November 21st was a big day for Father Eugene Mbuya Kibundji, the parish of St. George Maple Ridge
and the Diocese of New Westminster. Father Eugene was officially received as an
Anglican priest at a service of Holy Eucharist and the Reception of Holy Orders officiated by
Bishop Michael. He was presented to the Bishop by the Reverend Roger Cooper, the Reverend
Robert Mitchell and several members of the St. George congregation. The day was also special
for Father Eugene as he celebrated his 65th birthday. After the service Father Eugene was
introduced to a St. George “Pot Luck” (always room for one more) dinner.
Eugene is from Congo. He responded to God’s call to the priesthood and was ordained in the
Roman Catholic church 37 years ago. He served in parish ministry in Congo until 10 years ago
when he came to Canada to pursue further studies in theology and ethics. While doing this
Eugene served in several parishes in Quebec and Ontario. Eugene is fluent in Congolese, French
and English and speaks and reads in several other languages. He has a Master’s degree in
theology and another in ethics and completed Doctoral studies in Bio-ethics, but due to finances
was not able to defend his dissertation.
Eugene had come to feel increasingly uncomfortable with the hierarchical and authoritarian
nature of the Roman Catholic Church. He sought a Church that encouraged its people to think
freely for themselves, where the laity can participate with the clergy in the ministry and decisions
of the Church, and that valued inclusivity. We are honoured he has found this in what Eugene
now calls “this Anglican Church of ours.” In May Eugene was received as a member into the
Anglican Church at Christ Church Cathedral. We do not know what God has planned for
Eugene’s ministry as a priest of the Anglican Church, but for now he calls St. George’s home