Tuesday, 14 November 2006


Wao! At last, it is all over. Our Parish Day Celebration this year had many challenges. One day after the peak celebration one can heave a sigh of relief. One big reason to rejoice is that is happened again: parishioners came from all the corners of the parish to unite around the altar. A few people made a lot of sacrifices for the success of the day. The women of Binju and Kungi Missions worked really hard. But perhaps the young people stole the show. Not many of them, but the few who had their eyes open for whatever service needed to be done. There were only about five of them. They noticed on Saturday night the Church had not been cleaned. They washed the whole big Church that night and threw a lot of water on the dusty floor of the old Church building. The next day they were busy as early as 6 a.m. cleaning the moving benches and things around.
Father Zephyrinus, the Bishop's Secretary presided at the Eucharistic Celebration. He challenged the parishioners to unite around the altar and to work as one person. Drawing on the life of St Martin de Porres, he encouraged the parishioners to hope and trust in God's goodness. God calls people in the state in which he finds them. Father Zeph was certain God would want some young people of our parish to serve him in the priesthood and the religious life. Our young people only needed to be open and willing to answer his call.
Drawing on the readings of the day, he highlighted the two widows who had given of their little. The quality, not quantity of their gifts was more important. The "good heart" heart of the widows gave value to their mites. We would need such "good hearts" in this parish to be able to work as a united front, and not work in factions.
When Mass was over the Chairperson of the Parish Council Presented an address which highlighted burdens of the parish. We give you the address in its entirety.


His Lordship, the Bishop of Kumbo,
The Parish Priest, Binju-Nkambe Parish;
Reverend Fathers, Reverend Sisters,
Distinguished Guests,
All other Protocol respected,

It is with a singular joy and pleasure that I welcome each and every one of you with joy into this hall today as we celebrate our Parish Day. This is the first Parish Day celebration since we last celebrated the Golden Jubilee of our Parish in November 2005. As usual, during our Parish Day celebration we also do fund-raising. This years’ Fund Raising has for its objective to “reach the Harvest Thanksgiving Budget” which we drew for ourselves. Following the good performance in Harvest Thanksgiving last year, we budgeted CFA 2 million francs for Harvest Thanksgiving this year. We did this with a lot of hope and enthusiasm.
Your Lordship, honourable guests, ladies and gentlemen, in the past year we have been working hard to improve on our spiritual life. We experienced a lot of difficulty in this area. We also experienced a lot of financial setbacks. We have come to realise that our whole parish is still at a very low level of faith. Most of our outstations are still at the very primary level of evangelisation.
Since we celebrated the last Parish Day in the context of our Golden Jubilee, we have only had twenty-six infant baptisms and twenty-five adult baptisms. We have not been blessed with any Christian Marriage since we witnessed five marriages regularised and recorded two mixed marriages by dispensation. Yet, we have continued to see many of the young members of our parish enter into irregular relationships. We see a very serious need to pray for the grace for our young people to contract Christian Marriages and build Christian Families.
Sadly, the number of Single and Teenage Mothers has continued to rise in our parish. The most active “Church Group” in our Parish is the “Single Parents’ Group” which brings together single teenage mothers and widows. Sadder still is the fact that some of the single mothers continue to have more children in the single state, in spite of the hope we had, that the help they receive from the diocese to improve their economy would help them to respect themselves and fight harder against temptation.
Last August ten young people made their First Holy Communion. As we hadn’t yet grown in the tradition of baptising our children when they were born, the number of First Holy Communicants for those who were baptised as infants is still very low.
We recorded twenty-one members of our parish who died and were either given a Christian Burial or were entered in our register of the dead.
We have less than 220 Catechumens in our Catechumenates. In fact, in some of our Catechumenates, there are no people coming for doctrine. Two of our Catechumenates do not have regular Catechists because there are neither Catechumens willing to come for doctrine nor people willing to take on the work of Catechist.
In the face of all that seems hopeless, we have continued to forge ahead, guided by the Holy Spirit. We have noticed great spiritual growth in at least one of the four pastoral zones of the parish: Kungi Zone. We are very happy to note that for every Sunday Mass now in Kungi there is a local Mass offering with a Stipend. We rejoice further that the number of people coming to Sunday Mass in that zone is continuing to increase. This makes us feel the need to apply for a Eucharistic Centre in that Zone.
Our Vocations Group has continued to meet on the First Saturday of the Month. Since they started taking their meetings to the different mission stations of the parish, more and more young people are continuing to join the group. It is our hope that some members of the group will heed God’s Call to Christian Marriage and to the Consecrated life in the not too distant a future. We appeal to all our parishioners to pray for this group and to encourage the young people who are joining the group to have the courage to answer God’s call if He invites them to offer their lives in the service of their brothers and sisters in the Priesthood and the Religious Life.
The other major problem we face in the parish is financial. Our Financial balance as of last Thursday stood at a deficit of 1,663,189 Francs CFA. The repairs and depreciation of the two old cars we have for the parish continue to drain us; the table bill of our priests continues to rise as the cost of food keeps increasing. Our mission ordinary expenses on electricity, water, domestic staff is another source of heavy expenditure.
On the other hand, we have failed drastically in our Church Contribution. As of last Thursday we had only realised 380,365 francs from Church Contribution. Our Alms during Masses have dropped terribly from the record we had last year. As of last Thursday we had realised only 1,054,206 Francs in Alms. Our dream to increase our Harvest Thanksgiving this year is far from being realised. As of now, we have only realised 800,913 Francs in Harvest Thanksgiving. We are still very far from our budget of 2 million. That is why we are appealing to all of you to donate generously today to realise our budget.
This is the day on which we should each ask ourselves “what has been my personal contribution to make this parish a more loving community?”, “Do I work consciously to make the parish more self-reliant or self-supporting?”, “Am I convinced of the need to, and do I work concretely in collaboration with my priests and the rest of the community to, make the parish a deeper faith community?”
I wish to end this address by thanking each and every one of you once more for honouring our invitation to be here. Above all, I thank God Almighty for making it possible for all of us to be part of this celebration. I recommend to your prayers those members of our parish who did not live to celebrate this day with us. Let us pray especially for our school child, Samba Lawrence of Class 7 in CS Binju, who worked last Friday with his friends, preparing the mission compound for our celebration today, but died that Friday evening and so cannot be here today with us. May God grant him eternal rest in heaven.
May God be with us during our celebration today, and bring you safely home when we finish from here.

Long live Binju-Nkambe Parish;
Long Live the Diocese of Kumbo;
Long Live the Catholic Church in Cameroon.

Bawe Henry,
Parish Pastoral Council.

Fund Raising Activities followd after the address. This was the first time we celebrated our parish day to the end without a single visitor from another Church. The Baptists were having a celebration in their Church and the Presbyterians were celebrating the anniversary of their independence.
We are very grateful to the parishioners who contributed generously. At the end of the day we had raised the meagre sum of 290000 francs. This was the contribution of only a few people.
The football match that had been planned between the Catholic Women Association (CWA) of Kungi and CWA of Binju did not take place. Kungi village was bereaved again that morning and the women could not be available for the football match. Some of Binju's Team were poised for the match and shook the place with their jogging and whistling. They have gone into training and are still challenging Kungi women to come for the encounter when they are done with their mourning.
We thank God for the blessings He has given us to celebrate another Parish Day.
Robert Tanto.


At Thursday, November 16, 2006 12:27:00 pm, Blogger Binju-Nkambe Parish said...

It's a shame I am not able to upload photographs to accompany this story. I am sending some photographs to Juan to append.

At Thursday, November 16, 2006 12:27:00 pm, Blogger Binju-Nkambe Parish said...

It's a shame I am not able to upload photographs to accompany this story. I am sending some photographs to Juan to append.

At Thursday, November 16, 2006 9:42:00 pm, Blogger Binju-Nkambe Parish said...

Robert, you don't need to think that it'S a shame not to be able to upload pictures here. The problem is not always in front of the screen. From time to time bad Internet connections let us think that WE are the problem.

Now the pictures are in, and it looks more clear!.
Kindly regard to Binju-Nkambe
yours Juan


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