It is no accident that this month of May has been dedicated by Pope Francis to prayer for Christians in Africa and that a significant event has taken place for the Idente community in Cameroon: the Apostolic Visit by the President of the Idente Missionaries, Rev. Jesús Fernández, and the General Superior of the Congregation of Women, María del Carmen García Viyuela.
In addition to cordial encounters with everyone at Holy Family Parish in Yaoundé and at the University Parish of St. Peter and St. Paul in Soa, there was an especially joyful occasion for both the Institute Id and the whole local Church: on Sunday, May 28, Solemnity of the Ascension: a young Cameroonian, Michèle Lameu Djeutchouang, made her religious vows, including the vow of celibacy in common life, as an Idente Missionary, in the presence of the superiors of the Institute, at the Parish of St. Peter and St. Paul in Soa.
The President of the Institute Id, Rev. Jesús Fernández, stated in his homily that “our sister Michèle is dressed in white because it represents the beatitude of the pure in heart. She wishes to live out purity of heart, which means listening to the voice of Christ. Christ says that when we are looking at ourselves, we are not living out purity of heart and there is a dark area in our heart. It may be called anguish or fear or something else. Walls keep us from listening to others.
“The beatitude of the poor in spirit refers to those who are poor in hatred, vanity, rancor, or resentment, which is a form of self-poisoning.
“But Michèle has chosen the best leader in history, Christ. The rich young man asks what eternal life is, and Christ replies, ‘Deny yourself’—that is, ‘take in hand your psychology,’ which we sometimes do not like—and Christ will help you, for He is the way of peace and happiness.”
Fr. Jesús disclosed his own vocation, stating that when he was twenty, he read the passage in the Book of Revelation where Christ says that, if we open the door to Him, He will speak to us about our Heavenly Father, balance, harmony, and love. And he had wondered, “But when have You called me?” and realized it was when there was inner silence and a living experience of prayer that we can listen to Him.
May Christ, in this month of prayer for Africa, continue to bring forth vocations like Michèle’s, with her generous willingness to go and announce the Gospel to all peoples, starting from the loving heart of the Father.