To the rhythm of Cameroon

  No region

After some attempts of knowing in situ the reality of the lay claretian groups existing in the different countries of Africa, we finally reached Cameroon!

From June 29th to July 2nd, F. Manolo Tamargo and I have participated in the third National Assembly of Lay Claretian of Cameroon celebrated in Akono, close to Yaounde. The visit was prepared in coordination with its assessor, F. Octave Soh, to learn about its reality and see how to make possible for them to integrate in the movement.

Around 120 people from 10 different groups participated in the Assembly. Some of these groups have spent many years going deep in S. Antonio Mª Claret charisma and the identity of the lay claretian, although without being linked to the movement. Other groups are in the movement for less time, but they show a great enthusiasm for learning in depth this charisma.

In a particular moment of the meeting we had the chance of making a presentation of the current reality of the movement, so they could know better who Lay Claretian are and how we live our belonging to the movement, with the aim of helping them deciding about their joining to it. According to the dialogue which came next, it can be said that it exists interest for belonging to the movement and there are groups that in a short time will ask for their joining.

Another task programmed was the election of a new National Committee, what we call Regional Council. We explained them the way the movement works and is organized for choosing every position, but they compromised to study and consider it.

But without any doubt, the Eucharistic celebrations have marked those three days, exciting, full of life, joy, with an important prominence of the word, but also of the music, the singing and dancing. A beautiful way to make God present and give him thanks for the life given to us. A contagious joy, lived from the simplicity but stating the evidence of the importance of what is being celebrated in every moment, every part of the Eucharist with its specific ritual full of symbolism. Tied to it, the external appearance, the clothing, demonstrating also with this aspect, that to put yourself in the presence of God, we have to take care of everything and give the best of every person in all their aspects.

For me, it was the first time visiting an African country and the experience has been very rich and motivating, not only because we could fulfil our objective of get the movement closer to countries where due to the cultural differences and language we are not so present, but for being witnesses of their way of living the faith, the joy they transmit and their illusion for living and taking care of the charism from the Lay Claretian, as they say. All of that accompanied by a warm welcome and an elegant care for us to be comfortable, lavish us in all they could, even dressing up us with the typical clothes of the country, which had offered us as gift. These photos show a little of all the lived those days.

I finish requesting God to take care of them, and preserve their happiness and dynamism to keep giving it to every person who visit them and who wants to share with the Lay from Cameroon their life in the deepest sense.

A friendly greeting.

Bernardeta Arbaiza (General Secretary MSC)