Passing the Baton
Fr John Skinnader is a Spiritan missionary who has been living and working in the newly formed country of South Sudan since 2012. Before that he lived in Ethiopia, saying there is no comparison in terms of development and that Ethiopia is like living in American compared to South Sudan. South Sudan gained its independence from the north in 2011 after decades of war, which left millions dead and little infrastructure and not healthcare or education. Fr John has faced death threats and abduction in his time working there.
Conor Deane went out to meet Fr John Skinnader CSSp at Dublin Airport before he took his flight back to South Sudan. Fr John is one of the last Irish Missionaries and he shared with Conor how he feels it’s now time to pass the baton to African priests and religious to spread the good news, as “you can’t keep picking fruit from the same tree.” In the meantime for as long as he has enough energy he explains to Conor, he will continue with his very challenging and dangerous mission with the help of God. He starts by explaining the origins of the Spiritans.
To find our more about Fr John’s work, you can check out his blog.