Pope Francis’ Presence in DR Congo “a blessing, opportunity to renew faith”: Catholic Nun

Sr. Rita Yamba Tadi. Credit: ACI Africa

The presence of Pope Francis in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is “a blessing” for the people of God in the Central African nation and an opportunity for them to renew their faith, a Catholic Nun has told ACI Africa.

Pope Francis arrived in Kinshasa on Tuesday, January 31 afternoon, the first leg of his Apostolic journey to DRC and South Sudan in what is the realization of his previously postponed trip to the two African nations that the Vatican confirmed on December 1.

After the official welcome of the Holy Father in DRC at Ndjili international airport in Kinshasa, a 15-minute welcome ceremony was conducted at the "Palais de la Nation" in Kinshasa as had been outlined in the program and itinerary that the Vatican unveiled.

In a Tuesday, January 31 interview with ACI Africa, Sr. Rita Yamba Tadi said the Holy Father’s presence on Congolese soil will touch the hearts of many to seek reconciliation and peace.

“The presence of the Holy Father in our country is a blessing to the Congolese people,” the member of the Daughters of St. Paul (FSP) in Kinshasa said, adding that the Holy Father’s presence in DRC provides “an opportunity for us to renew our faith as the theme is ‘All Reconciled in Jesus Christ’ so this reconciliation calls for an inner renewal.”


Sr. Yamba continued, “The visit of Pope Francis to our country is a historic event that is important to us all because we are being visited by a pastor who loves his people, who loves this nation and who sympathizes with all the Congolese people.”

“He knows that we are living in a difficult political situation with a lot of violence, many deaths, injustice, and a lot of suffering,” she further said, adding, “The Pope comes as a pastor to share with us this suffering, but above all to encourage us and to comfort us like a Father.”

Sr. Yamba said that Pope Francis “wants to feel like one of us. He also loves the Congolese Church and for us it is a privilege to have him in our midst.”

The FSP member who doubles as the vice President of the Conference of Major Superiors in DRC (COSUMA) further said the visit of the Holy Father is also an occasion for politicians to seek conversion and “govern well”, prioritizing the protection of human life. 

“The Pope is visiting us as a head of state that is why he met our political authorities. The presence of the Holy Father should challenge them to govern well and ensure peoples’ lives and properties are protected,” she said.

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Sr. Yamba urged the people of God in DRC to come out in their number and actively participate in all the activities of the Holy Father in the Central African nation. 

“For this visit to be successful we need the participation of all sons and daughters. Our massive presence will make the Holy Father feel at home,” Sr. Yamba told ACI Africa January 31.

Besides meeting the Jesuits in Kinshasa, Pope Francis is scheduled to interact with victims of the conflict in the Eastern part of the country and representatives of charitable organizations, celebrate Holy Mass, meet with young people, and Catholic Bishops before embarking on the second leg of his two-African-nation trip.

He is set to leave for South Sudan on Friday, February 3 where he is to engage in an ecumenical visit alongside the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, and the Moderator of the Church of Scotland, Iain Greenshields.

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.