Thursday, 8 May 2008

Fr. Robert Tanto Bids farewell to Catechist Michael Mbunwe

Former Parish Priest of Binju Nkambe, Fr Robert Tanto, on 2 may, 2008 celebrated mass in memory of late Catechist Michael Mbunwe. Pa Michael Mbunwe was born in 1927 and died in January 2008 in the Shisong Hospital after a brief illness. At the time of his death, Fr Robert was busy working with the catechism in Bamenda and was therefore not present for the burial.
Pa Michael Mbunwe is considered as the “corner stone” of Binju Church. Though not a native of Binju, he is one of the founders of the church. He was Catechist in the said mission until his retirement in 2005. Before his retirement, Pa Michael alias High Priest celebrated his Golden Jubilee. He has instructed 12 catechists who are serving in the parish. The high Priest worked as catechist under 36 priests and Four Bishops. He trained children who came back to be his bosses.
He left behind his wife, 9 children, 24 grand children and 13 great grand children to mourn him.
No wimbum priest will deny the fact that he was influenced or inspired by Pa Michael Mbunwe in one way or the other to join the priesthood. It was for this reason that Fr Robert Tanto invited his fellow brother priests of wimbum origin to come together and pray for the repose of the soul of giant Catechist, Michael Mbunwe. This celebration brought together six wimbum priests working in the Diocese of Kumbo. Close to 200 people were present at the occasion. Christians and non Christians alike.
The chief celebrant, Robert Tanto, in his piercing sermon, told the people that the greatest gift you can offer someone is time. The presence of these wimbum priests from other parts of the Diocese went a long way to confirm this. Pa Catechist was their number one missionary. He thanked all those who had sacrificed time and other activities to be present at the occasion. Some people thing life is a waste. It is not. There are people who help others to reflect on their lives. Pa was one of them. As catechist he touched the lives of the people of Donga Mantung in general. What an orator he was. Without a microphone pa could be heard clearly from any corner of the church.
The Chief Celebrant went ahead to remind the people that “Today is not a day of mourning. We should think of the resurrection. Life is connectivity, that is, continuity”. The death of Pa has affected us all.
According to Robert Tanto, life is like a relay race and all workers in God’s vineyard are running this race. Pa has played his part and has handed the relay baton to the next catechist, Moses Ali. Though Pa’s shoes will never suit him, he should do his best to continue from where Pa ended. He will be filled with joy if he comes back to earth some day to realize that the seeds he planted have flourished. He ended by calling on the Christians to pray for Late Pa Michael Mbunwe. The congregation was led to the cemetery were they prayed on the grave of the fallen hero and thereafter, the final blessing.

The celebration ended with refreshment in the Binju-Nkambe Mission Hall. A celebration of this type is worth the name only if it ends in this way. Some of the people who partake in celebrations like this one do it because they know there is always a lot to eat and drink. There was enough to eat and drink. The Christians were very pleased with Robert Tanto for this great gesture and called on the Lord to reward him abundantly.

Bernard Afor.


At Tuesday, June 24, 2008 10:52:00 pm, Blogger Njuacha said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

At Tuesday, June 24, 2008 10:53:00 pm, Blogger Njuacha said...

Adieu to Pa Michael.He taught me doctrine in 1994 and since then, his teachings have never faded my mind. Am so sad to learn of his death but continue to pray that the good Lord gives him a comfortable place by his bossom.
May his soul rest in perfect peace.
George, Edmonton

At Monday, July 14, 2008 1:22:00 pm, Blogger Divine Njinyam said...

Rest In Peace Pa!!
When you talk of service and dedication to the people of Binju and Donga Mantung in general, Pa Mbunwe is in a league of his own.
The man was filled with charm and charisma.
I had the pleasure of knowing him when i studied at St Rita's college between 1994-1999.
He shall be dearly missed.
Divine Njinyam, London

At Thursday, January 08, 2009 3:29:00 pm, Blogger Mike Damue said...

Mere words can not really explain who Pa Michael Mbunwe was or what he did. Every soul who passed through this LEGEND will reflect.
Pa may your heavenly seat be as warm as the foundation you built here on earth.
Mike Damue
London, UK


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