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Celebrating 50 years of presence in Cameroon

Monique Daigle, CND

This third “Did you know” is about the experiences of three former missionaries: Sister Pauline Asselin (15 years), Sister Sarah Leboeuf (21 years) and Sister Monique Daigle (15 years). For this total of 51 years of service, let us give them a big round of applause and let us give thanks to the Lord for supporting them in their beautiful mission.

Sister Pauline Asselin shares some memories of her time in Cameroon

Here are a few words or facts that recall the fifteen happy years I spent on mission in Cameroon.

I spent the first four years in Makak accompanying our beautiful tall Cameroonian girls. Relationships were pleasant and contact was easy.

One of the first differences I discovered during certain dialogues was our different expressions during prayer. I was told: “When you pray, you close your eyes, clasp your hands, sometimes you kneel, and often you are silent. We, on the other hand, need to make gestures, sometimes we sing what we want to say. Our hands and our bodies need to express themselves.” After discussing these differences, we realized that, either way, we meet God.

After my time in Makak, I was transferred to Douvangar in the extreme North. What a difference in terms of the HOT climate, the mentality changes. There, young people in many families have the opportunity to go to school; the adults, however, have little or no schooling. For my part, I met some lovely women. I would go and I would live according to their means and needs. One day, in the middle of December, I asked them, “What is Christmas?” After a brief silence, a smiling face responded, “WE EAT MEAT.” It was clear and very meaningful. Indeed, for the occasion, an animal is killed and the meat is shared among villages. It is a FEAST! I understood and, little by little, Jesus had his place in the dialogue. It was their natural sense of the word.

These are, in brief, two of my fondest memories.

Pauline Asselin, CND

PRESENCE IN CAMEROON – EXPERIENCE OF SISTER SARAH LEBOEUF

Did you know that I spent 21 years in Cameroon – 13 in Douvangar, 4 at the Centre de Catéchèse in Ebolowa and 4 years in Makak as bursar. These were years of happiness.

What surprised me most were all the snakes; as you can imagine, it took some getting used to…

In Douvangar, my greatest happiness was working with orphans. They worked to pay for their schooling. I would go with them to the fields and we would plant peanuts and millet. I also had the pleasure of training literacy teachers and facilitators – young people in Cop’Monde (Copains du monde).

I had trouble coping with 40 degree Celsius heat. I would have to leave early in the morning for my mountain hikes in order to teach out-of-school children. My time in Cameroon between 1988 and 2020 was beneficial and very enriching.

Sarah Leboeuf, CND

Missionary Experience of Sister Monique Daigle

That they may have life and have it abundantly. (Jn 10:10)

Did you know that Sister Monique Daigle lived in Cameroon for 15 years – 12 in Ebolowa and three in Otélé? She was a high school religion teacher. Besides catechetics, she would go to the leprosarium in Ngalane and sort through clothes for lepers. These were 12 years rich in the gift of self…

In Otélé, Sister Monique provided training for priests from several African countries. What a beautiful mission! She keeps this mission in her prayers and remains in contact with ex-seminarians who have become priests.

Let us give thanks for all these young people who serve the Church of Cameroon.

Monique Daigle, CND

 

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