Join the Pope in Africa via video, photos and text on Days Two and Three in the DRC…
PAPAL TRIP TO AFRICA: DRC, DAYS TWO AND THREE
DAY TWO: Addressing a group of representatives of some charities in Kinshasa’s Apostolic Nunciature on Wednesday, Pope Francis praised their work which, he said, is like a forest silently growing and bearing fruit, amid the “noise” of ongoing violence and injustice. Attending the meeting were operators and beneficiaries of six charitable organizations and institutions who described their experiences and presented their activities in the fields of healthcare, education, and human development for the poor and marginalized. These included people affected by various types of disabilities, by Hansen’s disease and other illnesses. Pope: Charities sow seeds of hope in DRC and across African continent – Vatican News
DAY THREE: (After morning Mass in private at the nunciature in Kinshasa), Pope Francis met with young people and catechists from across the Democratic Republic of Congo, and urges them never to grow discouraged in their quest to resist corruption. On the third day of his Apostolic Journey to the DRC, Pope Francis held a lively encounter with young people and the local Church’s catechists. The meeting took place in the Martyr’s Stadium in Kinshasa on Thursday morning, and the Pope thanked the Congolese youth for their shows of affection and dancing. (After the meeting with youth, the Pope returned to the nunciature for a meeting with Prime Minister Jean-Michel Sama Lukonde Kyenge of the DRC). Pope to DRC youth: ‘A different future is in your hands’ – Vatican News
DAY THREE: On the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord, Pope Francis met with priests, deacons, consecrated persons, and seminarians in Kinshasa’s Cathedral of Our Lady of the Congo. Reflecting on the encounter between Simeon and the Christ Child, which is commemorated in the feast, the Holy Father drew out the lesson: “When we place Jesus at the centre of our lives, our outlook changes, and despite all our efforts and difficulties, we feel enveloped by His light, comforted by His Spirit, encouraged by His Word, and sustained by His love.” He reminded those with religious vocations that, despite “enormous challenges,” there is nonetheless “great joy in the service of the Gospel.” Clergy and religious, the Pope said, are called to be witnesses of God’s love, by anointing His people today “with the balm of consolation and hope. Pope to clergy and religious in DR Congo: The Church needs you! – Vatican News
The last event of Day Three of the papal trip was an afternoon prayer meeting in Kinshasa’s Our Lady of the Congo cathedral with priests, deacons, men and women religious and seminarians. Welcomed by Cardinal Fridolin Ambongo, archbishop of Kinshasa, the Pope briefly prayed at the tombs of deceased archbishops.
EWTN staff in the papal party (Elias Turk, photos and Gianluca Teseo, video) reported that, as the religious waited for the Pope to arrive, the Luminous mysteries of the rosary were prayed in diverse languages, led by the superiors of religious orders from the six ecclesiastic provinces. The first 4 mysteries were prayed in national languages (Lingala, Kikongo, Swahili and Tshiluba), with the faithful responding in French. The fifth mystery was in French.
Pope Francis arrived at the end of the fifth mystery – no applause, the faithful kept praying the rosary as he moved up the main aisle. Authorities estimate those inside the cathedral numbered 1200, and just under 4,000 participated outside.
Elias Turk EWTN
After the prayer encounter in the cathedral, the Holy Father returned to the apostolic nunciature where he had a meeting, as is now customary during a papal trip, with fellow Jesuits residing in the country. That was followed by dinner in private.