August 2015 - ROMAN CATHOLIC ARCHDIOCESE OF BAMENDA, CAMEROON

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MESSAGE OF THE ARCHBISHOP OF BAMENDA,HIS GRACE CORNELIUS FONTEM ESUA ON THE OCCASION OF THE SOLEMNITY OF THE ASSUMPTION OF THE BLESSED VIRGIN MARY
Saturday 15 August 2015

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,
Greetings and blessings to you all. Today Saturday 15 August 2015, our particular Church which is in Bamenda joins the universal Church to celebrate the Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary.  
1. Mary's Special Role in the History of our Salvation: Christianity is built on the Good News that God identified himself with the human condition in the Person of Jesus Christ. “The Word became flesh and dwelt among us” (Jn.1:14). This Mystery of the Incarnation was made possible through the maiden of Nazareth, the Blessed Virgin Mary. And that is why Sacred Scriptures and Christian Tradition ascribe to the Blessed Virgin Mary such a special place in the history of our salvation. Hence all generations must call her blessed (cf. Lk1:48).
2. The Assumption as a Biblical Fact: At the Annunciation the Angel Gabriel told Mary that she was going to be the Mother of Jesus Christ, the Son of God (cf. Lk 1:32). She is indeed the Mother of God; and because of this God preserved her from sin. And since sin is the cause of death (cf. Rom.6:23), she who was without sin could not suffer the consequences of sin. The Church teaches us that Mary at the end of her earthly life did not suffer corruption of the body but was taken up to heaven body and soul. This teaching is derived from the Sacred Scriptures. In the Book of Revelation, we are told that a great sign appeared in heaven – a woman adorned with the sun standing on the moon, and with the twelve stars on her head for a crown (cf. Rev. 12:1). That woman is Mary!  
3.The Assumption Confirms Mary's Position as Queen: The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary which we celebrate today further  indicates and confirms her position as Queen of Heaven and Queen of the Church. The Apostles saw in Mary, the Mother of their King and  therefore their Queen. That is why the Church proclaims Mary as Queen of the Apostles. One of the last acts of Jesus was the gift of His mother to St John the Apostle (Jn 19:26-27) and by that token to the Church which He established on the authority of the Apostles. That is why Church tradition has always considered Mary as Queen of the Church.
4. Dignity of Woman: Mary is seen as the new Eve and her Assumption is a reminder to us all of the dignity of women. In some societies today, women are still treated like second grade, tools of sexual satisfaction and used for trafficking. There are also many social and cultural practices and beliefs which militate against the dignity of women. May this celebration of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary give us more reason to respect women as human beings, and for women to carry themselves with dignity. The dignity of the human being cannot be compromised for whatever reason. That is why I take the opportunity to make a special appeal to our young girls, some of whom are being used for all kinds of criminal and sinful purposes. They can learn from Mary who was also a young girl like them.
5. Respect for Human Life: The dignity of the human being arises from the fact that each of us is created in the Image and Likeness of God. Unfortunately in our society today, human life has almost been reduced to a commodity which can easily be dispensed with. At the moment our society is going through very tense moments of insecurity and anxiety especially with the new tactics of the Boko Haram terrorist group bombing and killing innocent people. Christianity preaches the respect for human life and dignity. I therefore call on all Christians to be more vigilant and to cooperate with all the measures taken by the Government to ensure security for all of us.
6. Promote Family Life: In October 2015 the Ordinary Synod of Bishops will hold in the Vatican under the theme of the Family. The family is the foundation and basis of our society. It is regrettable that our family structures are breaking down and there is growing disrespect for human life. I, therefore, invite you all during this Solemnity of the Assumption, to pray for all families and especially for our Christian families.
7.Launching of the Seminary Collection: Finally, may I remind you that every year, throughout all Parishes of the Bamenda Ecclesiastical Province, we launch a special collection for the formation of our future priests in the Major Seminary on the Solemnity of the Assumption. We are all aware that since last year, we now have two major Seminaries – one in Bambui in the Archdiocese of Bamenda and the other in Bachuo Ntai in the Diocese of Mamfe. In the name of all the Bishops of the Bamenda Ecclesiastical Province, I would like to sincerely thank all of you for your generosity which has so far enabled the bishops to run these two institutions. I earnestly appeal to all of you to be more generous.
8.  Mary will Intercede for us: Jesus performed the first miracle at Cana during a marriage feast at the request of his mother, the Blessed Virgin Mary (Jn.2:1-12). This is a clear sign that we can rely on the intercession of Mary, our Mother, when we are in difficulties. I therefore call on all of you to offer special prayers for peace and security, love and justice in Cameroon especially at this moment. I invoke on all of you through the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary, our Mother and Queen of Peace, the blessings and protection of God our Heavenly Father.
+ Cornelius Fontem Esua, Archbishop of Bamenda.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            

MEETING OF BISHOPS OF THE BAMENDA ECCLESIASTICAL PROVINCE IN KUMBO: 17-23 AUGUST 2015

The Bamenda Provincial Episcopal Conference,BAPEC, held in Kumbo Diocese from Monday 17 - Sunday morning 23 August. The meeting brought together all the six bishops of the Province, Vicars General, Finance Secretaries; Education Secretaries and Rectors of the Minor, Vianney and Major Seminaries to discus issues which touch the pastoral and spiritual lives of the Christians in the Bamenda Ecclesiastical Province. Top on the Agenda was the discussion about the celebration of the 15th Anniversary of the Provincial Pastoral Plan which will take place in Sacred Heart College, Mankon in December 2015. Also the 17th Congress of the Pan African Association of Catholic Exegets scheduled for Bamenda in September 2015.

CELEBRATION OF THE PASTORAL WEEK 2015  The theme for the  2015 Pastoral Week for the Archdiocese of Bamenda is: Come out of yourselves and Wake up the World. It is taken from and inspired by the Letter of Pope Francis on the Year of the Consecrated Life. Pastoral Week celebrations which were going on at the level of the SCCs ended on Tuesday 30 June 2015. As from Wednesday 1 July 2015, the celebration took place in all Mission Stations of  the Archdiocese. In August celebrations have been taking place at the level of the Parishes; then in September they will take place in all the Deaneries. The climax will be the celebration at the level of the Archdiocese in October 2015.


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