How to catch a plane in DR Congo

Francis Hannaway, Mill Hill Lay Associate, travelled with Fr Stan Bondoko MHM on the river from Basankusu, where they work, to Mbandaka, to fly to Kinshasa, capital of the Democratic Republic of Congo. The increasing decline of the country’s infrastructure has led to this being the only way to travel to the capital city. Things did not go according to plan.

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A Message from the Rainforest

Greetings from Basankusu, DR Congo. I got here on Friday. After a very trying boat journey from Mbandaka! The first of its nature I ever had. I was able to stop on the way at Mampoko and Bokakata. Yesterday went to Waka and today. The people have been very welcoming and I was well received by our members. The Bishop too. Will write an article some time. On Sunday Mass was held in which we commemorated 150 years of MHM. The Mass was presided over by Bishop Joseph Mokobe and attended by priests, religious and many faithfull. the choir was very poweful and the Congolese litturgy very alive and thourougly enjoyable. Stan Bondokos band played the instruments. Later a reception was held.

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New Cathedral Basankusu, DR Congo

Slowly, but surely a new cathedral arises in the rainforest town of Basankusu, DR Congo, on the spot where once the majestic yellow brick building stood, erected by the early Mill Hill missionaries. Mill Hill associate Francis Hannaway sent this photographic impression of a work in progress.

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Basankusu, DR Congo

I sat with the engineer from Basankusu Cathedral today at our celebration for a new brother taking his vows. The engineer says the cathedral will be finished "this year". Basankusu Cathedral was built by Mill Hill Missionaries in the 1940s, but has since been demolished and is being rebuilt. It was made of brick but is being rebuilt in reinforced concrete. It is the most substantial building in Basankusu - by a long chalk!

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