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Archives African bishop visits North Country parishes

July 4, 2018

During Masses celebrating the Solemnity of Corpus Chrisit on June 2nd and 3rd, the parishes of St. Mary’s in Bishop Nicolas DjomoIndian Lake, St. Paul’s in Blue Mountain Lake, and St. Joseph’s in Olmstedville had the honor of a visit from Bishop Nicolas Djomo, Bishop of the Diocese of Tshumbe, located in the center of the Democratic Republic of the Congo in central Africa.

Father Philip Allen welcomed Bishop Djomo at each Mass and asked parishioners to support the Bishop in his effort to bring fresh drinking water to thousands of people in his diocese. Bishop Djomo spoke about the challenges he faces because of the location and situation of his diocese in ministering to the people of the Tshumbe so that they “experience the saving presence and compassion of Jesus in their daily lives.”

The Tshumbe diocese covers a 23,000 square mile land-locked and isolated area with a population of over 680,000 people. In much of the diocese, there are no paved roads, no electricity, and no running water. Due to the absence of government run services, the Church is the primary institution to take care of the basic needs of the people.

The Democratic Republic of the Congo has the world’s second-highest rate of mother and infant mortality. Bishop Djomo said that one major cause of the high mortality is the lack of fresh drinking water. Bishop Djomo has launched a project to bring fresh and potable water to the 30,000 people of Town of Tshumbe within the diocese. With 75 percent of the funds needed for this extensive project raised, Catholic Relief Services is assisting the Bishop in the United States with raising the remaining 25% of the funds needed.

Bishop Djomo asked participants at all three Masses to for their financial support of the clean water project. “I thank you for your prayers and generosity and I am grateful for your willingness to make a difference in my ministry, the Bishop concluded. “Upon you and your families, I invoke an outpouring of the gifts of the Holy Spirit. God bless you.”

Donations to Catholic Relief Services can be made safely online at support.crs.org

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