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Laurent Mpongo Mpoto

Laurent Mpongo Mpoto (1931-2020)  English Text below



Le Père Laurent Mpongo a fini son pèlerinage sur terre. Oui, il nous a quittés physiquement ; nous ne le verrons plus. Mais il laisse les signes vivants de sa présence au milieu de nous.

Le Père Laurent Mpongo que nous appelions affectueusement « Expert », était un homme de foi. Comme théologien, il avait la soif et la passion d’approfondir sa connaissance de Dieu. Il avait la soif de l’inculturation de l’Evangile pour bâtir une Église inculturée en terre africaine. Dans cette optique, il a initié la célébration de la messe adaptée à l’Eglise du Zaïre, communément appelée le « rite zaïrois ». Il est aussi l’auteur de plusieurs livres dont : Célébrer le mariage ; Le problème de la sorcellerie en Afrique ; Les Africains dans la CICM. Le cas du premier groupe ; Les Africains dans la CICM. La croissance d’un groupe ; et bien d’autres publications.

En homme de foi et de prière, il était toujours présent à toutes les activités de la Communauté et de la Province : célébrations eucharistiques, méditations personnelles, repas, recréations, recollections, retraites et célébrations de certains événements. Le Père Laurent était aussi un homme qui savait oser du neuf. Il fait partie du tout premier groupe des Scheutistes Africains. Il est aussi le premier scheutiste originaire de la Province du Mai-Ndombe. Comme pionner, il a ouvert le chemin à beaucoup d’entre nous à Scheut et il a sauvé plusieurs vocations cicm. Il savait encourager et féliciter quand quelqu’un accomplissait le bien ; mais il n’hésitait pas d’interpeller quand il voyait quelqu’un sur la pente. Car, il aimait dire la vérité et il était franc.
« Expert » était également un homme qui avait le sens de responsabilité : ponctuel, disponible, dévoué, élégant (il aimait porter sa cravate), propre et engagé. Il avait la précision dans son langage et dans ses écrits. Il avait le désir de la perfection en vue de l’excellence. Dans cet élan, il a assumé plusieurs fonctions et pas parmi les moindres dans la CICM et dans l’Église à travers le monde. Il était un homme très fraternel et attentif aux autres. Personnellement, je garde un très bon souvenir de lui. Pendant la maladie du feu Père Honoré Lesalia, le Père Laurent m’appelait chaque jour et parfois deux fois par jour pour avoir des nouvelles du Père Honoré malade. Et chaque fois il disait : « Salutations à Honoré ; je prie pour lui ».

Pendant ces jours de confinement, il m’appelait souvent pour savoir comment nous allions en communauté.
Nous aurions voulu lui faire des obsèques beaucoup plus adaptées à ce qu’il est pour nous : un vaillant missionnaire, religieux, prêtre ; un homme qui a la passion pour Dieu et pour l’Eglise, la passion pour la Congrégation du Cœur Immaculé de Marie, un baobab. Mais hélas, les mesures prises suite à la pandémie de coronavirus ne nous le permettent pas.

La nouvelle du décès du Père Laurent nous a tous attristés et bouleversés. Nos cœurs sont perturbés. Jésus nous dit : « Que votre cœur ne soit pas bouleversé. Vous croyez en Dieu ; croyez aussi en moi » ; « Je suis la résurrection et la vie ; celui qui croit en moi ne mourra jamais ». Le Père Laurent, nous le croyons, est vivant auprès de Jésus qu’il a servi toute sa vie. Notre consolation et réconfort se trouvent dans le fait que le Père Laurent nous quitte en ce temps de Pâques, temps où nous célébrons la résurrection de notre Seigneur Jésus-Christ. Qu’il rencontre le Christ ressuscité qu’il a cherché et servi toute sa vie. Qu’il écoute la voix du Christ qui lui dit : « Serviteur bon et fidèle, entre dans la joie de ton maître ».

Père Laurent nous quitte aussi pendant le mois marial, lui qui appartient à une Congrégation mariale. Que la Vierge Marie le conduise auprès de son Fils Jésus-Christ.

Père Laurent, tu as combattu le bon combat ; tu nous as montré le bon chemin ; tu nous as enseigné ; tu nous as encouragés : Merci pour tout ; un bienfait n’est jamais perdu. Nous continuons à compter sur tes prières. Partage maintenant la joie de ton Maître. Que Dieu répande sur toi la rosée de sa grâce, au nom du Père et du Fils et du Saint-Esprit. Amen ! ■ Par  Maurice Nsambo

Laurent Mpongo Mpoto (1931-2020)


Father Laurent Mpongo has finished his pilgrimage on earth. Yes, he has left us physically; we will not see him again. But he leaves the living signs of his presence in our midst.

Father Laurent Mpongo, whom we affectionately called "Expert", was a man of faith. As a theologian, he had the thirst and the passion to deepen his knowledge of God. He had a thirst for the inculturation of the Gospel in order to build an inculturated Church on African soil. With this in mind, he initiated the celebration of the Mass adapted to the Church of Zaire, commonly known as the "Zairean Rite". He is also the author of several books : Célébrer le mariage ; Le problème de la sorcellerie en Afrique ; Les Africains dans la CICM. Le cas du premier groupe ; Les Africains dans la CICM、 La croissance d’un groupe; and many other publications.

As a man of faith and prayer, he was always present at all the activities of the Community and the Province: Eucharistic celebrations, personal meditations, meals, recollections, retreats and celebrations of certain events. Father Laurent was also a man who knew how to dare new things. He belonged to the very first group of African Scheutists. He is also the first Scheutist from the Province of Mai-Ndombe. As a pioneer, he opened the way for many of us in Scheut and he saved several cicm vocations. He knew how to encourage and congratulate when someone was doing good; but he did not hesitate to call out when he saw someone on the slope. For he liked to tell the truth and he was frank.

« Expert » was also a man with a sense of responsibility: punctual, available, dedicated, elegant (he liked to wear his tie), clean and committed. He had precision in his language and in his writing. He had the desire for perfection with a view to excellence. In this spirit, he took on many functions, not the least of which were in the CICM and in the Church throughout the world. He was a very fraternal and caring man. Personally, I have very fond memories of him. During the illness of the late Father Honoré Lesalia, Father Laurent called me every day and sometimes twice a day to get news of the sick Father Honoré. And each time he would say: "Greetings to Honoré; I pray for him". During those days of confinement, he would often call me to find out how we were doing in the community.

We would have liked to give him a funeral much more adapted to what he is to us: a valiant missionary, religious, priest; a man who has a passion for God and for the Church, a passion for the Congregation of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, a baobab tree. But unfortunately, the measures taken in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic do not allow us to do so.

The news of Father Laurent's death saddened and upset us all. Our hearts are troubled. Jesus tells us: "Do not let your heart be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me"; "I am the resurrection and the life; whoever believes in me will never die". Father Laurent, we believe, is alive with Jesus whom he served all his life. Our consolation and comfort are in the fact that Father Laurent is leaving us at this Easter time, a time when we celebrate the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. May he meet the Risen Christ whom he sought and served all his life. May he listen to the voice of Christ who says to him: "Good and faithful servant, enter into the joy of your master".

Father Laurent also leaves us during the Marian month, he who belongs to a Marian Congregation. May the Virgin Mary lead him to her Son Jesus Christ.

Father Laurent, you fought the good fight; you showed us the right way; you taught us; you encouraged us: Thank you for everything; a blessing is never lost. We continue to count on your prayers. Now share the joy of your Master. May God pour out the dew of his grace upon you, in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen! ■ by  Maurice   Nsambo






Father Laurent Mpongo has finished his pilgrimage on earth. Yes, he has left us physically; we will not see him again. But he leaves the living signs of his presence in our midst.

Father Laurent Mpongo, whom we affectionately called "Expert", was a man of faith. As a theologian, he had the thirst and the passion to deepen his knowledge of God. He had a thirst for the inculturation of the Gospel in order to build an inculturated Church on African soil. With this in mind, he initiated the celebration of the Mass adapted to the Church of Zaire, commonly known as the "Zairean Rite". He is also the author of several books : Célébrer le mariage ; Le problème de la sorcellerie en Afrique ; Les Africains dans la CICM. Le cas du premier groupe ; Les Africains dans la CICM La croissance d’un groupe; and many other publications.

As a man of faith and prayer, he was always present at all the activities of the Community and the Province: Eucharistic celebrations, personal meditations, meals, recollections, retreats and celebrations of certain events. Father Laurent was also a man who knew how to dare new things. He belonged to the very first group of African Scheutists. He is also the first Scheutist from the Province of Mai-Ndombe. As a pioneer, he opened the way for many of us in Scheut and he saved several cicm vocations. He knew how to encourage and congratulate when someone was doing good; but he did not hesitate to call out when he saw someone on the slope. For he liked to tell the truth and he was frank.

« Expert » was also a man with a sense of responsibility: punctual, available, dedicated, elegant (he liked to wear his tie), clean and committed. He had precision in his language and in his writing. He had the desire for perfection with a view to excellence. In this spirit, he took on many functions, not the least of which were in the CICM and in the Church throughout the world. He was a very fraternal and caring man. Personally, I have very fond memories of him. During the illness of the late Father Honoré Lesalia, Father Laurent called me every day and sometimes twice a day to get news of the sick Father Honoré. And each time he would say: "Greetings to Honoré; I pray for him". During those days of confinement, he would often call me to find out how we were doing in the community.

We would have liked to give him a funeral much more adapted to what he is to us: a valiant missionary, religious, priest; a man who has a passion for God and for the Church, a passion for the Congregation of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, a baobab tree. But unfortunately, the measures taken in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic do not allow us to do so.

The news of Father Laurent's death saddened and upset us all. Our hearts are troubled. Jesus tells us: "Do not let your heart be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me"; "I am the resurrection and the life; whoever believes in me will never die". Father Laurent, we believe, is alive with Jesus whom he served all his life. Our consolation and comfort are in the fact that Father Laurent is leaving us at this Easter time, a time when we celebrate the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. May he meet the Risen Christ whom he sought and served all his life. May he listen to the voice of Christ who says to him: "Good and faithful servant, enter into the joy of your master".

Father Laurent also leaves us during the Marian month, he who belongs to a Marian Congregation. May the Virgin Mary lead him to her Son Jesus Christ.

Father Laurent, you fought the good fight; you showed us the right way; you taught us; you encouraged us: Thank you for everything; a blessing is never lost. We continue to count on your prayers. Now share the joy of your Master. May God pour out the dew of his grace upon you, in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen! ■                        

                        Maurice   Nsambo


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