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Africa

Family Day in Yaoundé

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February 11, the Youth Day celebrated in Cameroon and World Day of the Sick, has become the traditional date for the first meeting of families in the year.

We started with the projection of a film based on real events that recounts the experience of a person who, after a terrible accident, finds himself in Paradise. Then, parents on one side and young people on their side, were able to share their impressions. The day ended with the Eucharistic Celebration.

The day allows us to speak with each other, to know the new couples who have received the sacrament of marriage and to put them in contact with each other. They are very grateful for this activity that we offer three times a year.

 

The Spanish politician Rocío López visits the idente mission of Yaounde and gives the conference “The Christians in public life”

By | Academy, Africa, Cameroon | No Comments

On Sunday December 23, at the Catholic University Center of the S. Peter and S. Paul Parish Soa, a conference was held with the Doctor of Law, Miss Rocío López González, deputy of the Spanish Congress of Deputies in the X Legislature, she was the former Director of the Foundation in the Spanish Ministry of Justice; “Pluralism and Religions”, and she was in a private visit in Yaoundé. The assistants were students in the faculties of Law, Economics and Political Science of the University of Yaoundé II Soa.

The theme was, “The Christian in public life and ethics in politics.” She pointed out four important points:

  1. Honesty, a sense of responsibility and above all, the effective use of public funds.
  2. Special sensitivity towards the most disadvantaged when making decisions, saving measures, etc.
  3. Defend life, family, human dignity.

The ideology of gender, relativism,… are based on false anthropologies that start from the denial of God.

It has been demonstrated that the family constitutes a means of protection against poverty, hence the importance of its defense.

  1. Know how to defend the Christian principles even if it is against positions of your own party.

It is fundamental to respect human dignity and the common good.

He remembered St Thomas Moro, patron of politicians, an example of fidelity to Christian principles, with the price of his political career and his life.

The participants asked some questions and the speaker answered and shared personal experiences, indicating the importance of Sunday Mass and prayer for their personal and professional life. She encouraged participation in the World Youth Parliament proposed by Fernando Rielo, as a means of expression and dialogue.

The young people received the touch of hope with respect to ethics in politics, they felt honored with this visit. We thank Rocío for this testimony.

Closing of the Marian Year and beginning of the Josefino Year in the parishes of Yaoundé (Cameroon)

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Monsignor Mbarga, Archbishop of Yaoundé has just closed the Marian Year in the Archdiocese, and on the 1 November opened the Year of St. Joseph. On this occasion, in the two parishes administered by the missionaries, the closing of the Marian Year was celebrated with a floral offering.

The groups of the parish approached one by one, and the faithful who wished as well advanced to realize their offering to Mary. Both offerings were very emotional, both at the parish of the Holy Family of Elig-Assiga, and at the university parish of S. Peter and S. Paul de Soa.

We prayed for the construction of the Soa church, for academics and for peace in Cameroon. The supplications for the families, for the children, were particularly emotional, to the point of tearing off the applause of the assembly. This shows the suffering of parents and young people in the face of lack of work, and the fall in the different vices, because they do not have a suitable job and with a minimum of remuneration.

Mary, Queen of the Apostles is the patron saint of Cameroon. We entrust to Her these supplications and all those which have not been expressed publicly. Mary can do everything in supplication, as says Feranando Rielo, our Founder – and not only him – that Mary and Joseph have omnipotence in supplication.

Parish of San Pedro and San Pablo in Soa: patronal feast with baptisms and first communions of university students

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As every year, the month of June has been for the San Pedro and San Pablo de Soa University Parish (Cameroon), a great celebration to celebrate its patron saints with liturgical, cultural and sporting events. It all began with the Open Day, held on June 2 and, the next day, Sunday, with the Baptisms and First Communions of our young people. The Day is a way to close the school year, celebrating the patrons of the parish, San Pedro and San Pablo, as well as making ourselves known to many young people and friends of our students, with a program of sports competitions, artistic performances and a Lunch with typical Cameroonian meals made by themselves. All this also serves as a tribute to the new baptized.

The new catechumens were the protagonists, the next day, Corpus Christi, of an emotional Holy Mass and Procession with floral carpet.

On June 24, the Confirmations of the second year students of the Catechesis took place and were received by the Archbishop of the Diocese, Monsignor Jean Mbarga.
 
As a finishing touch, like all the sisters and brothers of the Institute, we closed the month with the celebration of the anniversary of our Foundation on June 29 (although for program reasons it was held on Sunday, July 1); In addition to reading the lesson that our President, Father Jesus Fernandez, sent us, we had a pleasant moment of coexistence before saying goodbye. 

News of joy and hope from San Pedro and San Pablo University parish in Soa

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As every month, we publish the letter of Fr. Efrén Blanco, provincial superior of the idente missionaries in Cameroon, to all the friends and benefactors of the idente mission, explaining the progress of the construction of the Soa University parish and a summary of the apostolic activity of the month.

University parish Saint-Pierre and Saint-Paul                     Soa-Cameroun Yaoundé, 31 Mai 2018

Dear friends and benefactors:

This month we have a bunch of news for you. As for the works of the church, they advance on the side of the sacristy, altar, chapel of the Blessed Sacrament and the columns. Like the previous year, the town of Salteras has mobilized with the Solidarity Rake, which gives us an immense joy.

On the other hand, this month, we had our friend Cecilia with us: she met the idente missionaries in Istanbul, when she lived there with her husband Roland, now deceased (as we shared in a previous sheet) and they are enthusiastic collaborators of our church. He was visiting the church works and participating in our Sunday Mass in Soa.

On May 11, in Soa, we had the Easter Concert of the Choir San Pedro and San Pablo: it had a lot of young audience attendance and was of a considerable artistic height. A part of the concert was dedicated to pray for the new church, with the model. In Soa we also had the Idente Youth Olympics.

In Yaoundé we have celebrated a Retreat with those young people who feel called to live the path of holiness in common, as aspirants to Idente Missionaries. Likewise, on May 1 we celebrate the traditional day of families, in which we share with adults and children a whole program of activities that includes a film that then serves us for dialogue, games, food and Holy Mass.
Count on our prayers and we thank you for the interest and dissemination that you are giving to our activities.

The works of the Soa University Parish (Cameroon) continues to advance steadily

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Letter from Father Efrén Blanco, provincial superior of the missionaries in Cameroon, with the news of the progress in the construction work of the Soa University parish and other news of the mission in Soa and Yaoundé.

Dear friends and benefactors: We are living this month of April with the Easter joy and that is what we wish all of you and your families.

In this month, the work of the new church is evolving day by day. On April 15, his Excellency the Ambassador of Spain came to participate in the Sunday Mass and then visited the construction; All this was a pleasant moment for him and his companions, as well as for the young people and our community.

In the current wooden chapel we had the joy of celebrating the marriage of two young students, Gertrudis and Esteban, who met in Soa and as a sign of trust in us they wanted to get married in our parish.

On April 29, Sunday, we celebrated the Parish Council: at the end of it we took a photo with the model of the new church, made by a former student of Soa and member of our parish. These young people are, as you know, the people who allow us to carry out all the work we do here.

Precisely one of those great young people, Cynthia, Idente Youth teacher for many years, has just left us. On April 10, she died in a tragic car accident, while carrying her one month old baby, whom she wanted to show her grandmother in the village. Her baby survived without any problem, because Cynthia protected him with her own body. We have no doubt that from now on she is interceding for her baby and for all of us.

Finally, we are glad that in Santander the Caritas diocesan has included us this year in the gesture of Lent and we appear in the piggy bank that is distributed in all the parishes of the diocese. Likewise, our communities of Palma de Mallorca have organized an artistic event, with the height that characterizes them, for May 5 and the collection will be for the work of the church of Soa.

Count on our prayers and we thank you for the interest and dissemination that you are giving to our activities.

Motus Christi of teenagers in Yaoundé

By | Cameroon, Motus Christi | No Comments

On Easter Monday, 13 teenagers arrived at the residence. Members of Idente Youth and students of catechesis, lived their first retreat with seriousness and responsibility.

They respected “the fast of the telephone” and they had disposition and great opening. We saw the film of St. Paul, receiving the passionate zeal of the Apostle. Moments in the chapel, songs, conviviality and joy, that’s how the Motus Christi ended.

Our sister Yvette gave a testimony expressing her gratitude towards those who transmitted their faith to her from childhood. Several girls expressed in the charismatic touch, that they had never spent such a charming moment, feeling as a family and with the ability to approach others without prejudice.

We were struck by their openness to each other, without forming groups. For most it was their first retreat and their desire is to repeat the experience.

Holy Week 2018 in Yaoundé (Cameroon)

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In Yaoundé the Idente Missionaries we celebrated Holy Week with the desire to grow in intimacy with Christ. In the mornings we had a theme and a moment of prayer in silence, in the afternoon we attended the liturgical celebrations.
During the retreat we were challenged with the following question: Is it enough for me to touch Jesus? or do I want to be identified with Him? Good Friday we talked about the meaning of pain linked to the cross of Christ has a meaning in our lives.
On Good Friday there was talk of the meaning of pain in itself, and of the value “added” if I offer it and wish to live united to the cross of Christ, highlighting the honor with which Christ lived the passion. On the third day there was talk of the purification that we must go through in order to unite ourselves to the Holy Trinity, as the disciples also lived on Holy Saturday, in the silence of God.
On Good Friday in the parish of the Sagrada Familia d’Elig Assiga, the traditional ceremony called “Don a hou” was celebrated in which the different groups ask the priest what happened to Jesus. It is a traditional funeral ceremony, in which the cause of death is asked, the life of the deceased is talked about. Later the “Esani” is danced, a dance to dismiss the deceased and let him go in peace, stating that there is no problem with him and a flower is thrown. After the Passion was performed, sung in Ewondo, the language of the center of Cameroon. Impressed the silence with which Christ lived the humiliations and offenses. At Easter we enjoyed the fifty Baptisms and First Communions, of young people, at the Easter Vigil, and of babies, on Easter Sunday.

Family Day in Yaoundé

By | Africa, Cameroon, Idente Family | No Comments

The Idente Missionaries from Cameroon have carried out the traditional “Family Day” on the occasion of Youth Day in Cameroon the 11 February. It is an activity that allows to accompany, reunite, and continue the formation of families of the Sainte Famille d’Elig-Assiga parish and the Soa university parish.

The day began with the screening of the film “La Cabaña” or “El camino del perdón”, which is based on the novel “The Shack”, which provoked an interesting dialogue in the groups of parents and young people, that were developed separately. They spoke about forgiveness and trust and intimacy with the Divine Persons.

This film, which deals with the problem of suffering, gives much peace, for the goodness of God the Father who is represented in an original way. They felt touched by the proximity of the Most Holy Trinity and for the consolation that they want to give us in each moment. They spoke of forgiveness and total abandonment, realizing that in every moment of their life God was present, and always will be.

After this work in groups, the food was shared in an atmosphere of trust and closeness and the Day was closed with the celebration of the Holy Mass.

One of the joys of this day is that new couples, who have married in recent months and who have been prepared to receive the sacrament of marriage, are incorporated.

Cameroon: thirty years of mission

By | Africa, Cameroon, Go Throughout the world | No Comments

By Anne Daban, Idente missionarie

The Idente mission in Cameroon began on the 25th June 1988. The Archbishop of Yaoundé, H. E. his Lordship Jean Zoa, had solicitated the arrival of Identes missionaries. After meeting with the Jacquard brothers, French priests, who manufactured prosthesis especially for leprosy patients in Cameroon and other countries. These priests had known a young doctor, Anne Daban, who had worked in the Amazonian forest in Peru, at San Pablo de Loreto with the doctors Ma del Carmen Orts and Ma del Pilar Brandrés all Identes missionaries.

On the 22 June 1988, Fernando Rielo sent from Spain, the first missionaries destined for Cameroon. Amongst them, Anne Daban and Montserrat Serra Renom with the following words filled with emotion: “Be apostles of Africa, missionaries of all Africa.

His Lordship Jean Zoa was waiting for them at the Douala airport, to drive them in his personal car to Yaounde. Right from the beginning, they experienced his paternal love and care for each of them, as well as his identification with the Idente charism, as he repeated the phrase “we are all peripatetic” (” somos todos itinerantes”).

The Identes missionaries were installed at the parish St Marie Mediatrice, the second parish in the archdiocese of Yaounde created in 1932 by French missionaries. At the beginning, they lived with some Cameroonian priests, this helped them to better understand their mission in the African culture and customs as these priests shared their experiences. These priests advised them to take the necessary time to learn the mentality for “taking ones time” is a very common concept present in the African Wisdom. Time to observe, time to listen, time to talk, time to reflect… The words of our founder, “look at Africa across the pupil of Love”, equally helped them to enter in a world which was completely new to them.

The evangelization of Cameroon had begun since 1890 with the German Palotin fathers. As from the dedication of the land to Mary Queen of apostles, on the feast of the Immaculate Conception of Mary, evangelization took deep roots in the land. Thus in 1990, the first centenary of evangelization was celebrated with a new apostolic revival. To conclude the activities of this anniversary, on the 8th December 1991, Mary was crowned Queen of Apostles and Patroness of Cameroon, hence consecrating Her the country.

It is in this historical and providential context that the first group of Idente missionaries, sisters and brothers arrived and immediately began to take care of the parish entrusted them. Besides, the missionaries sisters equally worked in the domains of health and teaching, giving classes at the minor seminary and in catholic schools.

On the 20th January 1993 and in the presence of the general superior of the Idente missionaries, fr Luis Casasús, His Lordship Jean Zoa ordained as priest Enrique Guedeja a Spanish Idente missionary who had arrived in this mission in 1989. Sometime later, in 1990, Jose Manuel Conde equally Spanish and priest arrived and was made parish priest for many years.

Ordenación sacerdotal de Enrique Guedeja, por parte de Mons. Jean Zoa, el 20-1-1993 en Yaoundé

Another historical event was the juridical recognition of the institution inCameroon, in 1998 with a coincidence that at the same time we were celebrating the funerals of His Lordship Jean Zoa. We saw in this a sign of his intercession for our mission.

After the visit of the president of the institution, F. Jesus Fernandez Hernandez, and the superior general, Ma del Carmen Garcia Viyuela, the mission was strengthened by the arrival of a Spanish priest Efren Blanco (1994) and an Equatorian sister Bertha Caiza (1995).

In 1996, the second foundation of the Idente mission was opened in Chad. The words of our founder were accomplished as he had said; “the foundation of Cameroon shall be the door of Africa for other new foundations”. Jose Manuel Ballesteros, medical doctor and priest, Acisclo Díaz also priest, and few months later, Paul Alexandre arrived Yaounde, destined for the mission in Chad. Afterwards, Justo de la Fuente, medical doctor (1997) and others missionaries sisters, Ma Lourdes Real, Ma Carmen Diaz and Haydée Alvarez ( 1999).

 

The Archbishop who succeeded after Lordship Jean Zoa was His Lordship André Wouking. He authorized the construction of two formation houses for both female and male missionaries. Each house had a versatile center for youth activities. We saw in this project the intercession of he who had first opened the doors of his Archdiocese to us, he who had been a good shepherd for us.

In the year 2000, the Holy family parish of Elig-Assiga was entrusted to the Idente Missionaries thereby subdividing the parish St Marie Mediatrice into 3. At the same time, the blessing of God our Father towards our beloved founder was manifest in the institution especially in youths through a rapid expansion of the Idente Youth.

A center of design was created at the St Marie Mediatrice parish, it continued as a theversatile center of female missionaries for youths; a center to help girls and women with limited economic means in their professional formation; special classes in alphabetization for girls and women. On their part, the male missionaries proposed workshops in electricity and in carpentry for the boys and men, first in the parish premises and later on in their own versatile center.

In 2008, Justo de la Fuente and Ma Lourdes Real arrived from Chad to Cameroon. The mission had been closed momentarily and they came as a support in the mission of Cameroon which was now fast expanding. The new Archbishop of Yaounde, His Lordship Tonye Bakot had given a new mission to the missionaries. The Catholic University Center Yaounde II created by the Jesuit priest was now transformed into the Sts Peter and Paul Parish and given to the responsibility of the Idente Missionaries. This was providential as the official order was on the date of the 25 June 2008, coinciding with the 20th anniversary of the arrival of the first Idente missionaries in Cameroon.

In June 2009, a group of more of 30 persons participated at a pilgrimage in Rome at the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the institution. Some friends and Idente missionaries, pilgrims of the parish all went to Rome for the occasion and they were all a motif of edification and of communion for other communities by their piety and their joy. These were special days of graces and hapiness. The link, still present, is manifest every 6 December at the anniversary of the entry of our founder in heaven. Another special grace for that year was the priesthood ordination of Justo de la Fuente by His Lordship Tonye Bakot at the university parish Sts Peter and Paul Soa on the 22 of November.

Presently, there are already young professed missionaries, female and male, and youths who are in formation. Families equally live the charism and they collaborate in apostolic activities in the two parishes. Some are members of the parish counsel, of caritas, catechism, counselors of couples and just to name a few. We are experiencing the desire of His Lordship Jean Zoa which was to “construct a team like Christ himself had done with the twelve apostles and the 72 disciples, in order to reach out to the crowd”.