“Live your vocations in synodality”: Catholic Bishop of Butembo-Beni, DR Congo to Christians on Vocations Sunday

Bishop Melchisedec Sikuli Paluku of the Catholic Diocese of Butembo-Beni in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Credit: Radio Moto

Bishop Melchisedec Sikuli Paluku of the Catholic Diocese of Butembo-Beni in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has called on the people of God to be guardians of each other and to live their respective vocations in the spirit that the ongoing Synod on Synodality is fostering.

In his homily on the annual World Day of Prayer for Vocations 2024 marked on the Fourth Sunday of Easter, Bishop Paluku said, “The Church asks all baptized Christians to live their vocation in synodality, which means to walk with the community in a spirit that allows the discovery of the beauty of vocation.”

“Christians should capitalize on their vocation to pacify the world; they should be guardians of their fellow human beings and to live their vocation for the benefit of others,” the Congolese Catholic Bishop added during the April 21 Eucharistic celebration at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Mukuna Parish of his Episcopal See.  

He called upon each Christian to “question the quality of his or her vocation, to find out whether it brings love and hope back to mankind.”

“In the image of the Good Shepherd, Jesus teaches his disciples how they should live; to be guardians of one another. In other words, to be attentive to others. To live the opposite of this ideal is to be mercenaries,” Bishop Paluku said.


He went on to encourage those aspiring to join the Priesthood and Religious Life as well as those who have embraced these vocations to “trust in the Lord and always prosper in following Christ, who is the Divine Master.”

“It's certain that not all of you here are going to become Priests or Sisters. Some are going to become doctors, lawyers, fathers... the important thing is to respond to God's call to us,” the Local Ordinary of Butembo-Beni said.

He continued, “What's more, we're fortunate today to have vocation groups in our parishes. In these groups, you have the chance to be accompanied; to follow teachings.”

“We must say to God: here I am, send me. He is the one who takes the first initiative. That's why we need to be attentive to discovering and living this vocation correctly, of course with the faithful,” Bishop Paluku said. 

Addressing himself to those aspiring to join the Priesthood and Religious Life, the 72-year-old Congolese Catholic Bishop, who has been at the helm of Butembo-Beni Diocese since his Episcopal Consecration in August 1998 said, “The journey you have already begun as aspirants is already a synod, because you belong to a group of people walking towards the Father.”

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He advised them to live out the joy of the gospel with others.