Catholic Bishop in DR Congo Says Papal Visit to Goma “announces love of God for community”

Bishop Willy Ngumbi Ngengele of DR Congo's Goma Diocese. Credit: Goma Diocese

The scheduled Papal visit to city of Goma in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is an event that “announces the love of God for the entire community”, the Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Goma has said. 

Addressing journalists in Goma Tuesday, June 7, Bishop Willy Ngumbi Ngengele said the Holy Father is bringing “a message of peace and reconciliation for the whole region.”

“The visit of Pope Francis on July 4 in Goma is an event of peace and hope that announces the love of God for the entire community,” Bishop Ngumbi said, adding that the Holy Father “comes to remind us that God is our Father, so there must be no discrimination among us.”

“Pope Francis comes to remind us of the respect of the dignity of each human person, the brotherly love. And it is this grace that we have to receive” the Burundian-born member of the Missionaries of Africa (White Fathers) said during the June 7 press conference.

Pope Francis is expected to arrive in the capital of DRC, Kinshasa, on July 2 in his two-African-nation pastoral trip that is to see him proceed to South Sudan in an ecumenical trip alongside the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, and the Moderator of the Church of Scotland, Jim Wallace.


On May 28, officials of the Holy See Press unveiled the itinerary of Pope Francis’ Apostolic trip to DRC and what they described an “Ecumenical Peace Pilgrimage to the South Sudanese Land and People”.

In his four-day pastoral visit to DRC, the Holy Father is scheduled to meet the people of God in the cities of Kinshasa and Goma, the latter city being the capital of North Kivu Province in Eastern DRC.

During the June 7 press conference, Bishop Ngumbi said the Pope's visit to North Kivu will be a grace-filled event for the people of God in DRC and in the region.

He said in reference to the Holy Father, “I am sure that the message he will give us will surely produce in us a certain conversion so that from now on we can welcome each other as brothers (and sisters)”.

The message of Pope Francis will bring positive change “so that all the issues of division, wars, armed clashes” can be addressed and “armed groups that there are in the region” engage in constructive dialogue. 

More in Africa

“All those people who always seek to get rich on the backs of the poor, to exploit the poor, all those who want to exploit the wealth of this country without thinking of the suffering population, let them hear the message of the Holy Father who invites them to love their neighbor, to love their country, to love their brothers and to work for the good of all,” Bishop Ngumbi said.

“The Holy Father is interested in everything that happens in the entire region,” he said, and added, “The site of Kibaya-Chegera will serve as a framework for a prayer during which he will invoke the blessing and mercy of God on everyone so that the Great Lakes region can one day find peace, brotherhood, national cohesion and peaceful cohabitation between communities.”

In addition to the Holy Mass at the Kibaya-Chegera site in Kibumba, the Holy Father is expected to meet with victims of armed violence in Beni and Rutshuru, as well as those affected by the Nyiragongo volcanic eruption of 22 May 2021.

Addressing journalists during the June 7 press conference, Bishop Ngumbi said that preparations “for this great event are progressing very well.”

“I am confident that on the scheduled date everything will be ready for the Pope to celebrate his solemn Mass on 4 July 2022,” the 57-year-old Bishop who has been at the helm of Goma Diocese since May 2019 following his transfer from DRC’s Kindu Diocese told journalists. 


On May 25, the Local Ordinary of Goma Diocese in DRC called on the people of God in his Episcopal See to intensify prayers and remain united as they prepare for the pastoral visit of Pope Francis.

On June 2, the representative of the Holy Father in DRC encouraged the people of God in the Central African nation to prepare their hearts to welcome Pope Francis.

When realized, the July 2-7 pastoral trip to the two African nations will mark Pope Francis’ third visit to sub-Saharan Africa. The journey will be the first-ever Papal visit to South Sudan and the third Papal trip to DRC, which is home to Africa's largest Catholic population.

Jude Atemanke is a Cameroonian journalist with a passion for Catholic Church communication. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from the University of Buea in Cameroon. Currently, Jude serves as a journalist for ACI Africa.