St Clare Parish, Menji-Fontem

The Saint Clare church was built by both Christians and people of good will who gradually with the witness of Christians embraced Christianity.
Nothing was by chance, every aspect of this Church building has a story to tell about the unique history of the meeting of this great tribe with Christianity. Its shape permits that every Christian should be as close as possible to the altar where the Eucharist- bond of unity is being celebrated. The entrance door is low as a reminder of the need to ‘lower ourselves’ in the presence of God as we enter, and to ‘lower ourselves’ as we leave to go out and love our neighbour. The roof is in three layers but is seen as one from the inside, a reference to the Trinity: God who is three Persons in one God. In the local culture the houses have one roof, the Fon’s house has two. Since the church is the House of God it is distinguished by the three roofs.
On both the side entrance and the main door, the wooden panels recount the story of the Love of God and the Love of Neighbour in the Old and New Testament and in the Bangwa tradition before and after evangelisation.  There are in all doors a reference to the New Jerusalem in the book of Revelations.
Behind the altar , the backdrop is a synthesis of the story of the Focolare Movement in this place. The Sun is the  love of God for everyone, a love expressed on the cross. The two Fons, living in peace, but what worries them is the problem of child mortality for which Chiara sends focolarini to save the children and Mary is present, she who watches over this people.
The tabernacle is to the side. In the homes of the chiefs and Fons there is a corner which is not open to all, where the ancestors' skulls are kept.  Here the church has inculturated  this practice - the most precious thing for Catholics, the Eucharist, is  kept in  a hidden place.

The panels on the altars and on the lectern depict different biblical scenes.


The parish owes thanks to many who contributed in no small way to its growth and development. It is opportune to mention the  following diocesan priests, members of the Focolare Movement, who worked in this parish: Rev. Fr. Lino D'armi, Annibali, Adolfo Raggio, Johannes Distelberger, Giuseppe Costamagna, Vincent Lockhart, Antonio Marscia, Claudio Cavallo, Darryl D'Souza. With gratitude to God we can say that through their services the parish grew , being enriched and beautified with many ecclesia realities. The experience lived was that of true Catholicism which has no boundaries.
The method of evangelisation was very naturally  reciprocal love which attracted the presence of God among people,  prompting  many to come close to Christianity and to be part of the Family through baptism and sacramental life.