Congolese Church needs our help
The Mater Dei Parish of Minembwe in the Democratic Republic of Congo
This is the home parish of Gustave & Adele, and other members of our parish community in Hull, who wish to support Fr. Lucien, the parish priest, in re-building the parish of Mater Dei.
The Parish of Mater Dei was founded on the 6th August 1992 in the Diocese of Uvira. It is situated on the rural highlands of the Mitumba Mountains at an altitude of 1950 metres.
Sadly the church and its surrounding buildings were badly damaged during the wars which took place during the period spanning from 1996 to 2003; moreover the interiors of the buildings were looted of furniture and equipment. People from the area fled from the war to other countries.
On returning from their places of refuge the people of Minembwe had to begin the work of rebuilding and setting up their homes, schools, churches and other buildings. The ruins of the existing church were beyond repair and it was decided to build a new and more spacious church in its place.
The destruction of the church was mirrored to some extend by a loss of confidence by some, who subsequently turned to other religious groups and sects for support. Consequently the small Catholic community have had a difficult time maintaining their presence among the variety of church groups from whom there has been some antagonism. The Catholic community have responded to this situation by giving generously from their livestock in order to raise 33 million U.S. dollars for the preparation of the land and the production of 225,000 bricks!
The project is now in its second phase of the building, requiring cement, iron rods, access for vehicles to carry material to the site, which is away from the road. The next phase will mainly provide the roof, followed by the finishing process: doors, windows, plastering and painting etc.
It is for this phase – the roof – that funds are urgently required and we may be able to help in this by raising funds from our own parish in Hull. The completion of the roof will enable the building up of the Catholic community, and so re-establishing a medical centre, school, presbytery and other buildings provided for the good of people in the area.
If you have any thoughts or ideas about how we may be able to respond to this appeal please email us:
Thank you for reading this article. Fr Des