On the feast of St Bede, 25th May 2021, two Mill Hill Missionaries, Peter Ntein Yong and Leonard Chia Mufua, were ordained priests in a beautiful and solemn celebration by the Archbishop of Bamenda, Msgr. Andrew Nkea. The celebration took place at Christ the King parish, Fuli Kom, the home parish of the newly ordained priests, which has been one of the epicenters of the ongoing social political violence in the Anglophone region of Cameroon. The walls of the parish church riddled with bullets marks stood out as evidence of what the Christian community have gone through in the raging of the Anglophone crisis.
The Mass of the Ordination was well attended by many parishioners defying the prevailing social political tension in the area, they came in huge numbers from near and far to witness and be part of the history making event, of the priestly ordination of their two sons. The celebration was well animated by the choirs, with lively local tunes and liturgical music in which the congregation joined in with joyful dancing.
In his homily, archbishop Nkea centred on the theme of truth in priestly ministry. He reminded the congregation that the two Mill Hill Missionaries, were being ordained at a very challenging time in the region where violence has become a norm. Many have been made to endure the consequences every day, especially unarmed innocent women and children.
On the theme of truth, he emphasized that lies telling in the country has been institutionalized, truth giving way to relativism, with society imposing its values on others and the Social Media’s manipulation of information. Based on this he reminded the two deacons that the duty of a priest is to be an apostle of what is true, adding that a priest who is not truthful is not worthy of that name. The prelate cautioned them not to depend on popular public opinion in their missionary ministry, instead he used the example of Jesus whom he described as the truth to be a reference point of evaluation of all truth.
After the homily, the rite of ordination was performed and the deacons were handed their chasubles. Clothed in their priestly attire, the Christian community welcomed them with shouts of joy and ululations as they joined their brother priests at the sanctuary. At the end of mass, the newly ordained were – handed Certificates of Ordination by the Archbishop.
Before the conclusion of the day, at the reception grounds the Mill Hill students entertained and animated the day with the traditional “juju dance” to the admiration of their guests as was visible on their faces.
The two newly ordained missionary priests have been assigned for their first missionary appointment to the Philippines and to Uganda, with Peter going to the Diocese of Antique in the Philippines and Leonard to the Diocese of Kotido among the Karimojong people of Uganda.
Richard Njoroge mhm