Pope Francis Condoles with Caracciolini Fathers Following Murder of Confrere in DR Congo

The late Fr. Richard Masivi Kasereka, CRM. Credit: Clerics Regular Minor

Pope Francis has extended his condolences to members of the Order of Clerics Regular Minor (Caracciolini or Adorno Fathers - CRM) following the murder of their confrere in the Democratic Repubolic of Congo (DRC).

Fr. Richard Masivi Kasereka who was to turn 37 in just three days was “assassinated” by armed men in the Territory of Lubero (North-Kivu), while he was returning to his Parish of St. Michael the Archangel of the Catholic Diocese of Butembo-Beni, after the celebration of the World Day of Consecrated Life on February 2.

Speaking during the Wednesday, February 16 General Audience, Pope Francis extended greetings to CRM members and said he thinks of “their young brother, Fr. Richard of the DRC who was killed on the second of February after celebrating Mass on the day for the Consecrated Life.”

May the death of Fr. Richard, victim of the unjustifiable and deplorable acts of violence, not discourage his family, his religious family and the entire Christian community of that nation from being heralds and witnesses of goodness and fraternity despite the difficulties,” Pope Francis said in his address at the Vatican’s Paul VI Hall.

The late Fr. Richard Masivi Kasereka, CRM. Credit: Clerics Regular Minor


The Holy Father added that the Congolese Priest’s demise should not deter the people of God in DRC from “imitating the example of Jesus, the good shepherd.” 

Fr. Masivi was laid to rest on February 5 at St. Joseph Cemetery in Musienene after his Funeral Mass at the Sanctuary of Saint Francis of Assisi Kaghuntura in Butembo-Beni Diocese.

In his homily during the Funeral Mass, the Superior of the Delegation of  the Caracciolini Fathers in Africa said Fr. Masivi’s death had left a great vacuum among members of the Carraciolini.

“We feel the great emptiness of your love and ambitions for the Order, of your pastoral enthusiasm, your openness, your joy, your smile, your pastoral availability,” Fr. Jean Claude Musubao Lulong said.

The killing of Fr. Masivi “is one victim too many”, the Caracciolini Priest decried, and added, “A young priest cowardly murdered for who knows what reason, and we ask ourselves: who benefits from this? Why is the culture of violence and hatred winning out over the culture of peace?”

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The motive behind the assassination of the Congolese Catholic Priest is yet to be established, a February 3 report by Actualité.cd, a DRC publication, indicated.

The late Fr. Richard Masivi Kasereka, CRM. Credit: Clerics Regular Minor

Butembo-Beni Diocese where the late Cleric Priest was ministering is located in North Eastern DRC where attacks from Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) have been reported. 

ADF is an ISIS affiliated rebel group from neighboring Uganda reportedly under the leadership of a Muslim who abandoned his Christian faith.

In his February 5 homily during the Funeral Mass, the Superior of the Delegation of the Caracciolini Fathers in Africa condemned “with the utmost energy” the assassination of his confrere and called on the authorities in DRC to do more to protect citizens.


“We condemn with the utmost energy these acts of barbarism, violence and hatred that continue to sow terror and desolation in our province, and we cry out with the psalmist until when Lord?” Fr. Musubao said.

St. Michael the Archangel Kaseghe Parish of DRC's Butembo-Beni Diocese, where  Fr. Richard Masivi Kasereka was serving as Parish Priest. Credit: Clerics Regular Minor

On February 3, Bishop Melchisédec Sikuli Paluku of Butembo-Beni Diocese announced the celebration of Holy Mass in his Episcopal See for nine consecutive days in honor of the late Fr. Masivi, the alumnus of Kenya-based Tangaza University College where he completed his studies in Theology in 2017. 

He was ordained a Priest on 21 February 2019 and had been serving as Parish Priest of St. Michael the Archangel Catholic Parish of Butembo-Beni Diocese since 31 October 2021.

Magdalene Kahiu is a Kenyan journalist with passion in Church communication. She holds a Degree in Social Communications from the Catholic University of Eastern Africa (CUEA). Currently, she works as a journalist for ACI Africa.