ACN PROJECT OF THE WEEK: Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC)
Success Story: Mass Books in the Chiluba language
The Chiluba (Ciluba) language is spoken by close to 6 million people in the Kasai Region in the southeast region of the Democratic Republic of Congo, a large country right at the heart of Africaand it is one of the nation’s four official spoken languages.
Some years ago, the bishops of the eight Catholic dioceses comprised in this region recognized the urgent need for new editions of the liturgical books in this language to be gradually introduced. For one thing, the books were already largely worn out; but they required extensive revision and correction linguistically.
A Theatre of Violence
The Kasai Region is a vast and neglected region, with widespread deep poverty. In 2016 and 2017 it was a theatre terrible violence , leaving behind several thousand dead. Dozens of mass graves have been subsequently found there . Many church buildings were also attacked, looted and burned down, among them the cathedral and Bishop‘s residence in Luebo.
Government is to all intents and purposes, absent from this neglected region., It is therefore left to the Church to meet the needs of the population and to provide assistanceto whatever extent they can stretch themselves to do so.
The first concern of the Church
But man does not live on bread alone, and for the Church importance has always lain with the health of the human soul, that is its first concern. The Eucharist is the “Source and summit of the life and mission of the Church” as it says in the Vatican II document Lumen Gentium, making the republication of these liturgical books a top priority for the bishops Now, thanks to the generous help of our benefactors, ACN has been able to provide a subsidy of $29,000 for the printing of the first edition of the new Lectionary andwelcomed with great joy.