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Congolese Visit

During Black History Month, St. Mary’s usually celebrates at least one mass reflecting an African faith tradition. In the past, that tradition celebrated was usually from Ghana. This year, the Liturgical Committee approached Fr. Charles Ndumbi, SVD, asking him to share some traditions from this homeland, the Congo. The committee was totally unaware that the Congo has 43.5 million Catholics, and nor of the Zairean or Congolese rite. Fr. Charles and members of the Congolese Community graciously accepted that invitation and on February 17th the 11:00am mass was transformed into a Congolese mass with a choir and liturgical dancing. The mass was open to and well attended by parishioners and visitors. There were people who came from as far away as Dallas and San Antonio to attend. Following the mass, the celebration continued with a banquet of Congolese dishes, and cultural fellowship where information was exchanged on the experiences of the Civil Rights in the USA and Post-Colonial Congo. The afternoon was concluded with a presentation of Congolese dancing performed by blended membership of St. Mary and Congolese performers.

The experience was so positive, plans have begun to do the mass again next February, and to look for opportunities to worship and celebrate together in the near future. A very special thanks to JIWE Houston, Madia Ghonda, and members of the Congolese Community for sharing our common faith and heritage.

Congolese celebrants 2.17.19