Tag Archives: holy

Bishop Andrew Nkea spends New Year with the Refugees

Mamfe- South West Cameroon:

Thank you Lord!! From Bishop Andrew of Mamfe Diocese

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I just returned to Mamfe after spending 31 December and new year’s day visiting a great part of the flock of the diocese of Mamfe who are refugees in various places in Nigeria. I stopped in Nashua and Emana to see them and bring some supplies for New Year. Some of their stories are pathetic and the conditions under which they live is appalling. They are scattered all over the place and sleeping on verandas and open space like people without a Homeland. It was a great joy for shepherd and flock to be united again and the happiness of our visit almost moved us to tears.

The same was true of the remnant of people in an almost deserted Akwaya town. New year day was full of dancing and rejoicing. We had prayed for peace during the Mass and we all walked into 2018 full of hope. Hope for a more peaceful and just society and hope that our displaced brothers and sisters return soonest to their homes and feel again like human beings and citizens of this country.

Shey Tatah

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Hon. Wirba Joseph escaped Arrest as House Speaker refused to protect him

There is a lot of speculations about the where about of Cameroon’s Martin Luther King (Hon. Wirba Joseph). Some say he has escaped to Nigeria while other sources say he was spotted in Abuja at the US Embassy and should be in the USA. Whatever story we make out of it, The fact remains that there was a Warrant of Arrest from the Delegate general of the National Security to jail Hon. Wirba Joseph.

Hon Banadzem

At the start of the parliament, the group parliamentary leader of the SDF Hon. Dr Banadzem another Joseph diplomatically escaped the reason for Hon. Wirba’s absence from the parliament, stating that it was normal as not all parliamentarians were present. This, one could understand the MPs move to seee into it that Hon. Wirba be protected by not spilling the milk by the Speaker.

According to Wilson Musa on CIN, Hon. Banadzem admitted having received a copy of the Warrant, stating that it is the place of the speaker to protect one of his. This was not the case and Hon. Wirba had no option than to take on his heels. This exposes the lawlessly in the country as an MP can be arrested with Immunity. If this could happen to Chief Judge Ayah Paul, what more of others.

This defeats the report by detractors who thought that the Warrior escaped without a line drawn. With the Warrant available, it is but obvious that all leaders could not be jailed for some needed to be free to continue the struggle. Hon. Wirba could be a target to eliminate as he remains the only Hero to have challenged the regime openly in such a strategic position and time where international media got enough evidence.

He did not stop there but openly held a crowd pulling rally in his Division (Bui) in Kumbo despite the prefectorial Ban from the DO.

Alfanet news even tipped him for the post of the presidency as a freedom fighter and one who defiled all odds as a slave and arose in his master’s house asking questions.

Therefore anyone can be arrested in Cameroon, with or without an immunity.

Shey Tatah Sevidzem

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Pope to allow married men to become priests

The news of the Pope opened to discussions on allowing married men to become priests has brought mixed feelings and criticisms even before the decision will be reached. For close to 22 hours since the CNN interview and report, many have worried about this change of teachings.“In an interview with German newspaper Die Zeit, Pope Francis said the lack of Catholic priests was an “enormous problem” for the Church, and indicated he would be open to a change in the rules governing eligibility for the priesthood.

“We need to consider if ‘viri probati’ could be a possibility,” he said. “If so, we would need to determine what duties they could undertake, for example, in remote communities.”
Viri probati is the Latin term for “tested men” or married men of outstanding faith and virtue.
Pope Francis holds firm against conservative pushback
The option would allow men who are already married to be ordained as priests. But single men who are already priests would not be allowed to marry, according to the Pope.
“Voluntary celibacy is not a solution,” he said.
This message or piece of news is therefore for people like us who missed the opportunity and might have another chance of becoming a priest while married. The debate does not target priests becoming married but rather married people who want to become priests.
This is to match up with the lack of priests to handle the uncrowded churches in Europe.
In the scandinavian countries, some parishes are forced to merge with others due to lack of priests and some are obliged to get either a married deacon for services or a catechist to carry out services. The case is different in Africa as many still rush for priestly vocations.
Would it be better to ordain Rev sisters as priests or accept married people become priests?
Shey Tatah Sevidzem

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Prof. Nsokika B. Fonlon is 29years in the grave

Professor Bernard N Fonlon

Professor Bernard N Fonlon

Today 26th of August 2015 marks exactly 29years the cold hands of death snatched our mentor, author, orator,etc a man of the people Nsokika Bernard Fonlon who on a mission in Canada only returned as a corpse in 1986. A Great lost to Africa, Cameroon and Nso in particular. One who provided portable water to his people. Today 29years after the people of Nso are in conflict on the control and ownership of this precious gift of life from our father.

Today the 26th of August this afternoon, the people of God and Good Will shall assemble at the Kumbo Cathedral and later at the cemetery where his grave is found to honor him, remember him and most especially Thank Him and pray for his soul.

Permit me share a reflection from Rev Fr Gerald Jumbam on the painful celebration of the passing into eternity of this Great Man of the people.

Shey Tatah Sevidzem

Fr. Gerald JUMBAM

Fr. Gerald JUMBAM

BERNARD FONLON: APOSTLE OF THE SECOND VATICAN COUNCIL

Fr Gerry Jumbam

Celebrating The Painful Passing of an African Holy Man

I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Henceforth there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness. (2 Tim. 4:7-8)

 

Introduction

A very wise man once said that ‘the more you recognize and express gratitude for the things you have, the more things you will have to express gratitude for’. These words certainly ring true for all Wirfon about the life of Dr. Bernard Fonlon, who has, since the 1960s, made all of us and our kingdom the center of attraction among communities.  While grieving over his death which we commemorate today, we must come to the realization that there is so much for us to be thankful than to be thinking; that there is in Fonlon, so much joyful tears to pour than sorrowful ones to shed. The invitation today on this solemn day of his life, is that, we cross the boundaries of our own thoughts and feelings, and travel in pilgrimage with Fonlon, on this fateful day, in search of some spiritual pleasure, along with him, that brings us next door to God. By this, I challenge all and sundry to visit three of some Christian virtues he excelled in and of your choosing. Scan in your mind’s eye, through the last 18 installments I have delivered to you, and pick just three values you have understood in the life of this charismatic and saintly figure. Do this in a reflective and prayerful way, in the spirit of a pilgrim, not a tourist. And make some strong resoutions around them. The fruits, in later years, of such spiritual exercise,  will surprise your hopes and you  will be your own witness, of what such things work on human beings who look up to God.

As we visit these simple Fonlonian Christian virtues where the divine and the human meet, may we realize not only how close B. Fonlon is to us, but also how near God is – God, who is not watching us at a distance, but fairly deep within our own hearts. As you make this prayerful voyage therefore,  travel from one Christian good quality of Fonlon to another, feeling therein, the awareness of the Holy Spirit that journeys with you. 

And yet, what tribute, what homage can we really pay the man Fonlon?

Homage to an Exemplary Christian Life

Maybe the simplest tribute suits him best: he was a simple man. This, to me is the worthiest thing to say about Bernard Fonlon. What is meant of course is more than that Bernard Fonlon avoided advertising himself or hid his talent under the table, and thus passed his life in nothingness, unheard and unaccompanied. His was a nature that didn’t just pander into pretentious self-effacement or a myopic simplicity that was sister to mediocrity. His simplicity was that which enriched people’s lives – a dynamic modesty that was fearless, frank, forward-looking and that fought battles for the  unfortunate. Even in politics, in simplicity and self-effacement, Fonlon was the arrowhead and master strategist of the pioneer government of reunited Cameroon who called the shots from the background. The world was lucky and held its breath by  this simplicity for 62 years.

Being a statesman fitted him well enough but it was among his lesser distinctions. The heights achieved in his professional life – the deserved acclaim as an incomparable Cameroon politician and recognition as one of the greatest writers Africa has known – cannot fully explain the effect he had on people, whether they were close to him or only acquainted at a distance through his job. Why did so many feel pangs of personal loss when Dr. Fonlon died on the 26thof August 1986.

Sheer long life must figure in the answer – sheer long life in the spirit of the proverb, that “age is a matter of the mind and if you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter.” Bernard Fonlon’s 62 years were of more quality than some 100 years of little or no significance. He believed very well with the musician that “one day in this house is better than a thousand elsewhere”, and therefore his 62 years were diamonds spent on busy life-enhancing godly purposes. He had been part of the national fabric immediately he came back from Europe from studies, was one of the pioneers of the creation and enhancement of the budding schools of higher learning – the national university of Cameroon and the English speaking Major Seminary of Cameroon.  But perhaps there was something additional in the country’s understanding of him. Even those whose experience of him was limited to his public career may have discerned that more than tremendous capability and influence were being conveyed by the magnificent actions of a man who was already a legend while still living. Here, his manners and his verbal felicity charmed his audiences and endeared him to all who met  him, Bernard Fonlon. And we must not forget that his upbringing had been sufficiently privileged to make him what he was to be. A boy taught the extraordinary power of the written word before he was 9 by missionaries, and who would become a teacher at a very early age to one of the greatest minds in Nso, might have imagined all that lay ahead for him was just will-power, determination and heavenly grace to conquer whatever challenge came his way.

What a Role Model!

They say you should never meet your idol for fear of disappointment. Yet here am I with my idol, Fonlon, top floor, sitting opposite him for close to seven months in deep thought, study and writing, and I am neither disappointed nor tired. There is in  all of us, the hunger for some symbol of a man  or woman to light up our path, as role-model. There is in every community a thirst to pass on to other generations, the exploits of some unique individuals  for communal continuum. Bernard Fonlon stands, unquestionably, as that one man for Nso, even for Cameroon and even beyond. The proof of this is that the extent of the present-day problems of Nso, of Cameroon and of Africa, can be measured by the distance we have travelled as Kingdom community or national community or continental community from the idealism of men like Bernard Fonlon. It is for this that we commemorate on this promising morning of Wednesday 26th August 2015, exactly 29 years the passing to eternity of an outstanding  we commemorate. Idealism is no weak or ineffectual condtion lived by lazy unreal morons. In his idealism, Fonlon made himself one of the most charismatic and most pragmatic of  men prepared to sacrifice his life for what he believed in but equipped also to work to bring his ideals to life by serious effort, competence, honesty and integrity – all the words that seem to have run out of fashion in our present washy-washy modern culture. It was this character of his that made him live many virtues worth thinking about. 

Some Christian Virtues Worth Emulating

Dr. Fonlon’s primary passion was for the truth. He believed with his role-model Cardinal Henry Newman that “Error may flourish for a time, but Truth will prevail in the end.”[2]  Bernard Fonlon therefore believed that a community of people must be rooted in truth, and that God’s truth be defended against brute power and political expediency – even if it cost the defenders their liberty and their lives. In whatever he wrote he made sure his mind was keen and alert, probing every detail of what he considered was the truth, divest himself of preconceived ideas and avoided blatant falsehood, half truths and even the deliberate omission of relevant and essential facts. For in a country with members that perpetrate impunity, celebrate mediocrity, and cling to power at all cost, Bernard Fonlon stood for honesty, humility and candor. He would like to think he had helped us in the search for truth, and if, even at this late stage, we welcome him into hour hearts and actions, we are reminded that  ‘Anyone who welcomes a prophet because he is a prophet will have a prophet’s reward; and anyone who welcomes an upright person because he is upright will have the reward of an upright person.’ (Matthew 10: 41.)

For two decades now, Fonlon used his home as a welcome shelter for a diverse population of strangers who were stranded in Yaoundé. To all traditions and cultures shaped by the Bible, offering hospitality is a moral imperative. Fonlon understood this so well and endeavored to welcome the needy and strangers and to treat them fairly. This expectation is not based on any special immunity to the dangers unknown people might present, but rather, it emerges from knowing the hospitality God has shown to us.

He was a man of prayer, and he prayed most beautifully for God’s light to shine in his heart and in the hearts of others so they be able to appreciate what it is to be a Christian. He was planning to take on another serious step in the story of his life and come back from Canada to us before his life was cut so tragically short in Ottawa. Fonlon was 62 years old, at the late afternoon of his natural span. For my generation, something of our own early days went with his passing. We missed in our early days the factual touching of the fringes of the cloak of a man whose writings and stories of his life meant so much to us.

The practice too of a “private retreat” at Mballa II. This retreating in  Yaoundé enabled him to step aside from his ordinary routine for a time to reflect and to pray, to slow down, to be still, and to listen. Ideally, this practice of retreat motivated him to recognize the significance of prayer, quiet, and solitude in order to be in the presence of God.

The Task of Today

The old school motto of ‘diligence breeding prominence’ holds a special place in life’s triumphs. Diligence also, in many ways, is a useful tool in spiritual life. Yet, diligence is not enough. It must go with patience and long-suffering – an outstanding quality in any spiritual journey. It should never be forgotten that on this journey of the beatification, we are pilgrims not tourists. Tourists hurry to catch up; but pilgrims take it one step after another, prayerfully, penitently and courageously. Consequently it is required to be visionary, to capture the action plan for the process, keeping to the road-map we have begun, which will make us think clearly and which is implementable,  taking it step by step until we get to the level.

In a world of instant enjoyment, in a world of momentary gratifications, the demand for urgent results – with no hard work – has trickled into every aspect of life. We are a generation of quick-fixers and our spiritual lives aren’t exempt. In the early days of the Fonlon beatification bit some couple of months ago, the best qualities needed to be involved were passion and enthusiasm –  participants,  spectators, propellers – it didn’t matter. Once you were passionate and enthusiastic, it was enough. But we are evolving and moving ahead, and enthusiasm and passion would be inadequate in sustaining this spiritual mission at this stage.  All the seemingly boring stuff – garnering people together, sending messages, organizing prayer sessions and holy masses, stock taking,  strategic plans and organizing plans, getting along with pastors of souls, contacting Hierarchy when in doubt,  – they are what, at present, shall help to improve standards.

Human living is not a sprint game.  Yet,  we have to do our assignment. It is not now now or hit and run. It is the skill to assemble for prayer, to requesting in personal prayer and Holy Mass, the intercession of Fonlon on studies, on courage, on speaking and writing well, on employment for the youth, on the virtue of chastity, on dignity in the African soul, on battle against corruption, on merit in political and economic preferment, against overweening madness for power in state or church, on the celibate priesthood, on the religious life and on chastity in family life,  – those are the things and people we should listen to, at this hour. And as Wirfon, the members of his local Church, the greatest good we would do to this process at present, is to resolve that through the ideas and example of our son and brother Fonlon, we are determined to raise a generation of Christians who in few decades time will make Nso land one of the foremost moral and spiritual  Kingdoms on earth.

So the foundation is essential. You don’t rush. It is a marathon race. You don’t sprint when you begin a marathon race, you have to lay the foundation and let it be strong. It is a privilege to be beginners and the beginning is always rough ad full of uncertainties, and without a beginning there is no ending – so we are on the side of history.

But in some special way, at this hour, it has fallen on the laity of the Local Church to dare and do. You have been propelled by Hierarchy to move on. There should be no turning back again, and no fear of taking risks and making mistakes.  Remember that the God who provides a young man with yam in the bush to feed his wife and child, will provide him with a hoe to dig it. Therefore, mobilize yourselves, set up a competent efficient and god-fearing leadership, and do what it takes to lay a foundation for future generations to get on board and take on the baton. That future generation watches you with keen eyes even when they still suckle at mothers’ breast or turn round mothers’ belly in the womb.

Conclusion

There is a good Irish proverb which Fonlon should have known, considering his closeness to Ireland: “Let your feet follow your heart until you find your place of resurrection.”[1]We therefore pray to God that our feet may meet our heart as we invite Fonlon to pray and plead for us, the despairing people of a continent in throes:

Bernard Fonlon, you gave hope to the African people in times of despair, ignorance and despondency. You did this in your writings and in your life. You have inspired countless young people of this same continent to look up and hope for better days in toil and sweat. Inspire them now –  as you are already ahead of us – to keep always with them the flag of human dignity and the pride of the black race flying high. You told us “I believe in the power of clean lives, in the strength of unity, and in the might of right”. Help us therefore to be instruments of uprightness, of unity and of truth. Teach us how to be docile sons and daughters of the Truth that is Christ especially in Holy Mass. May your chaste and celibate life inspire our generation once more to see the wonderful benefits of chastity and celibacy in a bewildered world. Amen.

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An Eventful month in Kumbo and The Nso Palace

Kumbo is indeed a Blessed Town:

April remains a memorable month for the Folks of Kumbo-Nso Bui Division. It takes only Divine Providence to witness what a town Referred to as Baghdad in the early 90s during the ghost town otherwise remains the “Holy Land” because of its attachment and involvement is Religious activities and a references to Cultural and Traditional heritage.

After the Fon’s return from Babunga where he was saluted by the Muslim community there, came the Easter week that was celebrated in high gear amongst all the Christian Churches in Kumbo and its environs.

Few days later precisely on the 9th of April, Kumbo Cathedral witnessed the Ordination of 4 priests, 2 for the diocese of Kumbo, 2 candidates of the OFM capuchins. The ordinations took place in St Theresa cathedral Kumbo officiated by the Rt Rev George Nkuo.

The Ordination paved the way for the Mayor’s day on  Monday the 13th of April 2015 marking the 10th Edition.
The Mayor of Kumbo Council Mr Njong Donatus Fonyuy reached out and communed with the less privileged of the Municipality by providing them with some basic needs such as soap, food stuff, clothing, health care, school fees, office equipment, etc. 

A Day later, which is the 14th of April, some of the Newly Ordained priests were in St Aloysius Minor Seminary, Kitiwum – Kumbo as ex-students  in an act of thanksgiving to God and to the institution. They were Frs Leo Ndanjong, Parfait Cheo and Lesley Fonye of the Archdiocese of Bamenda, Frs Paul Yong, Emile Bunila of the Diocese of Kumbo.

Kumbo Priests

Rev Fr Emile Bunila with roots from the Royal Family on the 15th of April Celebrated his First Mass at the Fon’s Palace with “Father”, HRM the Fon of Nso playing not only an important and participatory role but also grasped the opportunity to receive God’s Blessing’s through the hands of the Newly Ordained. A First mass that did not only witness a huge congregation but a flock of priests who stormed the Palace Hall to pray with their brother and colleague Rev Emile.

Last week, the Fon was busy communing with the Christians of Presbyterian Faith, when more than fifteen chiefs from Monatele in the south region stormed the palace.

According to Bulami Edward who is also accredited for some of the images, “They came to pay a visit to the senior divisional officer for Bui NZEKI Theophile, who had served in their place for five years.” The SDO Then took them to receive traditional Blessings from the King and they were granted a VIP Reception, reserved only for the Royals.
The Month has not ended yet, Rev Fr Cornelius Safe A Kumbo Diocesan Priest on further studies in the UK and Rev Fr Dufe Joseph (Wo Milan) A Teacher at the St Thomas Aquinas Major Seminary (STAMS) and Parish Priest of Sop Parish of the Capuchin order shall be celebrating their 15th Anniversaries as priests respectively ordained on the 28th of April 2000 by the then Bishop Cornelius Fontem Esua.

Apart from the above Blessed kumbo News gathered, The Grasslander Newspaper enumerated on other happens in the Kumbo municipality as you can see from the Cover Page of the Newspaper where the highlighted the following activities that took and still taking place in Kumbo.

grasslander

 

“Ok Clean Water and Caritas to ensure community water schemes are properly managed, the Support of Buifoot to School Games, Renewed Dream for Kumbo Strikers with coach Festus Koaban, plus the Dethronment of a Compound Head by the Fon of Nso. SHUMAS Cameroon continues to touch the lives of many through the handing of Roh Kimbo Bridge and Support to Dom Health Centre in Noni. Last but not the least, they highlighted the development side of CPDM 30th Anniversary celebrations in Bui with PM urging Oku to Protect Forest, Dr Yaa Lydia Fondufe Distributing Maize Seeds to Farmers and FCFA 2.5M raised by BUI I-A CPDM to support government’s fight against Boko Haram”. 

By Shey Tatah Sevidzem (Wo Scandy)

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