DR Congo: The ‘’Focolari Movement’’ of Kikwit celebrates 14th anniversary of Chiara Lubich’s death

By Badylon Kawanda Bakiman

Members of Focolari

14 years have already passed since Chiara Lubich, originator of the “Focolari Movement” of the Catholic Church died. She died on March 14, 2008 in Europe. Each year the members of the “Focolari Movement” pay homage to her and commemorate his serious spirituality of “Unity” and “The family”.

“May all be One”, hammered Chiara Lubich in her teachings, also inviting Humanity to “love one’s neighbor”.

In Kikwit, an economic and political city, Kwilu province, in the south-west of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), activities related to this commemoration took place recently in the large hall of the ”Kinduku Center” in Nzinda commune. More than 300 people from the “Focolari Movement”, including political-administrative authorities as well as other guests and “Non-Catholics” took part in this event.

This time, the activity received people who had come from Kinshasa, the capital of the DRC, and from Brazil. The event had two highlights: the mass and the commemoration as such.

In his homily during the mass, Father Florent Mukoko insisted on what he called “Heavenly journey” for the death of Chiara Lubich. He gave thanks to God for the legacy that Chiara Lubich left: “Unity and Family”.

“Many thanks for all that God has done through Chiara Lubich; thank you for this great family of Focolari left by her. His ideas and ideology continue until then all over the world. It is therefore necessary to respect the covenant with God to be called son or daughter of God. As Christians, we must first seek spiritual goods, goods from above, and not material goods,” said the celebrant abbot.

According to him, it is important in this gospel of the transfiguration that listening to the word of God, respect, obedience and love are on the main road of human life.

“If we listen to Christ, he will lead us to salvation, to glory. But if we don’t listen to Christ, death awaits us. In this period the Church invites us to review our behavior,” he added.

Turning to the second highlight, Mama Agnes Kusahula, one of the leading personalities of the “Focolari Movement” in the diocese of Kikwit, recalled the genesis of the “Focolari Movement” and the contextual circumstances that militated to this Genesis.

“It was in 1943, during the Second World War, that the “Focolari Movement” was created by Chiara Lubich. She gave herself completely to God on September 7, 1943. She had created this structure with her friends. She had brought everyone to the Unit. The members of the Movement and herself discovered that God is love. Everything is vanity on this land of men”, she said.

Kusahula added that God’s love knows no bounds. No bomb, no missile can crush this love of God.

For their part, the Kahungula couple elucidated certain gray areas concerning “The Family” in society, including the issue of Unity.

Sketches, dances, sharing of experiences, declamation of poems, songs… were there.

“I have known about this Focolari Movement since 1995. It is not a separation movement. I ask everyone, Catholic, Protestant, Muslim etc. to join this movement which advocates Unity, because, in all our sermons, we all converge towards Unity and cohesion”, testified Pastor Jacques Samankenda, in charge of French-speaking worship within the CUEBC (Community Union des Eglises baptistes du Congo), one of the major Protestant churches in the DRC.

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