Around Lodja

Some young sisters showed us the construction site of their order's youth center in Lodja.

After our lunch at the Passionist retreat on July 14, we got into Father Jules’ car and drove into the city of Lodja.  After seeing the two parishes of the city, St. Veronique and St. Desiré, we passed a convent where Albert recognized two young sisters that he had known five years earlier.  One of his aunts belonged to the order.  We stopped the car, and they proudly showed us the construction site where the sisters’ order is constructing a youth center.  It was solidly built of bricks and concrete, with a corrugated (not a thatched) roof.

The St. Francis Hospital has a a gynecological clinic.

Driving down the main street, we passed the St. Francis of Assisi Hospital, which is supported by the Diocese of Tshumbe.  Albert remembered it from the time when he was a philosophy student.  We stopped and, although it was closed, one of the sisters gave us a tour.  We visited the dispensary, the maternity rooms, and the x-ray clinic.  Father Jules was pleased to show us that the Diocese of Tshumbe is involved in so many social services.

A man welcomed a prominent evangelist at Lodja Airport as soldiers provided security.

The presence of security forces at the airport had surprised me earlier that afternoon.  It was noisy, and people on bicycles and motorcycles sped along with us as we drove into the city.  There the crowds dissipated.  Lodja may be a big city in the Sankuru District, but it is relatively rural when compared to Kinshasa.  It was even more peaceful the next day, when we visited the Grand Seminaire Jean Paul II.

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