Focolare Movement of Fontem
“A priestly Focolare is a kind of living together in which priests and deacons focolarini put constantly into practice, as the basis of everything they do, the words of Jesus: ‘Where two or three are gathered in my name, I will be in their midst’ ( Mt 18: 20 ). The priestly focolare must always be sure of the presence of Jesus among its members through mutual love, so to conform itself to the Family of Nazareth to whose likeness it has been founded.” ( Art. 10 of Regulations )
The priestly Focolare, which first has been in Fontem since 1972 has now been transferred to Fonjumetaw Parish since August 2011 with Fr. John Kipruto from Kenya and Fr. Oscar Garcìa from Colombia. The present priestly Focolare is made up of three diocesan priests: Fr. Joseph Ateh from Cameroon ( diocese of Bamenda ), Fr. Andres Canon from Colombia and Fr. Anthony Mascia from Italy. Two of them are living together in Fonjumetaw Parish, namely Fr. Andres, who came to Fonjumetaw in March 2014 ) and Fr. Anthony who is in Fonjumetaw since February 2012, while Fr. Ateh is in Bamenda.
As the above Regulations were saying our daily challenge, as a priestly Focolare, is to try to keep the presence of Jesus always alive among us and to irradiate it to those around, to those whom we are called to serve and all the activities we carry out at the Parish and at the diocesan level. The spiritual atmosphere of Jesus in the midst is not meant to change any structure, both social and ecclesiastical, but it wants only to affect the relationships among the Christians in the Parish or in any parochial structure ( like Pastoral Councils, groups, liturgical and pastoral activities, etc. ) in such a way that they should be based on mutual love.
Fonjumetaw Parish is presently made up of nine Mission Stations which we visit at least once every month. When we visit a Mission Station we meet the Christians living there, Church Groups and catechumens who are there, we listen to them, we give them Christians advice, talks and catechesis, trying to strengthen their faith, then we attend Confessions, we celebrate the Holy Mass.
We also run two Catholic Schools, C.S. Fonjumetaw with 222 pupils, and C. S. Foto with 216 pupils. We say mass in those schools at least once every month.
We are also in touch with many priests who like to follow the spirituality of Unity. Some are closer to the Movement and, being more committed, they are having a systematic spiritual journey, while with the others we meet once or twice a year. With all of them we have a daily link through the daily Password, sharing problems and joys.
Regarding this and in order to follow up better the priests and the seminarians who want to live the spirituality of the Focolare Movement, our Focolare is also considered now as a Spirituality Centre. It purpose is to be in contact with each of them, even those living in the neighbouring Countries, like Central Africa, Nigeria, Gabon, so that the experiences of each and everyone may be shared and may enrich all and so spread the spirit of Unity which is so needed all over the Church. In fact in all the Documents of the Church, today the spirituality of communion is demanded as a foundation of priestly spiritual life and of every pastoral activity. In line with this, since two years we have organized an annual priestly School in Fontem, in April 2013, May 2014 and April 2015 still in Fontem. We also welcome priests and seminarians who want to spend some time with us for a deeper life of unity.
Finally, as a priestly Focolare and as a Spirituality Centre, we are part of the Citadel of Fontem, where every vocation in the Movement is present. In this view we also try to assist spiritually the members of the Citadel of Fontem and also the activities which are carried out, like Mariapolis and Meetings.