Each year, in response to the spiritual needs of the millions of people who still hunger for God, the Claretians are trying to bring people to meet Jesus in His word. On Friday the 11th of November 2016, the Cathedral of Saints Peter and Paul of Douala was packed with many Christian faithful, lay and religious. They gathered for the traditional and annual Christmas Bible Festival organized by Claretian Missionaries. This festival has always been dedicated to the celebration of the Word of God with Christ Faithful of the Douala Archdiocese.
After our early arrival, we displayed all our Bible materials in English and in French which included various designs of Bibles, Bible CDS, Bible diaries, Daily Gospel and other Christian books on stands. At 10 am, the opening prayer was led by VRF Pierre Zanga, cmf the Major Superior of France. This was immediately followed by a word of welcome from the representative of the Rector of the Cathedral. He was happy to host the event and thanked the Claretian Bible Apostolate for the initiative.
The Major Superior of Cameroon VRF Michel Archange Tigui, cmf then gave a discourse on the place of the Bible in the life of the Christians. In his exhortation, the Superior said that the Word of God should occupy a very special place in the life of any Christian. God created the world with the Word. John presents this to us in clear terms when he says: “In the beginning was the Word, the Word was with God and the Word was God” (John1:1). Before leaving this world, Jesus asked us to Proclaim the Good News (Mk 16:15). “Proclaim the Good News” is the theme we have chosen for our Bible Pastoral Ministry. We celebrate the Word of God and we spread it by all possible means. The Bible Festival gives us the opportunity to celebrate, preach the Good News to the whole world and encourage people to live and practice this Word in their daily lives.
Afterwards we had words of encouragement from the participants. Responding to the Superior’s Message, Mr. Chrys Ebung encouraged Christians to support Claretians in their effort to make the word of God available. He encouraged the Christians not only to buy Bibles but to support the Bible Pastoral Ministry of Claretians in Cameroon financially.
After the words of encouragement, the Major Superior presented the Bible Diary and Daily Gospel 2017 to those. While presenting the Diary he said “Dear Christians, it is good to have a Bible, to read it and to put it into practice. If the Word is in the center of your activities everything will move on well. If it is in the center of your life, your motivations will always be just and you will do all for the Lord. That is why we are proposing to you the Bible Diary in large and small format. With it we have to preach the Good News”.
With this presentation, people began buying the Diaries and our other Bible materials. The superiors were present to sign copies for those who wanted. There were many Claretian Missionaries, lay Claretian and collaborators present. The event was covered by Veritas TV, Radio Veritas (Archdiocesan Catholic Radio and Television), LTM Radio and TV and other News Papers. There were many interviews from these social medias.
This event was highly prepared through the printing of banners, flyers and invitation cards. There were also may television and radio programs to make a wide publicity of the event. The 2016th edition of the Christmas Bible Festival organized in the Archdiocese of Douala was a huge success.