As we move into the beautiful season of Christmas with all the joy that comes with the Christ Child's birth, we are also happy to introduce to the Missionhurst family of supporters, Fr. Andre Kazadi, the new Director of Development for our work in the missions.
Keep reading to learn more about Fr. Andre, his love for Missionhurst, and his hopes for his role as a spiritual bridge between the American faithful and the larger Church at work around the world.
Tell us a little about your background and family.
I am Fr. Andre Kazadi, a native of the Democratic Republic of Congo – DRC. I was born in a family of 6 children from Catholic parents, Michel and Astrid. I joined Missionhurst, attracted and inspired by the example of service of Missionaries of Immaculate Heart of Mary, working with and for the impoverished, including the internally displaced, refugees, and prisoners in the DRC.
I joined Missionhurst-CICM Fathers in 1993, and made the first profession of vows in 1994. I was ordained Priest 2003 in Texas. I have been with the order for 24 years.
What countries and projects have you served in over the years?
During my tenure as a religious missionary, I have served in many different projects: pastoral care of the sick, outreach to the homeless community, formation of small faith communities, prison ministry, Hispanic ministry, care of refugees and the displaced and many more.
After priestly ordination, I did pastoral ministry among the minority communities in the diocese of Brownsville, then served in San Antonio, Texas (2003-2014); I served the US Province of Missionhurst in different administrative positions as a member of the Provincial Government, Vice Provincial Superior and member of the Provincial Finance committee. I later served the Congregation as Assistant Treasurer General and as General Councilor in Rome, Italy.
What is your favorite thing about the charism, mission, and ministry of Missionhurst?
Mission makes me a brother of all. Our charism calls us to remain alert to new situations in the world and to the needs of the people of God. The ministry of Missionhurst remains for me a service, to countless brothers and sisters in need, for the glory of God.
Do you have a favorite story from your years of ministry?
I was invited to celebrate a Mass in Spanish. After mass, as I was leaving in hurry to return home, one person stopped and asked me to hear his confession. After the confession, I got to get out of the confessional and saw more than 10 people waiting for me for the same thing. I had to stay to minister to them.
It was a reminder to me that as a missionary I need to be flexible and attentive to the immediate needs of the people. My time is more meaningful when it is spent at the service of others.
What are the responsibilities involved in your new role as Director of Development?
My first responsibility in my new role is to oversee the activities of the Development Office. This implies building a spiritual bridge between the American faithful, the CICM missionaries, and the people that they serve in different mission places around the world. My mission is to allow everyone who believes in Christ to take part in the caring mission of Missionhurst to the impoverished around the world—to give relief, comfort and hope.
What are your goals and hopes for Missionhurst as you step into your new role as Director of Development?
My goals and hopes for Missionhurst is to keep more American faithful interested in our ministry overseas and a get a new generation of Catholics interested in the larger mission of the Church in today’s world. I wish to inspire more people to become our partners in this mission of Christ.
We hope you will welcome Fr. Andre Kazadi with open arms as he steps into this new work of service for Missionhurst, the people we serve, and the Church as a whole.