“Whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me.”
Help for the Formation of Carmelite Novices in Africa
By the age of five, Jean-Thierry Ebogo from Cameroon knew he wanted to be a priest. For him, the priesthood meant “being Jesus.” But in 2004, just one year after entering the Carmelite order as a novice, a malignant tumor was found on his right leg. Not even amputation could save him.
On December 8th, 2005, the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, Ebogo was allowed to take his final vows in his hospital room. His only concern was whether he would still have time to be ordained. He endured intense pain with a smile and gave everything to his vocation.
“I only want to be healed so that I can become a priest,” he said. But his lifelong wish was not to be fulfilled, for he died shortly afterwards, aged just 23, already reputed for his sanctity.
Before his death, young Jean Thierry Ebogo had promised to bequeath Africa with a veritable “rainfall” of priestly vocations. He seems to have kept his word: the discalced Carmelite Friars in Cameroon, and especially in the neighboring, crisis-torn Central African Republic, have been blessed with numerous vocations.
At present, there are 29 young Carmelite novices from the Central African Republic and 17 from Cameroon now undergoing their religious formation in the various centers in Bangui, Bouar and Yaoundé. We have been regularly supporting the training of these young Carmelite novices and we hope to help again this year, with a contribution of $30,800, so that these 49 young religious can pursue their vocation.
Padre Federico Trinchero, the prior of the Carmelite monastery in Bangui, where some of these young men are training, has written to us recently: “The Church in the Central African Republic is celebrating the 125th anniversary of its first evangelization.”
“We thank you for your constant and generous help in providing a sound human and spiritual formation for these young Carmelites, both in the Central African Republic and in Cameroon. In the not too distant future, they will be called to continue the work that was begun by the foreign missionaries.”
Will you join in supporting these Carmelite novices in the Central African Republic and Cameroon? We are sure they will remember you in their prayers.
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