Francisco Eusébio Vinumo: "The Church in Africa carries a strong message of hope".

Ordained a deacon in September 2023 in Angola, Francisco Eusébio Vinumo is studying in Rome, thanks to the CARF Foundation. Vinumo is aware that Africa is today the source of new missionaries who evangelize the ancient Christian nations. 

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Natural of Huambo-AngolaFrancisco Eusébio Vinumo, in the municipality of Caála, in Africa, is the sixth and last son of a deeply Christian family that counts, among its six children, another priest besides Francisco Eusébio. 

How was your vocation born? 

-It all began with Christian customs that our mother instilled in us from an early age: catechesis, praying the Rosary, which we sometimes did at home, and, of course, attending Holy Mass. That awakened in me the desire to be where the priest was, because his way of celebrating captivated me. In the immensity and diversity with which God calls people to his vineyard, I also felt called to serve him. 

Another figure no less important in the discovery of my vocation was my brother, who was already a seminarian at the time. His testimony had a great influence on my choice. By the grace of God, he is now a priest.

What is life like in Angolan Christian communities?

Angola has a deep-rooted faith. Despite the various political and socio-economic problems facing the country, the people remain steadfast in their faith, with God as their only support and comfort. 

The Christian community in Angola nourishes and strengthens its faith above all through the practice of popular devotions, such as the constant recitation of the Rosary, participation in processions, pilgrimages and prayer vigils. It is a very Marian country, and without the Virgin Mary, I believe the faith would have been greatly weakened. 

On the other hand, there is a large participation in the weekly and Sunday masses. 

How does the Church help the population in a country with accentuated poverty? 

-Unfortunately, poverty is one of the country's biggest problems. Paradoxically, we are one of the richest countries in the world. Africa in natural resources, we are covered with riches without benefiting the population in any way, because the common good is not managed with truth and transparency, it is always reserved for a few who take personal advantage, impoverishing more and more peaceful people.

The Church constantly reminds those in power that their role is to guarantee the well-being of the population, to defend it, to protect and promote the dignity of the human person, guaranteeing the universal distribution of the common good. She also promotes various social actions and guarantees the intellectual and spiritual formation of the population, the so-called integral human formation.

What does the Church in Africa bring to the world? 

-First of all, we must thank God for the growth of many vocations in Africa. They are young countries in the faith, that is, they do not have many centuries of evangelization like Europe, so this brings joy and consolation to the African Church and beyond. The African Church brings a very strong message of hope and revival of faith to the world and, as a sign of gratitude, sends missionaries to Europe, not as a sign of pride that we have many and do not need anyone else, but simply to see the Church as one.

The missionaries who leave Africa go to help their "ancestors in the faith" in Europe, who did so much for us. Now it is up to us to reciprocate, as a grateful son always supports his parents.

What does the possibility of studying in Rome mean to you? 

-Rome is unique, singular, unrepeatable and enriching. Having contact with a different reality is enriching. 

To be here is to touch the roots of our ancestors, our patriarchs in Christianity, to live and socialize with saints, martyrs, popes and all those who have left their mark in the history of Christianity. 

To be in Rome is to experience the universality of the Church. It makes you see and truly live nature".one, holy, catholic and apostolic church"of the Church, and thus to be united in diversity. Rome is the eternal citynot because it never dies, but because it makes you eternal. This time has contributed a lot to my future life as a priest, especially with the formation I am receiving, which will allow me to transmit the Christian faith so that many of my brothers in Angola can sanctify themselves.

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