“Maintain hope in God even in times of doubt, uncertainty,”: Gambian Bishop Urges Faithful

Bishop Gabriel Mendy of the Gambia's Diocese of Banjul. Credit: Courtesy Photo

The Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Banjul in Gambia has, in his New Year 2022 Message,  encouraged the people of God under his pastoral care to put their trust in God “even in times of doubt and uncertainty” including COVID-19 challenges.

In his message issued Tuesday, January 4, Bishop Gabriel Mendy says, “The whole world has seriously suffered for the past two years from the deadly effects of the Coronavirus pandemic that is still a danger to human life and activity.”

Those who endured pain, disappointment, and hardship this past year, the Bishop of the lone Catholic Diocese in the West African nation says, “have new hope for a more prosperous and comfortable life in the New Year.” 

“We should, therefore, cherish and maintain our hope in God in the course of the New Year even in times of doubt and uncertainty. For, it is our hope in God that will never deceive or disappoint us,” Bishop Mendy further says in his message titled, “Our Hope in God will not Disappoint us.”

The member of the Congregation of the Holy Spirit (Spiritans) adds, “Our hope for this New Year is obviously the eradication of this deadly pandemic so that we can experience good health and resume normal interaction and activity.”


“Even at the beginning of this New Year with its uncertainties and challenges, we should renew our hope and trust in God’s goodness, guidance, and faithfulness in our various vocations in life,” the Gambian Catholic Bishop says.

He continues, “Every New Year, we have new hope and plans we want to achieve in our lives as individuals, a community of faith, and a nation. We hope for a better New Year that is more peaceful, healthy, successful, and prosperous than the previous year.”

“If we experienced misfortune, sickness, and disappointment the year before, we hope for good health, success, and progress in the New Year,” Bishop Mendy who has been at the helm of the Banjul Diocese since his Episcopal Ordination in February 2018 further says. 

He highlights some of the possible plans for the New Year saying, “Some of us plan to understand our faith more and grow in our knowledge and love of God and be more committed and active in our Church and society.”

He continues, “Many others want to advance their career, education, skills, and business, discover their vocation, or begin a new family life.”

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He notes that our “hope and plans are usually set in place in the New Year but they may or may not be realized in the course of the year” because hopes and plans “are not fully within our own power and ability to accomplish without God’s blessings and assistance.”

“Our human limitations and imperfections also affect our ability and determination to realize our plans, hope, and expectations in the New Year. They often prevent us from achieving our aspirations in life even when we have very good intentions,” the 54-year-old Gambian Bishop observes.

“We still experience disappointment in fulfilling our hopes and plans because the outcome does not completely depend on us alone,” he further says, adding, “There are other factors that can prevent or enable us to achieve what we expect to accomplish in the New Year. Our personal hope and plans must, therefore, be grounded on our hope in God and our efforts to overcome our human limitations and imperfections if we intend to succeed.” 

Making reference to Pope emeritus Benedict XVI, Bishop Mendy says, “It becomes evident that we have a need for a hope that goes further. It becomes clear that only something infinite will suffice for us, something that will always be more than we can ever attain.”

“We are not expected, therefore, to simply hope for a better life, a better future, and the fulfillment of our plans in the New Year. Our ultimate hope that is the foundation of all other hope and plans we have for ourselves should be our hope in God, our creator and source of life and strength,” the Local Ordinary of Gambia’s Banjul Diocese says.


Considering God’s assistance throughout last year and His goodness, “keeping us alive to witness another New Year,” Bishop Mendy says, “We should thank God for His guidance and protection and commend this year to His loving care and righteous judgment.”

“As the Catholic Bishop of the Diocese of Banjul, I wish the Priests, Religious, and faithful of the Diocese, our Christian brothers and sisters, Muslims, believers of other faiths and their families and friends, Gambians at home and abroad a healthy, peaceful, and prosperous New Year,” Bishop Mendy says in his New Year Message. 

He implores, “May God bless and protect you all throughout this year of 2022.”

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.