Biographical notes on the life of Fr. Ignace Mutombo

Fr. Ignace was born in the Congo on 22 October 1984, the fifth of ten children. He entered a Religious Congregation at the age of 18 but, as a result of tribal tensions, he was forced to leave before taking perpetual vows. Shortly afterwards, Ignace was captured by a group of armed rebels in the Congo. Aware of his solid intellectual ability, formed and developed over years of study, they forced him to work in their offices as secretary. Finally, he managed to escape from the rebels, arriving in South Africa as a refugee.

There he supported himself through a variety of often very menial jobs, such as helping people pack their groceries in their car. During this time he came to learn of Koinonia John the Baptist. Having met Fr. Michal W., the leader of Koinonia in South Africa, he accepted the invitation to a Vocations retreat and entered the community. On 6 January 2018, he proclaimed his perpetual vows in consecrated life in the Koinonia, during a celebration in which he was also ordained to the diaconate. For him, these commitments held great significance, so much so that he exclaimed that he could now die, having had experienced the crowning moment of his vocation. On 23 June 2018, Ignace was ordained a priest. However, shortly after, he began to suffer from kidney problems and soon began dialysis in Italy. Welcomed in Italy, and even though he was physically weakened from his treatment, he exercised his priestly ministry for the Koinonia and for the Diocese of Vicenza. He ministered with true joy and love, and very quickly became beloved by the people he served.

On 11 May 2022, he underwent kidney transplant surgery, giving him a new lease of life. But he was soon called home by the Lord, on the Feast of the Epiphany and the fifth anniversary of his perpetual vows. Ignace always accepted life’s complexity and difficulties without ever giving up. In fact, joy, love, and peace were his perennial response, something which we will all now remember forever.