, 27 April, 2020 / 7:06 PM
Bishops in the central African nation of Cameroon have chosen the feast of St. Joseph the Worker marked May 1 as the start of nine days of prayer during which the people of God in the country will join them to pray for liberation from COVID-19 crisis.
“We call all the faithful of Christ and people of good will to join us for a novena prayer, which will begin on Friday, May 1st, the feast of St. Joseph the Worker, and end on Saturday, May 9th, 2020,” the Bishops stated in their collective letter dated April 24.
The Bishops explained, “During these nine days of prayer, let us implore the Lord, invoking the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of Mercy, and of the Health of the Sick, as well as Saint Joseph, with whom the Church has always travelled the world, so that all humanity may be freed from the Coronavirus pandemic.”
Signed by the Vice-President of the Episcopal Conference of Cameroon (CENC), Archbishop Andrew Nkea Fuanya, the Bishops explain that during the nine days of prayer, “we will pray for the sick of COVID-19; for those who have died as a result of this pandemic and for their grieving family members.”
The people of God in Cameroon will also be praying “for those affected psychologically, spiritually, materially and financially; and for the medical personnel dedicated to the care of the sick: doctors, nurses and all the volunteers who risk their lives in this service.”
The central African country has recorded 1,621 cases of the virus including 56 deaths and 786 recoveries, according to statistics by Worldometer.
According to the Catholic Church leaders, “the situation of the pandemic has continued to evolve, with many more people infected and an ever-increasing number of deaths being recorded as a result of COVID-19.”
“In a very short period of time,” the Bishops in Cameroon have stated, “the lives of millions of people have suddenly changed. The normal rhythm of daily life was abruptly interrupted. This has caused fear, doubt, confusion and misery for many people and their families.”
“It is an uncertain and painful time during which God wants us to bring all our concerns to Him,” the Prelates observed in their collective letter and implored, “Let us raise to our God our fervent prayers for the end of this scourge.”
They have also expressed their “closeness and solidarity in all the fears, anxieties, pains and various pressures (people) are experiencing at this time.”
“May Jesus Christ, who conquered the world and opened for us the way to eternal salvation, dispel the darkness of our suffering humanity,”
“May the Blessed Virgin Mary, Queen of the Apostles and Patroness of Cameroon, and St. Joseph, obtain for us abundant graces of forgiveness, healing and salvation in Jesus Christ, who tells us ‘And I am with you always, to the end of time,’” the Bishops concluded.
ACI Africa was officially inaugurated on August 17, 2019 as a continental Catholic news agency at the service of the Church in Africa. Headquartered in Kenya’s capital, Nairobi, this media apostolate will strive to facilitate the telling of Africa’s story by providing media coverage of Catholic events on the African continent, giving visibility to the activities of the Church across Africa where statistics show significant growth in numbers and the continent gradually becoming the axis of Catholicism. This is expected to contribute to an awareness of and appreciation for the significant role of the Church in Africa and over time, the realization of a realistic image of Africa that often receives negative media framing.
Father Don Bosco Onyalla
Editor-in-Chief, ACI Africa