With deep sadness, Canadian Jesuits International shares news of the death of Father Victor-Luke Odhiambo SJ, who was murdered by unknown assailants in the early hours of 15 November 2018 in Cueibet, South Sudan.
Fr Victor-Luke was the principal of Mazzolari Teachers College in Cueibet and acting Superior of his community there. He was awake in the night when the Daniel Comboni Jesuit Residence was attacked. When his sleeping companions heard the gunshots they pressed an alarm and the assailants fled. The motive behind the killing remains unknown.
Fr Victor-Luke was born in Kenya in 1956. He entered the Society of Jesus in 1978 and was ordained priest in 1987. He had worked in war-torn South Sudan for more than ten years. He spoke the local Dinka language fluently and was well-known and loved in the community. The College he led was established in 2014 to address the enormous need for trained teachers in South Sudan and to contribute to social justice and development in an area that has experienced much violence, death and trauma. Fr Victor-Luke was buried on the grounds of the College on 19 November 2018.
Tributes have poured in from all over the world, recognizing the wonderful life and contribution of Fr Victor-Luke and also pointing out, as he would have it, the great need for justice and peace in South Sudan. Below, CJI shares a few of these tributes and expressions of hope for change.
- Death Announcement from the Jesuit Eastern Africa Province
- “The last safari of Fr Victor-Luke Odhiambo SJ” by Lucas Ng’hwagi SJ
- Press Statement from the Jesuit Conference of Africa and Madagascar
- Tribute to Fr Victor-Luke Odhiambo by Father General Arturo Sosa SJ
- “Let there be hope” memorial by Martina Madden of Irish Jesuit Missions and the Xavier Network