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Calasanzian Fathers Celebrate 400th Anniversary



Activities marking the Calasanzian Jubilee Year have ended Worldwide with a climax event taking place in St Michael’s Parish Future Nkwen in Bamenda. A Pontifical High Mass to close the special Jubilee marking the 400th anniversary of the founding of the Piarist Order of Pious Schools took place Saturday December 9, 2017 celebrated by the Bishop of Kumbo His Lordship George Nkuo. 
Calasanzian Fathers Celebrates 400th Anniversary

The High Mass which was one of a series of activities to mark the closing of the Jubilee year gave the Piarist Order the opportunity to celebrate two of theirs in the Province of Central Africa Rev Fr. Angel Velenzuela Sch P. and Rev Fr. Emilio Calcena Sch P who both celebrate golden jubilees of Priesthood and Solemn profession respectively and the Solemn Profession and Deaconate Ordination of three of their brothers.
Prior to the Closing High Mass youths from across Cameroon particularly from areas where the Piarist are present like Kumbo, Bamenjou and Yaounde staged a cultural evening in Futru during which a variety of cultural dances were performed. 

The performances took place in the new Futru parish hall which is the Jubilee project and according to the Parish Priest Rev Fr Hyppolite Wirkar is at 80percent completion rate. Expressing his joy as to the fact that they were able to use the hall, the Parish Priest said there are hopes that by April 2018 the hall will be at 100percent completion point. 

Emmerencia Azehfor and Victor Ngangmi two Christians who witnessed the arrival of the first Piarist Priests to Futru 30years ago described the coming of the priests as a blessing to the community of Nkwen and the entire church particularly with the privilege given their Parish by the Highest authorities of the Piarist Order in the World to be part of the Jubilee closing event.
Speaking during the Pontifical High Mass Rev Fr Akem Evaristus Ndi Sch. P. Provincial Superior of the Piarist Fathers for Central African expressed satisfaction with the fact that from Futru the Order has grown in Cameroon and beyond producing several priests and professed brothers accompanied with communities, schools, parishes and mission stations. “I am very thankful to the parish of Futru and the Futru Community in general under the guidance of the dynamic Parish Priest Fr Hyppolite, it was here that the seed was sworn 30years ago and if you look back 30years ago you see that from three Religious in 1987, we are almost about 150 religious in the province today. With one community in 1987 we have about 15 communities now. From one Mission Station in 1987 we have getting to ten parishes, many primary and secondary schools that have continued to respond to the needs of the little ones. It all began 30years ago and it is with great joy that we have come here again to celebrate this great event.” Rev Fr. Akem said. 

Speaking during the Mass, The General Superior of the Piarist Fathers the Very Rev Fr. Pedro Aguado Cuesta, Sch.P reminded his brothers in the Order to be witnesses to Jesus Christ on whose name they gave their lives which is the expectation of all Christians. 

In a message to the Piarist Fathers Pope Francis writes “Being part of a religious family for Saint Joseph Calasanz meant choosing a path of continuous and marked abasement. Being Piarist is being, by definition, a person in a low state, a small one that can be identified with the small, a poor with the poor. The history of our salvation is the story of a supreme abasement: the divine becomes human, the celestial becomes terrestrial, the eternal becomes temporary, the absolute becomes fragile, the wisdom of God becomes madness and his strength becomes weakness; because Life, the true Life, is humbled to death, and death on the cross. To follow Jesus is to follow his abasement, to come, as He, to the bottom of humanity, of our weakness, and there to become a servant, as the One who did not come to be served, but to serve and give his life as a ransom for all Cf. Mt 20, 28).” 

The Piarist Order was founded On November 18, 1621 after Pope Gregory XV raised the congregation to the rank of a religious order, calling it the Order of the Pious Schools (in short, the Piarists).

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