Donnerstag, Oktober 23, 2008

Thank your for support - Danke für die Unterstützung

Freunde von,
mit Wirkung vom 1. November 2008 werde ich die Admistration und Verantwortung für den Internetauftritt Kumbo-Limburg.Org abgeben.
Die vergangegen fünf Jahre waren sehr interessant und fruchtbar. Sehr viele Information für die Partneschaften zwischen Kumbo und Limburg wurden geschrieben, verteilt und online gestellt.
Nun ist es Zeit für mich von diesen Projekt Abschied zu nehmen und hoffe das die neuen Administratoren und Authoren die selbe
Begeisterung wie ich haben werden, Sie mit Nachrichten, Bilder und weitere Informationen zur Bistumspartnerschaft zu versorgen.
Ich wünsche dem neuen Team viel Erfolg mit dem Internetauftritt Kumbo-Limburg.Org und den dazugehörigen News-Blog.

Danke schön für Unterstützung und Vertrauen der letzen Jahre.

Dear friends of,

beginning with the 1st of November 2008 I stop the administration and authoring of the Kumbo-Limburg.Org Internet homepage.
The last five years of work were very fruitful and interesting. Lots of information was written and shared with the people
between the Dioceses and Parishes of Kumbo and Limburg.
Now it's time for me to say goodbye from this project and I hope that the new administrator and author's will have the same joy
and interest to share with YOU news, pictures and other kind of information regarding the Diocese partnership as the last five years happened.
I wish the new team the best efforts for the homepage of Kumbo-Limburg.Org and for the associated News-Blog.
Thank you for support and trust.
URL Reminder:

Juan A. Andrés - alias webmaster

Samstag, September 13, 2008

Pastoral Letter to the Clergy, Religious Men and Women and the Lay Faithful of the Diocese of Kumbo at the Beginning of the 2008/2009 Academic

+ George Nkuo

Bishop of Kumbo
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,Bisop_nkuo_and_primary_school_kids
You will remember that at the beginning of the 2007/2008 Academic Year I wrote to you, soliciting your personal and determined support for Catholic Education in our diocese. I am grateful to the Priests, the Religious Men and Women, Teachers, members of our respective Parish Pastoral Councils, members of the Parents' and Teachers' Association, members of the Education and Catechetical Commissions and all of you who put hands on deck to personally work for and sustain the 21,000 pupils that we had in our nursery and primary schools and the 3,200 students that we had in our colleges last school year.

Conviction for Our Faith
2. At the beginning of the 2007/2008 School Year, while we encouraged the faithful to ensure the Catholic upbringing of Catholic children, the Minister of Basic Education outlawed all religious activities in public schools. To every Catholic who is truly concerned about his/her faith and about the handing down of the same faith to his/her children the Minister's decision closes the door of public schools to Catholic children.

Where Catholic schools are available one would expect that all Catholic parents, to the best of their planning and managerial skills, will send their children to Catholic schools in order to fulfil the promises they made on their wedding day and at the baptism of their children. In the Rite of Marriage the Priest asks the spouses: 'Will you accept children lovingly from God and bring them up according to the law of Christ and his Church?' Each spouse answers in the affirmative. In the Rite of the Baptism of Children the Priest asks the parents: 'Do you realise that in bringing your child to the Church, you are accepting the duty of raising him (her) in the faith, so that by observing the commandments he (she) will love God and neighbour as Christ taught?' The parents answer: 'We do'. We notice with dismay and disappointment that a good number of Catholic parents still opt for public schools and send their children there in spite of the availability of Catholic schools in their neighbourhood.

3. Apart from Regina Pacis College Nkar where there has been a noticeable increase in the student population, the rest of our colleges are experiencing a remarkable drop in enrolment. Faced with this reality one cannot but wonder if Catholic education is still a priority for the Catholic parents in the Diocese of Kumbo. On the 21st of June 2008 interviews were organised for all our colleges in Kumbo for candidates from around Bui Division and in Nkambe for candidates from around Donga Mantung Division. Only St. Augustine's College had a total of 14 candidates. Other colleges either had less than 5 candidates or no candidate at all! The situation is even more disturbing when we look at what is happening elsewhere.

4. We call on those Catholic Christians in all our Small Christian Communities who are truly convinced of Catholic education to fraternally accompany their brothers and sisters, who either bear counter witness to Catholic education or are sitting on the fence, and cause them to send their children to Catholic schools and work for the growth of the Catholic faith. We regret the fact that due to our very limited resources, the inadequacy of State subvention and other counter currents intended to facilitate the collapse of confessional education we cannot open Catholic schools in all our mission stations to cater for the Catholic and integral education of all Catholic children. We call on the Priests, Religious Men and Women and the Catechists working in such areas to pick up courage and intensify the teaching of Catholic doctrine. We also call on the parents to verify and foster the growth of their children in the faith.

Persistent Indebtedness of Our Schools
5.You are fully aware of the fact that since September 1992, when State subvention disappeared and later on became irregular and inadequate, we have continued to accumulate outstanding arrears of salaries of our teachers and retired teachers, taxes and contributions to the National Social Insurance Fund. For some time now we have tried to curb our educational debts through salary negotiation and the signing of protocol agreements with the teachers. Even then our financial debts in schools persist. To tell you how grave the matter is, during the 2007/2008 Academic Year with all the judicious measures taken to improve on our financial management our total school fees collected could pay reduced salaries of teachers for an average of 5 months. This means that we still owe all our teachers for this year alone arrears of salaries for 7 months!

6.The last academic year registered a number of meetings with various categories of school stakeholders, all in an attempt to address the urgent needs of our schools. These meetings helped to clarify issues, enlighten minds and concretely attempt to look for lasting solutions to our school problems. In March 2008 we initiated a sensitisation of our entire diocesan community in order that reflecting together we might look for a lasting solution to our schools problem. From the answers to the Questionnaire on the Survival of Catholic Schools in the Diocese of Kumbo it is clear that most of our parishioners are genuinely concerned about the welfare of Catholic schools and Catholic teachers. They are also concerned about effective and quality teaching that leads to the integral formation of the child. In order that our schools be maintained and that they flourish the majority of our parishioners would like an improvement in the areas of teacher quality, school infrastructure and fees.

7. In June 2008 a new minimum wage of 28,216 Francs CFA was introduced by the Government with immediate effect. So from July 2008 all employers are expected to respect the minimum wage with regard to full-time workers of the lowest rank. This means that our salary bill will go up by approximately 5,000 Francs for each teacher whose salary previously fell below 28,216 Francs CFA. The introduction of this new minimum wage makes our search for a lasting solution to our schools problem more urgent.

Concrete Proposals from Our Diocesan Education Council
8. With due respect to the proposals from the parishes, the Diocesan Education Council meeting in the Catholic Education Secretariat on the 11th of July 2008 proposed some decisions which I have endorsed and hereby communicate to you for the good of Catholic education in the Diocese of Kumbo.

Bishop's Education Fund
The Catholic Education Week which has hitherto been celebrated in October or early November will from the 2008/2009 School Year take place in the week leading up to the Solemnity of Christ the King. In accordance with the proposals from the parishes the week and its activities should be carefully prepared and carried out so as to give the public the right image and impact of Catholic education. On the Solemnity of Christ the King a collection will be taken in all churches, public and semi-public oratories of the Diocese of Kumbo for Catholic education. The proceeds from the collection will be put in a fund called the Bishop's Education Fund. The fund will cater for the improvement of our school infrastructure. It will be absolutely necessary for every parish community to launch special appeals to the elite and to men and women of goodwill so that they can donate generously to the fund.

School Fee Rates
The nursery and primary schools of the Diocese of Kumbo are to be classified under three categories - A, B and C. The fees charged in every category shall be the same for both nursery and primary schools. The school categories have duly been communicated to the Parish Priests who will in turn communicate them and their corresponding fee rates to the parents of the respective communities concerned.

Our Commitment to the New Catholic School
9. The new disposition calls for effective pastoral care of our schools through the close collaboration of all partners in the education of the Catholic child - parents, teachers, pupils/students, priests, catechists, catechetical commission, education commission and the whole Christian community.

Parents: Parents need to be attentive to their children at home, teach them the basics of the faith, provide their fees and other school needs and keep in touch with teachers, catechists and priests with regard to the intellectual, human, psychological and spiritual formation of their children.

Teachers: Teachers have a key role to play for the success of the Catholic school. Once more we invite our teachers to rededicate themselves to this noble vocation. They need to consciously be aware of their noble task of bringing up young people not only intellectually but also morally and spiritually, since they are called to teach by their own very life example.

Priests and Catechists: Priests and catechists need to be seen to be part of the school community through catechetical instruction, preparation for and the administration of the various sacraments to the pupils and students.

Pupils and Students: The pupils and students on their part need to be available and willing to learn and allow themselves to be taught, undergoing with patient endurance all the programmes set forth for their formation.

PTAs: The Parents' and Teachers' Associations need to be attentive to the material and spiritual welfare of the schools, contributing to their development through providing good buildings and a better atmosphere for study.

Commissions: The education commission and the catechetical commission need to closely follow up the entire education process, evaluating the progress of the pupils and students, the involvement of parents and the PTAs and the role played by priests and other pastoral agents for the growth of the schools.

The Entire Parish Community:
Above all the entire parish community needs to be conscious of the fact that the schools belong to them and to all Christians, whether they effectively have children in the schools or not. They should therefore wholeheartedly support the schools financially, materially and morally.

Pastoral Strategies
10. With regard to the programme of the nursery and primary schools and day colleges in the Diocese of Kumbo, the following shall be upheld in order to foster the growth of our children in the Catholic faith. Every school day shall begin with Morning Prayer during assembly; there shall be prayers before and after long break; the Angelus (outside the Easter Season) or the Regina Caeli (during the Easter Season) shall be religiously recited at midday; and prayers shall be said before closing. In order that our children might be familiar with the practice of the faith in their respective parishes it will be of utmost importance for the following activities to occur in our primary schools and colleges: Bible sharing on a specific day of the week to be chosen by the school authorities, Eucharistic adoration and Benediction (especially on Sunday), rehearsal of liturgical music every week, Holy Mass on a frequent and regular basis in the nursery and primary schools and at least twice a week in day colleges, and the children should be organised to attend Sunday Mass or the Sunday Celebration in the Absence of a Priest together under the strict supervision of the school authorities. Parish pastoral planning should create room for school children and students to lead the singing at Sunday Mass once a month.

As far as boarding colleges are concerned, there shall be Morning Prayer before Mass on a daily basis; the recitation of the Angelus (outside the Easter Season) or the Regina Caeli (during the Easter Season) at midday; Evening Prayer before supper; Bible sharing on a designated day; rehearsal of liturgical music at least once a week; and Holy Mass everyday preferably in the morning.

11. In order that our colleges may be true communities of faith, it will be important for the school authorities to set up authentic and orthodox prayer groups in the colleges and encourage students to belong to them. The Chaplain shall be given only as many classes as to allow him sufficient time to counsel students and follow up their moral and spiritual progress and maturity. The Chaplain shall be available for the sacrament of reconciliation on particular days and at set times so that both the students and teachers can avail themselves of the sacrament. He shall organise penitential services at least once a term for the entire college community. It shall be the place of the Chaplain to organise separate retreats for students and staff at the beginning of every school year. He shall organise and oversee the teaching of doctrine in the college and the preparation of students and teachers for the sacraments of initiation, the sacrament of matrimony and other sacraments.

12. The Parish Priests, Managers of Schools and the Mobile Catechetical Team shall follow up the effective execution of our primary school programme such that our children receive all the sacraments of initiation before they leave primary school. The reception of Baptism and/or First Holy Communion shall take place in Class 5 and the reception of Confirmation in Class 6. For the reception of these sacraments the Parish Priest shall see to it that, without undue interference with the school programme, there is a period of intensive preparation and follow up of the candidates by teachers, catechists and priests and religious together.

13. In order that these new strategies might be effectively implemented, I call on the Education Secretary and the Director of the Diocesan Pastoral Formation Team to work in direct collaboration with the Parish Priests and Managers of Schools on the one hand and Principals and Chaplains on the other to establish a concrete plan of action in all our schools. In order to facilitate this process one-week pedagogic and pastoral seminar shall be organised at a suitable time in December for all our teachers in St. Pius X's Teacher Training College Tatum. During the long holidays a more systematic pedagogic and pastoral seminar shall be run once more in Tatum for holders of the GCE Ordinary and/or Advanced Level or their equivalents who would like to teach with the Catholic Education Agency, Diocese of Kumbo and for all our teachers who do not have the Teachers' Grade I Certificate. This seminar shall run for six weeks every long holiday till the candidates attain the level of Grade I Teachers.

14. Once more I wish to express immense gratitude to all parents who, through their personal conviction for Catholic education, have continued to send their children to Catholic schools. I am also grateful to all our teachers who have earnestly done their best to give true Catholic education to the children entrusted to their care. I recognise with a lot of gratitude the honest effort of those Parish Priests and Managers of Schools, Principals and Chaplains of Colleges who have in close collaboration ensured the pastoral care of children and teachers. I also recognise the selfless service of the Bursars of Colleges and of our Nursery and Primary Schools who transparently handled all the school fees that passed through their hands. We frown at any cases of extravagance and mismanagement of school funds, be it on the part of teachers, bursars, head teachers or managers as the case might be. It is my humble and fervent wish that every parish community will look for truly honest and transparent persons where necessary and possible to assist school managers with the transparent financial administration of our nursery and primary schools.

15. I wish to launch an earnest appeal to all our sons and daughters, who are duly qualified to teach, to offer their services in areas of primary evangelisation, like Misaje, Ako, Mfumte, Sabongari, Elak and Nkor where we find it difficult to provide teachers for our schools. It is interesting to note that qualified young men and women from these areas prefer to work in big towns like Bamenda, Bafoussam, Douala and Yaoundé, where they have many more opportunities, even at the expense of their families!

16. I also launch an earnest appeal to all the elite, the sons and daughters of the Diocese of Kumbo to come to our help by sponsoring the renovation of our schools; providing computers, textbooks and didactic materials for our schools; and sponsoring children who otherwise will not be able to go to school. Be benefactors for Catholic education in your own home Diocese of Kumbo.

17. I appeal to every convinced Catholic in the Diocese of Kumbo to put hands on deck and work earnestly for the smooth progress of Catholic education in our diocese. I call on all our PTAs to be truly concerned about the welfare of our schools, improve on the infrastructure of our schools, provide additional textbooks and didactic materials for our schools, encourage parents to send their children to our schools and accompany the teachers so that they maintain a clean school environm ent and sustain the efforts of all partners of Catholic education. I also call on the Education Commission and the Catechetical Commission to work in close collaboration with the teachers and the Mobile Catechetical Team to ensure continuity in the pastoral care and faith formation of the children enrolled in our schools.

18. I entrust every member of the Kumbo Diocesan Christian Community to the motherly care and protection of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception, Principal Patron of the Diocese of Kumbo. May we remain firm in the faith handed down to us from the Apostles.

11 September 2008

Donnerstag, August 28, 2008

WEICAM Kumbo initiates civil wedding

Weicacam_civilwedding1 By Livinus Tal Bam
The Kumbo Mayor, Donatus Njong Fonyuy, has described the legalisation of forty-four (44) marriages on the same day in Kumbo, as the first of its kind in the whole of Cameroon. The Mayor was speaking at the John Paul II Youth Centre Tobin, Kumbo, on July 19, where he presided over the signing ceremony of 44 marriages in his municipality.

The occasion was organised by a Kumbo-based non-governmental organisation, the Women's Empowerment Institute Cameroon (WEICAM), dedicated to the empowerment of women and the promotion of human rights and democracy in Cameroon.

In his welcome speech, the Mayor thanked WEICAM for what he described as a laudable initiative. He equally thanked the couples for freely stepping forward to legalise their marriage.
Despite the fact that such massive weddings have taken place elsewhere in the country, the Kumbo event has so far recorded the highest number of consenting couples to have participated in the event.

The Minister of Women Empowerment and the Family, reputed for initiating and presiding at such ceremonies in different parts of the country, was absent from the Kumbo history making event.
Mayor Donatus Njong thanked the Executive Director of WEICAM for sacrificing her time and resources to give the couples an opportunity to legalise their marriages.

He called on the different couples to lead exemplary lives and to love each other, explaining that love will enable the growth of their families and instil happiness in their matrimonial homes. He cautioned them to guard against rumours because many will fabricate stories just to ruin their relationship with their partners.

Statistics from Kumbo municipality indicate that only seventeen (17) percent of couples living together are legally married. Ahead of the signing ceremony, WEICAM's coordinator, Madam Geraldine Chin, in one of her preparatory classes, told participating women that civil marriage will protect their traditional and Christian weddings against unscrupulous men who always interfere in their relatives' matrimonial affairs especially after the death of one of the partners.

Since WEICAM intends to continue with the programme in Kumbo, the director called on all those present to support the organization by sending at least a couple to enrol for the next civil wedding sessions coming up in September and December.

Madam Geraldine Selamo revealed that WEICAM-Kumbo is making available a number of socio-economic support-services to the newly wedded couples. She added that plans are in the pipeline to organise adult literacy classes for elderly couples and to train interested couples in income generating activities and hygiene and sanitation, indispensable in the management of homes.

The Divisional Delegate for Women's Empowerment and the Family for Bui, Henry F. Fombad, who was also present at the signing ceremony, congratulated WEICAM women on their initiative. He said they were working in line with the advocacy policy of the Ministry of Women's Empowerment and the Family.

Kumbo Diocese commissions 14th batch of counsellors

Kumbo Diocese commissions 14th batch of counsellors

Views sampled by Livinus Tal Bam
Mrlukongephraim The Kumbo Diocesan Family Life Office has commissioned the 14 batch of counsellors during a recent ceremony at the St. Jerome's Biblical and Pastoral Centre Kumbo. The counsellors, over 50, among who were priests and religious, came from all the parishes of the diocese.

To become a counsellor, psychological aptitude and training are needed. After their training, which lasted eight months, the newly commissioned counsellors received end of course certificates.

In a speech made during the ceremony on behalf of the graduating students, Alphonsus Fang Chia observed that more people have taken interest in counselling as the number of counsellors had increased by 53. He attributed the public's growing interest in counselling to an increase in marital problems, terminal illnesses and juvenile delinquency. This year's graduation was special because almost all parishes sent in delegates to be trained. There were also a record number of priests and religious trainees.

Trainers have done their job and it is now up to the trainees to prove their worth in their communities. The Bishop of Kumbo, Mgr. George Nkuo, was present during the commissioning ceremony. After the ceremony some trainers and trainees outlined the importance of counselling.

Mr. Lukong Ephraim (Kumbo Diocesan Family Life Coordinator) Mrlukongephraim_3
These candidates have been trained by parishes for the parishes. I expect the parishes to make good use of them. We have instructed them to expose themselves and make their services known to people out of the church milieu. But parishes, health centres, hospitals and institutions are encouraged to make good use of these trainees. They received training in two areas. Firstly, some were trained to handle cases of people living with terminal diseases. This means they are expected to help them handle their situation and live with the reality. Secondly, some were trained to handle marital problems. They are going to help couples in marital crisis to know how to handle their marital problems because a counsellor is trained not to give solutions, but to facilitate problem owners to know how to go about with their problems.

Srcaroline_2 Rev. Sr. Caroline Acha (Delegate from the congregation of sisters of St. Therese, Kumbo)
The course was very important because nowadays many people live with a catalogue of problems. They do not even know that they can go to a counsellor for help. I also discovered during the training that our society is plagued with a number of difficulties like marital problems, terminal diseases and other social problems. The people who have these problems need to be assisted. Sometimes students come home for holidays and are unable to return to school because of very minor problems which counsellors could have solved. The course therefore helped me to discover the importance of counselling.

Rev. Fr Peter Tar (priest from Shisong Capuchin Friary) Frpetertar_2
There is an increasing awareness among the priests to be trained as counsellors because as priests, we are called to become full pastors. Most of the problems we encounter in our pastoral ministry include marital and family problems, increasing HIV infections and other terminal illnesses. Counselling is very necessary in helping priests address these difficulties. The fact that we have been trained in Theology does not mean that we know everything that can enable us to go about and do our pastoral work excellently. More is still required. I think all priests in Kumbo Diocese and the Bamenda Ecclesiastical Province should be trained as counsellors. The course, which lasted eight months, has been successful. Participants came from all walks of life with different academic qualifications. The course permitted an interaction between people from different social strata and educational levels.

Mr. Chia Alphonsus (Discipline Master, St. Augustine's College, SAC, Nso) Mrchiaalphonsius_2
As a discipline master the counselling course I have just received is very important for me because I am going to help the students to understand what their problems are and not simply revert to smacking them when they do something wrong. From now on, I will talk with my students to understand the problems they are facing. Thereafter, the students can decide how to get out of such problems. During the course I realised that I had been brutal when correcting students, wrongly thinking I was helping them. It is not only through punishment that students' problems can be solved. It is good to let students know the cause of their problems. When students know they can handle their problems, they will find solutions to their problems. Before now, I was giving advice and not counselling.

Revsrdoriskiven_2 Rev. Sr. Doris Kiven (Kumbo Diocesan Youth Apostolate team member)
As a religious I meet people from all backgrounds both young and old. These people have difficulties which need to be addressed. I think that I am well equipped after this training to be able to assist people in various spheres of life, that is, where help is needed to enable them live happily.

Rev. Sr. Ruphina (Matron of the St. Elizabeth General Hospital Shisong) Srruphinaebamumatron_2
The people I send to be trained every year are made to understand themselves first and others next. So, when they complete this course, they are not only useful to themselves, but are also to everybody. In hospital they talk with patients to understand their problems and help them to adapt to or come out of their situations. Patients rely very much on them as people who can find solutions to the numerous problems they have.

Pamela Tatah (Mbve parish Delegate) Pamelatatah_2
My desire to be trained as a counsellor came when I saw many young people in my parish going astray. Both the young and the old are suffering. There are a lot of couples living in marital crisis, but there is no one to help them. When someone told me that Kumbo Diocese is offering this training, I immediately made up my mind to be one of those to be trained this year. I am happy that the training has ended successfully. I am returning to my parish to serve God's suffering people there by applying the skills I have acquired during this course in the hope that their problems will be solved.

Jessica Kini (Diocesan Family Life Worker) Jessicakini_3
Having realised the growing ills of society, the Diocesan Family Office saw the urgent need to train volunteer counsellors in Kumbo Diocese. The training has become a yearly programme as it contributes to the development of the local Church in the following reasons; building Orphan and Vulnerable Children (OVC) resilience through psycho-social support and counselling, and terminal disease and marital crisis counselling, just to name these few.

Sonntag, Juli 27, 2008

CMA Kumbo Deanery strives for progress

By Livinus Tal Bam
Cma The Catholic Men's Association (CMA), Kumbo Deanery, in
one of its bi-monthly meetings, assembled at Meluf Parish, on Sunday June 29, 2008, in an attempt to continue forging on with their activities. These middle age and older men came out to this meeting to re-examine themselves as Christians and deliberate on how to foster the growth of the association, which is just shooting from its roots.

Following the adage that "it is not the number of times you fall that matters but how much you try to get up from the ground", the men in the Catholic Church; those in Kumbo Deanery in particular, are fast realizing that they have been left behind in the work of evangelization.

Prelude to the meeting hour that Sunday, the men demonstrated signs of self realization in church as they took the lead in all liturgical activities. Reports from other parishes that make up the Kumbo Deanery like Shisong, Melim, Kumbo, Mbve, Tobin and Meluf say men take active part in church especially at Sunday masses; and go beyond that to take up challenges in the spiritual and economic life of the church to ensure her growth.

The habit of solidarity among fellow members was seen to be one of the principal concerns in the midst of these mature men in the church. The women of Meluf parish expressed satisfaction to the bold step the men took, and affirmed their happiness to see men coming back to join them in the work of evangelization.

The church, the women said, is a family and there is never a secured family without a man. Members of the community who still shy away from both the CMA and CWA were called upon to join the groups, in the belief that it could be a path to salvation. Another key issue raised at this meeting was the problem of Catholic Education in the diocese. The men noted with great discontent that the Catholic schools all over the diocese have a big problem in terms of enrolment.

The men unanimously blamed themselves for not choosing proper education for their children. While some men sacrifice the education of their children to drinking, others simply send theirs to government schools, where moral upbringing is not a priority. The men were urged to make an extra effort each time to attend PTA meetings because it is the only avenue where they can know more about the situation of the schools.

It is the only forum where the catholic teacher's plight could be pushed to quarters, so that they can do their work in full spirit, and teach the children in the real Catholic way.

By Livinus Tal Bam


Donnerstag, Juli 17, 2008

Kumbo Divisional CWA urged to adapt to the new world

By Livinus Tal Bam

The Divisional branch of the Catholic Women Association (CWA), Kumbo has resolved to come out of the dark and live the light which the world is witnessing today. The resolution was made in a CWA divisional meeting held at Meluf parish recently. The meeting held at Meluf parish early in July this year diverted its attention from the monotony of spiritual talks and focused on society and humanity.

As top priority on their agenda, the women showed an exceptional interest for the media: what it is all about and its impact on the society. To put the concrete thought into action, experts from the Diocesan media office were invited to open their minds on the media. Talking to the women about the media, Mr. Bernard Kong, the resource person drilled them on the meaning, origin and different types of the media.

He went on to elaborate on the advantages and the disadvantages of the media. Thanking the spokesperson for his elaborate and explicit expose, the women expressed great surprises on the marvels of the media. They also showed disappointment on the negative effects of the media especially on the children. While resolving that it would be appropriative to stop their children from learning such media branches like computer and internet, Mr. Bernard Kong satisfactorily cautioned them to teach their children as they have done to be aware of not getting involved into bad practices.

According to him, the children should be taught to use the internet while restricting them from opening immoral and cultic websites, and indulging into scamming; a common practice among young people nowadays. After getting information on the media, the women considered it "The tip of the iceberg" as they say much is still to be learnt. In that same session, the women took upon themselves to explore more on the media.

They programmed to visit media houses around Bui Division which will include the Oku Community Radio, the MTN, Orange and Camtel telephone service centres, the Kumbo Diocesan Printing and Communications Centre and to exploit any other avenue to enrich their knowledge on the media. Welcoming the women to their parish, the Catholic Men Association members called on the women to throw away pride and follow the footsteps of Mary their mother. While assuring the women that they have shown the men good examples to follow, the men said they will fall short of their good work if they choose their leaders by virtue of some selfish aims away from the bases of leadership role.

The women who in turn appreciated the men for not shying to follow the women said they now feel complete as they go ahead while the men follow them in the evangelization work, concluding that a complete family is one in which both father and mother are working for a common gold. The Divisional CWA chaplain among them, Rev. Fr. Edwin Tatah in his keynote address told the women to cultivate a more responsible attitude which is aimed at development rather than keeping the association stagnant.

Here, emphasis was laid on the timely payment of dues to the group and constant attendance at group meetings. To him, the timely payment of dues and non participation at deliberations in meetings is meaningless and vice versa because the church needs the spirituality of Christians and finances to grow. Other issues discussed were humanitarian centred. The women deliberated on spending money to carter for the sick especially the insane or mad people.

Samstag, Juni 28, 2008

Pastoral Letter of the Bishops of Cameroon to the faithful and all persons of goodwill on the occasion of the celebration of the Pauline Year

Message_of_bishops Done by, His Grace Cornelius Fontem Esua, Archbishop of Bamenda
On behalf of the Bishops of Cameroon


On 28 June 2007, in the Basilica of Saint Paul-outside-the-Walls, Pope Benedict XVI promulgated a Jubilee Year dedicated to St Paul on the occasion of the second millennium of the birth of the Apostle to the Gentiles, which historians situate between the year 7 and 10 AD. This special Jubilee Year begins on 28 June 2008 and ends on 29 June 2009, the Solemnity of the Apostles Peter and Paul.

The aim of the Pauline Year

2. According to the wish of the Holy Father, this year will be " the occasion to :
" Rediscover the person of St Paul, his life, his activity and his many missionary journeys, especially as recounted by St Luke in the Acts of the Apostles;
" Read again his many letters to the first Christian communities;
" Relive the early years of our Church;
" Deepen our understanding of the riches of his teachings addressed to the Gentiles and meditate on the vigorous spirituality of his faith, his hope and his charity;
" Revitalise our faith and our role in the Church of today, in the light of his teachings;
" Pray and work for the unity of the Church, 'the Mystical Body of Christ'"

The Theme of the celebration of the Pauline Year

3. In communion with the universal Church, the Christians of Cameroon welcome this initiative with joy and thanksgiving to God. In order that our Christian life may be revived and our missionary zeal may be enkindled, we, the Bishops of Cameroon, invite our faithful and all persons of goodwill to make this orientation our own, by basing our meditations, our reflections and our actions on the following theme:

" Called to be an apostle of Christ Jesus" (1Cor 1:1), Vocation and Mission of St Paul in the context of the Church which is in Cameroon

This vision has a biblical foundation in the account of the conversion of St Paul in Acts 9:1-25 and in parallel texts ( cf. Acts 22:5-16; 26:9-18). In this text, Luke puts Paul face to face with the different personages of Jesus Christ whom he persecuted, encountered, received and announced. This approach can shed light on the manner of being disciples of Christ today in Cameroon.

The difficulties of living the Faith

4. Paul was first of all hostile to the Christian community. At the beginning, a convinced Jew, he could not be part of it. On the contrary, he nursed a fierce hatred for it. After his conversion, Paul the persecutor becomes the persecuted. This situation shows the extent to which the confession of Jesus Christ can make us become the object of persecution. Jesus himself had spoken about the hatred which the world will have for his disciples (cf Jn 17:14). One can think of the so many people throughout the history of the Church who have had to endure all forms of persecution even at the cost of their own lives on account of their faith.
Even if today in Cameroon we enjoy religious liberty, we must not forget that there still exist difficulties which hinder us from practising our faith in serenity. Family pressures, misunderstanding by friends, mockery by neighbours, blackmails of all sorts constitute situations against which Paul, a former ardent persecutor, tells us that nothing can separate us from the love of Christ (cf. Rom 8:35-39).

Encounter with Christ and the transformation of the person

5. Paul's conversion continues in the account of his journey. He is on his way to Damascus in order to persecute the Church. His encounter with Christ is going to transform him radically. Dazzled by the appearance of the Risen Lord, he questions the identity of the person whom he has encountered. It teaches us that the radical transformation of the person comes from his intimate encounter with Christ, who assures us that he is among us whenever we are gathered in his name (cf. Mt. 18:20). For Paul, the road to Damascus was the place of the transforming encounter with the Risen Christ. Today we have to find our road to Damascus, that is, our genuine conversion.

The encounter with Ananias and the importance of the others

6. For St Paul, the experience on the road to Damascus seems to be a drama. To say the truth, it had a deep impact on his physical integrity. In falling on the ground, he loses control of himself and in losing his sight, he loses his bearings. The weakness of the human person is brought to light here. One day or another, we are brought to experience our limitations, to discover our inability to orientate ourselves. However, this apparent impasse does not mean fatality. In fact, the difficulty is taken away by the entry into the scene of a new personality: Ananias.
This sequence of events teaches us, first of all, that the obstacles encountered on the path of our lives are not insurmountable. It shows us the way out: the mediation of others, who are instruments of God on our paths. Just as Paul abandoned himself into the hands of Ananias in order to get to his destination, to receive baptism, regain his sight and his energy, so too the Christian of today has to accept to be guided by a brother or a sister in the Christian community, in order to be fully integrated in the life of the Church. We all need a godfather or a godmother to accompany us in our spiritual and human growth. This means that the path which leads to God passes through others.

The Commitment of Paul and missionary action today

7. For Paul, the experience on the way to Damascus does not end with his physical reestablishment. On the contrary, a new way of life is opened to him. The story continues by telling us how Paul immediately embarked on the preaching of the Good News. We can note the contrast between the end and the beginning of the story: at the beginning, Paul wanted to destroy the Christian community, and now life for him is Christ (cf. Phil 1:21). He announces Christ with ardour. The zeal with which he persecuted the Christians is channelled into the preaching of Christ. Our energies must be mobilised for the work of evangelisation, after the example of St Paul, founder of the Christian communities among all the peoples, untiring traveller for the cause of the Gospel right to Rome, the capital of the pagan world where he shed his own blood for the name of Jesus.

8. This missionary drive reached Cameroon through the work of the many evangelizers who, following the example of St Paul came right to us. Let us give thanks to God for the Pallotine Missionaries, the Priests of the Sacred Heart, the Spiritan Missionaries, the Mill Hill Fathers, the Oblates of Mary Immaculate, the many consecrated persons, the indigenous clergy, and the multitude of catechists. In emphasizing the missionary dimension of our baptism during this Pauline Year, we rekindle the flame inherited from these pioneers of the faith and of missionary work in Cameroon. In the dynamism of the second evangelisation, we underline here the challenge of inculturation of which Paul offers an example in his discourse in Athens (cf. Acts 17:22-34) and that of the presence of the Church in the regions of Cameroon where she is not visibly represented. We pray that young people may give themselves generously to this mission!

Calendar of the Pauline Year

Dear Sons and Daughters in Christ,

9. The Jubilee Year specially consecrated to St Paul will unfold in Cameroon in three major stages:

" First Stage: Opening, on 29 June 2008, Solemnity of the apostles Peter and Paul, in our
" Different dioceses in communion with the Pope.
" Second Stage: During this phase our missionary endeavour will be marked by a particular celebration by the Bishops of Cameroon during their Annual Seminar which will take place in Maroua in January 2009. There will be special manifestations and ecumenical celebrations during the week of Prayer for Christian Unity. These celebrations will end with the celebration of the conversion of Saint Paul on 25 January 2009.
" Third Stage: Closing at the national level in Yaounde during the Plenary Assembly of the Bishops' Conference which will take place from 22 to 28 June 2009. This concluding celebration will be characterised by a National Congress on Saint Paul and a Pontifical Mass during which the resolutions of the Jubilee Year will be read.

10. Throughout the year, we propose the following activities to be carried out at the level of dioceses or ecclesiastical provinces:

" Organisation of parochial or diocesan marches/walks in honour of St. Paul;
" Enthronement in every parish and family of the Bible with emphasis on the letters of Saint Paul;
" Launching of diocesan competitions on the composition of sacred music, sketches, and drama on the life and work of Saint Paul;
" Press publicity on the launching of the Pauline Year, through the preparation of documents for the press, drawing inspiration from this Pastoral Letter and the life and message of Saint Paul;
" Daily reading of the letters of Saint Paul with the aid of the liturgical calendar or any other calendar made for this purpose;
" Judicious exploitation of the Pauline texts proposed especially during the special liturgical seasons (Advent, Christmas, Lent and Easter);
" Prayer for the Year of Saint Paul to be said in all Christian communities;
" Celebration of the Word of God with ecumenical groups based on the letters of Saint Paul;
" Dissemination at the diocesan and parochial levels of the life and message of Saint Paul through the projection of films, video, CD, sketches, theatrical pieces, cultural evenings.
" Composition of religious songs, organisation of concerts on religious music on the life and message of Saint Paul;
" Carrying out of social activities inspired by Pauline spirituality;
" Organisation of parochial, diocesan, and provincial pilgrimages to churches, sacred places, or institutions dedicated to Saint Paul, with the possibility of a national pilgrimage tracing the path of Saint Paul.

Special Indulgences on the occasion of Pilgrimages

11. Pilgrimages imply penance and conversion by opening up to God and to one another. This is why on the occasion of the this Pauline year, the Holy Father has accorded special indulgences to pilgrims to the Basilica of Saint Paul-outside-the Walls or to the many places visited by Saint Paul. The faithful from different local Churches, who have fulfilled the normal conditions (confession, communion and prayer for the intentions of the Supreme Pontiff), will gain Plenary Indulgence "if they participate piously at a sacred ceremony or an activity celebrated publicly in honour of the Apostle of the Nations: the days of the solemn opening and the closing of the Pauline year, in all the consecrated places; in other days designated by the local ordinary, in all the places dedicated to Saint Paul and for the use of the faithful in other places determined by the local ordinary." The sick will also be able to gain plenary indulgence under the usual conditions, "provided they unite themselves spiritually with the jubilee celebration in honour of Saint Paul, in offering to God their prayers and their suffering for the unity of Christians"

12. We invoke the assistance of Mary, Queen of the apostles and Patroness of Cameroon. May she intercede for us in order that the Holy Spirit who inspired Saint Paul may arouse in us the same missionary zeal of Saint Paul. May this Pauline Year be for each one of us and for our families a time of grace.

Done in Yaounde on the Solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul
On behalf of the Bishops of Cameroon
His Grace Cornelius Fontem Esua, Archbishop of Bamenda
President of the Organising Committee for the celebration of the year of Saint Paul
Prayer on the occasion of the Year of Saint Paul, Apostle

We propose this prayer in memory of Saint Paul the Apostle. We recommend that it should be said in our churches and communities for the success of this Pauline Year.

Lord, our God
You have chosen Paul of Tarsus to be an Apostle
That he may make your name know to the nations

From his conversion on the road to Damascus
Saul, baptised Paul, made known the crucified and risen Christ
In and out of season
By his preaching and his letters,
In Jerusalem, Athens, like in Rome,
Until his glorious martyrdom.

In this year of grace, with Saint Paul,
Grant that we may welcome your word communicated in his letters.
Grant that, following his example, we may imitate his zeal
Through Christ, with Christ and only in Christ.

By the light of the Risen Lord,
Illumine our paths
So that we may, through the power of the Holy Spirit
And with the intercession of the Virgin Mary,
Queen of the Apostles and Patroness of Cameroon
Become in the Church and in society
Missionaries of the Gospel of Jesus Christ our Saviour.

Montag, Juni 23, 2008

First ever diocesan junior youth camp takes place in Kumbo

By Emmanuel Werdzerem
The first ever Diocesan Junior Youth Camp has taken place in Kumbo under the theme; ' I Will Show My Faith in the Way I Act' (James 2:18b). The five day event, which took place at the St John Paul II Youth Centre, Tobin, brought together close to 300 young people and their guardians from 19 parishes in Kumbo Diocese.

Organised for youths between 7 and 13 years of age, the event was aimed at helping the diocese's youths to cultivate a responsible spirit by sharing with people of their age group and contributing to the development of the Church.

Opening the august event with a solemn Eucharistic celebration, the acting rector of the Tobin Quasi Parish, Rev. Fr. Edwin Boye Kinga, in a thought-provoking homily, exhorted participants to exercise maturity during the camp so as to return home fully enriched. He advised youths to avoid the elusive blur of hedonism which has become the order of the day in contemporary society so as to live the theme of the camp to the letter.

For five days, youths demonstrated lots of skills in a variety of games, sketches, choral music, and cultural displays. Presentations were also done on important religious and social issues like Youths and the Provincial Pastoral Plan, Youths and Capacity Building, Self Awareness and Acceptance and Youths and the Mass Media.

While presenting a paper on Youths and the Provincial Pastoral Plan, Godlove Chem of the
Diocesan Pastoral Formation team described youths as the "nursery of the Catholic Faith." He said young people ought to be kept abreast with functioning of the Provincial Pastoral Plan since they are the Church of today and tomorrow. He also revealed that his team has been doing a commendable job to guide youths and other Christians in the diocese on matters of Faith and their role in Small Christian Communities.

Given the prevailing moral, social and economic atmosphere in Kumbo in particular and Cameroon as a whole, participants were cautioned to be prayerful, to know and accept themselves as they are and to adopt a selective and discerning attitude with regards to the audio-visual landscape. Participants were agreed these are some of the measures that could permit youths can to move closer to God and be responsible citizens.

In a chat with the acting chairperson of the Diocesan Youth Council, Shey Peter Njoka Yungye, he disclosed that the camp was very timely and has come to stay. He also affirmed that henceforth the Kumbo Diocesan Youth Ministry would function as recommended.

The official closing Eucharistic celebrations was supposed to be presided at by His Lordship, George Nkuo, but he was unavoidably absent. The Diocesan Youth Chaplain, Fr. Evaristus Kiven, who celebrated the Mass on the bishop's behalf, reminded youths of their obligation to bear witness to Christ and for Christ. Youths, he said, must be true disciples of Jesus in both words and actions. "Your actions must be a mirror image of your Faith. Prophesying one's faith through actions must be an indispensable element of your Christian lives," he noted

At the end of the camp on Monday, June 23, Fr. Kiven was satisfied with the general conduct of the camp, which he described as a sign of growing responsibility on the part of Kumbo Diocese youths. He urged the close to 300 participants to spread the news they gathered from the camp to their various destinations.

As the youths and their guardians retire to their respective parishes, all attention is now turned towards Tatum that will host the Diocesan Vocations Camp come July 28, 2008.

Sonntag, Juni 22, 2008

Tobin Quasi Parish ripe for a full parish

By Emmanuel Werdzerem

Tobin Quasi Parish, which has jealously retained its status as the "thermometer" of Kumbo Diocese, may soon be a full parish as has been announced. The revelation was made on Sunday, June 22, during a Solemn Eucharistic celebration at the main parish church.

While breaking the good news to parishioners, the chairman of the Parish Pastoral Council, Shey Julius Ngalim and his co-worker, Mr.Ndikuba, explained that the December 8, 2008 deadline for the erection of the quasi parish to a full parish, could be respected if Tobin fulfils a number of conditions laid down by the Bishop of kumbo, His Lordship George Nkuo.

One of such conditions, he pointed out, is to construct a secured and befitting house of worship for the people of God. An appeal has been made to Christians of Tobin, well wishers as well as sons and daughters of this fast growing cosmopolitan area at home and in the Diaspora to help out in this direction.

In the meantime, the new rector of the quasi parish, Rev Aloysius Aki, who is yet to be installed, has already called on all Christians of the quasi parish to work as a team to meet the conditions required for the granting of a full parish before December. To set a good example, Fr. Aki has contributed FCFA 100,000 to the church project estimated FCFA 2 million.

Samstag, Juni 14, 2008

Benefiz-Rock-Konzert für Kumbo

Das war ein toller Sakro-Pop-Abend in der Pfarrei St. Antonius. Neben der Band 'Joy' sorgte die Formation 'Still alive' der Jugendkirche Cross Over für heiße Stimmung.
Der Erlös des Abends kommt den Menschen in Limburgs Partner-Diozöse Kumbo, (Kamerun) zugute. Ein Herz für afrikanische Kinder zeigten auch die Kommunionkinder,
die 500 Euro aus eigener Tasche dazugeben. Eine Reisegruppe bringt das Geld am 27. Juni persönlich nach Kumbo.

Quelle: Der Sonntag, Ausgabe 15.Juni 2008
Foto: Sascha Braun

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