Br André Murhabale re-elected Minister Provincial

The Provincial Chapter of the Franciscan Province of Congo re-elected Br André MURHABALE as Minister Provincial and elected Br José NZAU as Vicar Provincial. The Provincial Definitory is composed of Br Marie Pascal RUSHURA, Br Godefroid ILUNGA, Br Clément MUTUTA and Br Arsène ULRICH.

Speaking alongside the Chapter, which began on 8 August and ended on Saturday 13, in Kolwezi, Br André said. “With the new government, we will try to carry forward the programme entrusted to us by the capitulars, especially in the initial formation of young people who embrace our form of life”. Furthermore, and to respond to the demands of today’s world, Br André presented the project of opening a Franciscan university. “One of the challenges we currently face is to start a new university of the friars to be opened in Kolwezi next October, to respond effectively to the demands of today’s world”.

The friar also expressed concern about the war in North Kivu that has caused so many deaths and still forces tens of thousands of people to leave their homes. “We should work to strengthen fraternal communion, strengthen our fraternities, to be true witnesses of brotherhood of cohesion and peace, in a Congo torn apart by divisions and wars. My thoughts go to the friars who courageously work in our communities in North Kivu, where armed groups, insecurity and mass killings have increased in recent months”.

The Franciscan presence in Congo dates back to 1920, when several Franciscan missionaries of different nationalities and origins – Belgians, Croatians, Americans, Poles – opened missions, thus beginning Franciscan life in Africa’s largest country.