Mission, “not a favour”: Catholic Bishop in Angola Urges Parents, Godparents to Educate Children in Christian Faith

Bishop Belmiro Cuica Chissengueti of Angola’s Catholic Diocese of Cabinda. Credit: Radio Ecclesia

Parents and Godparents have to take up education of children in Christian faith as their calling and mission, and not as a favour, Bishop Belmiro Cuica Chissengueti of Angola’s Catholic Diocese of Cabinda has said.

In his March 17 homily at Our Lady Queen of the World Cathedral of Cabinda Diocese, Bishop Chissengueti warned that the absence of a parent figure in the faith formation of children can have far-reaching consequences on children as they grow into adulthood.

“Parents' responsibility to educate children in the faith is not a favor, it's a mission,” he said.

The Angolan-born member of the Congregation of the Holy Spirit under the protection of the Immaculate Heart of Mary (CSSp./Spiritans) emphasized the place of parents and Godparents in the faith formation of children. 

He said, “Children need our witness so that they can cement their lives in Christ. We must support them, care for them, form them, because children are the ones who will replace us in the natural process of the succession of generations.”


“We must all ask ourselves what kind of world, what kind of church, do we want to leave our children?” the Local Ordinary of Cabinda Diocese, who doubles as the Chairman of the Episcopal Commission for youth, university ministry and Scouting of the Bishops' Conference of Angola and São Tomé and Príncipe (CEAST) posed. 

He lamented the phenomenon of absentee parents in the faith formation of children, saying, “Many children already have a life of their own, in the sense that they don't have their mother and father around. Abandoned by one of their parents or left to the fate of their grandparents, they manage within their limitations to provide what they can for their formation and education.”

“In fact, their journey to baptism should remind us adults of the responsibility we have towards them to form them, because if we don't take care of children in the present, they will become the cause of our suffering in adulthood,” Bishop Chissenguet warned.

He further warned, “If children are not formed in the things of God, if they are not culturally inserted, they will start their own world, with which they will take revenge on us in the not-too-distant future.”

“We are becoming a small remnant in the care of children, so let's support them, accompany them, and help them enter the Church with the care of their parents and also their godparents,” the Catholic Bishop of Cabinda since his Episcopal Consecration in September 2018 said.

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João Vissesse is an Angolan Journalist with a passion and rich experience in Catholic Church Communication and Media Apostolate.