He expressed optimism that the situation in the country is under control, saying, “Apart from these tremors, we have faith that the situation will not become as serious as it was yesterday, and we think that everything will be fine, God willing.”
The Diocese’s communications office is waiting for communication from the government to alert the people, especially in the Diocese on the next step, Mr. Mantama said.
“We are on guard so that as soon as the government and the authorities communicate to us, we will also have to do our job as communication officers to communicate with the faithful at the Diocesan level and see what measures to take,” he further says, adding that the faithful are adhering to the call by Bishop Willy Ngumbi of the Diocese of Goma following the calamity.
Learning has been suspended in the region to allow for safety of children and college students, the Catholic Communications official said.
Meanwhile, Parishioners of Holy Spirit Parish of Goma Diocese beat their fear and attended a Confirmation ceremony at the Catholic Parish.
(Story continues below)
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“There was a lot of fear that the activity or the ceremony would be cancelled. But the Bishop took the courage to call all these Christians to come and receive the sacrament,” Mr. Mantama told ACI Africa, and added, “Even though there were tremors, the Bishop had the courage and the faith to call the people to the Parish to receive this sacrament.”
“It was not easy,” the Communications official says, adding that despite the tension, some Parishioners who had fled toward Rwanda came back to witness the celebration of Pentecost Sunday.
Mr. Mantama is appealing to the international community to reach out to those who have been affected by the volcanic eruption, especially those who have been displaced.
Given the current situation in the Province of North Kivu in DRC, “we invite and appeal to the international community to take control of this disaster in order to provide a response.”
He makes reference to the Holy Father’s call for prayers for DRC, saying that the call is a platform for the world to show solidarity with the country that is located in Central Africa.
“Yesterday, the Pope launched a prayer for the Democratic Republic of Congo and more particularly for the city of Goma and the province of North Kivu. We would like this to serve as a basis for an appeal for support and solidarity so that the population, which is currently frustrated, can feel comforted,” he said.
Mr. Mantama said that his office has mobilized Catholic youths to help parents locate their missing children.
“So far we have been able to reunite more than 60 children with their families but the work continues,” he said, and went on to appeal for prayers.
According to the Chancellor of Goma Diocese, Fr. Celestin Muhindo, the Catholic Church in the Diocese that is in the Ecclesiastical Province of Bukavu is close to those affected by the volcanic eruption spiritually, psychologically, and materially.
“Through our Caritas, we have been able to identify some of the people affected,” Fr. Muhindo told ACI Africa in the Monday, May 24 interview.
He explained, “We have been providing food and shelter to this group of people. Together with the governor of the province, we have been seeking ways to help them better.”
The Congolese Catholic Priest calls on the people to remain vigilant and follow the directives from government agencies that are monitoring the volcanic eruption.