His Eminence Cardinal Christian Wiyghan Tumi
Archbishop of Douala

Cardinal Christian Tumi, the first Cameroon ever to be made a cardinal, was born on October 15, 1930, in Kikaikelaki, Kumbo, in Northwestern Cameroon. His mother is still living at 109 years of age.

Cardinal Tumi attended a Catholic primary school in Kumbo; however, it was at normal school that he discovered his vocation to the priesthood. He continued his training at the major seminaries in Enugu and Ibadan, Nigeria. He was ordained a priest on April 17, 1966, and assigned to the parish of Kumba. In 1967, the task of teaching at the Soppo-Buéa seminary was added to these duties. Continuing his studies in Europe, he earned a licentiate in theology from the Institut Catholique de Lyon and a doctorate in philosophy from the Catholic University of Fribourg, Switzerland. Returning to Cameroon in 1973, he founded, directed, and taught at the Major Seminary in Bambui.

Then on January 6, 1980, Tumi became the first bishop of the newly formed diocese of Yagoua, adopting “Lord, I come to do your will” as his episcopal motto. In November 1982, he was named coadjutor archbishop of Garoua, and a year later, archbishop. In 1985, he was elected president of the National Episcopal Conference of Cameroon and participated in the extraordinary assembly of the Synod of Bishops in Rome. He was also elected vice president of the Symposium of Episcopal Conferences of Africa and Madagascar. John Paul II created him cardinal of the titular Church of Martyrs of Uganda at the June 28 Consistory in 1988. In 1991, he was appointed Archbishop of Douala. Cardinal Tumi is a member of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, the Pontifical Council Cor Unum, and the Pontifical Council for the Family.

Cardinal Tumi is a man of the Church in the service of truth, in love with justice and peace. His struggle for human rights and accomplishments as a priest, bishop, and archbishop have been colossal. His achievements include the creation of Veritas, a Catholic radio station in the Archdiocese of Douala; the organization of numerous congresses including the 2005 Douala Diocesan Eucharistic Congress; the creation of new parishes in the Archdiocese of Douala; the construction of churches; and the foundation of colleges; and more.

© 2008 International Eucharistic Congress