Shaken by socio-political crises including the Anglophone crisis; incursions from Nigeria by Boko Haram militants, Cameroonian Bishops have urged the faithful to a national novena to pray for peace in the country. The novena to the Holy Spirit started on 11 May and will end on the 19 May.
The novena will end on Saturday, 19 May, the evening of the solemnity of Pentecost. “Christians of Cameroon, let us enter the Upper Room following the Apostles with Mary. Let us become a living cenacle,” the Bishops invited the faithful in their message issued by the Archbishop of Doula, Samuel Kleda. He is also the President of the National Episcopal Conference of Cameroon.
“Christ makes all the arrangements so that we can live today as Christians and that through us others can recognise who He is because being a Christian is a commitment,” Archbishop Kleda said.
The novena in honour of the Holy Spirit is the oldest of all novenas since it was first made at the direction of Jesus Himself when He sent His apostles back to Jerusalem to await the coming of the Holy Spirit on the first Pentecost.
Cameroon’s English-speaking minority, which represents about 20% of 25 million Cameroonians, has been protesting the use of French in their law courts and schools. The massive demonstrations, in these areas, have since led to an ongoing crackdown by government forces. UN agencies have spoken of an under-reported humanitarian crisis. Cameroon’s English-speaking Catholic bishops described the situation as “a growing genocide.”
Notwithstanding natural reserves and economic growth in the last ten years, Cameroon continues to face endemic poverty, a high illiteracy rate, corruption, poor sanitation and health delivery challenges. As the novena to the Holy Spirit comes to an end, at the weekend, Cameroon’s Bishops have invited the faithful to go beyond words and accompany their prayers with penance and works of mercy.
Source: Vatican News