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Cardinal Tumi Retires In 2010 

By Joe Dinga Pefok

The septuagenarian Archbishop of Douala, Christian Wiyghansai Shaaghan Tumi, has disclosed that he will retire in January 2010. Tumi broke the news during a pastoral visit to a parish at PK 14 in the outskirts of Douala, Sunday, September 7. "Except for an unforeseen incident, the handing over ceremony will take place January 9, 2010", said Tumi.

The ceremony, which will hold at the Saint Peter and Paul Cathedral in Bonadibong, Douala, will see Cardinal Tumi hand over the office of Archbishop of Douala to Mgr. Samuel Kleda.
Mgr. Kleda, who was Bishop of Batouri in the East Region, was appointed Coadjutor Archbishop of Douala Archdiocese by Pope Benedict XV1 on November 3, 2007. This was understood to allow Cardinal Tumi to prepare Mgr. Kleda to eventually take over from him.

Tumi, Kleda In Priesthood

Cardinal Tumi, who hails from Kikaikelaki in Bui Division of the Northwest Region, was ordained priest in the 60s. In 1973, he was appointed the Founding Rector of the Saint Thomas Aquinas Major Seminary of the Dioceses of Buea and Bamenda. The seminary is located in Bambui, Mezam Division, Northwest Region. 

In December 1979, Tumi was promoted to Bishop by Pope John Paul II, who appointed him Bishop of Yagoua in the Far North Region. He was installed Bishop of Yagoua on March 9, 1980. On November 19, 1982, Mgr. Tumi was transferred to Garoua as the Coadjutor Archbishop. The Archbishop of Garoua then was Mgr. Yves Plumey. Tumi became Archbishop of Garoua on March 17, 1984. On June 28, 1988, Pope John Paul II would appoint Tumi as Cardinal. On September 28, 1991, the Cardinal was transferred to Douala Archdiocese.

Mgr. Kleda

Mgr. Kleda was born in 1959 in his native Golompwy, Doukouda District in the Far North Region, a predominantly Moslem community. He was ordained priest on March 9, 1986, promoted to Bishop on December 7, 2000 by the late Pope Paul II, who also appointed him Bishop of Batouri. From there, he moved to Douala Archdiocese in November 2007, following his appointment as Coadjutor Archbishop. Mgr Kleda is also the President of the National Episcopal Conference of Cameroon.

Tumi`s Achievements

Catholic faithful and priests of the Douala Archdiocese are unanimous that Cardinal Tumi has achieved quite a lot for the Diocese. In his 18 years as Archbishop, Tumi created parishes and built many new Church houses. Records also show that many new schools and health centres were created in the Douala Archdiocese during Tumi`s mandate as Archbishop. In the media domain, Cardinal Tumi is credited for the creation of Radio Veritas in Douala. Under Tumi, the Catholic newspaper, L`Effort Camerounaise, has made great strides. The Cardinal also created the Catholic Media House, MACACOS, which includes a giant rotary printing press.

I Have Not Achieved Anything Alone

"I have not achieved anything alone. A Bishop, no matter his competence, can not work alone without the priests and the laity. We have in each and every parish a council. In the Diocese, I also have the Economic Council that works with me in the material organization of the Diocese".

Tumi adds: "Today the laity and the priests, and the Bishops, have to work together. And that is how we work to create new parishes, to build new Church houses, to build hospitals, schools and so on. So any achievement that has been recorded in the Douala Archdiocese is a group achievement".

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