New Formation House in Bangui (June 7-12, 2011)
On June 7, 2011, the Postulancy House of the Foundation of the Our Lady of Angels (dependent on the Province of St. Benedict the African of Congo) in Bangui, Republic of Central Africa, was inaugurated. It was a very important milestone for the young Foundation composed of seven friars (4 Polish, 2 Congolese, and 1 Colombian).
Some years back, several young men asked to be part of the family of the Minors among whom two are temporarily-professed and are studying Philosophy in Kolwezi (Congo), three postulants, two will join the novitiate in the next few months.
Present for such festive event were: the friars of the Foundation; the Minister Provincial of Congo, Fr. Alex Ilunga; and from Rome, Fr. Massimo Tedoldi of the GSME and Fr. Sergiusz Bałdyga, Vice-Secretary General for Formation and Studies. It was Fr. Sergiusz himself who brought the blessing and greetings of the Minister General with which the solemn celebration begun in the presence of the Apostolic Administrator, a number of priests from the Archdiocese, and a good number of religious in the area. Also present were the many laity, among whom were the builders of the Postulancy House who stayed in the construction site for one whole year just so it could be finished in the soonest possible time. The work was directed by Fr. Raymond. The new house of the Friars is made up of two buildings and a chapel where the first Mass was celebrated.
The following day, together with Minister Fr. Alex, the President of the Foundation, Fr. Kordian and the Guardian of Bangui, Fr. Pierre, Fr. Massimo and Fr. Sergiusz proceeded to the Apostolic Administrator, Mons. Dieudonnè Nzapainga and to the Nuncio, Mons. Jude Taddeus Okolo.
The next stop was the small city of Bouar in the theologate of the Capuchin friars where the Foundation intends to send their students of theology. Fr. Sergiusz has thus been able to verify the scholastic program with the Prefect of Studies.
Visiting thereafter the Poor Clares, Fr. Massimo and Fr. Sergiusz, in thanking them for their faithful prayers of intercession, invited them to continue in their work of sanctifying the Church of the said country as proven in recent years and to accompany the beginning of the Postulancy in Bangui.
The Foundation of the Our Lady of the Angels lives in two houses: one in Bangui , Bimbo where the friars are engaged not only in formation work but also in pastoral work in the Diocese, helping particularly in the parish of St. Anthony of Padua and besides, guiding the local Fraternity of the Secular Franciscans and some religious institute of women. The other house is in Rafai, in the eastern part of the country, tormented by the attacks of the rebels, where the Fraternity is involved in the educational task either in the school of the mission or in other numerous places spread in the villages.