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Youth in Kinshasa Prepare Festival in Honor of New Cardinal’s Homecoming

Fridolin Cardinal Ambongo with Pope Francis during Holy Mass for the Elevation of 13 New Cardinals, Vatican, October 5, 2019

As the Catholic Church in DR Congo prepares for the October 31 return of their recently elevated Cardinal, Fridolin Cardinal Ambongo, the Diocesan Youth Commission of the Archdiocese of Kinshasa has undertaken to have a festival in honor of the latest Prince of the Church in what they have dubbed "Cardinal Fridolin Ambongo Festival".

“We are happy to announce the holding of the first ever Festival in honor of our Archbishop Cardinal Fridolin Ambongo,” the chaplain and president of the Kinshasa Diocesan Youth Commission, Fr. Bernard Mimbayi has been quoted as telling Congo-based Diacenco News agency.

“This festival is a better way to raise awareness among young Catholics in Kinshasa about the major events that await us, including the Archbishop's return to his country on October 31 and the Holy Mass of his presentation to the Catholic faithful on November 17, 2019 at the Martyrs' Stadium,” Fr. Mimbayi added.

The Archdiocesan commission has planned several activities to honor their Cardinal, Fr. Mimbayi disclosed.

“On October 31, we will all go and welcome him (Cardinal Ambongo),” he said and added, “We are calling on all the young people of the Archdiocese of Kinshasa not to stay away from this historic event.”

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“We urge the youths to come out massively at Ndjili airport and along the Boulevard Lumumba to greet our Archbishop and offer him our congratulations," he continued.

Plans for a major classical music concert are also underway, slated to take place on November 1 and aimed at bringing together choirs in the three apostolic regions of the Archdiocese of Kinshasa.

Explaining the meeting of the three choirs, Fr. Mimbayi said, “Youths of the East Kinshasa region, and all classical choirs of this region will meet at the Saint Therese Parish in Ndjili.”

He added, “The young people of Kinshasa-Center will meet at the Saint Alphonse Parish of Matete and those of Kinshasa-West will meet at the Saint Michael Parish in Bandalangwa.”

The first ever “Cardinal Fridolin Ambongo Festival” is expected to end November 9, with a sports walk around Kinshasa.

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This walk will start from the "Lindonge" Pastoral Centre, Fr. Mimbayi said, passing the "Bon marché" neighbourhood in the Barumbu Council, the ‘Avenue des Huileries’ to the Our Lady Cathedral Congo where Cardinal Fridolin Ambongo will address the young people before the celebration of Holy Mass at the Martyrs' stadium.

To oversee the effective organization of the festival, the Kinshasa Youth Commission has set up a coordination team chaired by Mgrs. Edouard Kisonga, Vicar General of Kinshasa Archdiocese.

A collection of at least US$1 per young person has been initiated to support the ministry of their new Cardinal.

Created in 1966, the Archdiocese of Kinshasa has been headed by four Archbishops who all later became cardinals: Joseph Cardinal Malula, Frederic Cardinal Etsou Nzabi Bamungwabi,  Laurent Cardinal Monsengwo and now, Fridolin Cardinal Ambongo who became Prince of the Church October 5.