Wednesday, 30 May 2007


By Fanny Zaby Giwa Immaculate

Even though the preparations for the Bishop’s visit were reluctant, when the parishioners heard in mid May that the Bishop had postponed his visit they were very disappointed. The Bishop had returned from the US and passed on to the Holy Land. Some parishioners simply relaxed and hoped the visit would be postponed for a lot longer. When, only a few days after announcing the postponement of the visit the people got word that the Bishop had returned from Israel and was bent on visiting the parish even if only for one day, many parishioners were confused.
The Bishop arrived quietly just before 4 p.m. on Saturday 26 May. A brief but heavy downpour announced his arrival. Those who were still dragging their legs to go meet the Bishop on the entrance to the parish were displaced. Shortly after his arrival a little crowd gathered. Members of the Pastoral Council soon filled the presbytery and a meeting was held with the Bishop.
After listening to a presentation of the parish by the Chairperson of the Pastoral Council the Bishop rejected the parishioners’ continuous reference to themselves as a “Parish of Primary Evangelisation”. After 52 years of existence the parish cannot continue to be one of primary evangelisation. He admitted that the Christians in the parish were not as dynamic and alive as they should be. The Bishop rejected the claim that the people were poor, and told them the problem was one of weakness of faith. What was needed in the parish was to find new ways of evangelising the people.
Responding to the complaint that the few members of the vocations group were sometimes discouraged by those who should be encouraging them, the bishop said that those who felt called by God should keep in mind that God was expecting a personal and direct answer from anyone he called. They should not let anyone discourage them.
During a Pontifical High Mass on Sunday 27 May the Bishop confirmed 30 candidates and witnessed the renewal of the marriage of John and Mary Tadoh. In his welcome word the parish priest, Robert Tanto thanked the Bishop for coming for the third time this year to their parish. He believed this monthly visit by the Bishop was a source of great encouragement to the parishioners.

In his homily the bishop shared his emotions at visiting the land where Jesus lived and worked. He said, “I touched the stone at the tomb of Jesus, kissed it. When I did so I prayed for all the priests of this diocese, all the Christians of the diocese, and particularly the Christians of Binju-Nkambe who would be the first parish to share the blessings I was to bring back”.
Focusing on the 30 who were receiving the Sacrament of Confirmation the bishop said he was impressed by the number. He said he was not looking for large numbers at confirmation but for truly committed Christians who were willing to work for God.
A very special civic reception followed after Mass. Some people brought gifts to the Bishop and those who gathered shared a little drink and some fresh corn. The parish had chosen to make a contribution towards the reconstruction of the Carpentry Workshop which was destroyed by a fire disaster, and towards offsetting some of the high bills incurred by the Bishop during his travels to encourage the Christians in his role as chief pastor of the diocese. The parishioners were very happy to make their little financial contribution to the two causes rather than spend the money on a sumptuous lunch.
Apart from the two envelopes given the Bishop, he left for Kumbo that afternoon with a car full of raw foodstuff and live chickens. The parishioners of Binju-Nkambe are still hoping to have the bishop back for a little longer, when he can meet the people in their different pastoral zones.
Fanny Zabu Giwa Immaculate.


At Wednesday, January 07, 2009 1:23:00 am, Blogger elle said...

I have just googled my old friend Fr. George to find that he is now a Bishop. You are very lucky to have such a good and kind man as your bishop. I studied with Bishop Nkuo many years ago in Maynooth, Ireland. He is a man a great intellect and strong faith. I wish him well in his great task.


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