On the 7th January, Fr. Marcel, who was the Celebrant on this day, tells us the joy of the passing away of our dear Cardinal Etsou. Nobody could restrain their tears of pain. After the Celebration of the Mass, we placed his photograph in the Chapel with flowers beside it.."Our dear Father, pray for us to the Eternal Father".
Whilst waiting for the funeral arrangements to be made, the Archdiocese said Mass everyday at 6pm (18hrs).
On the 11th January, the body of our late Archbishop, arrived at Kinshasa Airport at 8.30am. A huge crowd of Catholic christians, charismatic groups, muslims and oters, went to the airport to receive the body of the father and grandfather of the Kinshasa people. The shepherd according to the heart of God. When the hearse was passing by the roadside, people were in tears, crying for their Cardinal. The procession arrived at the pastoral center where there were gathered together, a crowd of Christians deep in prayer, before going on to the Cathedral, where the Cardinal was going to be buried on the following Monday. During these three days, the Archdiocese organized vigils and prayers at the Cathedral for him. All Kinshasa was in mourning. No-one of other faiths were indifferent to our pain. Yes, Africa remains united, dispite its diversity.
On 27th January, the first Foundation Stone of our Monastery was put into place.
"Here is the day that the Lord has made, a day for rejoicing and gladness". Here begins a new chapter in the life of our community.
Celebrations were arranged for 11am. The Mass was celebrated by Fr. Jose Mukendi of Mambre. After the entrance song, psalm 121... "Jerusalem, here we are within your walls..." sung in lingala, Mother Marie Bridget gave warm words of thanksgiving to all the people who have helped thus far...especially Rixensart and A.I.M. She also thanked all those who answered our invitation, inc. our student sisters of St. Sauveur, and our bretheran of Mambre. the ceremony continued with words from the Chief and his symbol of consent. Bro. Jose blessed the place where we are, and he placed a Benedictine Medal in the earth. Then Sr. Francoise-Noel, placed the First Stone. Each sister expressed an intention and we finished with the beautifull song of the Magnificat in Kikongo. We all gathered together again for refreshments in the sign of friend ship and joy. "The Lord has done marvels for us.."
In the joy of this new stage for our community, we unite ourselves with each and every one of you and with all the communities of our congregation.