The Times West Virginian

Features

May 13, 2006

It’s all about love

And that comes from God

(Continued)

MANNINGTON —

“The role of any minister is to denounce what is not going well, to cry out. This crying out sometimes, people want us to shut up. We cannot shut up; we have to cry out.”

He keeps tabs on the situation back home by watching the news on a French news channel.

“President Mobutu, with help of the U.S. and others, was the only one able to control the whole country, a wealthy country. Now the people there are not really in control of the country.”

Perhaps this year’s elections in the Congo will stabilize the country, he says.

For now, he’s happy to be in Mannington at his parish.

“It’s a great, great witness to see myself, an African, coming into West Virginia and into this town and living here. I’m well-supported by the people. They love me and I love them. For me, I’m just overwhelmed. It’s a great witness of love.

“We belong to one family. My philosophy is to live a life of love. Openness are the principles that guides myself. Hope, faith and love and openness and respect for the dignity of every single human being is the foundation of my philosophy.

“I treat everybody the same way with the same respect ... even the president. It’s tough because sometimes the president wants to be president. But you say, ‘No, we are all human beings.’

“I will respect you because God will judge me on the way I treat every single person. I’m eager always to show love and the people can also see that it can happen, to be decent, loving and caring and ... deal with everybody.

“The best thing about being a priest is you belong to the community, to everybody. Your family is the community. Nobody can claim you in a particular way. I belong to the community. I love that.

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