 distributed,
 except by
 linking to
 a page on
 this site.

.
 CNS Story:

OBIT-MAZZOLARI Jul-18-2011 (390 words) xxxi

Bishop Mazzolari of Rumbek, South Sudan, dies during Mass

By Catholic News Service

RUMBEK, South Sudan (CNS) -- Italian-born Bishop Cesare Mazzolari, known for rebuilding church structures and communities in the Diocese of Rumbek, died July 16 while concelebrating Mass.

The bishop, 74, fell backward, clutching his chest and gasping for air, at the beginning of the consecration. He was pronounced dead at a local hospital, reported Father Don Bosco Ochieng, director of the diocesan Radio Good News.

Catholics from the diocese recalled Bishop Mazzolari as a zealous worker who reopened missions and negotiated humanitarian assistance for the diocese which, in 2004, was home to tens of thousands of refugees from the Sudanese region of Darfur. He also promoted education and health care and "passionately responded to human need at every level," they said.

"Like St. Paul, Bishop Mazzolari spent his life at the service of the Gospel, always assuring us that God was journeying with the people of South Sudan," said a statement released by diocesan Catholics. "His fatherly care and compassion, generosity and selflessness were sources of hope and comfort to all those he encountered."

They recalled how the bishop presided over the opening prayer of the Independence Day Celebration in Rumbek July 9.

He later told Catholic News Service that he was "moved with tears of joy to see the jubilation of the people of Southern Sudan at the (January) referendum."

The bishop added that at the core of the referendum was "a quest and a longing for peace that most people elsewhere in the world cannot even begin to imagine because they have not known what these people have suffered."

Born in Brescia, Italy, Feb. 9, 1937, Cesare Mazzolari was ordained a Comboni priest in San Diego March 17, 1962. He spent 19 years working among African-American and Mexican mine workers.

In 1981, he moved to the Sudanese Diocese of Tombura-Yambio, in what is now South Sudan. For three years he worked as a parish priest and spiritual director at a minor seminary. In 1984 he moved to Juba to serve as Comboni provincial of southern Sudan.

Pope John Paul II appointed him apostolic administrator of Rumbek in 1990, and he was consecrated bishop in January 1999.

Pope Benedict XVI sent a message of condolence, thanking God for the bishop's "lifelong dedication as a Comboni missionary and for his selfless service to the people of Africa."

END


Copyright (c) 2011 Catholic News Service/USCCB. All rights reserved.
This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or otherwise distributed.
CNS · 3211 Fourth St NE · Washington DC 20017 · 202.541.3250