Bishop in Cameroon Recognizes People’s “strong faith, sacrifices” at Diocesan Anniversary

Holy Mass to mark 70 years since the canonical erection of Cameroon’s Buea Diocese at the Divine Mercy Co-cathedral Parish, Molyko, Southwestern region of Cameroon.
Credit: ACI Africa.

At the anniversary marking 70 years since the canonical erection of Cameroon’s Buea Diocese, the Bishop at the helm of Cameroon’s oldest Diocese has acknowledged with appreciation the “strong faith” as well as “sacrifices” the people of God have demonstrated.

“Ever since my arrival and work in the diocese and after going through all the Parishes, I can confidently say that I have met a people with strong faith; a people who are ready to make all the necessary sacrifices to see to it that the word of God influences them and that they bring this word to their brothers and sisters,” Bishop Michael Miabesue Bibi said during the Thursday, December 10 event.

Bishop Bibi who was appointed the Apostolic Administrator of Buea in December 2019 added, “I’m sure that whatever we have is given to us by God and once we use it for the growth of the Church, it can only be a sign of blessing that God will give us in return.”

“We should continue to serve the Lord in a spirit of humility and to be ready to sacrifice all that we have for the good of the Church,” the Cameroonian Bishop said during the climax of the anniversary celebrations held at the Divine Mercy Co-cathedral Parish, Molyko, Southwestern region of Cameroon.

Speaking about the Platinum Jubilee event that brought together Priests, Religious men and women and the Lay faithful of Cameroon’s oldest Diocese, Bishop Bibi said, “Initially, we had thought of making an elaborate celebration that will involve the whole nation but because of the prevailing coronavirus pandemic, we thought it was not nice to bring everybody on board and that we should leave it at the level of the Diocese.”

The Cameroonian Prelate who doubles as the Auxiliary Bishop of Bamenda Archdiocese further expressed his gratitude to “the Bishops, Priests, religious catechists, early missionaries and lay faithful for the continuous work we have been doing to proclaim the gospel message to God’s people in our diocese and beyond.”

“I pray that our faith should continue to grow and may we all as members of the Church continue to support each other in the mission of the Church assigned to us,” Bishop Bibi said in his homily.

The Diocese of Buea was established as Apostolic Prefecture of Buea and Apostolic Vicariate of Buea in June 1923. It was elevated to a Diocese in April 1950.

With a 36.6 percent Catholic population, according to 2017 statistics, it measures 2,093 square kilometres.

The Diocese which is part of the Ecclesiastical province of Bamenda, covers the whole of Fako Division in Cameroon’s Southwestern region and counts some 37 parishes with over 90 Priests.

During the December 10 event, Bishop Bibi encouraged the people of God under his pastoral care to follow the example of the Blessed Virgin Mary who is “a model of faith, simplicity, humility, and one who was ready at all times to carry out the will of God.”

“I think if we as Priests, Religious and Christians today follow her example, the Church is going to continue to spread through other areas of our diocese,” the Bishop added.

He implored, “May our faith continue to be strengthened as we continue to witness to the gospel message wherever we find ourselves in the Diocese and beyond.”

On his part, the President of the Laity Council in Buea Diocese, Vefonge Ndumbe James said, “The founding Fathers of the Diocese planted something, which was very solid not on sinking sand that is why the Diocese of Buea has survived till this day and it is growing from strength to strength.” 

He continued, “The laity form the pillar of the Church. When it comes to contributions to the Church, the lay faithful have always heartily supported the Church.”

“We should not relent in our efforts to contribute to the building of the Church. If the founding fathers worked hard to ensure we have a vibrant Church, there is no reason for us to fail,” Mr. Verfongeh said.

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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.

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