Bishop in Guinea Who Succumbed to Long Illness
Remembered as “model for Clergy”
The Church in Guinea is mourning the passing of Bishop Emmanuel Félémou of the Catholic Diocese of Kankan who has been described as a father, a servant of the Church and a great model for the Clergy in the West African country.
Bishops in Guinea announced the death of the 60-year-old Bishop in a communiqué circulated to government and religious leaders as well as to people of God in the country on March 1.
“The Episcopal Conference of Guinea has the deep sorrow to inform you of the reminder to God of his servant His Excellency Monsignor Emmanuel Félémou, Bishop of the diocese of Kankan. Death occurred this Monday, March 1, 2021, in Conakry, following a long illness,” the Bishops announced in a joint statement.
In the statement signed by the Local Ordinary of N'Zérékoré Diocese, Bishop Raphaël Balla, who doubles as the President of the Episcopal Conference of Guinea, the Bishops added, “In offering you its most moved condolences, the Episcopal Conference of Guinea asks you to stand firm in faith and in hope in this so painful and trying situation.”
“The Lord God had given; the Lord God has taken back; blessed be his name!” the Bishops said in their collective message.
In a Wednesday, March 3 interview with ACI Africa, Caritas Guinea Programmes Director, Siba Alexis Dopavogui, said that the people of God in the country would live to remember the late Bishop’s endearing service in the country.
“The Church is mourning a son for his family, a Father for his faithful, a Bishop for his rank, a Pastor to proclaim the gospel, a servant for his Lord, a Shepherd to guide the flock,” Mr. Dopavogui said, adding, “These are the names that characterized His Excellency Emmanuel Félémou, Bishop of the Diocese of Kankan. And this is how we choose to remember him.”
The Caritas official continued, “We are mourning a visionary leader for the new church, a builder for the people of Israel, a model for the clergy and a man among many other men.”
In his tribute to the late Bishop who he said had supported Caritas activities in the country, Mr. Dopavogui said, “The Lord said, be faithful until you die and I will give you the crown of life. The hour has come to keep your promise, Lord; the time to say goodbye; the hour to welcome your servant. Finally, the hour of reunion!”
“God gave, God took back, praise for ages and ages… Amen! Sleep in peace Great Priest,” he said
The late Bishop was born in Guinea’s Diocese of N'Zérékoré, which is located in the Ecclesiastical Province of Conakry.
In 1989, aged 28, he was ordained a Priest of the Diocese of N'Zérékoré and in 2007, ordained a Bishop of Guinea’s Kankan Diocese.
In their announcement of the death of Bishop Félémou, Catholic Bishops in Guinea said that details concerning funeral arrangements and the burial of their late brother Bishop would be communicated later.
ACI Africa was officially inaugurated on August 17, 2019 as a continental Catholic news agency at the service of the Church in Africa. Headquartered in Kenya’s capital, Nairobi, this media apostolate will strive to facilitate the telling of Africa’s story by providing media coverage of Catholic events on the African continent, giving visibility to the activities of the Church across Africa where statistics show significant growth in numbers and the continent gradually becoming the axis of Catholicism. This is expected to contribute to an awareness of and appreciation for the significant role of the Church in Africa and over time, the realization of a realistic image of Africa that often receives negative media framing.
Father Don Bosco Onyalla
Editor-in-Chief, ACI Africa