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Home WHO WE ARE Assumptionists Profiles Fr. SALVATORE MUSANDE, A.A.



Interviewer - As an Assumptionist priest from the Congo, would you share with us your family background and early education?

Fr. Sal - I was born in Kyondo parish in the Congo, where my parents still live, the fourth child of six boys and two girls. The parish in which I grew up was staffed by the Assumptionists and was one of the poorest in the province. The presence of the religious  was very strong among the people. As a child I lived with my grandmother for a while in order to attend one of the village elementary schools. For my last two years I did attend a catholic school sponsored by the parish but not the Assumptionists.  Later in KambaIi I attended the Assumptionist high school and came to know the community personally. It was Fr. Charles Mbogho, A.A., in particular, who was a role model, mentor and friend to the youth and greatly influenced me, as I was discerning a religious vocation. God's call came to me during those years in high school.

- Where did your formation, studies and eventual assignments take you from those early days?

- After my postulancy in 1989, my novitiate in 1991 and studies in philosophy, I went to Kambali as director of discipline. This was followed by an assignment in Nairobi, Kenya in 1995, where this province was present. There I studied theology with the Jesuits who were near-by. After formation, I stayed in Nairobi for three years as house manager and was ordained a deacon in 1999 and then a priest in 2000. Subsequently, I soon went back to the Congo to be assistant treasurer of the province and worked in a local parish for three years. After a very brief assignment in the novitiate community, I came to the U.S. in 2006 in order to study at Assumption College and develop the skills I need in business management.

- How will this pursuit of higher education prepare you better for your ministry at home?

- It became clear that in dealing with provincial properties, development, fund raising and other projects, I needed to develop and fine tune my managerial skills to be more effective in serving my province. My  preparation here at Assumption College is a gift of this province to my province in the Congo. When I finish next year, I will have a degree in business with a concentration in management. We need to make better use of all our resources, especially human resources.

- In what other ways has your experience here in the U.S. been a benefit to you?

- While here in the U.S., I have met people from many other countries and cultures. Experiencing the diversity of these many different nationalities has been a challenging opportunity for me to grow as a person. I have been able to travel to Mexico, New Orleans, New York and Washington, D.C. I enjoy history, current events, reading, walking and some private time. I have also had the privilege to serve on the Board of Trustees of Assumption College which has been very enriching.

- What are your hopes and dreams for your future and that of the congregation?

- First I would like to see growth in this region. It is sad to see the number of Assumptionists here decreasing. With regard to my own country, I would like to see people become more aware of the reality which is the Congo. It is a beautiful gift to the Church to see  the ministry of the Assumptionists taking place among the people. There is a strong connection with young men and women who call themselves "young d'Alzons." They meet monthly and are growing in numbers . When I return home, I would like to continue working to change structures with an eye toward the future. Change is very difficult but we need to articulate our vision and continue to invest in education in order to transform society in today's world.
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