A ceremony of ordination of candidates from the religious congregations serving in Cameroon took place Saturday, June 28, 2014, at the Basilica of Our Lady, Queen of the Apostles in Yaoundé, the capital of Cameroon. 19 men were ordained deacons and 22 priests. Bishop Bruno Ateba Edo, SAC, who was named the new shepherd of the Diocese of Maura-Mokolo in northern Cameroon two months ago, officiated. Our deacon, Cyrille Augustin Bounoungou, MIC, a native of Yaoundé, was among the candidates to the priesthood. Father Cyrille is the second Cameroonian ordained to the priesthood in the Congregation of Marian Fathers.
The ceremony, attended by nearly 6,000 faithful, lasted close to five hours. Almost 150 priests concelebrated the Holy Mass. After the celebrations, Fr. Cyrille’s family and guests participated in the agape at the Marian seminary in Ngoya.
Father Cyrille was born on Nov. 26, 1981. He got to know our Congregation through Fr. Bogusław Gil, MIC, who served as the vocation director at our Atok mission from 2004. Father Cyrille joined our Congregation in 2006, having completed three years of civil law at the university in Yaoundé. He did the first stage of his religious formation (postulancy and novitiate) in Rwanda, followed by the two-year philosophy course at the seminary in Kabgayi, also in Rwanda. In 2010, Fr. Cyrille began his four years of theological studies at the inter-congregational St. Cyprian School of Theology in Yaoundé-Ngoya, Cameroon. He made his perpetual vows on Sept. 15, 2013, and was ordained a deacon on Dec. 15, 2013, by Bishop Sosthena Bayemi, the Ordinary of the Diocese of Obala.
The day after his ordination, Fr. Cyrille celebrated his first Mass at the Eucharistic Center in Minkama in the Diocese of Obala. The Center will shortly become the new mission of the Congregation of Marian Fathers in Cameroon and Fr. Cyrille will be the parish vicar there. On Sunday, July 6, 2014, the newly-ordained priest celebrated his first Mass at the Divine Mercy Shrine in Atok. Father Zdzisław Żywica, MIC, of Rwanda, who is in charge of Marian formation in Africa, also participated in the celebration. The faithful at both locations gave a warm reception to the newly ordained priest: they beautifully decorated their churches for Mass and organized festive communal meals afterwards.
The ceremony of ordination and the following first Masses became a special occasion for us to pray for new vocations to our Congregation.
Krzysztof Pazio, MIC