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The death of Father Landry Ibil Ikwel in Vatican News

Father Landry Ibil Ikwel, a Congolese religious of the Congregation of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary (SSCC) was murdered on Sunday, 19th May, 2019 in Beira, the capital of the Sofala province in Mozambique.  He was the director of the Beira Institute of Visual Impairments.

The 34-year-old cleric was stabbed in his community of Beira on 19th May. Rushed to hospital, he died of his injuries.  An investigation has been opened.  The Congregation of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary reacted in a statement in these words: "In the face of the death of our brother, Fr. Landry Ibil Ikwel, we unite our hearts to those of our brothers in Africa who are in pain.  In prayer and in trust in the one who died violently on the cross, forgiving his aggressors, we ask the Lord that wherever death seeks to prevail, life prevails.”

Fr. Landry entered the Novitiate of the Congregation of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary in 2008. He was ordained a priest on 7th February, 2016 in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo.  At the time of his death he was the Director of the Institute of the Blind of Beira, which was founded in 1969. Its mission is to train, rehabilitate, educate and realize the social integration of children, young people  and blind adults from all over the country, guaranteeing each of them an education adapted to their individual abilities.

In 2015, in a presentation of the Institute on the blog of the congregation Fr. Landry noted how having a child who is visually impaired was still considered by some in Mozambique to be a punishment from God.  As a result, some families do not accept responsibility for the child.  In this context, the congregation of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary seeks to be a means to restore the dignity of these children.  The Beira Institute for the Blind works to instil the spirit of self-esteem in people with visual impairment and in their families and to provide quality training to facilitate their social integration into public schools and schools and into the working world.  It also works to give some independence to these children using mobility and guidance techniques.

 "We believe that the Congregation made a very good choice by accepting the management of the Beira Institute for the Blind," Fr. Landry said.  "Our presence is a response to our charism, our mission and our spirituality.  It is an eloquent testimony of our preferential option for the poor."  For the Congolese religious, the missionary dynamic carries with it an invitation to go to the edges of society.  The work of the Congregation is a concrete answer to this call.  "This work is a great challenge for mission today, a challenge that we must dare to live.  Whoever risks nothing has nothing to say” affirmed Fr. Landry.  The life of this religious really dared to serve children with visual impairment in Mozambique.

Source : https://bit.ly/2EkRgzl