AFRICA-MADAGASCARCAMEROON: Missionaries celebrate Polish Independence Day
Even though they are far from their homeland, Polish Oblates working in the African Republic of Cameroon gathered with other missionaries at the Honorary Consulate in Yaoundé to celebrate Polish Independence Day on November 11. It was the end of the First World War, November 11, 1918, that once again established Poland as an independent nation.
Presiding at the Eucharist on this occasion was Bishop Jan Ozga of the Diocese Doumé-Abong’ Bang, one of two Polish missionary bishops in Cameroon. The other is an Oblate, Bishop Eugene JURETZKO of the Diocese of Yokadouma.
In his homily, Bishop Ozga recalled that part of the missionary vocation is to respect every human being. “Cameroon is our homeland, because here we live, work and fulfill our missionary vocation. This is our second home and it merits the same respect as Poland. We should respect every citizen of this country, even those who have caused us harm or deceived us or offended us… That is the law of love. Each person is a sanctuary where God dwells.” The bishop stated that the road to independence was a difficult one for the Polish people. “The painful events of 1918 have made us sensitive to all who come together for political freedom and freedom understood in all of its dimensions.”
The vast majority of Poles living permanently in Cameroon are missionaries: religious men and women, fidei donum priests and laity. Among them are 16 Missionary Oblates. Missionary work consists primarily in proclaiming the Gospel and building up Christian communities. But for years, many of the missionaries have been involved in the work of development and activities to promote justice and peace. (from www.oblaci.pl, Fr. Chris ZIELENDA)