Father Felisberto Juliana Dumbo, scj was ordained a priest on August 14 in the parish of Our Lady of the Rosary, in the Diocese of Viana. The second Angolan Dehonian answered our questions.
You have just been ordained a priest among the Dehonians. What made you decide to join this religious congregation?
I was motivated by the witness the missionaries had when they arrived in Angola. They were zelous, they were engaged with the cause of the gospel. It made me so aware of how beautiful religious life is all about. Nevertheless, I love the carism of our Congragation, it helps me to be a prophet in the context of Angolan where corruption, injustice, nepotism, tribal division are like a pandemic in our society.
The Sacred Heart priests have been in Angola for 17 years and today form a district of 19 members, of whom only 2 are indigenous Angolans. How does it feel to be with Father Bartolomeo, the very first Angolan SCJ?
It has been a wouderful experience even though we are far from each other. However, we try our best to share our desires as priests and how we can bring our efforts to build the District as one family.
Do you have any ideas for initiatives that would allow us to have many more young people interested in the Dehonian way of life?
My first idea in order to join young people to dehonian life is to share the life of Father Dehon, there are many things to say about father dehon but many times we are shy to share about our spirituallity. Our carism and spirituality are full of challenges that can build a better world today and young people normally like to know about father dehon becasue of his social dimension. That is why it is better to continue exploring our spirituality, carism and the life of father Dehon.
The confreres of the District of Angola have just returned from their annual retreat and provincial assembly, in which the Superior General, Fr Carlos Cordoniu and his advisor, Fr Charles Koudjou, took part. What do you remember of their visit?
It was a great and remarkable visit. We all felt their presence, the love they have for our district. I remember the word they most used: “we are here to bring communion and not rules and division”. They were good listeners during assembly and heard each religious of the District. The most beautiful part was their presence in my ordanation, of course, i felt honoured to have them here and their witness. They brought some challenges for the district and shared some general ideais of the congregation.