Rev. Fr. Peter Paul Uchechukwu Ibeagha, Chancellor
Rev. Fr. Asaba Emmanuel, Fin. Administrator
Ms Pamela Manyuo Takang, Bishop’s Secretary
Rev. Fr. Cornelius Nkenganyi Jingwa, Education Secretary
Rev. Fr. Paul Dinyuy, Coordinator CARITAS
Ms Magdalen Nzelle Ngeme, Coordinator Justice & Peace
Mr. Amungwa Francis, Diocesan Architect
Mr. Collins Mbiatem, Social Welfare/Lands
Sr. Rosaline Reuben, Social Communication
Sr. Odile Tobie, Cashier
Sr. Ann Gabassa, Receptionist
The Diocese of Mamfe operates a Presbyteral Council otherwise known as the Senate of Priests in accordance with the stipulations in the Code of Canon Law. The present Presbyteral Council was renewed on the 19th of March, 2014 with the election of new members and the appointment of some members.
Very Rev. Fr. Paul Ayuk Obi, Vicar General
Fr. Peter Paul Uchechukwu Ibeagha, Diocesan Chancellor
Fr. Kenedy Akwo Ndu, Bishop’s Secretary
Fr. Emmanuel Asaba, Financial Administrator
Fr. Cornelius Nkenganyi Jingua, Education Secretary
Fr. Martin Ndemmbo Kima, Member
Fr. Eustace Bella Nkem, Dean of Nguti Deanery
Fr. Ignatius Yorchong Agure, Dean of Fontem Deanery
Fr. Christopher Anamani Eboka, Dean of Eyumojock Deanery
Fr. Robert Ntungwe, Dean of Mamfe Deanery
Fr. Gillbert Aurore Tuekam, Member
Fr. Edward Siani, Member
Fr. Julius-Simomia Nkafu, Member
Fr. Cllins Nkwelle Ebong, Member
Fr. Joseph Ogbuagu Amarachukwu, Member (Fidei Donum)
Fr. Frantisek Slavicek, Member (Focolare Movement)
COLLEGE OF CONSULTORS
The Diocese of Mamfe operates a College of Consultors in accordance with the stipulations in the Code of Canon Law. The present College of Consultors was renewed on the 20th of March, 2014 with the appointment of new members. Since then we have already had two meetings on the 20th of March and on the 14th of April, 2014 during which the College exercised the function of the appointment Committee for Priests.
Bishop Andrew Fuanya Nkea, Diocesan Bishop
Fr. Peter Paul Uchechukwu Ibeagha, Chancellor
Fr. Cornelius Nkenganyi Jingua, Member
Fr. Robert Ntungwe, Member
Fr. Frantisek Slavicek, Member
Fr. Martin Ndembo Kima, Member
DIOCESAN FINANCE COUNCIL
The Finance Council was renewed in April 2014 to discharge the duties indicated in canons 492-494 of the Code of Canon Law and also to oversee the Temporal Good of the Church of Mamfe in accordance with the Law. The members are as follows:
Very Rev. Fr. Paul Obi, Vicar General
Rev. Fr. Peter Paul Ibeagha, Diocesan Chancellor
Rev. Fr. Emmanuel Assaba, Financial Administrator
Rev. Fr. Cornelius Jingwa Nkenganyi, Education Secretary
Chief Tabetando George, Businessman – Member
Dr. Diane Acha-Morfaw, Lawyer – Member
Dr. Belinda Assam, Business woman – Member
Mr. Paul Tasong, Finance Expert – Member
Mr. Fongang John, Finance Expert – Member
Mr. Peter Eyong, Junior Banker – Member
Mr. Emmanuel Mua, Taxation officer – Member
DIOCESAN HEALTH COUNCIL
The Diocesan Health Council advises the Bishop on all matters relating to Health in the Diocese, especially the creating of hospitals, Health Units etc. It is also their function to review the Budgets and financial statements of the Health Units annually. The members are as follows:
Mme Angela Ngenyi, Diocesan Health Coordinator
Rev. Sister Yvonne Nsah, Matron of St. John of God Health Centre Mamfe
Dr. Tim Bazzoli, Medical Officer (Focolare)
Miss Winnifred Nwafor, Matron of Mary Health of Africa Hospital, Fontem
Dr. Jean Claude Muanza, Medical Officer
Rev. Fr. Enongene Ballantyne, Manager of BEPHA
Delegate of Health for Manyu, Medical Expert
Rev. Fr. Peter Paul Ibeagha, Diocesan Chancellor
Rev. Fr. Asaba Emmanuel, Financial Administrator
JUSTICE AND PEACE OFFICE
The Office for Justice and Peace is a very important office within the Diocese. This office works closely with the Provincial Office of Justice and Peace and also with the national Office of Justice and Peace.
Mr. Oliver Ashui Som, Assistant Diocesan Coordinator
Mrs. Etta Vivian, Secretary
Mr. George Fru, Consultant and Legal Adviser
Codas-Caritas Mamfe is a development service of the Catholic Church in the Diocese of Mamfe; her principal function is to create social welfare/Caritas commissions in the various parishes in order to form a Diocesan network within the diocese to assist as a priority the underprivileged in the society, irrespective of religion, sex, and tribe.
Mr. Collins Mbiatem, Assistant Diocesan Coordinator
Mr. Francis Amungwa, Architect
Miss Mirabel Ndikum, Secretary/Accountant
Emeritus Bp. Francis Teke Lysinge
Rev. Fr. Martin Kima Ndemmbo
Very Rev. Fr. Paul Ayuk Obi
Rev. Fr. Robert Ntungwe
Rev. Fr. Jingwa Cornelius
Rev. Fr. Peter Paul Ibeagha
Rev. Fr. Ballantine Enongene
Rev. Fr. Eustace Nkem
Rev. Fr. Julius Agbortoko
Rev. Fr. Manfred Ejong
Rev. Fr. Ignatius Agure
Rev. Fr. Marcelinnus Atem Obi
Rev. Fr. Julius-Simomia Nkafu
Rev. Fr. Samuel Tanyi Tabeson
Rev. Fr. Maurice-Ashley Agbor Ebai
Rev. Fr. Gilbert Aurore
Rev. Fr. Emmanuel Asaba
Rev. Fr. Daniel Takem Mgbe
Rev. Fr. Marcel Kofon
Rev. Fr. Edward Siani
Rev. Fr. Eugen Ngalim Randze
Rev. Fr. Jude Biimenyuy
Rev. Fr. Kenede Akwo Ndu
Rev. Fr. Constant Leke Ngolefac
Rev. Fr. Albert Messi
Rev. Fr. Augustine Tazisong
Rev. Fr. Jonathan Enow Voma
Rev. Fr. Divine Gemuh
Rev. Fr. Augustine Muambo Ikome
Rev. Fr. Sebastine Beila Mbinkar
Rev. Fr. Paul Dinyuy Wirsiy
Rev. Fr. Norbert Ngah Lukong
Rev. Fr. Emmanuel Wirba
Rev. Fr. Christopher Anamani Eboka
Rev. Fr. Collins Nkwelle Ebong
Rev. Fr. Joseph Tambe
Rev. Fr. Remi Claude Mengue M’abega
Rev. Fr. Anselm Lungla Wirba
Rev. Fr. Primus Tendongmo Atsoleke
Rev. Fr. Denis Tameh Ngabir
Rev. Fr. Jude Tanle Nyuykighan
Rev. Fr. Casmia Bello Wirnirwo
Rev. Fr. Pascal Okeke
Rev. Fr. Innocent Okeke
Rev. Fr. Bartholomew Ikechukwu Anayanwu
Rev. Fr. Kevin Sakwe Nange
Rev. Fr. Joseph Kome
Rev. Fr. Godwin Urukwo
Rev. Fr. Paul Remjika Fru
Rev. Fr. Reginald Owulezi
Rev. Fr. Brian Ukommadu
Rev. Fr. Frantisek Slavicek
Rev. Fr. Anthony Domenico Mascia
Rev. Fr. Lucius Kwekwe
Rev. Fr. Joseph Ogbuagu
Rev. Fr. William Andres Canon Jimmenez
Placement of Priests
Placement of Priests.pdf
The Diocese has Sixty-nine seminarians studying for the Catholic Priesthood in the different Seminaries in the world:
|St. Thomas Aquinas Major Seminary Bambui||18|
|St. John Paul II Major Seminar Bachuo Ntai||11|
|Blessed Iwene Tansi Seminary Onitsha||06|
|St. Joseph Major Seminary Ikot Ekpene||08|
|Bl. John Paul II, Major Seminary Awka Diocese||02|
|Collegio Urbano, Rome||06|
|Bertoua Major Seminary||05|
|Bodija Major Seminary, Ibadan Nigeria||03|
|On Pastoral Experience||04|
Seminary — Bull of Creation
Seminary Bull of Creation.pdf
Institutes of Consecrated Life
A. MILL HILL MISSIONARIES
The MILL HILL Fathers of St. Joseph society have been rendering invaluable missionary service to this local church even long before Mamfe became a Diocese. Until 2012, there were still two of them working with the Diocesan catechetical team and the Diocesan Curia. As at 2014, all the Mill Hill Missionaries had temporarily left the Diocese of Mamfe.
B. THE ST. THERESE SISTERS
The sisters of St. Therese of the Child Jesus of Buea have for some years now extended their missionary co-operation to the Diocese of Mamfe. They handle the hospital apostolate and are in charge of the St. John of God hospital Mamfe.
C. HANDMAIDS OF THE HOLY CHILD JESUS
The Handmaids of the Holy Child Jesus came to the Diocese as far back as 1986 when Mamfe was still under the Diocese of Buea. They came in to replace the Holy Rosary Sisters who had withdrawn from the administration of the Queen of the Rosary College Okoyong. Presently, this Institute is running this college and doing other pastoral works in the Diocese.
D. ST. JOHN OF GOD BROTHERS
This congregation has been part of the hospital apostolate in this part of our local church since 1969. They are still in charge of the St. John of God Hospital Nguti.
E. MISSIONARY SISTERS OF DIVINE PROVIDENCE
Missionary Sisters of Divine Providence from, Ahiara Diocese of Nigeria. They work with schools and social communication department of the Diocese.
F. MISSIONARY SISTERS OF THE DIVINE MERCY
These Sisters came into the Diocese from the Diocese of Nnewi, Nigeria and they are involved in both school and hospital apostolate.
G. THE FOCOLARE MOVEMENT
The Focolare Movement is a Lay Ecclesiastical Movement founded by Chiara Lubich and they have been in Fontem since 1966. They run the Mary Health of Africa Hospital in Fontem, the Dispensary in Fonjumetaw and Besali, the Our Lady Seat of Wisdom College and other social works in the Diocese of Mamfe.
H. NEW INSTITUTES
Community of the Sisters of St. John and Immaculate Heart of Mary of Mamfe.
Community of the Brothers of St. John, Mbindia.
A. EDUCATIONAL COUNCIL
Fr. Jingwa Cornelius Nkenganyi
Fr. Peter Paul Ibeagha
Rev. Fr. Emmanuel Asaba
Mr. Agbor Thomas
Mr. Eric Akemnda
Justice Mengale Vivian Mbolle
Mr. Gregory Obasi
Mr. Jacob Etanganyong
Ojongobi Alexander Nso
Mr. Obi Jerome
The Labour Delegate
From 1999 when the Diocese was created right up to 2008, the Diocese could boast of three officially recognized secondary schools. These were: Queen of the Rosary College Okoyong Mamfe, Our Lady Seat of Wisdom College Fontem, and Saint John’s College Nchang. There was also a Girls Vocational Centre in Akwaya run and owned by the Tertiary Sisters of St. Francis of Assisi. All the Educational Institutions we had in the Diocese of Mamfe prior to 2009 were schools we inherited from the Diocese of Buea. In 2009, we had authorization to create and run a new secondary school called Saint Anthony of Padua’s College (S.A.P.A COL) situated in Mamfe town. In the same year, the Government gave us authorization to upgrade Saint John’s College Nchang into a High school. The chain of blessings would continue with authorization which the Holy See later on gave the Diocese to open its own Minor Seminary called Blessed John XXIII Minor Seminary, situated at Fotabong.
At the primary level, we inherited 28 primary schools from the Diocese of Buea. However due to the many difficulties and challenges facing the Catholic Schools today in Cameroon, the number of our Catholic schools has reduced to 25. Generally we are making progress in the area of Catholic Education even though this very slow.
B. THE DIOCESAN CATHOLIC EDUCATION COUNCIL (D.C.E.C)
The Diocesan Catholic Education Council is the highest organ in the Education sector of the Diocese. It is the body that advises the Bishop and makes policies in matters of Education. The Bishop himself is the president of this council and His Education secretary is the Secretary. Membership in the council comprises of different stakeholders and other partners of Catholic Education in the Diocese. These include all the principals of Catholic Colleges in the Diocese, the representatives of the Focolare movement, selected seasoned Educationists who are also are fervent Catholics, and some representatives from the Ministry of Basic and secondary Education, labour and social security and the Ministry of lands. The members of this council have the singular responsibility of speaking out for Catholic Education and of sensitizing the people of the Diocese to see the need for Catholic Education. So far, this council has been very active and helpful to the Bishop. The creation of institutions like Saint Anthony of Padua’s Secondary school Mamfe and the High School of Saint John’s College Nchang were all ideas given by members of this council. The members are also doing a great job of sensitizing the people in their various Parishes about the importance of Catholic Education. For the coming school year, the council has for its major prospect the establishment of pre-primary school alongside the already existing primary schools throughout the Diocese.
C. THE PARENT TEACHERS’ ASSOCIATION
It is a re-union of teachers and parents who have their children in the Catholic School. They meet together to discuss ways that they can help form their children better in the light of the philosophy of the Catholic school. This association also carries out fundraising in the form of levies to assist the Bishop in the different Education Sector, such as the provision of didactic materials to schools, renovation of old structures and motivation to teachers, students and pupils to encourage hard work and excellence.
D. RELIGIOUS EDUCATION IN OUR SCHOOLS
Catholic Education is obligatorily taught to all pupils and students in our primary schools and colleges. At the end of primary school, the child receives the First school Religious Certificate, if he/she successful in the final year Religious exam set by the Bamenda Ecclesiastical Provincial Catechetical team.
At the secondary level, students receive two Religious certificates. The first at the Junior level obtained after the third year, the second at the senior level obtained after the sixth year. Both certificates are awarded be the Provincial Religious Studies Examination (C.R.S.E) board. the content of Religious Education in our schools and colleges comprises of studies in the Creed, the Sacraments, the commandments, prayers and the liturgy, as well as in the sacred scriptures.
It worth noting that even though all the pupils and students in our schools and colleges are expected to have at least a theoretical knowledge of the Catholic faith by the end of their programme, only those who are Catholics are obliged to belief in its contents.
At the end of the fifth and seventh years of secondary school, some students also write a certificate exam on Religious studies which is organized by the General Certificate of Education (G.C.E) board.
Religious studies is only one of the subjects in the exam organized by the Board. This exam, whose content comprises mainly on studies in Sacred Scriptures, Morality and an introduction into the other major world religions is organized Ecumenically with leaders of other Religious denominations under the auspices of the Cameroon General Certificate of Education (G.C.E) board.
E. PROBLEMS FACING THE CATHOLIC EDUCATION IN THE DIOCESE OF MAMFE
This problem is very serious at the primary level, where the school fees rates are very low. It is difficult to raise them because the state has opened many more public schools with little or no fees charged. With this, many parents prefer the public schools and so our schools are left with very low enrolments which cannot guarantee their self-reliance and survival.
Similarly, we are also caught up in a situation of stiff competition with many emerging lay private schools, which are very effective, on account of the fact that they make use of very advanced and expensive methods of education. They however provide their services mainly to the children of the rich. So far, the Diocese of Mamfe has not abandoned its option for the poor. Our fees are still very low; to the tune of an annual amount of 10.000FRS CFA compared to the 150.000FRS CFA of some of these elitist lay private schools.
Low Salaries for Teachers
With the very limited finances to run our schools, our Catholic teachers are also suffering greatly. Often they have to wait for several months before receiving their salaries. The Government has a policy of granting subvention to private Education but it does not consider itself obliged to do so. Often the subvention given is not enough to clear teachers’ salaries. The situation is so precarious that the Diocesan Catholic Education Council which took place in March this year has advised the Bishop to close down some of the schools with very low enrolments and take more effective care of the others. In this case, those teachers who are registered workers with the Diocese and who are serving in schools with very low enrolments shall be moved to more viable schools.
Diocesan Social Communication
This is headed by a religious Sister, Rev. Sr. Roseline Reuben, with a team of workers who assist her in the facilitation and coordination of this aspect of our Diocesan life.
A. PORTA FIDEI NEWSPAPER
This newspaper of relatively recent beginning gathers and disseminates news of religious and general interest in and around the Diocese of Mamfe. It also brings to the Diocese important news and events regarding the universal Church. It is also as its name implies a medium for spreading the faith as it carries important doctrinal teaching and information especially simplified from the Catechism of the Catholic Church. In this way it goes a long way in helping the Diocesan community and other readers to know their faith. The newspaper is also a means of reaching out to the people on health and educative issues that are of major concerns.
B. LITURGICAL DIARY
The Diary for the Diocese is published yearly apart from the daily and Sunday readings it also includes relevant information about the Diocese, its institutions, establishments, Priests and Religious and some of the major staff in the Diocese. In fact it is a means at which the Diocese is seen at a glance.
C. VIDEO COVERAGE OF MAJOR EVENTS
The communication outfit of the Diocese covers major events in the Diocese this enables evangelization to move on a faster plane since the advantages of audio visual means of communication cannot be overemphasized and helps the faithful of the Diocese to be well connected and have a feeling of oneness taken into consideration the diverse terrain of the Diocese. The coverage also serves as a source of documentation for future prospects.
D. PIDGIN CATECHISM
It is sold and made available for the faithful at the Diocesan Bookshop which also serves as an avenue for the sales of other books and religious articles. The Rev. Sister in charge also goes on propaganda to the hinterland of the Diocese to ensure that these articles of faith reach every corner of the Diocese.
E. PROVINCIAL CATECHISM
The Catechism of the Ecclesiastical Province of Bamenda is also sold at the Bookshop and since it stems from the Catechism of the Catholic Church, it is one of the major articles published in the Diocesan newspaper.
F. RADIO EVANGELIUM
The first phase of this project has just been completed in Mamfe Diocese. This first phase requires that a production studio be set up for Mamfe Diocese and the broadcast be made over Manyu Community radio. The time allocated for the
Diocese for broadcast over the community radio is 15 minutes per week. A better means of reaching out to the people is in the pipeline.
The most important cash crops are cocoa, Robusta coffee, and oil palm. These are grown and marketed through small family holdings and village cooperatives.
The headquarters of the Civil Divisions of Manyu and Lebialem and the sub-divisional headquarter of Nguti have small pockets of civil servants who work for the government and earn a salary. However, the economic crisis rocking the country since the 1990s does not favour their pay package, and so many of them also embark on subsistent farming to make ends meet.
This situation greatly affects the financial strength of the Diocese of Mamfe as the Sunday collections, diocesan and Pontifical collections are always low.
Sadly, these early missionaries faced daunting challenges, including the First World War; the difficult terrain and climate; and a resistant indigenous population. The locals were standoffish and arrogant. As a result, in 1926 the Mill Hill Fathers had to pull out and close down the Ossing mission, and Father William Scully, then Parish Priest of Ossing, remarked that “nothing less than a miracle of grace will awaken them”. Between 1927 and 1933, there were no resident Priests in the Mamfe area. During this period the whole Mamfe area was under Basseng Parish which was located far off in the Bakossi land. Priests trekked from Basseng to administer to the Christian population in Mamfe. In the absence of Priests, much of the pastoral work of preparing Catechumens for baptism and first Holy Communion was done by Catechists and men of good will like school teachers. Devout Catechists like Ferdinand Ako, Joseph Takor, Andrew Epah, and Stanislaus Nkeng volunteered as catechists and kept alive the catechumenates established by the German Missionaries.
Despite these early obstacles, the Catholic faith flourished. In 1933, under the direction of Bishop Peter Rogan, Father Anthony van del Vlugt, opened a Mission at Okoyong. After the opening of Okoyong in 1933, things changed drastically. The Ejagham side became Catholic inclined. By this time also the Catholic Faith had spread considerably to the Upper-Banyang area, and the Bangwa, and Mbo areas. Historic parishes abound today including, the Holy Name of Jesus created in 1912 in Ossing, the Saints Peter and Paul Parish Okoyong created in 1933, the St Therese of the Child Jesus, Mbetta created in 1936, and the St. Joseph Parish, Mamfe Town created in 1956.
During the 1960s, the Mill Hill Fathers intensified their pastoral work, and opened many catholic schools in the area. Between 1965 and 1999, the Catholic faith continued to flourish in the Mamfe area, with the coming of more religious communities, including the Sisters of Saint Francis to Mbetta; the Focolare Movement to the Bangwa land; and the Brothers of St. John of God to Nguti.
In April 1999 when Bishop Francis Lysinge was consecrated as First Bishop of the newly created Diocese of Mamfe, he immediately assumed the responsibility of building a diocesan structure from scratch. Since its creation, the story of the Diocese of Mamfe, as with the past, has been one of ambition, hope and faith. Being a rural diocese, there are very limited tarred roads within the diocese. The rugged earth roads are virtually impassable during the raining season.
Despite these obstacles the Church in Mamfe has grown. At the time of its creation the Diocese of Mamfe had 34,000 baptized Catholics distributed over 6 parishes and served by 8 priests. Today the Diocese of Mamfe is home to 82,000 Catholics. The 29 Catholic schools educate 4,742 children. The Diocese has 43 Priests, 42 Seminarians, 4 Deaneries, 25 Parishes, 9 Religious Congregations, 2 hospitals, and 5 health centers. Queen of the Holy Rosary Secondary School Okoyong, the Nation’s first Catholic girls’ secondary schools was opened in 1956. The Diocese is also home of Seat of Wisdom College, Fontem, one of the top academically excellent secondary schools in Cameroon, and also home to the Mary Health of Africa General Hospital, Fontem, one of the best hospitals in the nation. The benefits of most of the social services provided by the diocese are extended to both Catholic and non-Catholic communities, making the Diocese of Mamfe, a major development partner in the region.
In November 2012, the Diocese celebrated 100 years of Catholic Evangelization in the Mamfe area. The Centenary Celebration was evidence that the “Miracle of Grace” spoken by Father Scully in 1926, has indeed taken place in Mamfe.
Increasingly, the diocesan community is finding ways of relaying the foundations of Faith so as to make the Diocese of Mamfe more and more beautiful for God. Like the Apostles obeyed in faith to cast their nets deeper, the Christians of Mamfe are increasing evangelization outreach and deepening their faith through family life education; Small Christian Communities programs; pastoral visitation; making Parishes places of Eucharistic adoration; making Catholic schools attractive and true places of evangelization; and fostering and upholding the vocation, dignity and formation of catechists.
The main tribes of the Diocese of Mamfe are: the Bangwas, the Banyangs, the Ejaghams, the Mundanis, the Mbos, the Bassossis , and the Ekot-Nbges.
The seat of the Diocese is in Mamfe which is a city and capital of the Manyu Division of the Southwest Region in Cameroon. It is located 60 km (37 mi) from the border of Nigeria, on the Manyu River. It used to be known for its bad infrastructure, especially the roads, which however were recently tarred and presently are in a good condition, within the city limits. The roads leading in and out, however, remain un-tarred and are difficult to impassable during the rainy season. As Mamfe is in a river valley, humidity can be over 90% and temperatures can exceed 120 F (49°C) during the Dry Season (February – April). During the rest of the year, temperatures remain in the 80-90s (27 to 37°C) and only fall during the Rainy Season, sometimes to 70F (21°C).
Because of the bad roads around the Diocese, access to the rest of Cameroon is limited to about six months of the year. Travel within the diocese for pastoral duties is equally very challenging. Accessing Akwaya Parish, for example, requires the Bishop and his Priests going through Nigeria to re-enter parts of the Mamfe diocese in Akwaya sub-division. In order to administer to some of the population within the diocese, including most of Lebialem Division they have to travel via the North West and Western Regions.