Marian Grotto in Cameroonian Catholic Diocese Vandalized, Investigations Ongoing

Marian Grotto of Our Lady of the Fields Mbandjock Parish of Cameroon’s Catholic Diocese of Obala vandalized on 7 February 2024. Credit: Obala Diocese

The Marian Grotto of Our Lady of the Fields Mbandjock Parish of Cameroon’s Catholic Diocese of Obala has been vandalized, the Parish Priest has said.

In a statement shared with ACI Africa on Wednesday, February 7, Fr. Kisito Essele Essele condemns the vandalism as a “heinous act”, adding that investigations are ongoing.

“It is with deep sadness that we inform you that an act of vandalism has been perpetrated at the Marian grotto in our parish of Our Lady of the Fields in Mbandjock. In the early hours of Wednesday 07 February 2024, the community was confronted with this sad reality,” Fr. Essele says.

He adds, “We are all deeply moved by this event, and share the grief and indignation it has aroused.”

“The damage is not only material, but also spiritual, as the Marian grotto is a place of prayer and recollection for many of the faithful,” the Cameroonian Catholic Priest says, and continues, “Investigations are currently underway to identify those responsible for this heinous act. We are working closely with the relevant authorities to ensure that justice is done.”


“At this difficult time, we invite each and every one of you to remain united in prayer and solidarity,” he says.

Fr. Essele emphasizes the value of unity, saying, “Together, we will overcome this ordeal and rebuild our Marian grotto, a symbol of our faith and Marian devotion.”

“We will keep you informed of the progress of investigations and actions taken to repair the damage caused,” he further says, and implores, “Let us pray for peace and reconciliation to guide our hearts.”

Jude Atemanke is a Cameroonian journalist with a passion for Catholic Church communication. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from the University of Buea in Cameroon. Currently, Jude serves as a journalist for ACI Africa.