By Tony Barnicle
Genesis 6.4 talks about “the heroes of old, the men of renown.” The King James Bible calls them “giants.” Every time I read this passage, I think about the time I lived with these giants, builders of a young church and a young nation, Cameroon. One of them is a man I met in 1965. He was a seminarian, home on vacation for the summer. A year later, on April 24, 1966, he celebrated his first Mass in our church, St. Mary’s in the village he grew up in, Kikaikelaki. I had the privilege of making the arrangements for that event.
Christian Cardinal Tumi was visiting the US to raise money for the Catholic University of Douala, a business school that will equip young men and woman with the skills they need to compete in the Information Age. From our conversation, it was clear that he understood the importance of educating women. The World Bank reported the return on the education of a woman is four times greater the return from educating a man. Christian also told me he still has the Chalice I gave him at his First Mass and thinks of me often as he says Mass. Now, can you blame me for offering to help him, in any way I can, to achieve his goal – to help the Archdiocese of Douala build St. Jerome Catholic University?
Our friends and ex-students on our DROPPINGS list who are living in Cameroon and who know Cardinal Tumi will understand the importance of this University and how much Cardinal Tumi has done, already, to build it. Since his retirement, he has worked to expand the formally all girls College Saint-Esprit into a full University. Today there are 1,500 men and women attending St. Jerome’s. If facilities and faculty were available, 10,000 students could be admitted. Our Cameroonian friends know Christian. They know of his lifetime commitment to social justice and education. I am confident that they will join me in supporting this ministry. They can send their contributions directly to Christian who is now the Cardinal Emeritus Archdiocese de Douala, 9, Boulevard de la Libertè, B.P. 197 Douala Cameroon.
living outside Cameroon can send money to Archdiocese of Douala at the
Vatican bank, account number 04023-904. The gifts can be
routed through the Deutsche Bank Trust Company Americas, 60 Wall Street, N.Y.
N.Y. 1005 –USA.
The President of the Catholic University of Dallas has promised to establish an endowment for St. Jerome. His email is firstname.lastname@example.org. His phone number is 1 972 721 5203. Whatever you decide, I would like to track the gifts this letter and other efforts we will take to support Christian’s goal. We are a team of friends from the Diocese of Jefferson City and Lincoln University. We hope to make a significant contribution to Christian’s dream. If we can, we dream of the day we can invite him here on his next visit to the US. My dream is Christian from Kikaikelaki will stay with us on Barnicle Farms and say Mass at our Church in Mary’s Home.