Cathédrale de Mamfé Cathédrale de Mamfé

FROM THE SECOND WORLD WAR TO THE 1990s

The Mill Hill Missionaries intensified Missionary activity during this period within the region of “Mamfe Overside” that is, the area north of the Cross River and bordering Nigeria from Ikom to Obudu cattle ranch and beyond. This area today is called Akwaya Subdivision and has 99 different ethnic peoples. The Gospel first reached Akwaya in 1948. Missionary treks at that time were limited because of the few Priests and the many fast flowing revers between Mamfe and Akwaya. The government opened a Sub-divisional station and a police post at Akwaya in January 1964. Six months later, Bishop Julius Peeters opened Akwaya Parish with Fr. Mitterer as its first Rector.

During the 1960s, the Mill Hill Missionaries intensified their Out-Station treks and opened more mission stations between Mbetta and Fontem. Much of their work involved the establishment of primary schools. This promotion of the development in the area by the Mill Hill Missionaries reached its apex in the construction of a motorable road from Dschang to Fontem by Fr. John Brummelhuis fondly called Fr. John the Road. Here, it is worth mentioning that in December 1962, the first Nweh (Bangwa) person, Fr. Charles Acha from Lewoh Chiefdom was ordained by Bishop Julius Peeters in St. John the Evangelist, Fotabong; then, still an Out Station of Mbetta Parish.

Bishop Jules Peeters was approached by the Christians of the Bangwa tribe, to intercede to his God for their people. There was a very high infant mortality rate and any action already taken had brought no change in the situation. Thus, the Bishop, having encountered someone of the Focolare in Nigeria, on his visit to Rome for a session of the Second Vatican Council, asked Chiara Lubich, foundress of the Focolare, if the Focolare could help. In 1963, the first group of doctors and nurses arrived in Cameroon and advised by the Bishop went directly to Shisong and Njinikom so as to familiarize themselves with health care in Africa.

In 1965, Dr. Lucio Dal Soglio and some Focolarini at the invitation of Bishop Julius Peeters opened a dispensary at Bellueh. The Bishop opened a secondary school Our Lady Seat of Wisdom College in Fontem in 1966 with Fr. George Cunningham, former principal of Sasse College, as its first principal. In January 1966, Chiara Lubich, the founder of the Focolare Movement laid the foundation stone of the hospital in Fontem. Within the same year, Bishop Peeters opened a Catechists’ school in Nguti for the training of Catechists who would be dedicated, competent, and respected pastoral and social leaders in their communities. While the building of the Catechetical school went on, the question of a hospital in the area arose in 1966. The hospital project begun in July 1968 by Bro. Francisco Arduz of the St. John of God Brothers and his team was finally opened on Sunday, 8 March 1970. In 1967, Bishop Peeters had appointed Fr. J. W. Stumpel to replace Fr. Cunningham as the second principal of the College at Fontem. The hospital was completed and opened in 1969. As the number of Christians grew, Bishop Peeters erected St. Clare’s Parish Fontem in 1972 with Fr. Raggio as its first Parish Priest.

The Gospel message, which reached Nguti as far back as 1922, came to fruition on December 13th, 1987 when Bishop Pius Suh Awa erected the parish with James Suh Nfor as its first parish Priest. As part of the programmed to try and eradicate sleeping sickness in Fontem, a small dispensary was opened at Fonjumetaw on 19 November 1976. This dispensary helped Missionary treks in that part of Fontem Parish. As the Church grew towards M’mock and Mundani areas; Bishop Awa opened Fonjumetaw Parish on 24th of March 1990 with Fr. Celso as its first Parish Priest.

With the creation of the Diocese of Mamfe on February 9th, 1999, the Catholics living within the six parishes of the former Diocese of Buea: Mamfe, Mbetta, Akwaya, Nguti, Fontem and Fonjumetaw became the Christians of the new Diocese of Mamfe. Since then, the Diocese has grown in the number of baptisms, confirmations, church marriages, Priests, Religious men and women, consecrated lay faithful, seminarians, catechists, schools and Parishes.

 

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Last modified on vendredi, 18 juin 2021 10:19
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