by Rev. Fr. Peter A. Foleng. SD.
The Apostolic Administrator of the Diocese of Kumbo His Grace Cornelius F. Esua, recently inaugurated the newly-constructed Pastoral Centre of the Diocese of Kumbo, during the celebration of the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception, which is also a day of obligation in the Diocese of Kumbo, an event which coincided with the date of the Episcopal ordination of the first residential bishop on the grounds of St. Augustine’s College, Nso, in 1982. After blessing the centre, the clergy, religious and the laity of the diocese joined the Apostolic Administrator in a concelebrated high Mass. During his homily, the Archbishop explained why the Diocese of Kumbo took on the 8th of December as a day of obligation.
He highlighted the role of Mary in Salvation history and called on all present to follow the example of Mary of the Immaculate Conception: “Like Mary we have also been called by God to be holy and spotless by living through love in the presence of God.”
Turning to the occasion marking the blessing of the pastoral centre, he told the faithful that the blessing of the first phase of a more complex structure still in the making definitely marked a milestone in the history of the Diocese of Kumbo in her 23rd year.
After setting up various apostolate and relevant services like the Education Secretariat, Youth Formation Team, Family Life, Justice and Peace, Social Welfare, Health Coordination, Mass Media and Pastoral Team, the bishop continued.
“It was necessary to endow these services not only with the adequate offices for their proper functioning but also to provide them with the appropriate structures for the formation of the personnel, the pastoral agents and the relevant categories of the faithful”.
He explained that it was for this reason that the effort was made to put up the various structures, which now include the pastoral centre. After highlighting the various benefactors who have contributed to the construction of this first phase of the complex, he exhorted the local communities of the diocese to take up their own responsibility by contributing their own quota for the project.
The Kumbo Pastoral centre will greatly facilitate the ongoing training of the clergy and the pastoral formation of the laity, who hitherto had to use hired premises. The Pastoral centre which has been named St. Jerome Pastoral Centre, has an administrative block, 26 self-contained sleeping rooms, a hall with a seating capacity of 300, a refectory with equal capacity and 10 conference rooms.
Apart from training the laity, by deepening of their faith through sound biblical instruction, the centre will also be open to members of the public who require adequate space for various events. The centre is situated adjacent to St. Augustine’s College on a beautifully-terraced plot overlooking the Banso Baptist Hospital and the Bishop’s House complex in Kumbo.
If you are in Kumbo or have just arrived Kumbo and will like to have some quiet, meditation and prayer, call at the St. Jerome Pastoral Centre.