Since the last Quinquennial Report, we have reorganized a number of services at the level of the Archdiocese, which are the executive arm of the Pastoral Plan. They facilitate the execution of the decisions and policies taken at the level of the Archdiocese and by the Pastoral Commissions. We shall look at these and the various activities that they carry out to sustain the pastoral activities of the Archdiocese.


  1. The Archdiocesan Pastoral and Catechetical Centre (Maryvale Institute)


Paul VI Memorial Pastoral Centre was established quite some years ago before the period of this Quinquennial Report and it provides accommodation for the clergy, religious and laity for spiritual and pastoral activities. It also renders services to non-Church organizations. From the last Quinquennial Report, we have constructed and consecrated a befitting chapel and a hall for the Centre. The chapel also serves as a Mission Station church of Our Lady of Fatima Parish, Nta’afi.


The formation of Parish Catechists in the Archdiocese of Bamenda is being carried out by the Maryvale Institute in Bamenda which is affiliated to the Maryvale Institute, Birmingham, England. This is a long distance learning programme of catechetical and doctrinal formation for both catechists and laity in general.


Since the creation of this centre for the training of catechists, over nine hundred catechists (including some from neighbouring Dioceses) have been trained by this Institute over the past 18 years. Their impact in our parishes is great, especially as they are members of the Parish Pastoral Formation Team and help in the formation of Small Christian Communities and Commissions in the Archdiocese. Some of them have volunteered to be full and part time catechists, while others make themselves available to work with the Mobile Catechetical Team.


Maryvale Institute offers a two years’ collaborative distance learning course leading to a Certificate/Diploma in Catechesis approved by the Congregation for the Clergy in Rome. For the granting of the Certificates/Diploma, Maryvale Institute, Bamenda is affiliated to Maryvale Institute, Birmingham. The Catechists thus trained are better equipped to spread the faith more effectively; they are able to work with children, young people and adults in families, parishes and schools. Modules treated include: Introduction to Catechesis, Foundations of Faith, Christology, Ecclesiology, Mariology, Catechetical Methodology, Old and New Testaments, Liturgy and Sacraments A and B, Moral Theology and Christian Prayer. Additional to these are workshop exercises on The Four Parts of the Catechism, Salvation History, the Sign of the Cross, Evaluation of Resources and Catechetical Exercises. Locally, we have added Canon Law, Patristics, Homiletics and the Church Fathers, especially during the ongoing formation sessions.


It is thanks to the Institute that many of our catechists and Christians have understood their mission in the Church. As the Archdiocese of Bamenda celebrated the Golden Jubilee of its creation in 2020, we remain grateful to the contributions that our catechists have, and are giving as far as the proclamation of the Gospel message is concerned, especially in those areas that priests are not able to visit regularly due to the vastness of some parishes and the difficult nature of the terrain, and worsened by the current socio-political crisis in Anglophone Cameroon. With trained catechists from Maryvale, we are confident that the content of the faith is being transmitted wholly and entirely (CT 30).


After the formal training at the Institute, there is an ongoing formation programme to ensure that the Catechists are well entrenched in their Mission Stations and Parishes every year. At the level of parishes, the priests organize regular ongoing formation programmes for the Catechists. There is also the Echoes Programme which is a Parish-based training for handing on the faith that is carried out in parishes and formation houses, and involves more than just the Catechists themselves, as the faithful who are interested and candidates in formation houses are given the opportunity to participate at sessions organized in their Parishes or Mission Stations and Communities. Such sessions usually run for four to five days and, at times, 11 days, and they are heavily attended.


In addition to the Echoes Programme, there is the Anchor Programme made up of six sessions which is being introduced this year prepared by the Maryvale Institute in Birmingham, England. This gives a good summary of some aspects of the faith, and helps to compliment the Echoes Programme for those who cannot do the two years certificate/Diploma programme. We are sincerely grateful to the Maryvale Institute, Birmingham for constantly updating its programme in order to make the students aware of new insights in catechesis.


It is our hope and wish that, with the formation given at the Maryvale Institute in Bamenda, many catechists, lay leaders and the laity in general will grow in their knowledge of the faith, and this will go a long way to enhance the work of evangelization.