History of the Minor Basilica of Mvolye – Yaounde

In 1923, the first Cathedral, bequeathed by Bishop VIETER, had become too small. With the means at his disposal, Bishop VOGT undertook the construction of a new Cathedral from 1923 to 1927, better responding to the influx of large Pentecostal crowds of the time.
It was here that Bishop VOGT’s mortal remains were laid to rest in 1943, before being taken to the nearby cemetery where he is buried next to Bishop Henri VIETER. It was also there that the funeral of the Superior Chief Charles ATANGANA was celebrated.
The old cathedral of Mvolyé, which had become dilapidated, was demolished in January 1990 with the prospect of building a new sanctuary.
The vision of Archbishop Jean Zoa of Yaoundé, who died in March 1998, was translated into a program that included, first of all, the construction of a 3500-seat church on the hill of Mvolye, in Yaoundé, whose façade would be openable to a forecourt during pilgrimages and major religious celebrations. Its design was to be based on a search for symbolic expression, with provisions favorable to the participation of the faithful in services and meditation. Particular care should be taken with the acoustics and the sound system. And it was necessary to take into account the need for annexed premises: a vast sacristy and a weekday chapel, sanitary facilities, an office and technical premises.
For this realization, Mgr Jean Zoa wished that local resources be used: human and raw materials valorized by transferred know-how.
For a later phase of work, the program also included the urbanization of the hill to welcome pilgrims, a circular road with a Way of the Cross.
The laying of the foundation stone for the construction of the new church took place on August 15, 1990. On January 7, 2001, Mgr André WOUKING consecrated it for the closing of the jubilee year 2000.
Following the request made by the Metropolitan Archbishop of Yaoundé, Mgr Victor TONYE BAKOT, the Marian Shrine of Mvolyé was consecrated as a Minor Basilica of Mary Queen of Apostles.
The proclamation of the Minor Basilica of Mary Queen of Apostles of Mvolyé took place on December 10, 2006. This proclamation was made by the Pontifical Legate, Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, on behalf of the Pope of the Roman Catholic Church Benedict XVI.

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