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 began on May 11 and will end on May 19.
Anglophone Africa Staff – Vatican News
Novena to the Holy Spirit for Peace
The novena will end on Saturday May 19, the evening of the Solemnity of Pentecost.
“Christians of Cameroon, let us enter the Cenacle following the Apostles with Mary. Let us become a living cenacle”, invited the bishops to the faithful in their message delivered by the Archbishop of Doula, Samuel Kleda. He is also president of the National Episcopal Conference of Cameroon.
“Christ is making every provision so that we can live today as Christians and through us others can recognize who he is, because being a Christian is a commitment,” Bishop Kleda said.
The oldest novena of the Church
The novena in honor of the Holy Spirit is the oldest of all novenas since it was first made under the direction of Jesus himself when he sent his apostles back to Jerusalem to await the coming of the Holy Spirit at the first Pentecost.
The Anglophone crisis in Cameroon
Cameroon’s English-speaking minority, who make up about 20% of Cameroon’s 25 million people, have protested against the use of French in their courts and schools. Massive protests in these areas have since led to continued repression by government forces. UN agencies spoke of an underestimated humanitarian crisis. Cameroon’s English-speaking Catholic bishops have described the situation as “a growing genocide”.
Despite nature reserves and economic growth over the past decade, Cameroon continues to face endemic poverty, high illiteracy, corruption, poor sanitation and health problems.
As the Novena to the Holy Spirit draws to a close this weekend, the Bishops of Cameroon have invited the faithful to go beyond words and accompany their prayers with penance and works of mercy.