Democratic Republic of the Congo – Visit of the Rector Major: from the Afia Don Bosco hospital to the fraternal meeting with the Salesians and the FMA

16 May 2024

(ANS – Lubumbashi) – On Monday, 13 May  2024, on the third day of his pastoral visit to the southern area of the Our Lady of the Assumption Province of Central Africa (AFC), Cardinal Ángel Fernández Artime, Rector Major of the Salesians of Don Bosco, carried out a busy and rich program which included a visit to the Afia Don Bosco hospital centre, a meeting with the Salesians at the Saint François de Sales Theological Studentate and the Eucharistic celebration at the Provincial House of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians (FMA) in honour of Saint Mary Domenica Mazzarello, on the day of her liturgical commemoration.

The Rector Major arrived at the Afia Don Bosco Polyclinic at 8:45 in the morning, accompanied by the Superior of AFC, Fr Guillermo Basañes. The nursing staff and operators expressed their joy with loud applause since his arrival, before the Health Director of the centre, on behalf of all those present, officially welcomed him with a welcome speech much appreciated by all.

Fr Ghislain Kaya, AFC Provincial Economer, then presented the administrative committee of the hospital, which he chairs on behalf of the Provincial. In his address, Cardinal Fernández Artime expressed his satisfaction at the extent to which this this important Salesian centre has been modernised.

He then visited the two new multi-storey buildings, called Artemides Zatti and Willy Bonduel respectively. During his brief visit to this health facility, the Rector Major prayed with and for some of the patients and imparted his blessing to them; and expressed his spiritual closeness and gratitude to the elderly and sick Salesians at the Simon Srugi community, which has the hospital on its own land.

At 9:45 the cardinal went to the Saint François de Sales Theological Studentate in Lubumbashi to hold an assembly of all Salesians who work in the Province. The meeting in the great hall, so long awaited and desired by the AFC Salesians, had frank and fraternal exchanges on Salesian life in general and on the particular life of the Province of Central Africa, as well as some anecdotes or interesting details regarding the Cardinal's new circumstances.

After a community lunch in typical Salesian joy, in the afternoon the Rector Major went on an official visit to the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians at their Provincial House, and there he presided at the Mass for the Feast of Saint Mary Domenica Mazzarello, co-founder with St John Bosco of the FMA Institute. Welcomed on arrival by Sister Clarisse Ngoy, Superior of the FMA, he then received the homage of some girls from the various schools run by the Sisters, who performed on the occasion of his visit with a series of artistic numbers, including dances and recitations of poems. Mass was then celebrated in the presence of some Salesians and other priests of the diocese of Lubumbashi and Sakania-Kipushi.

In his homily, the Rector Major invited the Sisters to lead their lives in simplicity, following the example of Mother Mazzarello, as well as the model par excellence, Christ Jesus, Saviour of the world.

At the end of the Eucharistic celebration, Sister Ngoy thanked the Cardinal for his visit to their community on the occasion of the feast of Mother Mazzarello, and gave him two doves, which Card. Á.F. Artime promptly released into the air, as a symbolic and auspicious gesture for peace in the country, especially in the eastern regions, which the Cardinal visited, before going to Lubumbashi, from 9 to 11 May 2024.

The festive evening ended with an agape with the FMA Sisters and the entire Salesian Family at the Provincial House.

Nice Nzungula,
Radio Don Bosco Lubumbashi


ANS - “Agenzia iNfo Salesiana” is a on-line almost daily publication, the communication agency of the Salesian Congregation enrolled in the Press Register of the Tibunal of Rome as n 153/2007.

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