Wednesday, February 21, 2018
During the VIVAT Annual Meeting (January 25, 2018), we discussed the needs of a statement on the situation in DR Congo. The main idea was to show the moral support to the local Catholics who have been courageously fighting for peace and justice. So the Board decided through email that VIVAT President sends a letter [see attachment] to the all provincial superiors of VIVAT Member Congregations in DR Congo to express our prayer and solidarity, and invite them to share information with our Offices in New York and Geneva. In the picture: Peaceful march for the DR Congo on February 11, 2018 in Rome.
Dear sisters and brothers of VIVAT Member Congregations in DR Congo,
On behalf of the Board of Directors of VIVAT International, all Contact Persons of VIVAT Member Congregations and VIVAT Offices in New York and Geneva, I am writing to express VIVAT International’s solidarity and support to you and the people of the Democratic Republic of Congo during this anxious period in the political life of your country.
On 4 February, during his Angelus talk, His Holiness, Pope Francis invited the whole Catholic Church and all people in the world to join his initiative, to fast and pray for peace, particularly in DR Congo and South Sudan on 23 February. According to the Pope, “We can certainly pray, but not only: each one can concretely say “no” to violence on his or her own behalf. Because the victories obtained through violence are false victories, whereas working for peace is good for everyone.”
We are truly grateful to you our sisters and brothers in VIVAT for advancing the values and missions of VIVAT International in DR Congo. We admire your courageous actions to realize peace and justice using non-violent means which Jesus himself did and which brought the victory of resurrection.
We wish to join your effort through prayer and fasting, joining the peaceful marches and other gatherings, and international networking and advocacy works. Please be assured of our prayers, support and solidarity.
Should you wish to share your experiences and stories, you are kindly invited to do so using VIVAT offices in New York and Geneva (Please contact Sr. Helen and Fr. Robert at firstname.lastname@example.org). Your stories will mobilize international support for advancing peace in the DRC.
Maria Theresia Hörnemann, SSpS
President, VIVAT International
Wednesday, 21 February 2018
Peaceful march for the DR Congo on February 11, 2018 in Rome
“Peaceful march for the DR Congo” was organized on 11th February in Rome. From VIVAT member congregations, Spiritan, Comboni Sisters, Comboni Missionaries and SVD participated. We started the gathering with Mass at Congolese Chaplaincy Church near Piazza Navona, then marched to the Piazza San Pietro to join the Angelus. During the Angelus, Pope talked about his concern for peace in DRC. Together we continue this accompaniment and work for peace in DRC. The peaceful march was organized by the Congolese Catholic Chaplaincy in Rome, the Community of Priests and Religious in Rome, as well as Lay Associations of Congolese in Italy, in solidarity with their brothers and sisters in the DR Congo to demand the full implementation of the agreement signed on December 31st, 2016, and democratic change of government.