Fr Basañes arrived in Bukavu for the first time last June 2nd. There he was able to meet the city archbishop, Msgr. François-Xavier Maroy; deliver the cup to the winners of a 4-a-side football tournament; speak to the children of the school and the boarding school ... On Saturday 5 June, Fr Basañes presided over the Eucharistic celebration during which Jeanne Nzigire, Nicole Mapendo and Fortunat Mufungizi made the promise as Salesian Cooperators, Fr Jean-Marie Rubakare recalled the 25th of priestly ordination, and Alexis Mitonga 25th of religious profession. Then in the afternoon, he went to Nyakadaka, where three Salesians run a large plantation.
Fr Basañes visited the vocational school with sections in agriculture and breeding, cutting and sewing, beauticians, hairdressing, and nutrition; he gave a hand to the work of the peasant mothers; he visited the seminaries located in the region. He encouraged Salesians and collaborators to live and make the Salesian charism known, and to make Don Bosco's presence alive in that region of the Democratic Republic of Congo.
On Wednesday 9 June the Provincial arrived in Goma, a city still shaken by the recent eruption of the Nyiragongo volcano. With the Salesians and the local educational community he shared the recommendations made by the Rector Major in his guidelines, indicating the priorities for action: the consolidation of the charismatic identity; closeness to the poorest, the most destitute and the abandoned; the improvement of the quality of the Salesians' formation; the commitment to transparent and collegial administration; the missionary dimension of the Province and the commitment to effective and professional social communication.
The Eucharistic celebration that closed the General Assembly of the Salesians of Goma - which includes the communities of Ngangi, Itig, Shasha and Boscolac - coincided with the solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, “a feast dear to the whole Salesian Family,” Fr Basaňes underscored. “The Salesians of Don Bosco know how to give their hearts to the neediest young people. And they know how to take the hearts of young people to offer it to Jesus,” he added. And he concluded by stating that although the Salesian mission requires the strength of a warrior and the precision of a pilot, the Salesian of Don Bosco is called above all to have the tenderness of Christ towards young people in difficulty.
The Provincial then congratulated the Salesian Family of Goma for having been able to take firm decisions to preserve the life of the children and young people entrusted to them during the recent volcanic eruption; and after encouraging them to always give adequate answers to the needy, he prayed for reconciliation, unity, fraternity and peace in the Province and recommended that everyone love, know and serve Don Bosco.