Catholic Diocese in Cameroon Holds First Annual Lenten Pilgrimage in Years amid Crises

Bishop George Nkuo of Cameroon's Kumbo Diocese. Credit: Courtesy Photo

The people of God in Cameroon’s Kumbo Diocese have gathered for the first time in four years to celebrate their Diocesan Lenten pilgrimage. 

The annual pilgrimage had not been realized since 2017 due to the Anglophone crisis and in the last couple of years because of the COVID-19 restrictions. 

After a long time of insecurity, roadblocks, lockdowns that have prevented us from coming to our annual Lenten pilgrimage, I am happy that we are finally able to come back to this holy mountain as the family of the Diocese of Kumbo on our Lenten pilgrimage,” Bishop George Nkuo said in his homily during the Friday, March 25 Holy Mass.  

He added during the Eucharistic celebration at Kumbo Diocesan Pilgrimage Centre in Boyong, “We thank God for what he has done for us even in the midst of the war with countless gifts of love.”

Bishop Nkuo went on to describe the Lenten pilgrimage as “special” and explained, It is a special pilgrimage because we have not been able to gather here in the past four years because of the socio-political crisis.”


The Cameroonian Catholic Bishop said the pilgrimage is also special “because it is taking place when the Holy Father invites us to come together, to listen to one another, to listen to the spirit in the spirit of the Synod.”

He further described the event as unique "because it is taking place in the context of our ruby jubilee as a Diocese.” 

The Cameroonian Diocese was erected by Pope John Paul II on 18 March 1982.

In his homily, Bishop Nkuo said the jubilee year marking 40 years of the existence of Kumbo Diocese "has come with its own special blessings."

"I pray that God will give us, during this jubilee year, to balance our vision for the years we have known misfortune, for the years we have known pain, for the years we have known suffering," Bishop Nkuo said. 

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The Bishop who marked his fortieth Priestly anniversary in May 2021 also prayed that the Lord would grant the people of Kumbo "enough peace to bath our affliction for the years we have suffered with the misfortune of war (and) enough smiles to bath our affliction for the years we have known tears.” 

Located in the Northwestern region of Cameroon, Kumbo Diocese is one of the regions that have been affected by the Anglophone crisis. 

Two English Speaking regions of Cameroon, the North West and the South West, plunged into conflict in 2016 after a protest by lawyers and teachers turned violent. 

An armed separatists’ movement claiming independence for the so-called republic of Ambazonia emerged following the government’s crackdown on protesters.

According to the Human Rights Watch’s field and open source research, at least 4,000 civilians have been killed by both government forces and armed separatist fighters since the crisis started. 


In his message, Bishop Nkuo exhorted the people of God in Kumbo to forgive those who have caused them suffering, including those who set them up and had their property destroyed or their relatives killed. 

The Catholic Church leader also invited Christians to join Pope Francis in the consecration of Ukraine and Russia to the Immaculate Conception.

Magdalene Kahiu is a Kenyan journalist with passion in Church communication. She holds a Degree in Social Communications from the Catholic University of Eastern Africa (CUEA). Currently, she works as a journalist for ACI Africa.