Bamenda (Agenzia Fides) – Thursday 29 May, solemnity of the Ascension of Our Lord into Heaven, Cardinal Fernando Filoni, Prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, presided a solemn Mass for the closing of the Centenary of Evangelisation of the archdiocese of Bamenda in Cameroon, during which he ordained 7 deacons and 9 priests (see Fides 26/05/2014;27/05/2014). “Today, one hundred years after the first evangelization – he said in his homily -, it is a great joy to see some young men of this local Church anxious to put their lives at the service of this community. This is the most significant way to celebration these 100 years, and to praise the Lord for the gift these young men make of themselves to the Church ”.
The Prefect of the Church’s Missionary Department, who brought with him to all present, the blessing of the Holy Father, Pope Francis, underlined: “These ordinations remind us of the mission entrusted to the Church by the Risen Lord, and therefore entrusted to all Christians: the mission to be evangelisers! It is a joy to realise that here, where evangelisation began 100 years ago, the local Church is so firmly established today!”.
Cardinal Filoni went on to recall that all Christians receive the gift of faith and Baptism for a precise purpose: “that they may carry to others and share with others the gift of faith” consequently, he underlined, Christians live not for themselves but for others, with charity, helping the poorest people, assisting neighbours in need, but first and foremost living and sharing the faith with others. In his homily the Cardinal explained what it means to be co-workers in the task of building up the Church, referring to the motto of the Centenary : “Our celebration of the Centenary of the Evangelisation of Bamenda marks a new start for your local Church, new missionary impulse to deepening your faith in Christ. Your faith must grow ever deeper and your missionary testimony ever more eloquent and effective”.
Addressing the candidates to the deaconate and the priesthood the Cardinal Prefect said “the mission of the deacon is in relation with the service at the altar, the Word of God and charitable activity”, and the special mark of this ministry “is configuration with Christ-the servant”. Speaking to the priests he stressed above all the necessity to cultivate the interior life , as the recent Popes all underlined, because “the priest’s intimate and personal union with Christ is indispensable for an authentic priestly life ”. At the end of his homily Cardinal Filoni entrusted the Church in Bamenda to the protection of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of the Church. (SL) (Agenzia Fides 30/05/2014)