Wednesday, 3 September 2008


It was on July 20th 2008 that the Tabenken parishioners came out massively from all out stations to join at a Memorial Mass for all the Spiritual Leaders that have served in the Parish since its creation in 1937. This was in respect of the initiative of the Parish Pastoral Council. As a Parish Community they prayed for all the priests who have helped to plant and nurture the faith in their villages. Many of the present parishioners do not know the early missionaries who served them, but they have heard names like Fathers Cornelius Hoevenaars, Anthony Akkermans, James Kroon, Michael Murphy, Lambert Kiggen, James Hogenboom, Joseph Boekema, Arnold Kerkvliet, James van Bleisem, Martin van de Werff, Gerard Balering, Thomas Fitsimons, Michael de Rooy, Francis Wagennar, Willem Zwarthoed, Cornelius Schouten, John Mckeogh, Cornelius Oprins, Anthony Gatt, Oswald Holzer, John Willeit, Bernard Stopel, Franz Meulemans, Gerald Bouma, Peter Watson, Peter Glancy, Joseph Hozknecht, George Hanser, Remo. They also remembered and prayed for the Cameroonian priests who have worked in their parish, both living and dead: Fathers Aloysius Wankuy, James Suhnfor, Patrick Losha, Charles Acha, Joseph Veranso, Roland Berngeh, Joseph Wirba, Daniel Ache, Cyprian Tatah, Edwin Njongai, Peter Kini, Gabriel Fotzebo, Charles Mbuntum, Polycarp Yukeng. They also mentioned specially the late Reverend Sister Stella Kidze who served them in the medical ministry.
Masses were offered for the priests currently serving in the parish: Rev. Fr. Patrick Nchuwa and Rev. Fr. Denis –Martin Njobam. These Masses were to be celebrated during the week.
The Eucharistic celebration started at 9.00a.m. with the Parish Priest as the Chief Celebrant. The liturgy was animated by the Holy Family Parish Choir. Highlights during this liturgical celebration were the beautiful Entrance and Lectionary Processions led by the Choir. During the sermon, the parish priest expressed his gratitude to the entire parish for taking such an initiative to set aside a day of prayers for spiritual leaders who have served them in the parish especially those who have died. During his twenty-two minutes long sermon, he told the Christians that it was neither by accident nor by coincidence that such a day of prayer was organized, but that it is a Christian obligation to pray fro their priests and religious even if they are dead and that this be done irrespective of their deeds to the Christians. He went on to say that the church is a holy institution founded by Christ and what is important for us is the efforts we are making to be holy. He very much deplored the attitude of condemnation of anybody by whosoever, and said that only God alone shall judge all of us the last day.
At offertory, alms were given according to zones namely: Mbaa, Mbot and Tang respectively. Considering that they were also some memorial intentions given by some families in honour of their loved and lost ones, these families took their turns to do special offertories.
After mass the Mission Samba, the Holy Family Choir, and the CWA appeared in grand styles in a more cultural way of death celebrations to grace the occasion. All these took place before the watchful eyes of His Royal Highness the Fon of Tabenken who was also present at the occasion in remembrance of these our spiritual leaders. It is worth mentioning here that the family of late catechist Emmanuel Ngayi displayed his photo and some reeds on his grave just infront of the church. During this phase of the celebration, many old Christians recalled that the present Tabenken Parish Church which remains our Christian shrine in Donga Mantung was constructed by late Fr. Murphy who left the parish in 1966 and died a year later in Bota in May 1967. Permit me to mention here that our parish priest Fr. Patrick Nchuwa was present at his burial when he was a student at Bishop Rogan College.
Adding his voice to the celebration, the Fon of Tabenken appealed to the Christians to adhere steadfastly to the teachings of the church so that one day Christians may join to celebrate their lives in the same manner in which the lives of these our leaders have been celebrated.
There was serious feasting, eating and drinking as the day went down.

By Nsami Linus Ngafi
Catholic Health Centre, Tabenken


At Saturday, February 07, 2009 12:08:00 am, Blogger Mike K. DAMUE said...

I remember the first pilgrimage I did to this parish when i was a kid. Singing and dancing from binju to the valley was some thing to write home about. My only regret is the fact that I do not have a photograph of that occasion.
Tabenken is a great nation. Endowed with great people and intelligent minds.
God's blessing to all who have made this village what it is today.
London, UK


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