Translated by Postulant Ben Weiskircher and Fr. Michael Marotta, CRM

Full Text in Italian Here.

15.jpgRev. Janvier Mastaki Mugabo, CRM

“He was with us only for a month, and he was already so loved!”

These words refer to Adorno Father Janvier Mastaki Mugabo, CRM. They were echoed by parishioners from Montelalpiano and Montebello sul Sangro in Abruzxo where he had been appointed Parish Administrator only a few days prior. They also resonated as well in Villa Santa Maria, where he lived together with his compatriot and confrere, Father Etienne, CRM.

His funeral Mass was presided over by the Vicar General of the Clerics Regular Minor (Adorno Fathers and Brothers) Fr. John Paul Gasparini, CRM, replacing Father General Raffaele Mandolesi, CRM who had been visiting the US-Philippine Delegation. The liturgy was concelebrated by more than 40 priests (brothers and friends coming from various parts of Italy). It was also attended by some family members from Milan and Belgium, as well as friends not only from Montelapiano, Montebello and Villa Santa Maria (including mayors of those towns: Arturo, Nicola and Pino respectively) but also friends from Rome, Anagni, Ancona, and Roccamontepiano. This was an eloquent sign of the breath and intensity of the esteem and affection that Fr. Janvier had won during his short life.

Archbishop Bruno Forte, the Archbishop of Chieti, unable to be present, sent a message to Father Raffaele Mandolesi, CRM and all the Adonro Fathers and Brothers. He wrote: “Even though we are deprived of the gift of life and ministry of Father Janvier, it is touching to think that he passed away precisely in the land of St. Francis Caracciolo, almost as if to seal a life lived following the example of the great Saint of Eucharistic adoration and untiring charity. May the Lord welcome him into the arms of His merciful Father and add him to the company of Most Holy Mary, the Angels and the Saints, including our beloved Francis, your Father.”

In his homily, based upon passages from the Book of Wisdom and the Gospel of Matthew, Fr. Jacques Nzitonda, CRM Secretary General of the Clerics Regular Minor and countryman of Father Janvier, briefly outlined his life: “…[W]hile as a boy orphaned and continually called to face enormous problems, he had never lost his contagious serenity and generous dedication to [his] brothers, especially those in the most challenging situations (children, the uneducated, the sick, refugees…). Certainly the Lord of joy will make him a participant in the joyous dance of paradise!”

Other characteristics of the human and priestly style of Fr. Janvier were underlined in affectionate messages and speeches: his proximity to each individual, taking, depending upon demand, the role of father, son, brother, or friend; his availability, not only in sacramental celebrations, but also in jovial daily visits to friends and parishioners; his courage to go with missionary enthusiasm from the hot climate of Africa to the cold and snow of Italy in November 2015 and in parish communities made even smaller by the forced winter migration of the many elderly; intense devotion to Our Lady…

By Father Giulio Capetola, CRM

Some milestones in the earthly phase of his life:

• January 22, 1968: He was born near Bukavu, in the Democratic Republic of Congo
• After high school, he entered the Clerics Regular Minor and deepened his human, religious, and priestly formation in Nyamilima and Goma, with the decisive help of Adorno missionary Fathers Thomas Barbona and Paul Di Nardo (as an aspirant, postulant, novice and student of philosophy) and then in Rome (as a theology student).
• On October 5, 2002, he made his religious profession, determined to live for the rest of his life in poverty, chastity, obedience and humble service towards his neighbor.
• On March 22, 2003 he was ordained as a priest and remained for some time in Rome with Fr. Nello Morrea, then Superior General, as a collaborator for the formation for future priests.
• When he returned to Africa, together with his fellow religious, he worked with tireless dedication, first in the large parish of Nyamilima and then became the first pastor of the parish in Kamole, on the island of Idjwi, in the Diocese of Bukavu.
• In the beginning of November, 2015, he became a missionary in Italy, in the area of Villa Santa Maria, Montelapiano, and Montebello, in confident hope that he could receive the most appropriate care for some of his incipient health problems.
• At 6:00 AM on December 5, 2015, from the exacerbation of his sudden illness, he died as the ambulance carrying him to the hospital of Lanciano was leaving Villa Santa Maria. Through the first reading of the Mass of that day, (Isaiah 30:19-21) The Lord said: Yes, people of Zion, dwelling in Jerusalem, you shall no longer weep; He will be most gracious to you when you cry out; as soon as he hears he will answer you. The Lord will give you bread in adversity and water in affliction. No longer will your Teacher hide himself, but with your own eyes you shall see your Teacher, and your ears shall hear a word behind you: “This is the way; walk in it,” when you should turn to the right or the left.
• After the funeral mass in Villa Santa Maria (December 9) and in the Cathedral of Goma (December 14), his mortal remains rested in in the priest’s cemetery of Buhimba (Goma).