St. Augustine Province of Africa

Hospitaller Order of Saint John of God

Bro. John Bangsi

john-bangsiWhen I entered the Order at Nguti in 1983 we had plentiful vocations, and many young men were admitted as Postulants. The Nguti Interprovincial Novitiate was closed down in 1986 to be transferred to Lomé, in Togo. Since that time we have only had the Postulancy in Nguti. I am telling this because it was precisely here that the Brothers were welcomed when they arrived in Cameroon and I therefore consider this place as a “mother”, that has given life to the Brothers, Co-workers, Benefactors, Volunteers and Patients.

When I embarked on my experience here, Congregations used different channels and means of attracting and promoting vocations, by paying visits to schools, universities and parishes, for example, to acquaint young people with their charism. This is a method commonly being used in Malawi and Zambia today, and it is the method that I have also used myself. In Cameroon, on the other hand, the dioceses organise summer camps lasting about one week, for young people who feel called to the Religious Life. At these camps, the Congregations are invited to present their mission and their charism.

Checking through the registers and the statistics, I realised that our vocational pastoral ministry and promotional work and apostolate had never succeeded in reaching certain central regions of Cameroon at all, and I therefore considered that this was an aspect that had to be seriously considered.

In 1999 I was transferred from Batibo to Nguti to look after a group of five Postulants, and subsequently our Lord blessed the Order with some new candidates.

A few years later, I was transferred to Zambia where I remained for five years without any new candidates, and was then moved on to Malawi where I stayed until 2012 where, thank God, we saw our work bearing fruit with a number of professions.

I would like to recall in particular the Postulancy Masters who preceded me and those who came after me and have done so much good work. I want to mention in particular Brothers Nicholas Mue, Patrick and Winkar.