The Christian faithful of aint Cecilia Catholic Church of Cotonou and indigenous people from the Towéta, Ladji and surrounding areas are preparing to celebrate the diamond wedding anniversary of the said parish. As a prelude to this ecclesial activity, a meeting was organized on Sunday 27th October , 2019, with the parishioners to provide them with information. That is, the genesis of the church and future projects.
The parish of Sainte Cécile faithfuls of Cotonou now know the history of their church. It was during a discussion session initiated by the parish clergy in collaboration with the parish council and the celebration committee that the genesis was made to the faithful. According to Patrice Ekpangbo, the communicator, it was with Father Colineau, then Pastor of the Cathedral of Our Lady of Mercy in Cotonou, having received a mandate from Bishop Steinmetz, that the missions in the Ahouansori district began with the help of Mr Pierre AGNILO. Thus, in 1930, the inauguration of the chapel under the name of Saint Cecilia took place, followed by the baptism of the first catechumens in 1931 and in 1932 by the First Communion. After the death of Father Colineau in 1942, ten years later, the office was handed over to Father Poideveneau who served as parish priest at Saint Michel Church.
Indeed, the birth of the said parish really began with Bishop Louis Parisot who installed the Rd Father Francis Verger in Sainte Cécile, which was erected as a parish on 20th September 1959. In his work of evangelization, the latter undertook renovation work in collaboration with some lay people in good faith: the brothers TOSSE SIAGBE, the chief of the canton, Kinse and Gandonou Gnonlonfoun. The increase in the number of faithful led the leaders of the time to think of the project to plant a large church in December 1965 with the laying of the foundation stone of the current building. Its inauguration in November 1966 was made with general enthusiasm.
Since its birth to date, the parish of Sainte Cécile de Cotonou has had 16 priests whose periods of passage are as follows:
1959-1967: Father Francis Verger (1st Priest), the construction of the church was the work of the latter;
1967-1974: Father Flouret, he had the initiative of the Base Communities of the districts
1974-1975: Father L’Hostis
1975-1976: Father Prat
1976-1978: Father Echasserieu
September 1978- 7th July 1987: Rd father Pierre Richaud
1987-1988: Father Martin Added
1988-1989: Father Rufin Nouatin
1989-1992: Father Julien Aniou
1stAugust 1992 – December 2002: Father Alfred Quenum. He broke the record for longevity as a priest. The erection of the parish’s fence walls was his work.
December 2002 – July 2004: Father Antoine Mètin. He worked on the construction of the Calvary and the Shrine of Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. Thus, the rebuilding of the tiling of the altar of the Church and the construction of the hard desks and their tile covering were his work.
2004 – August 2007: Father Ambroise Lahatan, fought for the consecration of the Church on November 7, 2004 by Mgr Nestor Assogba, then Archbishop of Cotonou. He also had the statue of Saint Cecilia erected on the courtyard of the Church and took over the large gate of the main entrance to the parish.
2007 – 2012: Father Cyriaque Amoussou, he is the initiator of the preparatory activities for the golden jubilee of the parish of Sainte Cécile where he fought to make the festivities marking the fiftieth anniversary a reality.
September 2011 – June 2018: Father Damien Ogué, many repairs were done in the parish under the latter.
since June 2018: Rd Père Honoré Dansou
For the communicator, after all these years of life, the parish is currently facing difficulties. According to him, many of the faithful at one time lost interest in the activities of the parish and came to frequent other parishes. This has therefore led to reforms in which the parish council and the current management team have delivered some highlights:
- Updating the development plan of the parish of Sainte Cécile by integrating the supervision of young people in their need for integration
- Elaboration of a charter of good conduct for choirs and other associations in the parish in order to ensure good follow-up
- Introduction of group swearing-in in the Roman Catholic Church
- Creation of the management committee for the works of the Holy parish.
The 43 groups of choirs and associations of the Parish of Sainte Cécile de Cotonou are:
1- Sikècodji Christians
2- Christians of Awanssouri
3- Christians of Gbèdromédé
4- Christians of Aïdjèdo 1
5- Christians of Aïdjèdo 2
6- Christians of Aïdjèdo 4 (Ste Cécile)
7- Cecilian Choir
8- Adjogan Choir
9- Sexweyon Choir
10- Aluwasio Choir
11- Choir St Paul of Tarsus
12- Hanyé Choir
13- Yoruba Choir
14- Arigbo Choir
15- Children’s Choir (Bakhita)
16- Order and reception service
17- Friends of Jesus Suffering
18- Our Lady of the Rosary
19- Charismatic Renewal
20- Saint Augustin
21- Our Lady of the Sacred Heart
22- Young people committed to Christ
23- New fire
24- Saint Therese of Lisieux
25- Saint Tharcisius
26- City of the Immaculate Conception
27- Legion of Mary
28- Catholic Women
29- Way of the Cross Association
30- ACF Association
31- Holy Face Association
32- Association Saint Camille
33- Association Saint Joseph
34- Association Saint Michel Archange
35- The Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary
36- Fon readers
37- French readers
38- Divine Mercy
39- Saint Vincent de Paul
40- MADEB Group
41- The Scouts
42- Saint Jude
This is the program of activities for the 60th anniversary of Sainte Cécile parish