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Pope Francis Visits Two African Nations: Democratic Republic of the Congo & South Sudan February 1st, 2023

Pope Francis’ much anticipated visit — his fifth to the African continent since becoming pope in 2013 and the first papal visit to Congo since Pope John Paul II visited in 1985 — comes following a postponement in July 2022 due to the pope’s ongoing issues with his knee. The Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate has a significant presence in the Congo

As Francis arrived on Jan. 31, tens of thousands of onlookers cheered, danced and waved banners and flags bearing images of the pontiff as they lined the main road from the airport to the city center, along the pope’s route through town.

After three days in Congo, Francis will travel to war-torn South Sudan for a historic visit with leaders of the Church of England and Church of Scotland for what Francis has described as a “pilgrimage of peace.” 

Read the full story at National Catholic Reporter online.


Related stories around the web:

‘Hands off Africa,’ Pope Francis tells rich worldREUTERS
Pope Francis is in Democratic Republic of Congo, its first papal visit since 1985NPR
VIDEOPope Francis during Mass in D.R. of Congo: “The Lord says to you: Lay down your arms” – ROME REPORTS
Highlights – RDC, First day Pope Francis in RDC, 31 January 2023, Pope FrancisVATICAN NEWS



UN Days in October October 1st, 2013

UN-LogoLearn about the U.N. Observance Days in October, here. Watch U.N. Web-TV, here.

  • October 2, 2013: International Day of Non-Violence is held on Mahatma Gandhi’s birthday and is an occasion to “disseminate the message of non-violence, including through education and public awareness.” Available: In English; in SpanishIn French.
  • October 11, 2013: Day of the Girl Child: Innovating for Girls’ Education: The fulfillment of girls’ “right to education” is first and foremost an obligation and moral imperative. Girls’ education, especially at the secondary level, has been proven to be a powerful transformative force for societies and girls themselves. Click herein Spanishin French. Read about the Techno Girl program in South Africa, hereJoin in the Day of the Girl Summit here.
  • October 16, 2013: World Food Day: Sustainable Food Systems for Food Security and Nutrition: Healthy People Depend on Healthy Food Systems helps increase understanding of problems and solutions in the drive to end hunger. Available: In EnglishIn SpanishIn FrenchIn Italian.
  • October 17, 2013: International Day for the Eradication of Poverty is intended to promote awareness of the need to eradicate poverty and destitution in all countries. Fighting poverty remains at the core of the U.N. development agenda. Available: In EnglishIn SpanishIn French.
  • October 20, 2013: World Mission Sunday.
  • October 20-24, 2013: CONGO Week will be celebrated all around the world in an effort to bring attention to the ongoing violence in DR-Congo. Visit here.

New SEC Rules to Reduce the Use of Conflict Minerals August 29th, 2012

The Missionary Oblate JPIC Office applauds the final rules adopted by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to restrict the use of Congo conflict minerals and increase transparency in extractives-related payments.

On August 22, the Securities and Exchange Commission, in a 3-2 vote, adopted a rule requiring public companies to disclose information about their use of minerals from the Democratic Republic of Congo where militias linked to atrocities have profited from mining minerals. Conflict minerals mined in war-torn Congo are essential to the manufacture of high-tech electronics, jewelry and other goods. The rule is know as Section 1502 of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act.

Click here to read more »

Pray for Peaceful Elections in Congo November 15th, 2011

Praying for Peace in the Congo Elections

On November 28, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) will hold elections. A delegation of Catholic bishops from the Congo Catholic Conference was recently in Washington D.C, to urge the international community to increase the number of international observers monitoring the forthcoming elections and to ensure that minerals and resources of the DRC are not used for illicit purposes. The elections are being vigorously contested, with 11 candidates vying for the presidency, and nearly 19,000 for some 500 parliamentary seats. There are 32 million eligible voters in the country.

Forty-one faith-based, humanitarian and human rights organizations issued a press release in October expressing concern about the high level of political tension and the deteriorating security situation. They have called upon all Congolese and international actors involved to take urgent measures to prevent electoral violence, better protect civilians and ensure credible, free and fair elections. Amongst those who signed onto the press release is Africa Europe Faith and Justice Network (AEFJN) whose members are mostly Catholic Religious or Missionary Institutes working in Africa and Europe. Missionary Oblates maintains membership at the AEFJN. Also, the Missionary Oblates have significant present in the Democratic Republic of Congo where they work in parishes, education and operate development projects.

Read the full press statement (PDF) by NGOs expressing concern on the deteriorating security situation in DRC and call for action.

Break the Silence – Congo Week 2011 October 19th, 2011

Conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is far from over. Insecurity continues to plague parts of the eastern Congo and horrifying stories of rape and other forms of human rights abuses are still being reported. In order to raise awareness around the world of this situation in Congo, Break the Silence – Congo 2011 is being marked from October 16 to October 22, 2011. The aim of Congo advocacy is to raise awareness about the devastating situation in the Congo and mobilize support on behalf of the people of the Congo.

DRC is a major source for many minerals such as coltan, which is used in electronics like cell phones and laptops. Unfortunately, funding for armed groups in Congo comes from the sale of these minerals often to technology companies in Europe and North America.

Click here to read more »

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