Success Story: Mass Books in the Chiluba Language for the Democratic Republic of Congo
The Chiluba (Ciluba) language is spoken by some 6 million people in the Kasai Region in the southeast of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. It is one of the four national languages of this huge country in the heart of Africa. Some years ago the bishops of the eight Catholic dioceses within this region recognized the urgent need for new editions of the liturgical books in this language to be gradually introduced. The older books were already largely worn out, and they needed to be extensively revised.
The Kasai Region is a vast and neglected region, with deep, widespread poverty. During 2016 and 2017, there was a number of eruptions of violence there, during which several thousand people were killed. Dozens of mass graves were subsequently found. Many church buildings were also attacked, looted and burned down, among them the cathedral and Bishop‘s residence in Luebo.
The government provides little to no assistance to the region, so it is left to the Church to take care of all the needs of the people and provide help as best it can. And since man does not live on bread alone, the Church also always has the health of the human soul as a primary concern. The Eucharist is the “source and summit of the life and mission of the Church,” as it says in the Vatican II document Lumen Gentium. Hence, for the bishops of the region, the republication of these liturgical books in a local has been a top priority to help spread the Gospel message and God’s love in the area.
Thanks to the generous help of our benefactors, ACN was able to provide a subsidy of $22,600 to enable the first edition of the new Lectionary to be printed. It has been welcomed with great joy, and the bishops, priests and all the Catholic faithful of the eight dioceses of the Kasai Region are profoundly grateful for all the donations that made this possible. They will surely remember these benefactors in their prayers.
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