The Archdiocese of Bamenda in Cameroon is set to launch the Year of the Eucharist on the Solemnity of Christ the King, Sunday, November 20.
In his Pastoral letter addressed to Catholics in Parishes of the Archdiocese, Christians and people of goodwill, Archbishop Andrew Nkea Fuanya provides pastoral orientations to guide the people of God under his pastoral care to mark yearlong celebration.
“The Year of the Eucharist shall run from 20 November 2022, Solemnity of Christ the King - 26 November 2023, Solemnity of Christ the King,” Archbishop Nkea says in the Saturday, November 12 statement shared with ACI Africa.
On the day of the launch, he adds, “A well-crafted homily on the Real presence of Christ in the Eucharist and on Christ our daily companion shall be delivered.”
He continues, “After Mass there shall be the customary Corpus Christi Procession which should demonstrate the translation of our faith in the Church to the real life setting of the world in our parishes.”
The Cameroonian Archbishop further directs that “all baptized people of God in all our parishes should procure a copy of the Prayer of the Year of the Eucharist which shall be said every day at the appropriate time during the celebration of the Eucharist or when the People of God gather for the Liturgy of the Word.”
In his November 12 statement, Archbishop Nkea calls for the revival of “the practice of saying the Prayers Before and After Communion which is dying out in some Parishes, Catholic Primary Schools and Colleges.”
“The practice of keeping First Friday Devotion should be re-instituted and well-coordinated in all our Parishes,” he says, and adds, “In this way, our Catholic teachers in both the primary and post primary institutions will see how they can help the children to be part of this practice so that they may not be alien to this enriching devotion of the Church in the later years of their lives.”
Archbishop Nkea further says, “Every Parish should ensure that it constructs a Chapel of Perpetual Adoration before the end of December 2022 so that Christ's faithful can have the opportunity to refresh themselves in the presence of their Lord and Master at any time of their convenience.”
In order to foster the Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament during this Year of the Eucharist, the 57-year-old Archbishop exhorts “Parish Priests and their collaborators to draw up a calendar of adoration in this regard.”
During the year of the Eucharist, Archbishop Nkea encourages “Parishes to try to do some face-lifting of their Churches and other places of Worship.”
“I encourage them also to pay special attention to the vestments, the sacred vessels and the appropriate dressings for all those who play one role or the other during liturgical celebrations,” he adds.
The Local Ordinary of Bamenda Archdiocese who doubles as the President of the National Episcopal Conference of Cameroon (NECC) says, “The practice of having Benediction on Sunday evenings in all our Parishes should be revived and the faithful should be properly sensitized to attend.”
“Where it is possible, the practice of praying Vespers with the Christians should be encouraged or the praying of the traditional Evening Prayers bequeathed to our Local Church by the Mill Hill Missionaries,” he adds.
The Cameroonian Archbishop who has been at the helm of Bamenda Archdiocese since his installation in February 2020 directs Priests to “revisit the doctrine of the importance of Sunday Mass in the life of every Christian.”
“Every month each Parish should set aside a day of service to the poor,” Archbishop Nkea directs, and adds, “This should be a day when each Christian sees how he/she can concretely translate Christ's teaching of loving one another as he loved us.”
He encourages Priests “to assist, as best as they can, those who, in irregular situations, are unable to receive the Eucharist now to regularize their situations in order to benefit from this food of eternal life.”
“There shall be a Congress on the Eucharist from Wednesday, 22 to Saturday, 25 February 2023 at Pope St. Paul VI Pastoral Centre Bamendankwe,” he says in his November 12 letter.
Archbishop Nkea implores, “May the celebration of the Year of the Eucharist enable us to experience and proclaim to all our brothers and sisters the truth of the words which Jesus left to his disciples before leaving them back to his Father: Lo, I am with you always, until the end of the world.”