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Home WHO WE ARE Assumptionists Profiles Fr. ZACHARIE WASUKUNDI, A.A.



Interviewer – Would you share a bit about your background: family, childhood, early education etc.?

Fr. ZACHARIE WASUKUNDI, A.A. - I was born in Mbau (Beni town, in the Democratic Republic of Congo). My father was called Sébastien (―he passed away in 2008―) and my mother is Victorine. Emmanuel is my young brother, while Salome is my young sister. I was educated in a very Christian family. I learned the elementary prayers in my family (our Father, Hail Mary, the Apostles’ Creed, the prayer before meal). I studied at the Elementary Catholic School of Mbau. I also spent four years in the High School of Mbau. As I grew up in an Assumptionst parish (―by being involved in many parochial activities―), one priest asked my parents to go to a beautiful High School in Butembo (―a town bigger than Beni―). This is why I had the opportunity to meet many Assumptionist priests. In Butembo, I decided to become an Assumptionist. After spending two years for my High School education, I went back to Mbau to found a High School in a village. Fr Jean baptiste Kathaheruka helped me a lot to found the so-called Lukando High School. From my childhood to the foundation of this school, I was committed to three main things: studies, helping my parents who were farmers and being involved in parochial activities. In other words, I got a good familial, intellectual and Christian education.

- Where/how did your Assumptionist roots begin? Did anyone in particular have a significant impact on your life?

- As I said, my Assumptionist root begins in the High School of Butembo. I really appreciated the zeal, commitment, humility, prayer life, education of the Assumptionists I met in Butembo. During the two years that I spent in Butembo, I got a call to become an Assumptionist priest. After having some orientations from Fr Marc Champion, Fr Jean Baptiste Kathaheruka and Fr Jean-Pierre Ndulani, I decided to join the community of the Assumptionists in 2000. And I became an Assumptionist in August 24th 2001. At the beginning of my Assumptionist vocation, these three priests were more helpful for me.

- Would you share some of your later education and formation memories? Where and what did subsequent community assignments take you?

- I sent three years of philosophy in the Bulengera community (Butembo). After getting a Bachelor’s Degree in philosophy, my superiors sent me to the Jesuit College of Kinshasa for my Master’s Degree in Philosophy. At the end of this level, I was asked to be formator in the Novitiate of Arusha/Tanzania. After six months of pastoral, I was sent to Nairobi/Kenya for theological studies in a Jesuit College (2007-2010). From Nairobi, I went to teach philosophy in Butengera for two years (2010-2012). I was also sent to Madagascar to teach philosophy for two years (2012-2014). From Madagascar, I went back to Butembo to work in the Novitiate (Butembo) for one year (2014-2015). And then I was appointed to the United States at Assumption College.

- Do you have any favorite scripture passages?

- I really like these two scripture passages: a) Matthew 10: 8 “Freely you have received; freely give”; b) Matthew 20: 28 “Just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many.” As an Assumptionist priest, I want to become like Christ, the suffering servant.

- How have you experienced growth in the living out of your Assumptionist Charism?

- After working in three different countries (Tanzania, Congo and Madagascar), I am always happy when some religious and lay students appreciate the way I was working for God’s Kingdom. I am also happy when I share the Assumptionist charism with people from different countries. I try to live the Assumptionist charism in the community and in the apostolate.

- Would you share any happy memories/stories?

- To succeed in studies and to get many friends constitute my happy memories. I thank God because I am always among the best students of different schools and colleges. I also thank God for being loved by my parents, relatives and friends. In each group and community, I usually get many friends. Nowadays, I have friends from for more than ten countries in the world.

- What hobbies or other interests do you have?

- For my lobbies, I like walking in the evening. I also like reading a book before sleeping. This can be either a spiritual or philosophical book.

- What is your vision and or hope for the future of the congregation and/or the Church?

- First, we need the young people who have faith in the congregation. We also need the young people who like their religious vocation. We need the people who are well formed intellectually and who have initiatives and zeal for God’s Kingdom.

- Is there anything about you that you would like to share or that would surprise others?

- Yes, I like progress and success in my life. Sometimes, when people know a problem and then don’t like to solve it, this makes me sad. My problem is that I am not patient. I want to have a quick or direct solution to the problem.

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