By Nchumbonga George Lekelefac
The new Apostolic Nuncio to Cameroon, Archbishop José Avelino Bettencourt, a Portuguese-Canadian prelate of the Catholic Church who serves in the diplomatic service of the Holy See arrived Yaoundé, Cameroon on November 2, 2023.
He was welcomed by the president of the National Episcopal Conference of Cameroon (NECC), Archbishop Andrew Nkea, archbishop of Bamenda; the vice president of the aforementioned conference, Bishop Philippe Alain Mbarga, Bishop of Ebolowa; Archbishop Jean Mbarga, archbishop of Yaoundé; Bishop Miguel Angel Bee Nguema, Bishop of Ebibeyin and vice president of the Episcopal Conference of Equatorial Guinea; Rev. Fr. Vincenzo Marinelli, Chargé d’affaires, Apostolic Nunciature in Cameroon, and countless religious and lay faithful. Find pictures enclosed.
It is worth noting that on 26 February 2018, Pope Francis gave him the title apostolic nuncio and appointed him Titular Archbishop of Aemona. He was named nuncio to Armenia on 1 March, 2018 and to Georgia as well on 8 March, 2018. He received his episcopal ordination from Pope Francis on 19 March. On 30 August 2023, Pope Francis appointed him as nuncio to Cameroon and Equatorial Guinea. Archbishop José Avelino Bettencourt served for 5 years as apostolic nuncio in Georgia and Armenia. We wish him a fruitful mission in Cameroon and Equatorial Guinea.
Archbishop José Avelino Bettencourt arrives Cameroon that is undergoing a terrible massacre and it is our hope that God will give him the grace to fulfil his diplomatic mission but also to fulfil his divine mission as a pastor of souls. Welcome to Cameroon. (English); Benvenuti in Camerun.(Italian); Bienvenido a camerun (Spanish); Bienvenue au Cameroun. (French); Willkommen in Kamerun. (German); Bem-vindo aos Camarões (Portuguese).
On Thursday, November 2, 2023, after having landed at the Yaoundé Nsimalen International Airport (French: Aéroport international de Yaoundé-Nsimalen), also known as Nsimalen airport or just Nsimalen, second busiest and largest public airport in Cameroon, the new 61-year old apostolic nuncio to Cameroon, Archbishop José Avelino Bettencourt, a Portuguese-Canadian prelate of the Catholic Church was interviewed at the V.I.P welcome room, that is, very important person’s room at the airport by Reverend Fr. Humphrey Tatah Mbuy, assistant in charge of Communication of the National Episcopal Conference of Cameroon (NECC), priest incardinated in the Archdiocese of Bamenda, and ordained a priest by a saint, St. John Paul II in Yaoundé in 1985 during his first visit to Cameroon.
Here is the excerpt of the interview:
Archbishop José Avelino Bettencourt: I look forward to meeting as many people as I can and to travel with you in the ways of the Lord and I ask for your prayers for myself and to the good Lords message and his guidance.
Reverend Fr. Humphrey Tatah Mbuy: What would you say particularly to the English-speaking people of Buea, and the Bamenda Ecclesiastical Province?
Archbishop José Avelino Bettencourt: Well, I think in the Cameroons there are 250 languages and plus English and French and then there is a language of Christ, the language of the Gospel.
And I think that one is the one that will certainly tie all together, in a language of dialogue and fraternity and of seeking the ways of the Lord for a better world that we are called to work on.
Reverend Fr. Humphrey Tatah Mbuy: Do you mind giving them a blessing your grace?
Archbishop José Avelino Bettencourt: We certainly imploy through our prayers the Lord and ask him to send the gift of the Holy Spirit that it may come and remain in the Name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, Amen.