“Whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me.”
Support the Apostolate of Contemplative Sisters in the Democratic Republic of the Congo
In 1934, six Belgian religious Sisters set out on a great adventure. Boarding a ship in Lisbon, they set sail on the long voyage to Africa to found the first ever Carmelite convent in central Africa, in what was then the Belgian Congo. Their convent, dedicated to the Infant Jesus, was to be the “cradle” of the contemplative life in this region. Many local vocations followed, and several other convents have since been established.
This first Carmelite convent, founded in the Kasai Region, was transferred 50 years later to Malole, in the Kananga region, in the center of what is today the Democratic of the Congo. Currently it is home to 18 African women, ranging in age from 21 to 88.
Although the Carmelites live physically apart from the world, in their ceaseless prayer they bring the needs of the entire world before God. Saint Therese of Lisieux (1873-1897) perfectly expressed the vocation to the contemplative life when she said, “At the heart of the Church, I wish to be love.”
The convent is not far from the local seminary, and in the silence of the enclosure the Sisters devote themselves specially to praying for priestly vocations and for the sanctification of priestly life. Sadly, in 2017, outbreaks of violence led to both the Carmelite convent and the seminary of Christ the King being attacked and looted. While no one was killed or injured, a section of the seminary was burnt down. In this strife-torn land, tormented for decades by civil war and violence, this was not the first time that the Sisters had suffered such attacks, and other churches and religious buildings have fallen victim to attacks with tragic regularity.
The people of the city of Malole are very happy to have the convent and the Sisters present among them. Every day Holy Mass is celebrated here. The faithful themselves are very poor and can do little to support the Sisters, so ACN has come to their rescue, with a promise of $6,400 for the support of their life and ministry.
Will you help fulfill this promise to support these contemplative Sisters in the Democratic Republic of the Congo?
We are sure they will remember you in their grateful prayers.
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