In his homily, the Pope encouraged Catholics in DRC to take the crucifix from their wall or hanging on a chain around their neck and to hold it in their hands, close to their hearts, “in order to share your wounds with the wounds of Jesus.”
“Give Christ the chance to heal your heart, hand your past over to him, along with all your fears and troubles. What a beautiful thing it is to open the doors of your heart and your home to his peace!” he said.
In his February 1 speech after the Papal Mass, Cardinal Ambongo thanked the Holy Father for celebrating with the Congolese people and prayed for the success of his ongoing Apostolic Journey in Africa.
“In the name of the Church family of God, which has come to pray with you, and in the name of all the Congolese people, I would like to express my heartfelt gratitude for this beautiful and great Mass that you have just presided over,” he said.
The Congolese Cardinal continued, “I thank you for being there for us, for each and every one of us, for our suffering people.”
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“Thank you for your message; thank you for your homily of comfort, which confirms us in our faith,” he said, and continued, “I nourish the hope that this Eucharist that you have just presided over will consecrate us more to Christ in whom we are all reconciled.”
Cardinal Ambongo implored, “As I bless the Lord for this moment of grace, I entrust the continuation of your apostolic journey in the Democratic Republic of Congo and South Sudan to the intercession of the Virgin Mary, our Lady of Congo.”
Catholics who participated in the Papal Eucharistic celebration expressed gratitude to the Holy Father for the message of comfort.
For Fr. Jules Kipupu, the message of Pope Francis during Holy Mass is“an invitation to inner reconciliation, but also a challenge for us Catholics in DRC to be at the forefront of reconciliation.”
“Things will never be the same again for our people and I pray that this message of reconciliation should touch our political leaders to work for the common good,” the member of the Society of Jesus (Jesuits) told ACI Africa in Kinshasa.
Charly Nkumu, a Parishioner of St. Anna’s Parish of Kinshasa Archdiocese was satisfied to take part in this event because, according to him, “it is a Mass of comfort for all the Congolese people.”
“We expect many blessings and reconciliation with Jesus Christ. It is a spiritual comfort for those who were discouraged and am happy I was part of this historic event,” he said about the Papal Mass that had Cardinals, Catholic Archbishops, and Bishops from other African countries among the Concelebrants.
Antoine Cardinal Kambanda of Rwanda, Dieudonné Cardinal Nzapalainga of the Central African Republic (CAR), Archbishop Edmond Djitangar of Chad, and Bishop Matthew Hassan Kukah of Nigeria’s Sokoto Diocese were among Catholic Church leaders from African countries at the Papal Mass.
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.