New Ngondzen church a ‘great masterpiece’
After 8 years of hard work, St. John the Baptist Parish Church, Ngondzen was consecrated on Friday, 13 December 2019. The ceremony was presided at by Mgr George Nkuo, Bishop of Kumbo. In cutting the ribbon in front of the Church, the Bishop mentioned that he was opening the Church in the name of the Holy Trinity.
Holy Mass started at 9:50 a.m. with over 700 faithful present. The occasion was full of pump, joy and thanksgiving, as a vibrant led in the singing.
During his homily, the Bishop thanked all those who had worked so hard for the Church to be built to the level it was. Of special note he mentioned the pioneer parish priest of Ngondzen, Fr. Anthony Tangwa and the people of Ngondzen who took the Church and hitherto continued to support the project. In addition, he highlighted that some benefactors of the Church included Pope Francis and the Bishop of Lafia Diocese in the Federal Republic of Nigeria. He continued to challenge the people to clean their souls such that the house of the Lord does not only accommodate sinners but also makes saints. In the words of Bishop George, this new Church of Ngondzen is a “great masterpiece, and a great mark of the faith of people of Ngongdzen.” It is also “the most beautiful Church in Kumbo Diocese.” As such he expressed his wish that the struggle of the people, in carrying the benches on their heads from Takijah to Ngondzen continue to inspire them as they now focus on putting the ceiling in the Church as the final step. He wished this would be realized soon. He ended his homily by reminding all present that the Church is supposed to help point the faithful to God, to acknowledge his closeness and presence amongst men.
Then followed the blessing of the Altar on which the sacrifice of Mass would thenceforth be celebrated and the blessing of the Tabernacle which would thenceforth contain the Blessed Sacrament. Offertory was a spice to the occasion as the people danced and sang in one joyful chorus to the foot of the sanctuary to offer their gifts.
After Communion, songs of adoration were sung as all knelt facing the altar on which laid the Eucharist. Bishop Nkuo carried the Eucharist in procession while the others knelt until he reached the new and beautiful Tabernacle and put the Sacred Body of Christ in it. Praise and thanksgiving songs were chanted as they people kept shouting for joy.
After Holy Communion the Parish Pastoral Council Chairperson, in a brief speech, thanked all present for their contribution and presence to grace the occasion and mentioned that the best was yet to come in the days ahead as they would keep putting hands on board to realize their dream. The last speaker, Bishop Nkuo, again expressed his thanks to the people and all present. He mentioned that he could brave the odds of coming to Ngondzen on a motorbike because he knwe how much the people had sacrificed for their Church and how much they had also put in to ensure that the day be successful.
After Mass groups of people continued the animation outside Church in song, dance, typically Ngondzen dances and animation. The atmosphere was joyful even as the guests left for their destinations. Ngondzen Church became one of the biggest Churches in Kumbo Diocese if not the biggest after the Kumbo Cathedral.