|Fr Apolinar, diocesan priest of the Congo, Africa with the triptych of the Pilgrim Queen of the Family.|
The Congo, Africa, July 4, 2008. The triptych of the
Pilgrim Queen of the Family recently arrived to the
Congo, Africa, thanks to Mrs. Belén Martín, a Regnum Christi
member and local director of CK Net (K4J) in
The connection was made when Mrs.
Belén got to know an African diocesan priest named Fr
Apolinar, who was in Spain seeking economic help to build
a new parish. In the following e-mail message, Mrs Martín
tells Spain’s national director of Pilgrim Queen of the Family,
Amada Blanco, how it happened:
“I will tell you
how Pilgrim Queen of the Family got to the Congo.
We know Fr Apolinar because in the summers he travels
from the Congo to help the pastor of Oliva, which
is where we go on summer vacation. He is a
powerful preacher and celebrates Mass with a lot of reverence.
He is a man of prayer and great faith. He
has come to our house several times, and we appreciate
him very much.
“He came to Madrid because we
offered him some help in his fundraising efforts to build
a church in his town. Unfortunately, the Spanish civil institutions
help him only for social work; as soon as he
brought up the question of building a church, all of
the doors were closed to him.
night we invited him to dinner and it happened to
coincide with one of the days when we had the
Pilgrim Queen of the Family triptych at our house. We
were hosting the image because one of my daughters’ classes
was hosting it, family by family. We invited him to
stay and pray with us.
“After lighting a candle
before the image, we prayed the mystery of the rosary,
giving thanks to God because the priest was with us
and asking the Blessed Virgin to help us raise the
money for the church of St Josephine Bakhita (that will
be the name of the new church) in the Congo.
|Location of the Republic of the Congo in the African continent.|
“Fr Apolinar was very impressed to see such little
girls praying around the image of the Blessed Virgin, and
my husband praying with us and my daughter (the one
who brought the triptych home) leading the rosary. He asked
us what the Pilgrim Queen of the Family was
all about, and we explained the apostolate to him. He
got very enthused about it and said, ‘I would love
to bring the Pilgrim Queen there… I would bring her
to my sister’s house first…’ The next day, we got
a triptych for him. We were so excited to give
it to him and to know that the Blessed Virgin
would be traveling to the Congo! I loved to see
how Father embraced the image.
“A few weeks
later, he sent us these pictures and other pictures of
the church’s first stones. Impressive. It seems that the Blessed
Virgin has taken care of opening all of the doors
he needs for his project: the university, Caritas, the school,
the ECYD boys, the Regnum Christi young men… Everyone has
contributed and the parish of St Josephina Bakhita is now
much more than a hope in the heart of this
good priest. I am praying to Mary (just today we
began to host another triptych) to bless this priest and
help him to persevere in his vocation.
hug… thanks for everything,