Marian Year in Cameroonian Catholic Parish to Foster “love, discipleship”, Priest Says

A poster announcing the Marian Year at Our Lady of Lourdes Gardens Parish of Cameroon’s Buea Diocese. Credit: Fr. Herbert Niba

The Marian Year launched at Our Lady of Lourdes Gardens Parish of Cameroon’s Buea Diocese is expected to foster love and discipleship among the faithful, the Parish Priest has told ACI Africa in an interview.

In the Thursday, February 17 interview, Fr. Herbert Niba highlighted the objectives of the year-long prayer initiative and goals to be achieved.

“The patron Saint of every Christian or apostolic group or Parish has a special task to guard the group and be a source of inspiration,” Fr. Niba said.

He added in reference to the objective of the prayer initiative, “A Marian Year in our Parish is meant to draw special attention to Mary, whose intimacy with the mysteries of Christ, makes her the best person to point to Christ her Son.”

“We are thus calling on Our Lady of Lourdes, to make this Parish named after her into a school of prayer and to promote love and discipleship among Christians,” the Cameroonian Catholic Priest told ACI Africa February 17.


He noted that the Marian Year further “aims to make the virtues of Our Lady to penetrate every aspect of our Parish life and also creatively implement the vision of our local Church (the Pastoral Plan).”

Launched on 1 January 2022, the Marian Year at Our Lady of Lourdes Gardens Parish is under the theme: "Start Afresh with Mary, Ideal Disciple of Christ." 

Our Lady of Lourdes Gardens Parish of Cameroon’s Buea Diocese. Credit: Fr. Herbert Niba

Reflecting on the theme, Fr. Niba said, “The inspiration is to make a pastoral program inspired by the various feasts of our Lady celebrated every month so as to give the Parish a Marian Character.”

“Focus will be on Parish renewal in every dimension: Small Christian Communities (SCCs), apostolic groups, families and individuals,” he said. 

More in Africa

The Cameroonian Priest who previously served as lecturer of Philosophy at St. John Paul II Major Seminary in Cameroon’s Mamfe Diocese highlighted some of the activities to mark the Marian Year in his Parish.

“We are currently doing a Bible reading program of 3 chapters a day, by which faithful readers will have read Genesis - Revelation by Dec 31st,” he said.

He continued, “We also have weekly celebration of Marian Votive Masses on Saturdays and continuous catechesis on Marian titles, feasts, dogmas, enthronement of Bibles in homes (Sunday of the Word of God).”

“There is vocation promotion by Priests and Rreligious from our Parish, conferences and workshops,” Fr. Niba said.

During the Marian Year, he said that the faithful are invited to participate in the “Synod called for by Pope Francis, hold Parish retreats, pilgrimage and deanery activities.”


“Inter SCC choir competitions and Bible Quizzes as well as joint couple weddings and Papal blessings for Jubilarians will be held during the Marian year,” he added.

To better live the Marian Year, the 34-year-old Priest encouraged the people of God in his Parish to “Get a Bible, a Rosary for yourself and family members too, examine your commitments to Mass, SCC, apostolates, commit to attend Eucharistic Adoration weekly and make the effort to attend Saturday catechesis, to deepen your faith.”

Fr. Herbert Niba. Credit: Courtesy Photo

Reflecting on the intended outcome of the Marian Year expected to conclude in December 2022, Fr. Niba told ACI Africa, “We expect the faithful to get greater intimacy with the Bible, after the example of Mary who pondered the word in her heart and to deepen their devotion to prayer, and commitment to prayer groups, like Mary who prayed with the apostles for the Holy Spirit.”

“Selfless service in the parish, like Mary who was totally at the disposal of God: I am the handmaid of the Lord,” the member of the Clergy of the Diocese of Buea said.

(Story continues below)

He urged the people of God to be “more committed in the Pastoral plan for Mary was an agent of evangelization – she carried the good news to Elizabeth.”

The faithful must also use the opportunity of the Marian Year to better appreciate sacramentals such as Rosaries and scapulars as well as holy places including shrines and pilgrimage grottos and to regularize their sacramental life, the Cameroonian Priest said.

“I pray that this Marian Year may bear fruits in the lives of Christians,” Fr. Niba implored in the February 17 interview with ACI Africa.

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.