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Buea Diocese F 

By Walter Wilson Nana

Thousands of Christians converged at the Divine Mercy Co-cathedral site in Molyko, Buea, recently, to celebrate 60 years of the Buea Diocese. Addressing Christians on the occasion, the Bishop of Buea, Mgr. Immanuel Banlanjo Bushu, said the diamond jubilee of the Diocese should make Christians stronger in their faith and celebrate a new life in Jesus Christ.

Bishops cutting anniversary cake

"Though we are celebrating the Diamond jubilee of a diocese, it is more than a hundred years ago since the seed of the gospel was first planted within this diocese in the little village called Bojongo in 1894," Bushu said.

According to him, from the little Christian community of Bojongo, Buea Diocese is now composed of 21 parishes in five deaneries, several mission stations and apostolic groups, educational establishments, health units and churches. It is from the diocesan seat of Buea that other dioceses in the Ecclesiastical Province of Bamenda were born. These include; Diocese of Bamenda, 1970, (now Archdiocese), diocese of Kumbo and diocese of Mamfe, 1999.

Bushu attributed the progress of the Diocese to hard work, prayers and sacrifice. "As we rejoice in the fruits of these early Pastors and dedicated Catechists, the challenge remains for us to take the relay baton and forge ahead," he enjoined. A highlight at the 60th anniversary mass was the dedication of some 400 Catholic women into the membership of Catholic Women Association, CWA. 

The President of the National Episcopal Conference, Mgr. Joseph Atanga, who is also Archbishop of Bertoua, noted that the occasion was an opportunity to thank God for the gift of the Buea Diocese. "It is the first diocese of Cameroon; the grandmother of Cameroon dioceses. It is very important for the Church in Cameroon. I congratulate the Bishop of Buea and the Christians of the diocese," Mgr. Atanga said. Mgr. Atanga also praised Bishop Emeritus of Buea Diocese, Pius Suh Awa, for his dynamism in developing the local Church in Cameroon.

On his part, Mgr George Nkuo, Bishop of Kumbo Diocese, who served as priest in Buea diocese for 25 five years, mentioned that he learnt how to run a diocese during his stay as priest in Buea. "God is blessing Buea Diocese. I excited to be part of the celebrations. I spent a good part of my life as a young priest in Buea Diocese. People are getting mature in their faith and we in Kumbo will learn from Buea," he remarked.

Among the Bishops who attended the occasion were; Archbishop Cornelius Fontem Esua of the Bamenda Archdiocese, Bishop Francis Teke Lysinge of the Mamfe Diocese, Bishop Dieudonné Mbongmis of Eseka Diocese and Bishop Emeritus of Buea Diocese, Mgr. Pius Suh Awa.

In April 1950, Pope Pius XII issued a papal decree creating the Buea Diocese. In May 1950, Bishop Peter Rogan took charge as the pioneer Bishop, retiring in 1961. Bishop Jules Peeters took over in 1962 and served till 1973. Bishop Awa took over in 1973 and stayed on till 2007, when he retired, handing over to Mgr. Bushu.

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