The Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Bamenda Michael Miabesue Bibi has rounded off a four days pastoral visit in St Paul’s Quasi parish Menka, during which he had the opportunity to visit all the for Zones that make up the Parish.
Upon arrival on day one the Prelate had Mass with over two hundred youths of the Parish who were in a youth rally organized within the context of the Bishop’s visit in prelude to the Archdiocesan World Youth Day celebration. The Prelate was eloquent in his appeal to the young people to shun all the vices that come with idleness because of the shut down of schools.
Day 2 of his visit was a very difficult one. 7:30 am in the morning saw the Prelate mounting a bike to hit the difficult roads to Tanka Zone. His bike man was the energetic Parish Rector, Fr John Vianney Bangse who proved beyond reasonable doubt of having a good mastery of the twisting, winding, stony and muddy roads. Where the bikes could not continue, the Bishop had to continue on foot with a long and strong walking stick. Upon arrival, he met a huge crowd of Christians waiting for him at the edge of the two kilometers forest leading to Tanka. While celebrating the sacrifice of the Mass , in his homily, he called on all those present to have faith in God, holding on to their faith and believing in the Church as the only way out during this difficult time.
At the end of the Mass the two speeches were delivered, that of the chair man of Efang zone and Tanka zones respectively. One theme ran through both speeches – thanking the Bishop for coming and also wishing him a safe stay with them in Menka. They further expressed their regret for not participating in Diocesan events because of the current socio-political impasse in the affected regions. They strongly appealed that the Bishop brings back their curate who escaped because of insecurity and also that the Parish be made a full flesh Parish. In response, the Bishop encouraged them and promised taking all their worries to the Chief Shepherd and college of Consultors for examination. The day ended with merry making.
Day three was another difficult experience through the difficult topography. This time around, the Bishop was going to the 3rd out of the 4 zones that make up the Parish. The difficult journey to Baraka zone took the Prelate close to 3 hours on foot through the thick dense forest characterised by fast flowing streams , and rocky foot paths. After spending an hour thirty minutes in the forest , he hit the difficult part of ascending the steep mountain. The walking stick and the pair of sports shoes he wore did not stop the him from falling and wounding his hand.
The second falling attempt saw him rescued by the Parish priest who appeared like a guardian angel to rescue him. At the crest of the mountain there was a happy waiting crowd of Christians in their various group uniforms singing and waiting for the Bishop. Baraka, it should be noted, is a Eucharistic center in the parish. Mass was celebrated during which the Prelate delivered his message of Hope , peace and reconciliation. In the course of the Mass, he administered the sacrament of Confirmation to one sick candidate who couldn’t make it to the main mission the next Day because of his health situation. On his way back through the difficult roads descending the hills, the Bishop was caught by rain which poured on him and his crew until they reached the parish .
Day four saw him in the main mission where he celebrated Mass with the church jammed to capacity. In his homily, he called on the Christians to keep trust in God for he is the beginning and the end , that only God can vindicate us from the current problems in our two English speaking regions. He promised the people the full attention of the Bishops and also promised to take their appeals to the Archbishop.
The day ended with snap shots and feasting.
Report by Pascal Chengeng out with the Bishop.