Catholic Charity Rallying for Support to Fund Construction of Marian Shrine in Angola

Preparations for the construction of the diocesan Marian shrine. Credit: Aid to the Church in Need

The Catholic Pontifical and Charity foundation, Aid to the Church in Need (ACN) International, is appealing for financial assistance to aid the Diocese of Mbanza Congo in Angola in the construction of a Marian Shrine to “deepen the people’s Catholic identity” in the Angolan Episcopal See. 

In a Wednesday, August 10 report, ACN has noted that Mbanza Congo is an impoverished Diocese and one of the few Dioceses in the Southern African country lacking a Marian Shrine.

ACN has reported that the shrine will lead to “a deepening of faith and a strengthening of the people’s Catholic identity in the midst of intensive activity by the many sects that are seeking to win away followers.”

“The shrine is intended not only as a place of pilgrimage but also as a center for retreats and faith formation activities. In short, a sort of spiritual center for the diocese and a place that will exert a powerful influence on the faith life of the people, by helping them to mature and grow in their faith,” ACN has reported.

The Local Ordinary of Mbanza Congo Diocese, Bishop Vicente Carlos Kiaziku, told ACN that the shine “is intended as a symbol of the way in which the faithful can journey with Mary towards Christ and go to meet him together.”


The Catholic faithful in Angola have “a deep love of the Blessed Virgin Mary and profound devotion to her,” ACN has reported, adding that the Diocese of Mbanza Congo that is situated in what the foundation refers to as “a very impoverished” region in the Northwest of the country, still has no shrine.

The Angolan Diocese was the very place in sub-Saharan Africa that witnessed the first ever Christian baptisms and where the first Cathedral was built in 1595, the ACN August 10 report indicates. 

The foundation stone for a Diocesan shrine to Our Lady of Victories in the village of Bungo that is part of the Parish of the Immaculate Heart of Mary in Kikudo was laid in 2019, ACN has reported. 

However, with the COVID-19 pandemic, and the “already existing desperate economic situation” in Angola, the construction of the Shrine came to a halt, ACN has reported, adding that the situations in the country “tore up their careful financial planning, and the building work had to be suspended indefinitely.”

“As for the Catholic faithful, already living in poverty before, they were now quite simply unable to help the Church anymore,” ACN has reported.

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The charity foundation is appealing for financial support towards the construction of the Shrine, saying, “We are proposing a contribution of €21,000 to support this project, which we believe will inspire renewed faith, hope, and love in many people. Will you help us?”

Agnes Aineah is a Kenyan journalist with a background in digital and newspaper reporting. She holds a Master of Arts in Digital Journalism from the Aga Khan University, Graduate School of Media and Communications and a Bachelor's Degree in Linguistics, Media and Communications from Kenya's Moi University. Agnes currently serves as a journalist for ACI Africa.