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A novena is prayed for a murdered young Congolese priest


Catholics in the Democratic Republic of the Congo are paying tribute to a young priest who was killed after offering Mass on the World Day of Consecrated Life this week.

Father Richard Masivi Kasereka, 36, was assassinated by armed men in the northeastern territory of Lubero on Feb. 2, while driving to his parish, St. Michael the Archangel, after offering Mass in Kanyabayonga, according to his bishop.

Bishop Melchisédec Sikuli Paluku of Butembo-Beni said in a statement sent on Feb. 3 to ACI Africa, CNA’s African news partner, that an investigation into the murder had begun.

Attacks by the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) have been reported in the Butembo-Beni diocese. The ISIS-affiliated rebel group from neighbouring Uganda is reportedly under the leadership of a Muslim who abandoned the Christian faith.

The Congolese bishop has announced a diocese-wide novena on Feb. 3-11 with “a pious intention to recommend the soul of Father Richard Masivi to the mercy of God.”

The late priest took his perpetual vows in the Order of Clerics Regular Minor in March 2018 and was ordained a priest in February 2019. He is an alumnus of the Kenya-based Tangaza University College – an educational institution jointly owned by 22 religious orders.

He had served as the pastor of St. Michael the Archangel since October 2021.

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