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Centenary of DR Congo’s Religious Order to Engage Parishioners

Bishops and Priests at the launch of Centenary celebrations of Crosier in DR Congo

The engaging of parishioners in the various missions of DR Congo will characterize the celebration of 100 years since the Order of Canons Regular of the Holy Cross, popularly known as Crosier, started their mission in the central African nation.

Among the activities planned include parish-based evangelization campaigns, conferences, and celebrations of the Holy Eucharist.

“This celebration offers an opportunity for the Crosiers to implant their spirituality in parishes throughout the DR Congo,” Bishop Sikuli Paluku Melchisédech of Butembo-Beni said Saturday, September 14 during the launch of the centenary celebrations.

“As we celebrate today the centenary of the Crosiers in the DRC, let us all take the engagement to follow Christ as active members of his Church,” he Said.

The parish-based evangelization campaigns a focus on the spirituality of the order, which is based on the Triumph of the Cross.

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“The cross, which was before a sign of a curse, has become for you an instrument of blessing, salvation and victory,” Bishop Sikulu told the congregation that gathered to mark the beginning of the year-long celebration.

The Crosier missionaries began their pastoral work in the diocese of Bondo within the Ecclesiastical province of Kisangani in DR Congo in December 1920.

In 1965, their pastoral care suffered a major setback when 27 Crosier priests and those from other congregations were killed by "Mulele" rebels alongside other civilians.

This incident forced the missionaries to move from Bondo to Butembo-Beni 1984, where they have been exercising their pastoral ministry to date.

"The Crosiers shed their blood for their mission in our diocese,” said Bishop Etienne Ung'eyowun of Bondo diocese at the end of the Mass marking the launch of the centenary celebrations.

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“We rejoice that young people are joining the Order,” the Congolese Bishop said and added, “Our hope is that the Order should one day return to Bondo.”