Mark F. Fischer is Professor of Theology at St. John's Seminary in California.

Leaving Los Angeles for the Congo on July 11, 2011, I didn’t know what to expect.  I  remember reading Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness, a novel from 1899 about Belgium’s exploitation of the Congo.  In Tshumbe , the obvious reminder of the colonial period is the image of Joseph Hagendorens, the Passionist priest and bishop who founded the diocese in 1910.  I saw many young nuns with the bearded image of Hagendorens imprinted on the African fabric of their dresses.  By participating in Albert Shuyaka’s ordination and first mass, I learned first hand how Catholic Christianity has taken root and flourished.  It is not just a European export, but an expression of faith that my hosts shared with me.

Father Albert Shuyaka continues to keep his friends informed about his ministry, for which he is grateful to accept donations.

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