A letter received from JESUS, did you get one?

Dearest friend,

Hello dear friend! Well, as you know, it’s time for my birthday again. Last year, they had a real big party for me and it seems like they will do it again this year. After all, they’ve been shopping and preparing for it for months now, and there have been announcements and advertisements almost everyday about how soon it’s coming! They really do go overboard about it, but it’s nice to know that at least on one day of the year some people are thinking about me a little.
You know, it’s been many years now since they first started celebrating my birthday. Back then they seemed to realize and appreciate how much fun it is for the little children. Just the same, it seems that most folks are missing the point of it all. Like last year, for example:
When my birthday came around , they threw a big party, but can you believe it?… I wasn’t even invited! Imagine!

The guest of honor, and they forgot all about me! Here, they had begun preparing for the festivities two months in advance, but when the big day came, I was left out in the cold! Well, it happened so many times in the recent years, I wasn’t even surprised. Even though I wasn’t invited, I thought I’d just quietly slip in anyway. So I came in and stood off to the side.
Everyone was drinking, laughing and having a grand time, when all of a sudden, in came this fat fellow in a bright red suit, wearing a phony white beard and shouting, “Ho ho ho!” He looked like he had more than enough to drink, but he somehow managed to weave his way around the floor while everyone cheered. When he collapsed into a big armchair, all the little children went running over to him excitedly yelling, “Santa! santa!” I mean, you’d have thought he was the guest of honor and the whole holiday was in his honor!

Then he began telling them the most ridiculous stories you’ve ever heard!…that he lived at the North Pole with a crew of dwarfs and that every year on my birthday he rides in his sleigh pulled by a bunch of flying reindeer, delivering presents to children all over the world! I mean there wasn’t a word of truth in anything he said! Imagine telling such poor, little, impressionable kids such far-fetched fables!

Finally I just had to leave, I walked out of the door, and it was hardly surprising that no one even noticed that I had gone. As I walked down the street afterward, I felt about as lonely and forlorn as a stray dog! I could hardly remember the last time I’d felt that low. Maybe you don’t think I cry………

That little manger seems you had put up in the corner of your living room was really touching! It’s sweet of people to commemorate my birthday like that. But did you know that nowadays, in some countries, the authorities won’t even allow manger scenes to be placed in the parks, streets, or public places anymore! Not to mention their schools! And I’m not talking about Communist countries! I’m talking about the good, old USA, Imagine! What could be more innocent that a manger scene to remind people of my birthday?…and yet they ban it!
They’ve actually passed laws against it and made it illegal! What’s this world coming to?

Another thing that amazes me is how, on my birthday, instead of giving me presents, most people give gifts to each other! And to top it all off, it’s usually all kinds of stuff they don’t even need! Let me ask you, wouldn’t you find it odd if when your birthday came along, all your friends decided to celebrate it by giving each other presents and never gave you a thing?

Someone once told me, Well, it’s because you’re not around like other people are, so how can we give you a present? You know my answer to that one: Then give gifts of food and clothing to the poor, help those who need it. Go visit the lonely! I said, “Listen, any gift you give to your needy fellowmen, I’ll count as if you gave it to me personally!” (See Matthew 25:34-40)

Well, sad to say, things are getting worse each year. You can just imagine my shock a few years ago when I began seeing them taking my name out of my birthday greeting and replacing it with an X. What an insult! Think of it!…Xmas!… What if I wrote you a birthday card and said Happy Birthday X! You’d probably never talk to me again! And that’s just about how I feel, I mean what more could they do to push me right out of the picture on my own birthday?

It reminds me of what happened recently to a friend of mine, a sweet elderly fellow. He’s from the poorer side of town and he’s been trying unsuccessfully for years to join the church. But it was a very exclusive church for the proper kind of folks, and they just did not think he was good enough to be a member, I found him one day sitting by the church steps with his head on his hands bowed and I asked him what was wrong, he told me about it. I put my arm around his shoulder and told him I knew just how he felt. I’ve been wanting to enter that same church for twenty years and they’ve never let me in either!

Well, there’s an end even to my patience. So I’m going to let you in on a secret. Now this is something I’ve been planning on doing for quite sometime, but the way things are going, I think I’m planning of holding my own party! How about that? It’s going to be the biggest most fantastic feast you could possibly imagine! It might not happen this year. But I’m sending out the invitations now anyway because I know you’ll want to come. There’s going to be room for billions, for everyone who wants to come! Some really famous old timers and celebrities are going to be there and I’ll reserve you seat of honor right with them! (Mat. 8:11)

So hold onto your hat because when everything is ready, I’m going to spring it as a big surprise! And a lot of people are going to be left out in the cold because they didn’t answer my invitation. Let me know right away if you’d like to come, and I’ll reserve you a place and write your name in large golden letters in my great big Guest Book!

Much love,

translated from spanish by Juan

And it came to pass!

By Ireneaus Chia Chongwain
Kumbo Diocese has come of age after celebrating its Silver Jubilee on December 8, 2007. The event brought together not only thousands of Christians and well wishers in and around Kumbo, but also a cream of Cameroon’s episcopate. One major fact stood out from the event- the history of Kumbo Diocese, in particular, and Bui Division, in general, will, at best, remain incomplete and at worst, simply distorted without an acknowledgement of the contributions the Catholic Church has made to the development of that locality. As it was the case in the past, present evangelical needs remain daunting. It will be a mistake to assume things will be any easier in the coming years. While Mgr Cornelius Esua was the diocese’s pathfinder, the present bishop, Mgr George Nkuo, comparatively younger and stronger, is expected to be the diocese’s builder as he strives to deepen the faith and erect edifices where his predecessor set the signposts.

There is something providential about the Diocese of Kumbo. When Bishop Jules Peeters constructed the edifice that today stands as the Cathedral of the Kumbo Diocese, he predicted that it was going to become a cathedral one day. His prediction, came to pass sooner than expected as less than 37 years after his prediction; Kumbo was erected to a diocese by Pope John Paul II. Bishop Jules Peeters must have deciphered something in the Christians and locality that many could not.
Christianity is indisputably alive in Kumbo today. Sons and daughters of the division have joined the priesthood and different religious congregations in their numbers, missionary schools and hospitals have sprouted like mushroom over the years, and more are being envisaged.

When the standoffs between the Church and traditional authority were still regularly reported during the embryonic years of the implantation of the Church in Kumbo, sceptics would never have imagined that so much would be realised in so short a time. Who would have imagined back then that fons would one day sit inside the very church houses that many of their predecessors had torched for fear that they were undermining their authority?

The present Fon of Nso does not only actively take part in Church activities, but even offers masses regularly to deceased relations. The spirit of the Lord blows where it wills, touching and changing the lives of individuals and communities that it desires. The Kumbo Diocese is, evidently, one of its beneficiaries. Bishop Jules Peeters had a dream which has been transformed into reality as the Kumbo Diocese is alive and kicking.

The collaboration between ecclesiastical and traditional authorities in Kumbo has helped a great deal in the propagation of the faith in the locality. After all, there is always more to gain through collaboration than through conflict. The Church and traditional authorities have found a point of convergence- inculturation. The celebration of the Silver Jubilee was not only a veritable showcase of the inculturation propensity of the locality, but equally demonstrated that whenever there is a will, Church and traditional authorities can harmoniously work for their mutual benefits.

Kumbo Diocese is unique as the Apostolic Nuncio to Cameroon and Equatorial Guinea, Mgr Antonio Eliseo Ariotti and the present Bishop of Kumbo, Mgr George Nkuo, both pointed out during the occasion. Kumbo Diocese produced the first priest west of the Mungo, Fr Aloysius Wankuiy. It has three bishops, one who is a Cardinal. Recent statistics indicate that there are 25 parishes, about 80 priests and hundreds of religious from Kumbo Diocese. In 25 years, the number of baptised Christians within the diocese has doubled, while within the same period, the number of parishes has almost tripled- from 9 in 1982 to 25 in 2007.These figures speak for themselves! It is therefore no coincidence that Bishop Jules Peeters easily detected Kumbo as one of the nurseries of Catholicism in Cameroon.

The Archbishop Emeritus of Bamenda, Paul Verdrekov, is on record for explaining during a recent controversy that the success of a bishop cannot be simply determined by his material achievements, but more importantly, by his contribution to the propagation of the Good News. On this count, one would easily understand why, during the recent anniversary celebration, Mgr George Nkuo described his predecessor Mgr Cornelius Esua, as a prelate with “a head full of ideas.” Mgr Cornelius Esua shepherded Kumbo Diocese in its budding years, that is, when it was still taking its first tottering steps. Some of the above-cited achievements within Kumbo Diocese can be attributed to him. Isn’t it said that the vibrancy of a diocese also depends on the dynamism of its bishop?

The relay baton has been handed over to Mgr George Nkuo, a younger shepherd with tested and confirmed managerial skills. One of his priorities is, evidently, evangelical as reflected in a recent declaration titled, “A few thoughts I consider very dear to me.” The task he is presently tackling is enormous, no doubt.

After the festivities, it is now time to get back to the drawing board and chart a way forward to consolidate the achievements that have been made so far. The challenges may be enormous but not insurmountable. These include elaborating innovative evangelisation strategies, instilling hope in youths whose lives are dominated by despair and fear, fighting priestly misconduct and the scourge of disease, and carving out and protecting a Catholic niche in a society facing stiff and, sometimes, disloyal religious competition.

Mgr George Nkuo has to gird his cassock, fasten his sandals and hold his staff tight, if not, tighter. He should know that the will of God cannot take him to where the Grace of God will not protect him. So, happy anniversaries to the Diocese of Kumbo and to its pioneer bishop, Cornelius Esua!

Source:http://www.leffortcamerounais.com/,December 20, 2007

Kumbo Diocese celebrates its 25th Anniversary

Bird_view_of_kbo_cathedral By Emmanuel F. Sanosi
Ninety-five years ago, precisely on January 1, 1913, Rev Fr Gerard Thomas Lenartz and seven Sacred Heart Missionaries, among whom were two reverend brothers, arrived in Shisong, Kumbo. The missionaries said the first Holy Mass and set up the first Mission Station in that region. Way back then, nobody could have imagined that Kumbo would one day be the centre of one of the strongest Catholic communities in Cameroon.

Thirty-two years later, in 1945 Bishop Jules Peeters, of blessed memory, started the Kumbo Parish. He constructed the parish church and during the official consecration ceremony, he prophetically declared that this church would one day become a cathedral. Twenty years after that prophetic pronouncement, Kumbo was erected to a diocese by His Holiness Pope John Paul II.

On December 8, 2007, the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Patroness of the Diocese of Kumbo, this diocese celebrated twenty five years of its existence. On this day in 1982, Reverend Father Cornelius Fontem Esua, priest of the Diocese of Buea and professor of Sacred Scriptures at the St. Thomas Aquinas Major Seminary Bambui, was consecrated as the first residential Bishop of Kumbo by His Excellency Donato Squicciarini, Apostolic Pro Nuncio to Cameroon, Gabon and Equatorial Guinea . The consecration ceremony brought together thousands of clergy and lay faithful from across the globe.

Today, the Kumbo Cathedral stands on a hill overlooking the town, seemingly keeping watch over the people and its infrastructure. It commands a panoramic view, towering over the Nso Royal Palace and rendering inconspicuous the building and edifices of Shisong and beyond. The nine-acre cathedral ground, it is said, was the site of the Kumbo Central Mosque, which Bishop Jules Peeters acquired from the Moslem community in a complex and discreet transaction. He gave the Moslem a new piece of land at the North West end of the town as compensation.

Last December 8, those nine acres were thronged by thousands of Christians and clergy, who, this time, converged there to celebrate the Silver Jubilee of the Kumbo Diocese. The ceremony started with a solemn High Mass, which was concelebrated by almost 100 priests from the diocese and beyond. The chief celebrant, His Grace Archbishop Cornelius Fontem Esua, was flanked by the Apostolic Nuncio to Cameroon and Equatorial Guinea, Mgr Eliseo Antonio Ariotti and the Bishops of Kumbo, Mgr George Nkuo, of Buea Mgr Immanuel Bushu, and Mamfe, Mgr Francis Lysinge. Also present were the representative of the Archbishop of Limburg in Germany and the Secretary of the Nunciature in Cameroon.

In a 30-minute homily, Mgr Ariotti told the congregation that Kumbo is known all over the world for its faith; “You are known because you chose the Blessed Virgin Mary… and that choice has been evident in the impressive growth of your diocese”.

The Diocese of Kumbo, according to a demographic survey conducted in 2003, has grown from a total of 392,500 some years back, to about 734,052 Christians today. The total number of baptised persons has grown from 71,663 in 1982 to about 117,665 presently. The total number of parishes has grown from 9 to 25 while the number of priests has grown from 27 to 80, with three serving as Fidei Donum in Douala and Ngaoundere.

The number of communities of consecrated life has grown from 3 in 1982 to 15 in 2007. With the introduction of innovative methods of evangelisation, the diocese is witnessing tremendous growth in the number of Small Christian Communities (SCCs), which are responsible for pastoral care in the diocese.

All this has been accompanied by infrastructural development, which is indispensable for effective and efficient evangelisation. Bishop Jules Peeters’ prophetic vision for Kumbo can only be attributed to his unshakeable belief in the people and determination to build the Church in that part of the country.

In Cameroon, Kumbo Diocese is unique because it has produced three bishops, among whom is an archbishop Emeritus Paul Verdzekov and the country’s lone cardinal. The first native priest west of the Mungo, Rev Fr Aloysius Wankuiy, was equally from Kumbo. However, a lot still remains to be done.

The entire Catholic community in Kumbo, as reflected in the words of Mr Kuvinyu John, Chairperson of the Kumbo Diocesan Laity Council, believes that there is “—the need to continue to deepen our faith as we enter the second phase of evangelisation. There is a need to be more involved as laities in the life of our local church, to strive towards financial self-reliance and to make adequate use of our Catholic schools by transforming them into the nurseries of faith, thereby committing ourselves to the process of passing on the faith, which we have received gratuitously to posterity.”

December 20, 2007

Source: http://www.leffortcamerounais.com,December 20, 2007

„I am simply overwhelmed…“ Mgr George Nkuo

Interviewed by Emmanuel F. Sanosi

Bishop_nkuo Shortly after the anniversary Mass, L’Effort Camerounais caught up with the Bishop of Kumbo, Mgr George Nkuo, who expressed his happiness, and talked at length about the life of his diocese. Excerpts:

My Lord, how significant is this anniversary to you?
It is a double event for us in Kumbo as we are celebrating 25 years as a diocese and also the 25th anniversary of my predecessor, Mgr Cornelius Esua, who is today Archbishop of Bamenda. We are also thankful to God for blessing this diocese in many ways, especially when it comes to the growth of Christianity and faith.

You are just one year as Bishop of Kumbo. What inroads have you made so far?
My most important priority was to visit all the parishes and to see how best we can carry on the good work that Bishop Esua left behind. I have been very concerned about empowering the people and involving them in the life of the church. I do not really think in terms of inroads, but so far I have mainly observed and set up a few strategies to ensure that together with the Christians of the diocese we can work and act as a team.

As you stand in front of this cathedral today, is there anything that particularly strikes you?
Indeed, I am struck by the foresight and sheer determination of Bishop Jules Peeters, who built this church almost half a century ago. I am simply overwhelmed by its sheer size, especially when one considers the time it was built. It keeps me alert and spurs me to work as hard as those early missionaries who did so much in their days. We cannot afford to lag behind after such enormous effort and sacrifices made by those early missionaries. Their missionary outreach was simply indescribable.

Many Christians around say they would like you to create more parishes and ordain more priests. Do you have such plans?
Those Christians are surely not aware of our situation, for this diocese is already greatly endowed with many parishes and has among the highest number of priests in the country. We have over 80 priests, most of whom are still young and ready to work closely with Christians. I don’t know of another diocese that has so many priests as the Kumbo Diocese.

What can you say about allegations that the Catholic Church in Kumbo is highly tribalistic?
That is hardly a fair statement because in Kumbo we have a mixture of priests from many ethnic groups and I believe it is the same case in other dioceses. Those who say such things are people who want to sow seeds of discord in the hearts of our priests. Priesthood is a call from God and if it happens that the majority of those who respond to the call are from this land, it should be considered a blessing to the area. The sons of Nso are not simply absorbed into the Priestly Order because they are from Kumbo, no! Every candidate, regardless of his ethnic origin, must meet the requirements before he can be ordained. No special favours are given to people from Nso. No, that manner of perception is completely false and ill-intentioned.

What is the state of inter-religious dialogue in the diocese?
I think we have a fairly good relationship with the other religions, but of course, we face the problem of sects that are taking away some of our Christians whose faith is not deeply entrenched. That is why one of our new strategies is the deepening of our method of catechising by making catecheses livelier. When Christians are deeply involved in the life of the Church and feel that they really belong, they will have no reason switching over to those sects.

The Nso people are a deeply cultural people. Do you have problems of witchcraft here?
Not at all! Culture and witchcraft are completely two different things. Culture has to do with values. From what I’ve seen, the traditional values of the people of Nso are exactly the same values that the Church advocates. In this regard, inculturation is a very vibrant and an important aspect of worship in this diocese. This is very helpful to the Church’s evangelisation mission.

What message do you have for Christians in Kumbo on this special occasion?
We are celebrating the 25th anniversary of our diocese and I will like them to think about those who sacrificed to plant the seeds of faith in this land and this part of the country. I will like all of us to think about their courage and good example and to strive to carry on as they would have loved us to.

You were priest of the Diocese of Buea when you were named to lead the Church in Kumbo. What is the difference between the Church in Buea and Kumbo?
One major difference is that people in Kumbo do not have lucrative sources of income which makes it difficult for the church to become self-reliant, unlike in Buea where the generosity of Christians towards the Church is something I’ve always marvelled at. We are teaching the people here to be more self-reliant and I can confidently say that we are making inroads in this direction. However, from the people’s determination, it is clear that if they had the means, they would do far more than they are doing at the moment. I will like to mention the enormous sacrifices that Catholic teachers are making in Kumbo. I am very impressed. They remain devoted in spite of the very difficult conditions they are working under.

Source: http://www.leffortcamerounais.com, December 20, 2007

„Bamenda is great but Kumbo will always remain my first love…“ Mgr Cornelius Esua

Mgr_esua_interview_2 Interviewed by Emmanuel F. Sanosi
Archbishop Cornelius Esua has just celebrated the Silver Jubilee of his Episcopal ordination. Shortly before the anniversary celebrations began in earnest, L’Effort Camerounais, elbowed its way through the teeming crowd of Christians and well wishers, who wanted to personally wish His Grace a happy anniversary, and managed to squeeze through a few questions to the prelate. Excerpts

You must be feeling exceptionally happy today. Please tell us what it is like.
I feel very grateful, first to God, who has given me the grace to become a bishop and who has stood by me through all these years of challenges and service to His people.

How do you fine Bamenda after those long years in Kumbo?
Bamenda is great but Kumbo, where I began the Episcopal Ministry will always be my first love. However, as the Holy Father sent me to Kumbo without my asking, so he has sent me to Bamenda without my asking and I must continue to serve with the same zeal here as I did in Kumbo.

How are you managing those nostalgic feelings?
Actually, it is like leaving one’s first wife for a new one. The feeling of nostalgia can, sometimes, be very difficult to handle. But God has accompanied me all this time and He understands our human weaknesses and makes room for such things. As you can see, I am quite well now – far better than when I just came from Kumbo and was not in very good health. If I had a choice I would have loved to stay on in Kumbo but as a servant of the Church that choice is not always ours to make.

After being Bishop of Kumbo for over two decades, it must be hard managing a bigger pastoral entity?
On the pastoral aspect, Kumbo is a smaller diocese, which was gradually built up to what it is today, unlike Bamenda which is bigger and was already well established and flourishing before I came. It is therefore natural that the challenges I am facing here are quite different in context and character especially as the archdiocese is a metropolis, which means the complexities are quite extensive and more delicate to handle.
In Kumbo there were difficulties but they were mainly difficulties arising from initiatives we were taking as we conceived things from scratch and we could afford to improvise or change strategies – here in Bamenda, the difficulties arise from already existing initiatives and it can be quite difficult to handle because we must consider every aspect very carefully before making any changes. Basically, it is a question of adapting to the new situation and I can say that I am doing quite nicely.

After the many challenges in Kumbo you have come to Bamenda with 24 years of experience and Christians in Bamenda are expecting to benefit from it. How expectant should they be?
They should keep their hope alive. With their collaboration, we shall continue the work that they began with my predecessor, Archbishop Emeritus Paul Verdzekov, who did an excellent job here. I am confident that with the spirit that reigns here, especially among the clergy and the inestimable support of the Lay Faithful, we shall strive to make our own valuable contributions to the immense work that Father Paul had already done.

Is there anything that you brought from Kumbo to Bamenda or that you find here which you like your former diocese to emulate?
I brought myself to Bamenda. You know that every diocese is different from the other but one good thing is that all the dioceses of the Ecclesiastical Province of Bamenda have one pastoral plan, which means that we have a common plan of evangelisation and I will simply continue what I was doing in Kumbo. On a larger scale, and in view of the difference in size between Kumbo and Bamenda, there are slight variations since every diocese has its own peculiarities.

Talking about peculiarities, Bamenda in recent months has been in the spotlight as a result of its alarming crime wave, especially banditry. What can the Church do about this distressing situation?
What the Church does fundamentally is to give Christians a solid moral background through Christian education, so that they can learn to respect one another, their property and to avoid corruption and other social ills. I think on the whole, the rampant banditry in Bamenda is because of the very high level of poverty in the community and the lack of basic moral formation among the youths, many of whom have not gone to Christian schools.

How would you react to the allegation that the breakdown in moral values among the youths is due to the insufficient efforts of the Church in Christian formation?
The Church is doing its job as best it can but it is not receiving enough collaboration from other sectors to make this very important task more effective. I think if all the churches, not only the Catholic Church, could collaborate as far as moral education and constructing good families are concerned, there is going to be love and peace. There can be a great change for the better because most of the perpetrators of these crimes are children from broken homes, or homes where parents do not have time to properly bring up their children. They unfortunately abandon them to their own devices. Some of these criminals are children who do not even have homes and they engage in crime in order to survive. If the government could collaborate with the Church in the formation of youths, I think the situation will change for the better. Crime will gradually diminish and eventually disappear.

At the level of the pastoral plan, Kumbo had 25 parishes by the time you were leaving for Bamenda. Despite the extensive territory in your archdiocese, there are only 29 parishes, which is small when compared to Kumbo. Are you going to create more parishes?
We are working on that but you should know that parishes are not just created for the sake of creating them or to keep pace with other dioceses. Before creating a parish there are a number of conditions to be fulfilled. The area and the people there must conform to certain logistical and catechumenical exigencies for the parish to be sustainable. This means having the available finances for the infrastructural requirements, the personnel, a reasonable Christian population in the given area and other aspects. There is no doubt however, that there is still a lot to be done in Bamenda in this regard and I think in the coming years we shall be creating many more parishes.

What message do you have for Christians of Bamenda on this very special anniversary?

First, I thank them for having welcomed me with joy and I wish to tell them that I have come to Bamenda with joy. I also want to thank them for their prayers, especially for my recovery from the illness that had been plaguing me. I want to exhort them to keep up their good effort in the work they have been doing and to tell them that there is still quite a lot to be done, but that they should not be discouraged especially in the face of insufficient personnel. With the grace of God we shall find ourselves capable of doing all the work we need to do, especially if we collaborate with one another, as we have been doing these past months since my arrival here.

Emmanuel F. Sanosi

Source: http://www.leffortcamerounais.com, December 20, 2007

Glückwunschschreiben Dr.Geis zum 25 Jahre Bistum Kumbo

Sehr geehrter Bischof George Nkuo,

liebe Brüder und Schwestern in Christus,

am Hochfest der Unbefleckten Empfängnis der Heiligen Jungfrau Maria feiern Sie das Silberjubiläum der Diözese Kumbo und das Silberjubiläum der Bischofsweihe Ihres Pionier-Bischofs Erzbischof Cornelius Fontem Esua. Mit großer Freude spreche ich Glückwünsche im Namen aller Gläubigen Ihres Partner-Bistums Limburg, Deutschland, aus. Dieses Jubiläum ist eine schöne Gelegenheit den Glauben zu feiern, der uns zusammenführt als Brüder und Schwestern in Jesus Christus.

95 Jahre nach der Ankunft der ersten katholischen Missionare in Kumbo feiert die Weltkirche das Silberjubiläum einer Ortskirche in der Nordwest-Provinz von Kamerun.

Vielfältige Herausforderungen wurden von den beteiligten Bischöfen, Priestern, Geistlichen und Laien im Bistum Kumbo bewältigt. Viele soziale und pastorale Einrichtungen wurden in den Gemeinden ins Leben gerufen – und die katholische Kirche wurde ein lebendiger Teil der Gesellschaft.

Ich nehme Bezug auf die Brotvermehrung im Matthäus Evangelium, wo die Jünger wenig zum Teilen hatten – nur fünf Laibe Brot und zwei Fische -, aber am Ende genug für alle zum Essen und Sattwerden da war. Es war sogar so viel übrig, dass zwölf Körbe gefüllt wurden.

Brot wurde im Heiligen Land geteilt. Wir teilen Brot im Bistum Limburg. Sie teilen „Fufu“ im Bistum Kumbo. Vom Teilen des Evangeliums und des Glaubens wird jeder profitieren, jeder wird Teil einer liebenden und fürsorglichen Gesellschaft. Und es gibt noch Vieles mehr zu teilen.

Seit zwanzig Jahren teilen die Menschen in den Bistümern Kumbo und Limburg Leben und Glauben miteinander. Wir danken Gott für so viele inspirierende Begegnungen und die verschiedensten Erfahrungen, die uns näher zusammen geführt haben.

Ich behalte die Begegnung mit Ihnen und Erzbischof Esua während Ihres Besuches im Bistum Limburg im November 2006 in liebevoller Erinnerung. Möge der Allmächtige Sie und die Menschen im Bistum Kumbo segnen, die die Herausforderung angenommen haben, das Evangelium in diesen Teil der Welt zu bringen und dort zu verbreiten.

Mit brüderlichen Grüßen


Dr. Günther Geis


vom 8.12.2007

Eine fruchtbare Partnerschaft

Unterliederbach. Größer könnte der Unterschied kaum sein. Auf der einen Seite hängt das Gemälde, auf dem die gläsernen Türme der Frankfurter Finanzwelt in den Himmel ragen, und protzige Autos durch das grau glitzernde Gewirr breiter Straßen brausen. Links daneben werden Fotos aus Kamerun an die Wand projiziert, die üppige Wälder, kaum als solche erkennbare Straßen und ärmliche Holzbaracken zeigen.

Diese Gegensätze prallen nun schon seit zwanzig Jahren aufeinander, denn seit 1987 existiert die Bistumspartnerschaft Kumbo – Limburg. Das Jubiläum wurde nun in der Gemeinde von St. Johannes Apostel in Unterliederbach gefeiert, dort, wo die Partnerschaft auf besonders fruchtbaren Boden gefallen ist.

Die Bistums-Verschwisterung ist damals hervorgegangen aus einem Besuch einer kleinen Delegation um Bischof Franz Kamphaus und Winfried Montz. Sie reisten in die ehemalige Schutzkolonie Kamerun, in der Hoffnung, dass aus einer 95 Jahre alten Beziehung – die Gründer des dortigen Bistums kamen aus der Gegend Limburgs – eine Art “Begegnungsverkehr” wird.

Dabei war die Delegation nicht nur in Kumbo, sondern reiste durch das ganze Land. Aber in der Region im Norden Kameruns “stimmte einfach die Chemie”, erzählt Winfried Montz, der Leiter des Referats Weltkirche. “Wie wenn man die Freundin kennen lernt”, sei das gewesen.

So sei die Beziehung über die Jahre hinweg gewachsen. Nach fünf Jahren habe man wirklich von einer Partnerschaft sprechen können. Das habe sich die Delegation damals nicht ansatzweise vorstellen können.

Der Austausch zwischen den Bistümern ist dabei keinesfalls einseitig. Zwar tragen die Deutschen die größere Kostenlast, indem sie zum Beispiel in Gesundheit und Wasserbau investieren, und auch die Fahrtkosten der Kameruner größtenteils bezahlen. Aber der Austausch helfe “einem tieferen Verstehen des Glaubens”, so Montz und “beide Seiten können jede Menge voneinander lernen”.

So wurden beim Gottesdienst am zweiten Advent in Unterliederbach einige afrikanische Bräuche übernommen, die so hier “nicht bekannt sind, wie zum Beispiel die Bibelprozession”, so Ulf Erdmann von der “Eine-Welt-Gruppe”. Dabei tanzt ein Kind nach einem bestimmten Muster mit dem Evangelium zum Altar, bevor dort daraus gelesen wird.

Die Anwesenden trugen zum Großteil afrikanische Gewänder, manche sogar mit ganz besonderen Geschichten, wie das von Ulf Erdmann. Bei einem seiner Besuche in Kamerun, wurde ihm die Ehre zuteil, dass er mit einer großen Zeremonie zum “Chefon”, dem Vater des Häuptlings ernannt wurde. Denn trotz demokratischer Strukturen hat jedes Dorf immer noch seine Häuptlingsfamilie und für ein Dorf, war es eine solche Freude, dass sich ein Weißer für sie interessierte, dass sie ihn mit dieser Ehre bedachten.

Die Unterliederbacher tun sich in der Begeisterung über das Partnerprogramm sowieso hervor. Kein Wunder also, das auch Father Andrew Solii aus Kamerun nach Frankfurt gekommen ist, um dort zu promovieren. Pünktlich zum Fest ist er angekommen, und bleibt nun für vier Jahre. Momentan lernt er noch deutsch, aber er ist dabei bereits so weit fortgeschritten, dass er am Sonntag schon das Essen segnen konnte. (juh)

Quelle: Höchster Kreisblatt, Printausgabe vom 11.12.2007

Kumbo Diocese Celebrates Silver Jubilee

By Willibroad Nformi

The Diocese of Kumbo in the Ecclesiastical Province of Bamenda, Saturday, December 8, celebrated its 25 years of existence.

The occasion also included the celebration of the Silver Jubilee of the Diocese’s pioneer residential Bishop, Mgr. Cornelius Fontem Esua, now Archbishop of the Metropolitan Archdiocese of Bamenda.

Late Pope John Paul II carved out the Diocese of Kumbo from the then Diocese of Bamenda on March 18, 1982.That same year on December 8, Donato Squicciavini, Apostolic Nuncio to Cameroon, Gabon and Equatorial Guinea, ordained Fr. Cornelius Esua as the pioneer residential Bishop of the new Diocese of Kumbo.

Saturday’s occasion was thus a double ceremony to thank God for the Diocese and its first shepherd.The ceremony also coincided with the feast of Mary Immaculate Conception and Patroness of the Kumbo Diocese.

Drawing inspiration from Scriptures, the Apostolic Nuncio to Cameroon and Equatorial Guinea, H.E. Antonio Eliseo Ariotti, told Christian faithful that they are pacesetters in faith and ‘others will have to follow your good example’.

The Papal ambassador said Cameroon needs hope to encourage the younger generation. He said His Holiness, Pope Benedict XXI, recently sent a Christmas present to Cameroon’s President, H.E. Paul Biya, on the issue of hope.

“Everything in the Bible was written so that we should have hope,” Ariotti said.He said in Mary Immaculate Conception, God presents a glimpse of what he wants humanity to be. He called on Christian faithful of the Kumbo Diocese to be courageous, for as he puts it, ‘at 25, you are still young’.

The Papal ambassador also presented congratulatory messages from the Holy See to Laureate Archbishop Cornelius Esua and his successor Mgr. George Nkuo.

Achievements & Challenges

Kumbo Diocesan Laity Council Chairman, John Kuhvinyu, told Christians that much had been achieved in 25 years.”A demographic survey conducted in 2003 revealed that the Diocese has grown from 392,500 to 734,052 people, while parishes have grown from nine to 25. Also, the number of priests has grown from 27 to 80,” Kuhvinyu declared.

The Laity Council Chairperson also enumerated positive achievements in the domain of education and health. He, however, regretted that the Diocese still relies on foreign support and the abandonment of Catholic schools for State-run schools.


Archbishop Cornelius Fontem Esua told Christians that 25 years ago during his Episcopal ordination, he renewed his vows to remain faithful to the church.He apologised to all those he had wronged for the years he served in Kumbo.

“I’m very sorry for the times I’ve been so demanding or overbearing because of my enthusiasm,” Esua said.The Bishops of Buea, Immanuel Bushu, Francis Lysinge of Mamfe and Rev. Dr. Franz Kasper representing the Diocese of Limburg, Germany, amongst others witnessed the ceremony.Bui SDO Daniel Panjouono, the Fons of Nso, Oku, Nseh and Kurt in Nwa were also present.

Source: http://www.postnewsline.com

Parish reconciles with Mission after 15 years

By Livinus Tal Bam
Friday November 23, 2007 has gone down in history in the Diocese of Kumbo, as the day Christians all over the diocese gathered at the St. Martin de Porres Mission, Buh in Djottin Parish to witness the rededication of the church and the restoration of the Blessed Sacrament in this mission. It was on this day that the long standing gap between this mission and the St. Joseph Parish, Djottin was bridged under the auspices of the Bishop of Kumbo, His Lordship George Nkuo.

For one and a half decades, Christians of St. Martin the Porres Mission, Buh and Djottin Parish have been living apart as a result of an inter-tribal conflict between the people of Djottin in Noni Sub Division and those of Buh in the Kumbo Sub Division. Following this conflict, the St. Martin de Porres Catholic Primary School in Buh crumbled and the Catholic Health Centre stopped functioning.

Both sides paid a heavy price as a result of the conflict. “… When one part of your body is sick, the whole body suffers with it,” Mgr George Nkuo remarked during the landmark reunification event. Reconciliation was made possible thanks to the efforts of the first residential Bishop of Kumbo Mgr Cornelius Fontem Esua, the current Bishop Mgr George Nkuo and all the Christians of Buh and Djottin. A pilgrimage and a reconciliatory solemn high mass took place to crown the event. In his homily during the Mass, the Bishop of Kumbo congratulated the people of Buh for their initiative to answer the call of the Gospel, “Repent and believe in the Gospel” he said.

He assured them that the rededication of their church will once more help them to bring Christians together to celebrate the passion of Christ on the cross. Following the reconciliation, Christians in Djottin Parish are particularly happy as they shall be celebrating 25 years of the existence of the Diocese of Kumbo as a united parish, come December 8, 2007. To add their voices to those of previous speakers, the brothers and sisters of Djottin Parish through the Parish Pastoral chairman, have expressed sincere gratitude and thanks to the two bishops who worked for the reconciliation. Like the prodigal son, they promised to give the Christians of Buh Mission their rightful place in the parish.

They regretted the loss of the Catholic Primary School and the Catholic Health Centre which, they said, were the main places of evangelisation in the area. They promised to work with the Christians of Buh to rebuild the school and health centre.

Source: http://www.leffortcamerounais.com/

CWA Kumbo loses Diocesan President

By Livinus Tal Bam
Barely seven weeks after the passing to glory of Rev. Fr. Charles of Kumbo, death has hit Kumbo again. This time, it is the Diocesan President of the Catholic Women Association, Mama Manjo Lillian who died on November, 20, 2007 after a brief illness.

During a requiem mass celebrated last November 30 for the repose of her soul, the Bishop of Kumbo described the death of the CWA President as very untimely that has caused remarkable pain and sadness among her immediate family members and Christians as a whole. He, however, stressed that the death of loved ones gives an opportunity for those who are still alive to examine their Christian lives and the level of their preparedness for the journey to eternity.

Mama Lillian was described by many as a courageous leader who spent most of her time instilling courage in her fellow members. Before her death, she was recently re-elected to serve another three year term as the Kumbo diocesan CWA President. She had barely begun this new assignment when death came knocking. The requiem mass was attended by family members, friends and sympathisers.

source: http://www.leffortcamerounais.com/