During these years 2011-2015 we have celebrated 1345 baptisms. The tendency is of increasing numbers of infant baptisms. We have changed the orientation. Now we celebrate the sacrament of baptism for infants every month on the last Saturday, but most especially during Christmas, Easter and Assumption. We have stressed the involvement of parents, and godparents in the baptism of their children. We stressed the fact that they should endeavour to be good and practising Christians. As for adults, we have several encounters of Candidates during these years, and we have recovered the custom that the Fathers and Brothers examine them before Baptism and First Holy Communion. We still await the implementation of the three years system for adult doctrine as it is stated in the RCIA ie Right of Christian Initiation for Adults.
510 candidates received the sacrament of confirmation in 2015 following the canonical visit of the Archbishop Cornelius Fontem Esua to our parish. They received classes for some months before the Sacrament. The majority of them were primary school children except for a number coming from the starlight Secondary school, sited in our Parish, some students from higher institutes of learning and some few adults who received this sacrament.
III. FIRST HOLY COMMUNION
We gave First Holy Communion to 385 new communicants during these five years. We celebrate the sacrament during the feast of Easter. The children who had prepared well during the school year receive the bread of life on this feast. They follow the same catechetical training as catechumens for Baptism and also there is a follow up of their Christian commitment. For those who follow catechesis in our primary schools, the catechists give a helping hand in order to ensure that they receive a common program with those who are not in our schools.
SACRAMENT OF PENANCE
We can see an improvement in the participation in this sacrament. Only a small sector of the population is still untouched by the awareness of the need and riches of this sacrament, especially youths not committed in any group. We insist to the Christian community on the importance of the sacrament, and on the necessity of it, mainly before the great celebrations of the liturgical year. However, there is greater awareness within the last two years of the importance of this sacrament, evidence being the increasing number of penitents’ especially young people.
Penitential services are held several times during the year in all the seven mission stations, especially during advent and lent. We offer too some special penitential services to the schools, the junior and senior youths and the various action and prayer groups. There is also the possibility of receiving the sacrament every day, after daily mass in the main mission station and Menteh and in Manda when we go there for mass, now three times a week. Apart from that, any parishioner’s request is always satisfied immediately.
The availability of the priests of our community of Futru and the opening of the community of Menteh have gone a long way to help in this sacrament of God’s mercy. Within these years we have hardly called priests from other parishes to help us.
IV. SACRAMENT OF MARRIAGE AND FAMILY MINISTRIES.
We have celebrated 155 marriages, more than the double of the four previous years. We can feel that in these last times there is an increase in interest in marrying in church.
The marriage preparation team organizes and develops the marriage preparatory course about thrice a year. It is always successful, but many couples are not receiving the sacrament for
Some more couples have attended the marriage encounter week-end”, and there is a strong and active cell in our parish. In our parish premises are held many meetings and activities of this movement and as well some of the ‘marriage Enrichment Movement’. The C.F.M. continues its regular activity and, they have opened new branches for all Mission Stations.