Pioneer Black Bishop of Buea Diocese Dies

Walter Wilson Nana
Buea, Cameroon

Mgr. Pius Suh Awa, Bishop Emeritus of the Diocese of Buea is no more. Mgr. Awa died Sunday, February 9 2014 at 10:22 PM after a protracted illness at the Doctor Muna Memorial Clinic in Douala.

According to a communiqué made public by Mgr. Immanuel Bushu, Bishop of Buea Diocese, Monday, February 10 2014, the mortal remains of the deceased will be removed from the mortuary of the military hospital at Bonanjo, Douala on Sunday, February 23 2014 at noon and the funeral mass will take place in the Regina Pacis Cathedral in Small Soppo, Buea on Monday, February 24 2014 at 9:00AM. Burial will follow immediately after the holy mass in the same cathedral.

Until death came visiting Mgr. Awa, he would have celebrated his 84th birthday in May 2014.

Bishop Pius Awa(R) in one of his meetings with Pope John Paul II. Today, they have all left the world

Bishop Pius Awa(R) in one of his meetings with Pope John Paul II. Today, they have all left the world

His Lordship Bishop Pius Suh Awa, from Bafut, was born on May 4, 1930. He attended primary school in Mankon, Bafut and Njindom between 1938 and 1944. From 1945 to 1947, he was a teacher in Njindom. He entered the Junior Seminary in Sasse College in 1952 and in 1955 was admitted to Bigard Memorial Seminary, Enugu – Nigeria, from where he proceeded to Rome for further studies.

On December 20, 1961, he was ordained priest in Rome. When he returned to Cameroon in 1962, he was appointed as curate of Fiango Parish, Kumba.  He was appointed Supervisor of Catholic Schools in the Forest Area of West Cameroon from 1964 to 1965. In 1968, Fr. Pius Suh Awa was appointed Vicar General of Buea Diocese and on February 20, 1971, His Holiness Pope Paul VI appointed him Co-adjutor Bishop of Buea with the right of succession. On May 31 that same year, he was consecrated and served as Coadjutor Bishop of Buea until 1972. On January 29, 1973, Mgr. Pius Suh Awa took over from Bishop Jules Peeters as the chief shepherd of Buea Diocese. His Motto “Ut Cognoscant Te” “That They May Know Thee” was the spur of his work of evangelisation in Buea Diocese.  Before Mgr. Awa took over from Mgr. Peeters, he also served as Editor of Cameroon Panorama for the following years; July 1964 – July 1969, January 1971 – May 1971 and from July 1971 – 1973.

Bishop Pius Suh Awa played a key role in the opening of St. Thomas Aquinas Major Seminary Bambui in 1973.

The Diocesan Pilgrimage Centre – Bonjongo remains one of his memorable legacies. He also did a lot in Buea Diocese in the education and health domains.
Following Bishop Pius Awa’s request, Pope John Paul II created the Diocese of Mamfe on February 22, 1999.

On July 21, 2005, Pope Benedict XVI accepted Bishop Pius Awa’s resignation letter and on January 1, 2007, he addressed his last Pastoral letter to all the Priests, Religious, Christ’s lay faithful and people of goodwill in Buea Diocese.

The spiritual life of Buea Diocese grew from strength to strength under his leadership. He invited Handmaids of The Holy Child Jesus to work in Buea Diocese in 1980-81.

In 1985, he founded the Congregation of Brothers of St. Martin de Porres. The Carmelite Contemplative Sisters from Mexico came in 1994. Lay organisations that were created during his tutelage include Cadets of Mary, FLEP, FLACAM, Christian Family Movement and Catechetical Team.

Funeral & Burial Programmes

Feb. 23 2014 – Prayer service and removal of corpse from the morgue of the Douala Military Hospital

-         Departure to Buea with military escort

-         Reception of corpse at the Mungo Bridge by Buea Diocesan Community

-         Arrival of corpse at Bongo Square and procession to Small Soppo Cathedral premises

-         Three Requiem Masses will unfold, beginning at 4:00PM

Feb. 24 – Beginning 1:00AM, Requiem Masses will continue

9:00AM – Final funeral mass presided over by His Eminence Christian Cardinal Tumi, Archbishop Emeritus of Douala

Homily by Bishop Andrew Nkea

Addresses from the National Episcopal Conference of Cameroon and the Buea Diocesan Laity of Council.




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