Dear Holy people of God. As it was said at the beginning of this Holy Mass, I am Maurice. I am from the Diocese of Mansfield in Cameroon. Cameroon is a country in the central region of Africa.
I am, yes. This mission we came to do two things. So my job description is very simple. The first item on my to do list is to say Thank you, thank you. That’s every year on a given week and you accept to take up this collection to support the church in Africa, in Asia, in Latin America. This year you are taking of the collection for the church in Cameroon and you very much that you open your hearts and likewise your wallets and your checkbooks to the churches in Africa, in Asia, and in Latin America.
We do not take your generosity for granted. We truly appreciate its in our seminary back in Cameroon, Saint Thomas Seminary. Every morning we pray for those who support us, for those who make it possible for us to be seminary. And I want to believe that you are a part of that prayer. My second task morning is closely related to the first.
I am thanking you, but again, I am here to beg for more money. I’m here to appeal to you once again to support the church that is in Africa. As you know, where Africa is the fastest growing part of the church at the start of last century, Africa had 3 million Catholics. And I said last year, the census from the Vatican showed that Africa has over 206 million Catholics.
That’s a remarkable growth, but it’s a growth that comes with its own challenges. As every parents will tell you, it’s not easy raising a child. And we are a baby church. We are still infants in many regards. This here would be a cathedral in Cameroon. It’s too big, too beautiful. And so we count on your support for so many things back home.
It costs $22 to keep the child in a Catholic school for one year. Now you might say, maybe that’s just for candy or that’s just for lunch. But think of what the doors that is still Africa. We have a lot of catechists, especially women, Catholics, that keep the mission stations running because even though we have a priest, we do not have enough.
And sometimes they get the kids to have about ten mission stations assigned to her and she’s administering that. The priests might come once or twice a year and she has to check on Sundays too. But since but $230, you could buy her a bicycle. She could use to move from mission to mission, claiming the gospel. In my diocese, we have a 350 catechists that do this work.
And think of what this collection that you take up the difference it makes. When I was about going to the seminary, I went to my mom and I said to her Mom, I want to go to the seminary and the first question she asked me was going to people back home, You have to support your child in the seminary.
The diocese don’t have those in 1700 a year to marry. Yeah, it’s about 55,000. I remember. Why don’t I seminarians to be trained. This is cheaper. And then we could bring them here after ordination. I said, Bishop, you don’t want to do that because if you send them, be sure they will not come back. I said, There will be so much love by Africans that they will fall in love with Africa and will not want to return to the States.
But this just tells you the difference that you can make. Without this collection. I won’t even have been a priest because my mom would not have been able to afford it. But the fact that you take up this collection every year and it is said to us, to Asia, you keep your children in primary schools, you support the catechist to look after the churches.
You help with the training of priests, with nuns. You do all of this great work. And so I want you to know that you do make a difference in the lives of so you will have to a lot of time a here to talk to you. But I stand here on your behalf to say thank you very much.
If the church in Africa, you are a part of that growth and we are great grateful. I don’t want to oversell my case, but I trust in your goodness. I trust in your generosity. Be assured that every morning in our seminary we pray for all those who support the church in Africa. May the Lord bless you. May the Lord be gracious to you, through Christ our Lord.