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Bishops Pray For Peace, Justice At Buea Shrine 

By Walter Wilson Nana — Bishops of the Bamenda Ecclesiastical Province have joined Christians in Buea to pray for peace and justice in Cameroon. This was the focus of the homily of Arch Bishop Cornelius Fontem Esua of the Bamenda Archdiocese during a pontifical mass at Our Lady of Grace Sanctuary in the Sasse-Meveo neighbourhood in Buea, Sunday, August 19.

Joined by his peers; Bishop Immanuel Bushu of Buea Diocese, Bishop George Nkuo of Kumbo Diocese, Bishop Francis Teke Lysinge of Mamfe Diocese and Bishop Agapitus Nfon, Auxiliary Bishop of Bamenda Archdiocese, Mgr. Esua entreated Christians and all Cameroonians to pray for the grace of love, and forgiveness for one another. The Prelate invited all to accept each other, even with their imperfections, while asking “how many of us do not have imperfections?”

Coming to the Our Lady of Grace Shrine for the first time, Mgr. Esua described the place as beautiful, which he said has been offered by God to mankind since creation, but it was only a few years ago that the idea came to transform the venue into a place of God.

To him, the shrine, dedicated to Holy Mary, mother of Jesus Christ, is a reminder that she will continue to intercede for mankind. “The shrine is intended to invoke Our Lady of Grace and the institution of Mary. It is a place for prayer, inspired by somebody with the hope to better our spiritual life,” he said. He will add: “Life is more than eating, drinking and dancing.”

He found it appropriate that the shrine has been named after the Holy Mary, who is the only human being that is known to have been taken up to Heaven body and soul. “It is providential that the people of Buea Diocese thought of making this shrine and dedicated it to Our Lady, mother of Jesus, who accompanied the Church from the beginning and continues to do so in various ways,” Mgr. Esua explained.

Mgr. Esua noted with happiness the leading role of Buea Diocese, saying “Buea Diocese was the first in Cameroon, had the first Church in the Bamenda Ecclesiastical Province (composed of Buea, Bamenda, Kumbo and Mamfe Dioceses) and now the first shrine in Cameroon. We couldn’t have been in Buea for our Provincial meeting without coming to pray at the shrine.”
Talking to journalists on the issues raised at the Bamenda Ecclesiastical Provincial meeting that the Buea Diocese hosted, Mgr. Esua said they evaluated the pastoral year just ended, while prospecting for the next.

He said that they worked on various aspects of evangelisation, the Catholic education, the health apostolate, social commitment to God, justice, peace, communication and examined the formation of Priests. “We actually x-rayed the whole life of the Church and planned for the new pastoral year,” he said.

During the mass, two couples in Buea Diocese renewed their marital vows before the altar of God. Mr and Mrs Andreas Ako renewed 50 years of Holy Matrimony, while Mr and Mrs Peter Diensi did theirs for 25 years in Holy Matrimony.

Discovered by a Reverend Father of the Vincentian Congregation in Buea Diocese, the Our Lady of Grace Sanctuary was blessed and inaugurated for prayer and spiritual encounter by Bishop Bushu of Buea Diocese on August 15, 2011. He was graciously supported by the CEO of TELCAR COCOA Company, Mrs Kate Kanyi Tometi Fotso, to give the place the befitting and touristic touch it now has.

First published in The Post print edition no 01369

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