Bishop George Nkuo makes historic maiden visit back to his roots!

Ireneaus Chia Chongwain on assignment

NkuomaidenvisitThe Bishop of Kumbo, Mgr. George Nkuo, paid his first homecoming visit to Njinikom on Friday, December 22, 2006. The visit had a double significance: to see the places where he grew up and to establish a direct contact with the people who touched and shaped his life.

Coming on the heels of his appointment as the Bishop of Kumbo on July 8, 2006 by Pope Benedict XVI, the visit did not limit itself to the fulfilment of the afore-mentioned, but stretched well beyond to assume an evangelical dimension in what he described as celebrating the faith.
Hundreds of Catholic Christians from Njinikom and beyond, delegates from Kumbo, the faithful from other sister religious communities, administrative, political and civic authorities from the Boyo Division and other divisions, members of the Nkuo Family and curious onlookers, all braced the scorching sun and the dusty roads Friday, December 22, to give a befitting reception to Mgr. George Nkuo, Bishop of Kumbo, who was in Njinikom on the occasion of his maiden visit to his native land, following his appointment and Episcopal consecration as bishop.
The exuberance that characterised the event was not just the outcome of the instantaneous outpouring of happiness, but an indelible hallmark in the history, not only of the Njinikom Deanery in particular, but of the Bamenda Archdiocese as a whole.
Welcoming Bishop Nkuo shortly after he had made a triumphant entry into the ceremonial ground, the Parish Priest of the St. Anthony’s Parish, Njinikom, Reverend Father John Bintum explained why the faithful present had turned out in such large numbers for the occasion.
In his words, they had come because they wanted to hear, touch and celebrate with Mgr. Nkuo, following his appointment as the Bishop of Kumbo. Father Bintum described the visit as a spiritual journey that Mgr. Nkuo started some years back, and expressed the hope that the visit will revitalise the faith of Christians in the Bishop’s native land – a faith that is evidently vibrant as seen in the huge number of priests and the religious from the deanery who are presently serving the Catholic Church.
Since Christians had turned out to listen the Bishop, he had a message for them as he called on those present to sacrifice and pray for others to become servants of Christ, by emulating the example of Maria Heiss, the Bozen woman who sacrificed so much over the years to mould him, without even knowing him personally, to become what he is today.
Using the Maria Heiss example, he pointed out that Christians should never say that they cannot do something great for God. He added that they should trust in what he described as God’s perfect timing, cautioning that Christians should not only focus their attention on the blessedness of those who believe, but to equally act on that belief, that is, living their faith by their works.
Putting the visit into its proper perspective, the Dean of the Njinikom Deanery, Rev. Fr. Augustine Nkwain described the homecoming and Thanksgiving Mass as a milestone in the history of the church that is in the Njinikom Deanery and the Bamenda Archdiocese, concluding that, “… all attest to the undeniable fact that God in his providence has decided to provide a shepherd for the Diocese of Kumbo in the light of a son from the Kom Land.”
Addressing the congregation after Mass, the Chairman of the National Co-ordinating Committee of the occasion, Prof. Paul Nkwi posited that the event was organised to show the faith and gratitude of the Kom people, first to the Holy See and second, to the entire Catholic Church in Cameroon, for, in his words, “…raising one of their sons to the rank of the successors of the Apostles.”
He acknowledged what many are increasingly describing as the natural bond between the church in the Kom and Nso Lands. In his view, “The posting of the first Kom son as bishop to Kumbo, was not just to reciprocate the posting of Fr. Aloysius Wankuy, the first West Cameroon priest to Njinikom, it is,” he said, “the strengthening of the bonds that bind the two great Kingdoms of the North West.”
This bond was confirmed, as was the case on September 8 during the Episcopal Consecration in Kumbo, by the presence of the two fons at the ceremonial ground. Professor Nkwi called on the people of the local church to break the habit of the slavish dependence on external support by encouraging them to mobilise resources at the local level to support the church.
Preaching by example, he announced that the entire Njinikom Deanery had presented a full Calvary set which is going to be built at the Bishop’s residence in Kumbo, explaining that it is a symbol of the victory of Christ over sin and evil and His love for all humanity. The Holy Mass was in itself a veritable showcase of the Kom inculturation maturity.
From the heralding of the bishop to the ceremonial ground, through the liturgical procession, to the celebration of the Eucharist, the “fembang” dance, the church “Kwifon” and the firing of guns cut the event away from a universal Catholic perspective, and gave it a “komness” that only the “Koms” are good at exhibiting, while at the same time maintaining the essentials of the Catholic dogma.
Reactions after the homecoming visit were diverse but converged on the fact that, the appointment of Mgr. Nkuo as bishop was a recognition of the contributions the people of Kom have made over the years to the growth of Catholicism whose first seeds in Anglophone Cameroon were sown in the locality some 93 years ago, precisely in 1913 in Fujua.
The visit was marked by pastoral activities like the administration of the Sacrament of Baptism, a visit to the church in Fundong and spontaneous responses to his kith and kin along his itinerary.

January 20, 2007 at 06:11 PM

What Bishop George Nkuo told his tribesmen during that visit

+ George Nkuo
Bishop of Kumbo

NkuotoldtribesmenMy dear brothers and sisters in Christ, “Let me sing the praises of the Lord’s goodness, and of his marvellous deeds, in return for all that he has done for us and for the great kindness he has shown us in his mercy and in his boundless goodness!” With these solemn and beautiful words of the Prophet Isaiah, I greet all the people of God, all the people of the land of my birth, all the people of God who have come with me from Kumbo Diocese and all my family and friends who have come to celebrate in thanksgiving to God with me today.

Gratitude is the response of people who are intensely aware of God’s intervention in their lives. Thanksgiving is a joyous recognition of God’s goodness and power in the lives of his children.
It is a fundamental reaction of the people when they discover the loving intervention of God in the events of their lives. Gratitude to God is the surest way of drawing God into our hearts. This is a home-coming celebration. Is it possible that Church men can fall prey too to this home-coming celebration?
In Cameroon’s political jargon, home-coming is reserved for illustrious sons and daughters of the village or tribe who, after they have received appointments to key positions in government, are welcomed back home. They come in their Pajeros and Prados to celebrate and commune with their militants. Is there any difference between these rallies and our celebration today?
I am not in a position to state the differences of our homecoming, but I can readily say that in the Bible and in the life of the Church, people do celebrate home-coming and therefore, we are not afraid to celebrate home-coming today.
In Luke 4:16-19 we read, “Then Jesus went to Nazareth where He had been brought up, and on the Sabbath he went as usual to the synagogue. He stood up to read the scripture… He unrolled the scroll and found the place where it is written: ‘The sprit of the Lord is upon me because he has chosen me to bring the good news to the poor…’ Jesus rolled up the scroll and gave it back to the attendant and sat down.
All the people in the synagogue had their eyes fixed on Him, as he said to them. ‘This passage of scripture has come true today, as you heard it being read.’ They were all well impressed with Him and marvelled and said, “Is this not the son of Joseph?” This year from the 9th to the 14th of September 2006, Pope Benedict XVI, like his predecessor, made a five-day visit to Bavaria and his native land of Germany.
This is what he said on the occasion of his home-coming. “Today with great emotion I set foot, for the first time since my elevation to the Chair of Saint Peter, on German and Bavarian soil. I return to my homeland and among my own people in order to visit certain places of fundamental importance in my life.
The purpose of the visit is precisely because I want to again, see the places where I grew up, the people who touched and shaped my life. Naturally, I also want to express a message that goes beyond my tribe, my village, just as my new ministry calls me to do. The basic message is that, we have to rediscover God, not just any God, the God who became man at Bethlehem-Jesus Christ.
I think that this visit is an opportunity for us to see that believing is beautiful, that the joy of a huge universal community possesses a transcendental strength, that behind this belief lies something important and that together with the new searching movements, there are also new outlets of faith that lead us from one to the other.” (L’Osseravatore Romano, of 30th August,2006, P. 6) We see from the Bible and from the experience of the Church that, there is a place for home-coming after all; even if the Church’s home-coming takes on a mere religious and spiritual emphasis as did Jesus in Nazareth and Pope Benedict XVI in Germany.
Today, I come to Njinikom, not ready or fit to compare myself to Christ or our Holy Father, but I come all the same, as if on a pilgrimage to celebrate the gift of Faith, with the people of Kom and of Kumbo. After the euphoria of my Episcopal appointment and ordination at Kumbo, it is right and fitting that we gather here at Njinikom today again in our numbers to celebrate.
This is not a political or regional celebration. This is primarily a celebration of our one Faith in the Lord Jesus and we must use this opportunity to underline it. I remember this conversation or remark from someone who met me shortly after my appointment. He may even be in this crowd. He said, “I am a Bikom Man and I am happy that we too have a Bishop today.
We have waited for too long but it does not matter. I am not even a Catholic, I do not know very much about Bishops in the Catholic Church. All I know is that we have longed for one and today we too have a Bishop and that is a great honour for our people full stop. That is why I am here and will take a second beer because this is a great honour to our people.”
Sure enough there would be many like him who express the same or maybe even stronger feelings or sentiments about the appointment of a Bishop. Today gives us a chance to reflect and pray and maybe purify and correct our sometimes mistaken and confused type of honour attached to the office of a Bishop.
The best person to speak to us about Episcopal honour is Pope John Paul II himself. This is what he says: “The call to become a Bishop is certainly a great honour. This does not mean, however, that he is chosen for having distinguished himself among many others as an outstanding person and Christian.
This honour comes from his mission to stand at the heart of the church as the first in Faith, first in love, first in fidelity and first in service. If someone seeks in the Episcopal office honour for its own sake, he will not be able to fulfil his Episcopal mission well. The first and most important aspect of the honour due to a Bishop, lies in the responsibility associated with his ministry. A city set on a mountain cannot be hidden (Mtt: 5:14.)
The Bishop is always on a mountain, always on a lamp-stand, visible to all. He must always be aware that whatever happens in his life takes greater meaning in his community. And all the eyes looked intensely at him. ( Lk. 4: 20) Just as a father shapes the Faith of his children primarily by his example of prayer and religious fervour, so also a Bishop inspires his faithful by his behaviour.” (John Paul II, Rise, Let us Be On Our Way, P.45-46.)
There is no shortage of teaching of what a Bishop is to the Church: The Church teaches: – “The Bishop is called in a particular way to be a prophet, witness and servant of hope. He has the duty of instilling confidence and proclaiming before all people the basis of Christian hope.” (Pastores Gregis, No3) – “They are pastors who have a sense of people’s aspirations and can take them up, purify them and interpret them in the light of the Gospel, and for this reason, they have a future to build together with the people entrusted to their care.” (Ho Pastores Gregis, No 25) – The Bishop will always strive to relate to his priests as a father and brother who loves them, welcomes them, corrects them, listens to them, seeks their co-operation and , as much as possible, is concerned for their human, spiritual, ministerial and financial well-being.” (Pastores Gregis No. 47.)
There is a lot to be said about who a Bishop is apart from the honour we may be tempted to highlight. I have tested it for three months, and I can readily say it is not easy, it is not sweet, it is full of challenges, of heavy responsibilities and unimaginable calls to sacrifice. That is why today I take the responsibility to invite you.
Pray for me; pray that I may be a bishop not after honour but truly after the mind and heart of Christ, the Good Shepherd. Now that we know what a Bishop is. Now it is time to ask: What does God expect from people who now claim they have a Bishop?
What does the Church expect from a people from among whom, the Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI, has chosen one of theirs to be a successor of the apostles for the Church which is in Kumbo? What must we expect from each other; now that this honour is ours? Let me begin by sharing with you my personal life experience. It is an experience about which many of you must have read in Fr. Andrew Nkea’s story, “The Hidden Woman Behind Mgr. Nkuo.”
In the October, 2006 issue of Cameroon Panorama. Records in the achieves of the Tertiary Sisters of St. Francis, show that their first group of sisters arrived at Njinikom on the 8th of January 1953.
I was the first to be born at their maternity on the 28th of January 1953 and my midwife was Mother Camilla Geier of blessed memory. On the 16th of August 1953, Mother Assumpta Niederstatter arrived at the Njinikom Convent. Her arrival made a turning point in my life. It was she who brought me to Shisong in October 1967.
She had found a woman called Maria Heiss in a remote village called Pens in Bozen, Italy, who wanted to do something for God for having saved her life in a difficult delivery. This woman from her nothingness sponsored me through the Seminary and in the last twenty five years of my priestly ministry she continued to support me.
I was never privileged to meet her until July, 2006 after my appointment as the Bishop of Kumbo and I was in Rome for my first time. My visit or home-coming at Pens shocked me in many ways. Her home was as bare and empty as many homes here at Njinikom. In 2006, she had literally nothing you could call the goods of this world, but she had the only thing that mattered. She had a heart rich and full of faith.
She had a heart full of love. She had nothing but she had a faith and love and she has produced a Bishop. My message to you all-never you say you cannot do something great for God. If you have a heart of faith and love like hers, you can do marvels for God. You can produce many Bishops if you imitate her faith, in her love, in her deep prayer life and in her generosity.
I am your Bishop because she did it for me, let others become servants of Christ tomorrow because you too sacrificed and prayed for them. How do we measure greatness? Is it found in power, fame, fortune or the outstanding achievements of men and women who selflessly work on behalf of others?
Perhaps greatness is a combination of all these in various measures. Israel was called to be a “great nation” from the time of Abraham.. She would be Yahweh’s instrument for the salvation of the whole world. Israel was to be a great nation because of what God was to do through her. Her greatness was a gift from Yahweh, who chose her to be His own.
Israel, for her part, was to remain faithful to the covenant. The greatness of Israel was her relationship with Yahweh as the God who cares and is involved in her history. Today we all can testify that the Lord has also been involved in our history. Let us respond to his love by becoming more faithful to him as a people.

Second Message: Trusting God’s Timing
My second message goes to that my Kom friend who congratulated me and said that honour had come even though belated. To him and to all who think like him: Human nature tends to want all things right now.
We are always in a hurry. When we pray for our dreams to come to pass, we want them to be fulfilled immediately. But we must know that God has an appointed time to answer our prayers and to bring our dreams to pass. And the truth is, no matter how badly we need it sooner, no matter how much we pray and plead with God, it is not going to change his appointed time.
It is still going to happen on God’s timetable. We sometimes get frustrated and we cry: “God, when are you going to change my husband? When are you going to give me a marriage partner? God, when is my business going to take off? When are my dreams going to come to pass? When you understand God’s timing, you would not panic.
You can relax knowing that God is in control. He is going to make it happen. It may be next week, next year or ten years from now. But whenever it is, you can rest assured that it will be in God’s perfect timing. God is not like a machine where you punch in the right codes and receive what you requested.
No! We all have to wait patiently. That is part of learning to trust God. You may be wondering today, “I have been praying and making novenas and waiting, but it seems God is not doing anything about my marriage, about my job. That difficult situation at work has not changed. None of my dreams is coming to pass.
Today, we proclaim that God is at work in our lives whether we can see anything happening externally or not. Today, we also learn that you can be in the biggest challenge of your life, but when you are in God’s timing, God will give you all the grace that you need. If you learn to trust his timing, he will bring your dreams to pass and answer your prayers.
The answer will come, and it will be right on time. Third Message: God speaks to us through the events in our life. We take the opportunity to listen to his voice in our heart. What is He saying to us about our faith in Jesus Christ? What is He saying to us about our families? What is He saying to the Kom people Now?
God still loves you. Love one another. My motto is, “God is Love.” (Deus Caristas Est.) Do not be only experts at writing petitions against one another, do not use your political dreams and ambitions to divide and promote hatred for one another. Do not use religion as a weapon to divide and destroy each other. Do not take delight in pulling each other down for only selfish reasons. Do not use your position to exploit, to harm, to cheat and make the poor poorer.
In the Gospel of today , we have the story of Mary’s visitation of her cousin , Elisabeth. During that visitation Elisabeth spoke these lovely words to her, “blessed is she who believed that the promise made to her by the Lord would be fulfilled.”
Wonderful things happen for those who believe. You could say that the central theme of the Gospel is, the blessedness of those who believe. All of Jesus’ preaching had as its aim to elicit faith in peoples’ hearts.
However, it is not simply a matter of believing, but of believing and acting on that belief. It is a question of hearing the word and doing it- taking risks on it, and making sacrifices because of it. You sometimes hear people say, “It is easy for you, you have great faith.” But it is not like that. Faith does not always make things easy.
In fact, the opposite is more likely to be the case. It is because we have faith that we refuse to give up. It is because we have faith that we can say, “I am sorry.” Faith impels us to persevere, to struggle on often with no guarantee of a happy outcome. A person with faith never gives up.
Again today in the Gospel, God chose two ordinary women. There were two peasant women who journeyed on foot, sharing their hopes and dreams with each other. One was a barren old woman and the other, a young girl. He did not choose heroes. But they have become our heroes in Faith.
Today, if we want to know whom we consider our heroes we can go to the newspapers, to the internet and to the television and see what they are talking about. These heroes are most often the rich and the famous-political heavyweights, sports stars, or famous wealthy people. But God’s ways are very different. He chose a very simple young girl and an old barren woman, born of simple faith and trust in God. They are not chosen because they are wealthy and famous or even from Royal Stock.
God chose them as ordinary people, who do ordinary things and He did the extraordinary with them. They are our unlikely heroes. God chooses each one of us as ordinary folks, to be extraordinary by our actions in faith. And God gives us role models in faith such as Mary and Elisabeth to learn from. We are called to follow Mary’s example of faith.
Today, we remember with deep gratitude all the great men and women of faith who have handed down the faith to us in this Land. We thank God for all the missionaries who made tremendous sacrifices to bring us the light of faith. We cannot forget the teachers and the dedicated and Charismatic Catechists like Andreas Ngongbi, who were willing to take risks because they trusted in God that this day might come true.
Today, I can confidently attribute the following passage from (Heb. 11:13) to them all: “All these (our ancestors) died in faith before receiving any of the things that had been promised, but they saw them in their far distance and welcomed them, recognising that they were only strangers and nomads on earth.”
To this list I wish to humbly add my beloved parent, Papa Ferdinand Nkuo and Mama Catherine Fuam. May they all enjoy the eternal reward prepared for them from all eternity. This is our act of faith. Today, it is with us that God chooses to make his kingdom become a reality. May we be the new unlikely heroes of faith by doing the ordinary things of life with joy and peace in our hearts, knowing that God will do the extraordinary.
Today, I want to personally thank all of you who have come to pray and celebrate with us. I sincerely thank all those who took up the challenge to organise this beautiful home-coming celebration.
I know how much it has caused you all to plan, prepare and make this day a memorable one. I have no doubt that God will bless and reward you abundantly. In this Eucharist, Jesus comes to enter into our lives. Let us welcome Him as our master and saviour.
May this Christmas and the Eucharist mark the beginning of a new life with him, and may we become true ministers and servants of Christ and his message to the world, now and forever.

January 20, 2007 at 06:05 PM

Kom indigenes in Nso meet Mgr Nkuo ahead of home visit

Livinus Tal Bam

KomindigenesnkuoThe recent appointment and ordination of Mgr. George Nkuo as Bishop of Kumbo remains to be good news to the different communities around him. To the Kom community in Nso, he is a new-born child and a king amongst them. These good feelings were read in the sweet voices of the Kom people in the Bishop’s House in Kumbo during an official visit to meet this illustrious son of Kom, to congratulate him for his new appointment.

These good feelings were read in the sweet voices of the Kom people in the Bishop’s House in Kumbo during an official visit to meet this illustrious son of Kom, to congratulate him for his new appointment.
Ahead of his visit home on December 21st 2006, the people of Kom resident in Nso have expressed their joy and gratitude to His Lordship Bishop George Nkuo for his recent appointment to the rank of a bishop.
Bishop George to begin with, is the first son of Kom to have been made bishop. News of the bishop’s visit to his home village of Kom on December 21, 2006 has reached his brothers and sisters resident around him in Nso who made it a task to meet him, feel his warmth and build a cordial relationship with him before he visits home.
“We the people of Kom settled and working here in Nso have not been able to meet you as a group after your Episcopal Ordination. So, when we heard of your going home, we thought it wise to be the first to meet you before you get home to meet our parents, brothers and sister”, the president of the Kom Association said.
As if words would not speak loud enough for the bishop to feel their joy and presence, the people presented gifts they have brought to further express how much they feel being with him. A Magnificent Carved Chair they presented on which they sad the bishop on as a sign of enthroning him as the Fon of Kom’s representative in Nso to look after his people.
A woven raffia bag was given to him as “Father of all”, which he shall always carry with him wherever he goes to collect food for the children. A Traditional Regalia and a Traditional Cap, the people offered him and advised him to put it on whenever he is going to Kom gatherings and “Njong” houses in Nso.
They also donated a live goat to their ‘Fon’, which he will use to prepare sauce for his corn fufu. After all, the bishop was born and bred in Kom, where this is staple diet. Contented with the people’s gesture, the bishop in response thanked the people for coming to exchange greetings with him.
He told them that he thought that they will come and he will have no voice to greet them since he went on a visit to Germany and returned with a broken voice. He expressed his joy for being able to regain his voice and to be with his own brothers. He continued to thank them for the active role they played during his Episcopal Ordination as it showed a good sign of brotherliness.
He X-rayed the difficulties which his new responsibilities entail given that he is the first son of Kom to be named bishop, and so has no predecessor from that land to advise him on how to carry out his work.
He however, assured them that with the help of God and colleague bishops in Cameroon, he will put in as much effort as possible to uplift the image of the Kom people in the Church without disgracing them. He called on all of them resident in Nso to be of good behaviour in order not to disgrace the Kom tribe on their part.
According to him, being together is good and their gesture to come and pay a visit to him portrayed a wonderful sign of togetherness. He called on them therefore to live in peace and harmony in order to make the best out of life in Nso.
He promised them more time to be together during his home visit to Kom on 21st of December 2006. The occasion of meeting the Bishop ended at 6pm that day with a pictorial with the bishop by different people which they were going to carrying home to keep as souvenir.

January 20, 2007 at 04:50 PM

Sammlung steht unter gutem Stern: 2900 Euro für Kumbo

Schloßborn. Der kleine Simeon schüttelte strahlend seine Blechdose: In ihr klangen Münzen und raschelten Scheine – ein kleiner Teil von über 2900 Euro, die die Schloßborner Sternsinger jetzt für Kinder in Kamerun gesammelt haben. “Ich hab die Büchse unter meinem Kostüm”, sagte der Dreijährige: Dort konnte er auch seine Finger warm halten, während er mit seiner Gruppe durch die Schlossborner Straßen zog, an den Haustüren sang und Sprüchlein aufsagte. 45 Kinder und Jugendliche waren zusammen mit 9 Betreuern bis in den Nachmittag unterwegs, um ihren Segen an den Schloßborner Haustüren zu hinterlassen.
“20*C+M+B*07”, diese Zeichen auf den Pforten der Schloßborner Häuser bedeuten nicht nur, dass die Sternsinger hier waren und ihren Segen hinterlassen haben. Sie sind auch Symbol für eine Aktion, in der im wahrsten Sinne des Wortes Kinder Kindern helfen: Mit ihrer Aktion unterstützten sie nämlich die Arbeit des Kindermissionswerkes “Die Sternsinger” und des Bundes der Deutschen Katholischen Jugend. “Kinder sagen Ja zur Schöpfung”, lautete das Leitwort des Rundgangs: Seine Erlöse helfen dem Werk, Kindern und Waisen im Partnerbistum Kumbo in Kamerun schulische Ausbildung und medizinische Versorgung zu ermöglichen. Viele dieser Kinder leiden an AIDS.

Diese Hintergründe mussten die Sternsinger aber nur selten erklären: Die meisten Schloßborner wissen bereits genau Bescheid, dass die Kinder im frühen Januar ihre Kreise durch den Ort ziehen. “Ich hab Euch heute noch gar nicht erwartet”, lachte eine Hausbewohnerin, nachdem sie strahlend dem Lied und den Versen von Simeons Gruppe gelauscht hatte. “Ich dachte, Ihr kommt morgen ? jetzt hab’ ich meine Spenden gar nicht bereit liegen”: Sprach?s und verschwand in der Wohnung, um kurz darauf mit Geld und Süßigkeiten zurück zu kommen. Tim, Simeon, Jakob und André, der den Stern trug, waren mit dem Betreuer Franz-Josef Leick in der Weiherstraße unterwegs: “In der Bäckerei Weingart haben wir kleine Brötchen bekommen”, erzählte Tim, “die haben wir alle schnell aufgegessen.” Nicht alle Schloßborner mochten die Sternsinger bei sich haben, und so kam es schon einmal vor, dass die Kinder weiter geschickt wurden. Andere freuten sich, konnten die Kleinen aber nicht nahe an sich heran lassen: “Ich habe eine Erkältung, die ich nicht los werde”, sagte eine ältere Dame, als sie die Türe öffnete. Tim beruhigte sie: “Ja, das hatte ich auch schon mal.” Seine Gruppe war eine von elf aus 45 Kindern, die in Schloßborn unterwegs waren: “So viele hatten wir selten”, sagte Anka Cordes-Leick, eine der Organisatorinnen. Die siebenjährige Sophie war Geldsammlerin in einer anderen Gruppe. In der Mittagspause präsentierte sie stolz ihre Geldbüchse: “Die ist bis unter den Rand voll”, grinste sie. “Wir haben sogar zwei Fünfziger bekommen.”

Ihre Kameradin Kim erklärte: “Wir kriegen mehr Geld als Süßigkeiten.” Wenn jemand aufmacht: “Es gibt viele Häuser, bei denen niemand da ist”, fügt die Elfjährige hinzu. Sophie: “An einem Haus waren fünf Klingeln, und bei keiner hat jemand geöffnet.” Da lauert auch noch Potenzial: “Oft kriegen wir noch im Nachhinein Geld von den Leuten, die nicht da waren”, sagte Cordes-Leick nach der Auszählung der Einnahmen.

Über zwei Stunden waren die Kinder, Jugendlichen und Erwachsenen am Vormittag unterwegs, bevor sie sich zu gemeinsamen Mittagessen im Gemeindehaus trafen. Und die meisten von ihnen mussten danach noch mal ran. “Wir haben heute einige neue Kinder im Boot”, stellte Cordes-Leick fest. Und sie unterstützten bestens den Ruf, den die Sternsinger in Schloßborn genießen: “Ihr seht ja klasse aus!”, lachte eine Passantin auf der Straße, und eine Dame sagte an ihrer Haustür: “Die Sternsinger sind richtig lieb.” (me)

Quelle: Höchster Kreisblatt vom 8.Jan.2007

Mitten durch die kargen Flure …Die Sternsinger von St. Johannes Apostel

Unterliederbach. Mitten durch die kargen Flure des Höchster Krankenhauses stapft eine Schar Könige. Vorbei an Menschen in weißen Kitteln und Wagen voll mit Desinfektionsmitteln. Drei goldfarbene Sterne halten die Könige in die Höhe, und mit hellen Kinderstimmen singen sie vom Stern, der Licht und Hoffnung bringt.

Immer wieder bleiben die Sternsinger der Unterliederbacher Gemeinde St. Johannes Apostel stehen, um für die Patienten, aber auch für die Mitarbeiter der Kliniken zu singen. Kaum ein Ort, an dem ihre Botschaft greifbarer ist als hier.

Sie singen für alte Menschen, für kranke Menschen, und für einen winzigen: für Finn. Ihn treffen die elf Sternsinger zufällig im zehnten Stock vor der Entbindungsstation. Finn ist gerade erst zur Welt gekommen und schlummert selig in den Armen von Mama Astrid Krauser. Beide sind sichtlich erschöpft von der Geburt, sichtlich stolz ist Papa Andreas Krauser, der das Bett mit Frau und Kind Richtung Aufzug schiebt.

Bevor es auf die Station geht, bekommt Finn noch ein ganz besonderes Geburtstagsständchen. Die Kinder stimmen das Lied “Wir haben seinen Stern gesehen” vom Kirchentag 2005 an. Astrid Krauser ist so gerührt, dass eine Träne ihre Wange hinunter kullert. “Normalerweise besuchen uns die Sternsinger zu Hause, aber dieses Jahr mussten wir das wegen Finn absagen”, berichtet Andreas Krauser. Nun hat es doch noch mit dem “sternsingerlichen Segen” für die Hattersheimer Familie geklappt.

Das Sternsingen ist ein alter Brauch, der bis ins Mittelalter zurückreicht. Damals wie heute zogen Kinder als Könige durch die Gassen und spielten die Reise zur Krippe nach. Heute besuchen die Sternsinger Familien, Kindergärten und Geschäfte in ihren Gemeinden und sammeln für Kinder in der Dritten Welt. Die Unterliederbacher spenden ihre Einnahmen für Aidswaise in Madagaskar, damit die Kinder dort zur Schule gehen können.

Schon am Freitagmittag haben die Unterliederbacher Sternsinger mehr als 1000 Euro für die Kinder in ihrer Partnerdiözese gesammelt ? dabei ist ihre Reise noch lange nicht zu Ende. Gestartet sind sie am Mittwoch: Nach der Aussendung im Bolongaropalast haben die Kinder zwischen sieben und zehn Jahren erstmal die Polizeiwache in der Gebeschusstraße besucht. Am Donnerstag klapperten sie die Kindergärten im Stadtteil ab und besuchten die ersten Familien.

Noch bis Samstagabend sind die Sternsinger von St. Johannes Apostel im Stadtteil unterwegs, bevor sie sich während des Gottesdienstes am Sonntagvormittag für ein Jahr von der Gemeinde verabschieden. Anschließend gibt es für die fleißigen Sternsinger als Belohnung ein gemeinsames Mittagessen. Mit der Zwischenbilanz ist Koordinatorin Gudrun Thiel sehr zufrieden: “1000 Euro ! das ist ganz schön viel.!”

Auch im Krankenhaus erhalten die Sternsinger viele Spenden. Nicht nur von den Patienten, auch viele Schwestern, Pfleger und Ärzte stecken etwas in die Sammelbüchsen.

Gerade besuchen die Kinder eine Seniorin aus ihrer Gemeinde, die in der Klinik behandelt wird. Die 87-Jährige sieht nicht mehr gut, “aber sie kann euch hören”, versichert Krankenhausseelsorger Jürgen Aach den Kindern. Er hat den Besuch der Sternsinger in der Klinik vorbereitet – für die Sternsingerkinder etwas Besonderes: “Am Anfang war es schon ein bisschen aufregend hier im Krankenhaus”, erzählt der neun Jahre alte Jakob. Die Begegnung mit dem neugeborenen Finn hat die Kinder besonders bewegt. “Der war so süß!”, sagt Constantin (9). “Und so winzig.”

Aber auch Könige werden irgendwann müde. Erschöpft sitzen die Kinder auf dem Boden, während sie auf den Aufzug warten. Liebevoll rückt Gudrun Thiel die ein oder andere Krone zurecht. Eine Station haben die Unterliederbacher Sternsinger noch vor der Mittagspause auf ihrer Liste: die Wäschezentrale im Keller des Krankenhauses. Auch dort werden sie ein Lied singen und mit blauer Kreide “C * M * B” über die Tür schreiben: Christus segne dieses Haus (Christus mansionem benedicat). (sb)

Quelle: Höchster Kreisblatt vom 6.Jan.2007