Please keep in your prayers
It is with great pain that we share with you our sadness at the death of the Abbot Stephen, also known as Abbé Étienne, of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and a participant in our Goma workshop, “A Compassionate Response to Victims of Sexual Abuse in Areas of Conflict.” He was the image of a true shepherd who knows his sheep. With his participation it was obvious that he was a zealous pastor, concerned about the future of his mission in a hostile environment. Abbé Étienne was a very lively and engaging participant in all activities and discussions. Everyone felt welcomed in his presence.
Abbé Étienne was facilitating a discussion with the catechists in his church when four men entered the room, one of them carrying a gun. The man shot him in the head and killed him instantly among his people. The night before he was killed he had helped to reconcile some of the rebel groups in the area.
The Lord allowed his sacrifice and brought him home as a martyr to be praised. Our brother Étienne looks upon us from heaven and becomes our intercessor. We pray for the eternal rest of his soul and for the many who knew him and whose lives were touched by his presence among us. His death reminds us to pray for all of the victims and their loved ones who have died because of the devasting conflict in their countries. Please remember Fr. Stephen in your prayers .
A memorial mass for Fr. Stephen will be celebrated in Bakavu on May 5 at 2 pm in the chapel of the Amani Center.