Project of the Week – Democratic Republic of the Congo

Success Story: A Vehicle for the Poor Clare Sisters in Mbuji-Mayi 

“Mamu wa Bupole” – Our Lady of Peace – is the name of the Poor Clare Monastery in Mbuji-Mayi. The Democratic Republic of Congo is in urgent need of peace. Moreover, the Holy See announced on March 3 that Pope Francis will visit the country from the 2nd of July to the 5th.   

Several regions of the country continue to be the scene of armed conflict involving evolving rebel groups. The country, which is more than 2.3 million square kilometres – Quebec is 1.6 million and Ontario is just over a million – has rich mineral resources in gold, diamonds, and oil. Nevertheless, a large part of its 89.5 million inhabitants live in great poverty.  

The Poor Clares, who lead a strict life of prayer and penance in the seclusion of their convent enclosure, continue to pray for peace in their country and for the entire world. They bring the needs of all mankind before God. “We are supporting the suffering members of Christ‘s body through our prayers”, they say. They never leave their convent, except for unavoidable reasons, principally for educational purposes and medical treatment or to obtain vital necessities for the community. They also respond to the many people who come knocking daily on their convent doors, helping and supporting  them. And sometimes the sisters must fetch a doctor to attend to their elderly fellow sisters. 

 For more than twenty years, they have used the same car. It was becoming more and more dangerous, not only for the nuns, but also for other road users!  Yet since their convent lies on the outskirts of the city, they depend heavily on it for all sorts of different needs. And so their abbess, Sister Claire Marie Muenga, sent an urgent appeal to ACN, writing, “Our sisters are turning to you in desperation, counting on your help!” Thanks to the generosity of our benefactors we did not disappoint them, but were able to give them 43,350 dollars to enable them to buy a sturdy and reliable vehicle. The Poor Clares are overjoyed, and their abbess writes on behalf of them all, “A sincere and heartfelt thank you for your help! We promise to pray for you!”  

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