Some 19 Reverend Sisters, better known as Tertiary sisters of St Francis, TSSF, of the Roman Catholic Church, have celebrated their diamond, gold and silver jubilees
Congregations from Cameroon, the Central African Republic, and Nigeria attended celebrations held at Shisong, a village on the outskirts of Kumbo town in Bui Division, North West Region, in the church of the Provincial Home of the TSSF.
Eight other sisters, including seven in Cameroon and Sr. Grace Mary Yefon in Italy, celebrated 50 years in the sisterhood.
The celebration marked their perseverance and dedication, and their faith has expanded so far.
The celebrants included Srs. M. Francis Fohba, Electa Kong, Felicitas Asoh, Olga Bongfen, Helena Aminshu, Ada Wirgham, and Augusta Sengafor , M. Bertilla, Celestina Ghia,
Isabelle Mahla, Hedwig Njom, Marie Berinyuy, Christencia Akwanwi, Juliana Banla, Priscilla Timben, Kathleen Shela Banye, Felicia Tabot, and Banye
Bishop George Nkuo of Kumbo Diocese, in an anniversary holy mass to grace the occasion, expounded on the significance of the jubilees as “watershed moments in the development of both individuals and organisations, which calls for profound gratitude to God.”
He said it was a rare and wonderful blessing, praising the Jubilarians for remaining faithful to their vows of poverty, obedience, and chastity during their 50 years of service.
The message Pope Francis delivered at the occasion acknowledged the hardships the Jubilarians had experienced on their religious travels and praised their perseverance in the face of adversity.
On behalf of the celebrants, Rev. Sr. Gloria Wirba Kenyuyfon, Provincial Superior of the TSSF, praised the awardees for their dedication to spreading Christianity in Cameroon and beyond, noting that they had “sufficient strength to continue working in the field.”
Archbishop Emeritus Cornelius Fontem Esua, Andrew Nkea, the archbishop of Bamenda, and a large number of priests were present at the anniversary mass.
It should be noted that The Tertiary Sisters of St. Francis were established in Shisong on October 16, 1935, with five first members.
Their primary purpose was “attending to the health and educational needs of the people to foster integral evangelization.”
TSSF expanded over the years, running clinics, schools, and other social organisations, including orphanages.
One of their greatest achievements is the Shisong Catholic General Hospital, home to the world-famous Cardiac Centre.