Die Website der afrikanische katholische Gemeinden in Nordrhein-Westfalen.

Die Gemeinden

The African Catholic Community Bielefeld (ACCB)

THE BEGINNINGS OF THE AFRICAN CATHOLIC COMMUNITY BIELEFELD (ACCB)

dscn1905The African Catholic Community in Bielefeld is a fast growing community. The community was founded to attend to the spiritual and temporal needs of all African Catholics in Bielefeld especially those who, owing to problems of language or art of worship or lack of access to the rites of the Church in ways familiar to them, are in danger of losing their faith in God and their place in the Catholic Church. This objective is, however, being pursued with the complementary goal of integrating the members into the German communities where they happen to have their homes. In this regard, many activities are undertaken together with the host catholic community. The concrete efforts for the establishment of the African Catholic Community, Bielefeld started in 2009 when Mr. Christopher Ike, worried by the fate of African Catholics in Bielefeld and environs, had a conversation with his friend Mr. Fidelis Ejiogu who lives in Münster. After this conversation, the contacts of Rev. Fr. Dr. Sylvester Ihuoma, the priest in-charge of the African Catholic Community Münster, were made available to Mr. Christopher Ike. Within the same period, precisely in October 2009, Mr. Ike came into contact with Sr. M. Bernadette Chime, DDL and told her of the difficulties confronting the African Catholics in Bielefeld with regards to their Catholic Faith. She suggested to Mr. Ike that the first step would be to sound the opinion of African Catholics in and around Bielefeld to see if they would be willing to gather as a community on Sundays for Mass so as to have concrete information for Rev. Dr. Sylvester Ihuoma. By this time, Mr. Ike had discussed the same issues with Mr. Dungard Okorom. Accordingly, a meeting with the members of the Igbo Cultural Union in Bielefeld, where Mr. Ike and Mr. Okorom were members, was arranged. At their invitation, Sr. Bernadette Chime visited the group in May 2010. She reminded them of the importance of attending Mass on Sundays and asked them their opinion about starting an African Catholic community in Bielefeld where masses will be celebrated on Sundays. The Catholics among them welcomed the idea. This initial visit to Igbo Cultural Union was followed by the visit of Rev. Dr. Sylvester Ihuoma on the 10th of July, 2010 at Brake (Naggert Str. 50), Bielefeld. After listening to him, some members of this group wrote down their names and those of their families to indicate their willingness to constitute the foundation members of the new community. Those who engaged in this exercise include: Christopher Ike, Augustus Dungard Okorom, Vitalis Nwanaforo, Francis Usuwa, Fred Okolie, Bill Balahatt, Alex Agwunedu, Christopher Nwasianu, Patrick Ikekwuaba, Godwin Okorie, Martin Chigozie, Donatus Lemchi, Linus Uwaezuoke and Young Ojinnaka. Convinced that the people were ready for the establishment of an African Catholic Community in Bielefeld, Rev. Dr. Sylvester Ihuoma reached out to the Archdiocese of Paderborn and the issue was brought up in the Diocesan Priests’ meeting. Pfr. Dr. Dr. Markus Jacobs, who was present at that meeting and who was zealous about giving the Africans in Bielefeld the opportunity to worship God in an African manner, willingly offered to host the community in his parish. Armed with the readiness of the people to begin the new community and with the willingness of Pfr. Dr. Dr. Jacobs to host the community, Rev. Dr. Sylvester Ihuoma and Rev. Fr. Victor Anoka visited Pfr. Jacobs on the 14th of April, 2011 to finalize the details for the commencement of the new community. All these preparatory efforts were crowned with success on the 12th of June, 2011 (Pentecost Sunday) when the first Mass was celebrated by Fr. Victor Anoka in the new community. With this dawned a new era for African Catholics in Bielefeld and environs. The pioneer community council was appointed on the 19th of June, 2011. The members include: Mr. Mike Ntodonke, Mr. Paul Izah, Mr. Christopher Ike, Mr. Augustus Dungard Okorom, and Mrs. Joy Bidemi Obi. These have dedicated themselves wholeheartedly to the tremendous apostolate and challenges of building up a new community. Again, the series of religious and sacramental ceremonies celebrated so far in the young community are worthy testimonies to the spiritual relief the establishment of the community has brought to the African Catholics in this area. The first baptism in the community was celebrated on the 2nd of October, 2011 and the lucky one was Joy Ugonna Chigozie, the child of Mr. and Mrs. Martines Chigozie. Since then, many child presentations have been celebrated in the community. The family of Mr. & Mrs. Christopher Ike presented their baby girl Ozioma Ike in the church on 25th December, 2011. Mr. & Mrs. Paul Izah equally presented their twins Isioma and Ifeoma Izah on this day. Mr. & Mrs. Marshall Obi presented their baby girl Precious Mmachi Obi in the church on the 11th of March, 2012. The baptisms of these children followed at later dates. The community is looking forward to more celebrations in the nearest future. On a joyful and important note, the community will celebrate its first anniversary on the 27th of May, 2012 with the auxiliary Bishop Hubert Berenbrinker as the chief celebrant. It is thanks to God and the untiring efforts of the members of the new community that so many blessings are coming its way. Our vision is to be a community of wonderful, loving, friendly and supportive congregation that loves God and His people, a community strongly motivated to a life of service with creativity, passion and joy. This we hope to achieve by creating an atmosphere conducive to praise and worship thereby giving opportunity for the full expression of God’s holiness and blessings among His people. We do not, however, intend to be limited to religious activities alone. The new community will offer support to Africans in their dealings with state officials. It will be a centre of cultural contacts where members will have the opportunity to learn the language and culture of their hosts and where children will be taught the language and cultures of their parents. Other activities and programs that can be beneficial to the Africans in Bielefeld and environs will be added as time goes on. by Mr. Paul Izah (Community Secretary/Financial Secretary)dscn1894


Pastoral Team

  • Rev. Fr. Victor Anoka
  • Sr. Bernadette Chime
  • Sr. Mary Rose Claret Ogbuehi

Pioneer Community Council

  • Mr Mike Ntodonke – V. Chairman
  • Mr Paul Izah – Secretary/Financial Secretary
  • Mr Christopher Ike – Publicity/Treasurer
  • Mr Dungard Okorom – C. M. O. Chairman/Liturgy Commission
  • Mrs Joy Obi Bidemi – C. W. O. Chairwoman/Socials