A Winter Afternoon in  Cameroon

 

To the north of Mozambique, to the east of the Democratic Republic of the Congo and to the south of Nigeria lies the country of Cameroon that celebrates a population of more than 22 million people of diverse economical levels, ethnicity and religions. The inhabitants of this corner of the world also earn a living in many different ways ranging from simple one crop farmers to merchants in the large cities, educators, doctors, etc. Some are wealthy and, as in every other part of the world, some are notably poor. It was amid this latter group that Daughter of the Holy Spirit Sr. Cecile Cusson chose to spend a near half century that she calls, “the best and most meaningful years of my life”.

It was as a young religious that Cecile packed her bags and responded to the appeal to venture forth from the quiet corner of Connecticut that she had known since her childhood to a slowly developing country counting 250 ethnic groups spread out over 10 provinces.

For the young professed, it was love at first sight. She settled in a bustling yet poor region of Cameroon and quickly got to know the people, especially the families with children. Cecile had the heart and spirit of a teacher, nurse and pioneer, and she eagerly shared her competencies with her  many new friends. 

One of Sr. Cusson’s greatest contributions during her time among the Cameroonians was working with physically disabled children.  She saw hundreds of these youngsters at her clinic and, over time, was able to develop braces and other equipment and techniques that helped child after child to gain or regain mobility. She worked night and day tirelessly in collaboration with local families, physicians and other professionals to achieve her goals. She never complained but turned adversities into allies all for “her little ones”.

Sister Cecile has been back in the USA for several years now, but her experience in Cameroon has clearly shaped her thinking and her way of seeing life simply, with no fanfare and with gratitude for the smallest things.

It was to honor Sister and her work ,along with that of. her, DHS companions from the States,namely Sisters Albert Celine (deceased) and Marie Rose Courtemanche who is currently in the St. Joseph Community in Windham, that our Archivists presented an exhibit featuring albums, testimonies, journals and artifacts from the American DHS Cameroonian experience. The photos will offer a taste of Cameroonian culture and a peek at Sr. Cecile happily fulfilling her ministry with the children.

For more information about Sister’s work in Cameroon, you may contact her directly at the Provincial House by calling 860-928-0891 or by e-mailing our office: devofdhs@yahoo.com

We would love to hear from you.  You may also visit our international website to learn more about DHS presence in Cameroon today.

book book
    Book of methodology for rehab written by Sister Cecile based on the techniques she used successfully with her young patients.
Book of methodology for rehab written by Sister Cecile based on the techniques she used successfully with her young patients.

 

book newspaper article
Book of methodology for rehab written by Sister Cecile based on the techniques she used successfully with her young patients.
    A newspaper article on the missioning of the other 2 US DHS who ministered in Cameroon.

 

4.	Sr. Cecile Sister
    Sr. Cecile with one of her rehabilitated patients
    Sisters Norma and Madeleine listen attentively to Sr. Cecile’s adventures while Sisters Paulette and Saundra enjoy perusing Cecile’s books

 

Sisters statue
Archivist Margaret Anderson (far right) joins Sisters Lorraine Duval (first on left), Marie Pauline and Blanche as they closely examine another album from Sr. Cecile’s collection. This statue was given in recognition of Sr. Cecile’s years of ministry in Cameroon.  It is carved from one piece of redwood by disabled students and symbolizes the fact that Jesus came to break the chains of slavery

 

 

 

 
 

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72 Church Street  Putnam, Connecticut 06260 USA  860-928-0891

 
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