By Amina Hilda
A new Cathedral dedicated to Our Lady of the Assumption of Founangué-Maroua in the Diocese of Maroua-Mokolo was on Saturday inaugurated by Cameroon’s Minister of Territorial Administration on behalf of President Paul Biya.
The inauguration ceremony which took place on Saturday, July 8th was attended by about 3,000 people.
Presiding over the religious ceremony was Monsignor Faustin Ambassa Njodo the Archbishop of Garoua. Also present were many other personalities including members of the Government, ambassadors, and administrative authorities.
The inauguration was characterized by the handing over of the keys of the Cathedral by Minister Atanga Nji to Monsignor Njodo.
The magnificence of the cathedral is described by the Pontifical Mission Society:
“The new structure will display not only Christian symbols but also those manifesting the local culture. The shape of the Cathedral represents a type of African house (Boukarou). The pillars along the transept in front of the sanctuary – altar area – allude to a symbol of Protection. The “stars” covering the ceiling represent the beautiful African night sky and the continent’s geometrical decorations.”
“The framework represents the mantle of the Blessed Virgin Mary, who protects the faithful. Its shape also represents the Blessed Mother embracing the population. The arrangement of the pillars in the middle form the letter (M) for Mary. The four pillars that support the roof have a stellar shape, narrowing as they move upward symbolizing the Assumption of the Virgin Mary. The roof itself is meant to symbolize Mary, the great Star. Its western facade is the main one with the apse pointing to the east where the sun rises, sign of the Resurrection,” the society explains.
The event was coupled with the golden jubilee of the diocese of Maroua Mokolo, which was created in 1973. An opportunity to salute the missionary work of a great name in the Catholic Church of Cameroon, Baba Simon.
Baba Simon was the first bishop of the Catholic Church in the Far North. His missionary work contributed in an unprecedented way to evangelizing and establishing the Church in the northern region.
Construction of the Notre Dame de Founagué Cathedral started in 2014 is built on an area of approximately 8,000 square meters with a capacity of 3,500 seats.
“The construction of the Cathedral began in 2014 and moves forward thanks to the generosity of the faithful in the Diocese, despite their meager economic condition. It progresses also thanks to the contribution of people of good will and especially thanks to the collaboration of the Pontifical Mission Society of the Propagation of the Faith, which offers funds from the annual Universal Solidarity Fund collected worldwide on Mission Sunday,” states the Pontifical Mission Societies on their website.