Cameroon: 70 years of the presence of the DHS

April 1954-April 2024: 70 years of the presence of the Daughters of the Holy Spirit in Cameroon.

“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me… he has sent me to bring good news to the poor…” (Luke 4:18).
On Sunday 14 April 2024, to mark these years of life given and received in all the parishes where we are, we officially opened the festivities that will take place until 20 December in Maroua. Before 14 April, we prepared to live the year with a novena of prayer composed for this event; a prayer was also conceived to entrust this jubilee year to the Lord.
The first Daughters of the Holy Spirit: Sisters Anne-Marie VOLANT (Sr Thérèse-Célestin), Marie-Cyprien KERBAUL (Sr Cyprien), Rita OUELETTE (Sr Albert-Céline), Yvette QUILFEN (Sr Jean-Odette) and Hélène GUILLEMET (Sr Hélène du divin cœur) on their arrival in Doukoula, -diocese of Yagoua- and the first DHS community in Cameroon, they immediately went to work for the sick, for children in the dispensaries and schools they ran with the help of the Missionaries of Mary Immaculate.

Each of the nine communities in our Vice-Province marked the opening of our jubilee year in a special way. Masses were requested for the intentions of the Congregation, for those who have worked in Cameroon and for our Vice-Province. The various Eucharistic assemblies gave us the opportunity to say a few words about this jubilee year and to get to know each other better, the Daughters of the Holy Spirit and our associates. As they spoke, it was a divine coincidence! The parishes invoked either the Holy Spirit in song, or Marie Balavenne – our foundress with her companions – so that they might continue to assist us!  After that, it was time for a presentation on the arrival of the first Daughters of the Holy Spirit in Doukoula: their witness to life, their apostolic actions and their particular attention to the most disadvantaged, such as women, young girls, the sick and children. We also talked about the history of the whole Congregation (the three branches), our charism and our spirituality.
To add to the joy of the day, we were personally more involved in the liturgy (decorations, readings, songs and offerings). As for the Christian faithful, to express their gratitude to the Congregation, they took up a collection to support the sisters in their mission. In all the parishes, we felt supported by the parishioners and the apostolic team. – In Touloum, Father Mario named the sisters with whom he had worked: Sisters Anne-Marie VOLANT, Marie Cyprien KERBAUL, Thérèse MAHEC, Marguerite RIOU, Solange JEGOREL, Thérèse HAVARD and Madeleine CHENAIS. For him, they were good women, rooted in God and who gave themselves totally to service for others -.
At the end of Mass, we shared a glass of water with everyone. Many people approached us to find out more about our Congregation, or to find out about a particular sister who had made an impression on them, or who had given her name to their daughter! For everyone in every parish, these were moments filled with emotions: gratitude, joy, nostalgia, but also sadness, because the young girls are still hesitating to want to continue the work of the first Daughters of the Holy Spirit.

We continue to recite the jubilee prayer and a programme has been drawn up for various activities up to 21 December – the date of the closing of the 70 years of thanksgiving – including visits to the parishes where the Daughters of the Holy Spirit have lived, a retreat in the Vice-Province and many other events…

Sister Vedette NDAOKAÏ, for the DHS communities of the Vice-Province of Cameroon.
Published on 26 April 2024

The photos.
Photo 1: Sisters Agnès DABAYA, Jermé BAWA and the group of associates at Kaélé.
Photo 2: Father Mario, Sisters Geneviève KOUVOU, Pascaline SOMDA and Serlette GAOBAWAÏ and an associate at Touloum.
Photo 3: Sisters Justride BESSIRI, Christine MAÏDOKLE, Odette MAÏBLAME and the group of associates, Koza.
Photo 5: Sharing after mass.oto 4: Sisters Hélène MAÏBA, Alice TODOU and Elisabeth MAÏROUSKOU, in Touroua.

Photo 6: Photo of the novitiate community after the opening mass of the celebration of 70 years of DHS presence in Cameroon
Photo 7: The logo