Interview with Fr. Renzo Busana, scj missionary in Congo.
Fr. Renzo Busana has been a missionary in the Congo for 15 years and belongs to the Congolese Province. He worked for many years in Babonde. Since 2019, he has been at the new mission in Gbonzunzu, an area where many pygmies also live. If you want to follow his mission, you can follow his blog at: http://karibubabonde.blogspot.com/
Dear Fr. Renzo, can you describe your missionary commitment and that of the Dehonians of the Congolese Province?
For 15 years, I have belonged to the Congolese Province, carrying out various ministries, first in Babonda and now in Gbonzunzu, in the equatorial rainforest in the Congo. Currently there are about 80 confreres, including 7 missionaries from other Dehonian entities. Today most of the religious are native. First Evangelization with the foundation of new Christian communities and education in schools are the main areas of commitment of the Dehonian confreres.
The Congo has experienced a series of conflicts and is still experiencing an unstable situation. “Despite this situation in the Democratic Republic of Congo, most deaths are not caused by the violence of the ongoing conflict in the African country, but rather by malnutrition and unavoidable hardship due to the collapse of health care facilities.” How do you assess this situation?
Political instability should not be underestimated, also because up till now there are armed militias that shoot and produce large numbers of refugees. The reason for this is the exploitation and hoarding of the rich natural resources. There is the inability of the state to take on responsibilities such as, for example, the development of adequate infrastructure, health, access to drinking water, etc. Malnutrition, malaria, ebola still cause death: people die without knowing what they are dying of. The rulers do not take on the problems of the people and corruption pervades the institutions. Investing in schools is certainly a trump card whose fruits will be seen over a long period of time because people are formed when they are capable of having moral ethics and assuming responsibility.
In the press release issued last November 29 during the extraordinary session, the bishops highlighted two priority issues: insecurity in the country, especially in the Northeast, and the problem of teaching. What do Dehonians think as they respond to these challenges?
The Church maintains its prophetic and denunciatory role. The Church worked hard to hold the last election well and is working to hold the next one in 2023. The Dehonians’ role is to continue along this line of conscientiousness, helping people open their eyes to the good things and the things that are not good. We Dehonians help this process through educational work, which is done primarily in schools.
Would you like to launch a message or an appeal to the Dehonian congregation and family?
Keeping in mind the origins of our Congolese Province, I would ask that we do not diminish our international presence. We have a growing number of local vocations: I would ask the congregation to support us in our educational work, including financially.