AFRICA/CAMEROON – “Proclaiming the Gospel through works of charity”: Orionist missionaries ready to inaugurate a new community


AFRICA/CAMEROON – “Proclaiming the Gospel through works of charity”: Orionist missionaries ready to inaugurate a new community

Djoum (Agenzia Fides) – “We are about to open a new community in the diocese of Sangmelima, where the Bishop, Msgr. Christophe Zoa, is waiting for us to entrust the people of God to the town of Djoum. On July 5, two priests remain to begin the organization of the mission, which will officially open next October, the “missionary month”. So says Fr. Pierre Assouan, Orionist missionary, in an interview with Agenzia Fides, speaking of the new mission that the spiritual heirs of Saint . Louis Orione of the African Province “Notre Dame d’Afrique” decided to start in Cameroon. The Diocese of Sangmélima is located in the southern region of Cameroon. The Catholic missionaries in this territory arrived 50 years after the Presbyterian Protestants, who constitute the largest community. The diocese currently has 39 parishes and about 50 priests “In October 2021 – explains Father Pierre to Agenzia Fides – at the invitation of Bishop Christophe Zoa of Sangmelima, we traveled to Cameroon, visiting the diocese to try to find a possible presence of our congregation in the country”. “After a few days of travel – he continues – the proposal of Bishop Zoa fell on Djoum, an urban agglomeration located about 105 km from Sangmelima and 120 km from the border between Gabon and the Congo. Here is a parish, a primary school and a dispensary. . There is also a hostel, a structure that the diocese has built to house the pygmies who live on the border with the jungle. ” The parish – reports the missionary – also has a vast land of about twenty hectares. In one part there is a plantation of palm trees and fish ponds, where there is also a small farm run by the priest”.
The priest goes on to explain: “The Christian communities in this part of the country are still in the process of consolidation and need a deepening of faith and spiritual accompaniment”. And he continues: “We start from the situation of each community, to help it discern the implications of faith in daily life, in the family, in education, in sickness and in health, in the profession as a place of true witness”.
“This choice is symbolic – explains Father Pierre – and reflects the maturity of the Province, which after fifty years of Orionist presence in West Africa is ready to set up another tent in Central Africa, in Cameroon”. “The local population welcomed us with great joy – he reports – and this bodes well for our future in this part of Africa”. “There is a lot to do – continues Fr. Assamouan – it is very important to look at the many young people who are in formation, the timid but encouraging positive responses of the local population, who must be encouraged and helped. We, Orionini missionaries , are entrusted with the mission of responding, with our style and according to the charism of our founder, Saint Luigi Orione, to the challenges that this land and this society pose to us”. (ES) (Agenzia Fides, 7/11/2022)

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