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    Celebration of the 200th Anniversary of the Birth of our Founder, Théophile Verbist

    Celebration of the 200th Anniversary of the Birth of our Founder, Théophile Verbist

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    On June 12, 2023, during the CICM 16 General Chapter, we celebrated the 200th anniversary of the birth of our Founder, Théophile Verbist.

    Picture CMgr Félicien Ntambue, Bishop of the Diocese of Kabinda and Administrator of the Archdiocese of Kananga (DR Congo), presided over the Eucharistic celebration with the participation of all the participants of the General Chapter, the CICM Community of Rome (from the Generalate (Casa) and the CICM Collegio), friends and the Belgian Ambassador to the Holy See.

    Charles Phukuta, the outgoing Superior General of CICM, gave the homily in which he invited the community to imitate the daring spirit of Father Verbist by loving God and our brothers and sisters, especially the abandoned and marginalized. In response, all the participants thanked the Lord with the following prayer on the occasion of the 200th anniversary of the birth of Verbist:


    God Our Father,
    You inspired Théophile Verbist
    to dedicate himself to missionary work.
    Your Spirit guided him to realize your plan of love
    for the most vulnerable and led him wonderfully
    to found our Congregation.

    Thus, without delay, he committed himself
    to the realization of your plan of love
    with great zeal and faith.
    His dedication and early death in China
    were a seed that continues to bear fruit
    for the Church and humanity.

    As we celebrate the bicentennial of his birth,
    we thank You for our Founder and for all those
    who followed him as CICM missionaries.

    Help us intensify the humble offering of our lives
    and to be faithful to our religious vows and
    missionary commitments.

    May we live more fully “Cor Unum et Anima Una”
    so cherished by Théophile Verbist.

    Father, may your Spirit make us walk without fear,
    following Jesus with Mary of the Immaculate Heart.
    May your Kingdom of love and truth
    be established everywhere
    and grow without end. Amen.