Thursday, 2 August 2007



By Livinus Tal Bam

After 50years of effective service as a priest, the vicar general emeritus of Kumbo Rev. Fr. Peter Watson remains energetic and ambitious in work to serve the people of God. News of his number of years in the service of the lord took many by surprise at jubilee mass in Kumbo.

At 74 years old and having answered his call to God faithfully and with great commitment, Rev. Fr. Peter Watson remain to be a loyal servant of God’s people ready to answer His call wherever he is called to serve Him. Also with 50years of actively serving God, it was time ripe enough for him to stop and thank God for the years already put in and or the love He has shown him. Celebrating 50years of successful priesthood for Fr. Peter is not marking an end to his loyalty to God but a sign of readiness to turn over a new page in his life as a priest.

In a homily at the mass by Rev. Fr Roland Berngeh; the acting vicar general and Canon of the Kumbo Cathedral, Fr. Peter Watson remained very anxious after his ordination to come out to the mission land in Africa and answer his call to God like Jeremiah. His ambition to come out to Africa on missionary assignment as a Mill Hill Missionary has proven its worth in the work he has done. To him, the Jubilarian has no regret in his life as a priest but he has for all the years led a life of total freedom of poverty, celibacy and obedience to the service of Jesus.

Having talked with Fr. Peter, there are key rules which he considered as number one things in life to come out victorious. He considered commitment to answer his call to God as an important aspect to success. He relied on the power of God to what He called him to do. The Christian faithful also supported him in his work very highly through the encouragement from them which helped him to go on with his work without disappointing them. The faith of his family and that of the people he lived and worked with was also an encouragement to enable him forge ahead. Knowing that the people prayed with him and for him, the faith and practice of Christian life ensured him that the Grace of God was with him. Fr Peter Watson too had a perpetual like for the priesthood. Celibacy which he strongly embraced gave him the freedom to be at the service of God’s people. With this he thinks that he has been spared the temptation of leaving the priesthood and never ever thought of leaving the vocation at all. In his prayerful life, he did his best to be faithful to the Divine office but did badly in terms of personal prayers. He celebrated the sacraments and preached the word of God regularly. As a priest, Fr. Peter was also an ordinary human being. That is why he testifies that he might not have built, also did ordinary things. At 50years in priesthood, he has no regret for anything but can only thank God for the good health he has enjoyed and continues to enjoy. He looks forward in hope to live and die a priest.
To the Canon of the Cathedral of Kumbo, most people turn to close the book before the last page. Fr. Peter Watson’s live as a priest sets the pace for the young priests and lay faithful to follow. Each and every individual should always strive to fight to the end. The very important thing in our lives might not have been reached even at an old age.

Who is Fr. Peter Watson?
Fr. Peter Watson was born in 1933 in the northeast of England . He is first of six, (five boys and one girl). He started the minor seminary in 1944 and in the major seminary in 1951. He was ordained priest in 1957. He obtained a degree in 1960 and a post-graduate certificate in Education in 1961. From 1961 to 1967, he taught in St. Peter’s Minor Seminary in Freshfield. In 1967, he joined the Diocese of Buea and was appointed in November of that year by Bishop Peeters to Bambui parish. He as transferred to Sasse College in the Holy Week of 1968 and in July 1969 he was recalled to England to serve as Rector of a Minor Seminary. In 1971, he was appointed back to Cameroon to the new diocese of Bamenda and appointed by Bishop Paul Verdzekov to Bambui Parish. On arrival in Soppo he found a letter from Bishop Verdzekov askin him to teach again in Sasse College for one year. He arrived Bambui in July 1972. He was transferred to Big Mankon in March 1974 and that same year, he lost his father. He was transferred to St. Augustine ’s College Nso in September 1974 and to Tatum Parish in September 1975. in1979, he was made principal of the newly opened TTC Tatum. In 1980, he was transferred to Shisong where he served for 7 weeks in September and October before taking up duties as parish priest of Kumbo in November 1st.

After the ordination of Bishop Esua in December 1982 and his appointment of Fr. De Rooy as Vicar General and Parish Priest of Kumbo, in January 1983 he went on leave and study leave for six months.

He returned to Tatum as assistant parish priest in August 1983. he was transferred from Tatum to Sop in June 1991 and from Sop to Tabenken in December 1991. In August 1993, he was transferred to the newly established St. Aloysius Minor Seminary (SAMS) Kitiwum where he worked with Fr. Roland Berngeh. He was chosen as a Vicar General in 1997 and in 2001, was transferred from SAMS to Bishop’s House. In 2004 his mother died.

On the transfer of Bishop Cornelius Esua to Bamenda Archdiocese in 2004, he was appointed Delegate of the Apostolic Administrator, a position he handled until Bishop George Nkuo was ordained in September 2006. Since then, he has been serving in the Kumbo parish as second assistant priest.


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