A crowd of mourners converged on St. Theresa Cathedral, Kumbo on February 12 to bid farewell to the late Archbishop Emeritus of Bamenda, Fr. Paul Mbiybe Verdzekov, who died on January 26 in Ntasen, Bamenda.
Way back in the late 1970s, the fascination of soon meeting a bishop in person enthralled me as my school, STS Kumbo, and the Nso Christian community prepared for Bishop Paul Verdzekov’s pending visit.
Rev. Father Paul Verdzekov is truly dead! He has ceased to live as a human person. But our faith tells us that part of him is alive, that part of him is his soul. Man’s soul does not die. It lives forever; we believe that the soul of Paul is now with God. For a Christian, to die is to be born in heaven. For one who is baptised, his death is the completion of his Easter celebration. The funeral celebration of Paul, like that of any Christian, is in fact, the Pascal mystery of Christ. All Christians who have died have become members of the dead and risen Lord, Jesus Christ. That is what is good about death: it unites the Christian with Christ.
Your Eminence Christian Cardinal Tumi, Your Excellency Monsignor Cornelius Fontem Esua, Archbishop of Bamenda, Your Excellencies Archbishops and Bishops of Cameroon, Your Excellency, the Governor of the Northwest Region. Your Excellency, the Governor of the Littoral Region, Legislative, Administrative, Religious and Traditional Authorities, Dear brothers in the priesthood, Dear people of God, who are in Bamenda.
Your Excellency the Prime Minister of Cameroon, Your Eminence Christian Cardinal Tumi, Your Excellencies,
the Archbishops and Bishops of Cameroon, Gabon and Congo. Mgr. Luiso Roberto Cona Chargé d’Affaires at interim at the Apostolic Nunciature,
Leaders of other ecclesial communities and religions,
Your Excellencies the Governors of the Northwest and the Littoral Regions, The Procurator of the Northwest Region, Your Excellencies the Ministers and leaders of political parties, Honorable Members of Parliament,
Members of the civil administration and of the forces of Law and Order, Traditional rulers,
Reverend fathers, brothers and sisters, my dear brothers and sisters in Christ.
His Grace, Antoine Ntalou, Archbishop of Garoua We have lost a father, a friend and a brother, who had done a lot for us and the Church in Cameroon. We loved him but the Lord loved him better and that is why He called him. We learnt a lot from him and I hope these things will help us to strengthen our faith, hope and charity until we reach our heavenly home.
The echo of that fateful day, Tuesday, 26th January 2010 still resounds
The time was 1.12 p.m. in the still winter afternoon at Washington, D.C. My childhood-friend and colleague, Patrick Lafon, the news to me he broke Indeed, Taah was no more, our beloved Father had been called home.
A gigantic wave of humanity swept across the globe, uprooting anything and everything along its path, as it rushed to Rome, adding to the already milling tide that had been at St Peter’s Square for days following the death of Pope John Paul II. From presidents to pilgrims and bishops, everyone who could make it to St Peter's Square had come to bid farewell to a pope who had managed to personally touch the lives of almost every individual on earth, Catholic and non-Catholic alike.
VATICAN CITY - Presidents, prime ministers and kings joined pilgrims and prelates in St. Peter's Square on Friday to bid an emotional farewell to Pope John Paul II at a funeral service that drew millions to Rome for the largest gathering of the powerful and the humble in modern times.