On October 15, 2017, Dom António Francisco Jaca, Bishop of Caxito, canonically erected the Virgem dos Pobres (Virgin of the Poor) pastoral center in the Nossa Senhora do Rosário Parish (Our Lady of the Rosary) and installed Father Jean-Claude KIANGA MBULUKU as parish priest. Since September 2011, the Oblates have served the rural Christian community of Panguila in the diocese of Caxito, Bengo Province, 50 km from Luanda. After six years of pastoral work and considering the spiritual growth of the community, the bishop saw fit to raise the pastoral center a parish.
In his homily, the bishop thanked the Oblates for the pastoral work done in his diocese and especially for their willingness to meet a new challenge, that of a new parish in a very poor rural area, among the abandoned. It’s your specialty, he said, to go into poor areas.
The new parish priest, Father Jean-Claude Kianga, thanked the Bishop and the superior of the Oblate mission in Angola for the trust placed in his humble person, in order to meet the challenge of a new parish, which in his eyes is a blessing of heaven and a grace of the Virgin Mary, in this year when the Nossa Senhora do Rosário Shrine of Fatima in Portugal celebrates 100 years since the apparitions of the Virgin Mary to little shepherds, and especially in this month of October dedicated to Mary and the rosary.
Father Jean-Claude, seeing the situation of human, moral, intellectual, material and spiritual poverty of his parish, focused his pastoral action around this sentence of the Founder: “We must lead men to act like human beings, first of all, and then like Christians, and, finally, we must help them to become saints.” (Saint Eugene de Mazenod 1826).
Consequently, the parish priest would like Nossa Senhora do Rosário parish to be a school of kindness and prayer, a place of knowledge and understanding of the faith, a unified Christian family and above all, a path to holiness. Father Jean-Claude counts on the grace and mercy of God, the maternal care of Mary, on the fatherly support of the bishop and his Congregation, his Parish Pastoral Council, the leaders of groups and movements, and especially of all the faithful, to meet together the challenge of evangelization. He remains optimistic and believes with all his heart in the growth of this parish.
- published originally on OMIWORLD