|Democratic Republic of the Congo – Kinshasa: final stage|
|Democratic Republic of the Congo – Journey to the roots of the Salesian presence|
|Democratic Republic of the Congo – Youth and the Salesian Family|
The day began with a procession from the chapel of the “Cité des Jeunes” to the courtyard of the Institute, where a altar had been set up for the Thanksgiving Mass at which the Rector Major presided. The Massa was concelebrated by two Salesian bishops - Archbishop Jean Pierre Tafunga of Lubumbashi and Bishop Gaston Ruvezi, of Sakania-Kipushi and by over 60 priests. Among those present were also the civil authorities including the Mayor and Deputy Mayor of Lubumbashi, the Consul of the Kingdom of Belgium, the Mayor of Kampemba and in addition to many religious, parents of the pupils and other faithful.
In his homily, Fr Chávez thanked God for the presence of the Salesians in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and he encouraged the newly professed to give themselves completely to ensure the continuation of the mission begun a century ago. “These are just the first hundred years!” the Rector Major declared, and referring to the beatification that day of John Paul II he said that the Polish Pope had always been close to young people, an example and a reminder to always keep youngsters at the centre of the Salesian mission in the country.
This was followed by the religious profession ceremony in the presence of the Rector Major, which was considered the best gift possible for the centenary of the mission in the country. After communion, Fr Joaquim Tshibangu, the Provincial, with a few words thanked the Rector Major, the missionaries working in his Province the various benefactors and the whole Salesian Family for the contribution they make to the Salesian mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo; then Fr Jean Claude Kayumba, the Vice Provincial gave a memento of the centenary to some Salesians, the former Superiors of AFC: Fr Albert Sabbe, Fr Camiel Swertvagher, and – through Fr Jozef Claes, who had come from the Province of North Belgium- to Fr Jean Dingenen.
At the conclusion of the centenary celebrations the Rector Major, the Provincial, the Provincial Council, the representatives of the various religious Congregations present in Lubumbashi, the diocesan clergy, the newly professed and their families and other Salesians went to Imara. After once again congratulating the 8 newly professed and having spent some time with them, the Rector Major returned to the Provincial House to prepare for his journey to Kinshasa and then on to Rome.