COMMEMORATIVE THANKSGIVING CEREMONY FOR THE 140TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE COMING OF THE SMA PRIESTS TO THE GOLD COAST ON MAY 18, 1880.

1. Introductory greeting: Christ has risen! He has risen indeed. Halleluiah! Halleluiah!! Halleluiah!!! . I greet you in these words because we are still within the holy season of Easter, the forty days that the Risen Lord Jesus Christ spent with his disciples after his Resurrection from the tomb.

Dearly beloved in Christ Jesus, today, Monday, May 18, 2020, is a very special day for us in the Catholic Archdiocese of Cape Coast, because exactly 140 years ago, Rev. Fr. Auguste MOREAU and Rev. Fr. Eugene MURAT of the Society of African Missions (SMA), landed at Nkwaduado near the Elmina Castle, sent by the Superior General of the SMA (or Peres Lyonnais, as they were first known) Rev. Fr. Augustin PLANQUE at the behest of Sir James MARSHALL to Propaganda Fide, to re-open the Catholic Mission in the then Gold Coast.

It is this mission they re-started that has given rise today to the Catholic Church in Ghana, together with the later mission of the White Fathers in Navrongo in 1905. This Church in Ghana currently stands at four Archdioceses, fifteen Dioceses, and one Apostolic Vicariate. The current population of Catholics in Ghana is about 4 million, with over 1,500 Priests, about 1,000 Religious Clergy and Consecrated Persons, 121 Hospitals and Health Centres, and more than 3,000 Schools and other institutions.

2. Pope St. John Paul II visits Ghana: In 1980, May 08-10, His Holiness (now St.) John Paul II was the very special guest for the Centenary Celebrations of the Catholic Church. And it might interest you to know that today, May 18, 2020, is the centenary of the birth of this saintly Pope (St. John Paul II), who kissed this our land on the day of his arrival to Ghana for the centenary celebrations. Our Holy Father Pope Francis is presiding today a commemorative Holy Mass for the centenary of the birth of his saintly predecessor, St. John Paul II in St. Peter’s Basilica, Rome.

We had, in fact, also planned a very grand celebration of this 140th Anniversary today, but alas for the pandemic of COVID-19 which has necessitated a rather very restricted mode of commemorating this anniversary.
3. Launch of the year-long celebration of the 140th Anniversary: And so, I take this opportunity, first and foremost, to officially launch a Year-long 140th Anniversary commemoration from today to May 18, 2021.
This year-long celebration will include the Preparation from now of the Second Synod of the Archdiocese of Cape Coast, which will be celebrated in June 2021.

4. Next, I hereby launch the Second Synod of the Archdiocese of Cape Coast in the name of God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit, through the maternal solicitude of the Blessed Virgin Mary, whom we venerate in this month of May and through the prayerful intercession of St. Joseph her Spouse Most Chaste, who is also patron of the Catholic Church here in Elmina and the Archdiocese of Cape Coast (by extension).

Furthermore, in consultation with the Curia and the Deans, we propose for the theme of our Second Synod: Baptized and Sent: Our Call to holiness and mission in the Archdiocese of Cape Coast in preparation for the 150th Anniversary of the Catholic Mission in Ghana: ‘Let your light so shine in the sight of men, that seeing your good works, they may give glory to your heavenly Father!’ (Mt. 5:16).

This theme is inspired by the Message of His Holiness Francis for the 2019 World Mission Day titled: “Baptized and Sent: The Church of Christ on mission in the world: Every baptized man and woman is a mission.” I, therefore, encourage you, one and all, to read and reflect very well on this Message of the Holy Father and see how it should inform our Second Synod in our call to holiness and mission in the Catholic Archdiocese of Cape Coast for the coming ten years.

Very soon, we shall make the Message available to you all for your further reflection, and you will be given more relevant information in preparation for the Synod, such as the time table for the Lineamenta (or Guidelines) and the Instrumentum Laboris (or the Working Document); the choice of delegates for the Synod etc.

5. Launch of pro Synod Competitions: Now, as part of today’s ceremony, I hereby also launch officially four competitions in connection with the Second Synod, namely for a:
• Logo for the Synod;
• Slogan for the Synod;
• Synod Prayer, and
• Synod Anthem or Song.

5.1: Please, for your information, the competition for the Synod Logo is limited to only Catholic youth below the age of 24 today.

5.2: The Synod Slogan is also limited to Catholic youth below 24.

5.3: However, the competition for the Synod Prayer, and Synod Anthem or Song is open to Catholics of any age.

The modalities for these competitions will be announced in all our parishes and outstations very soon.

6. Archdiocese of Cape Coast COVID-19 Emergency Fund: Finally, we cannot not say something about the COVID-19 pandemic and the efforts of the Catholic Archdiocese of Cape Coast. I will now call Rev. Fr. Stephen AMOAH-GYASI, Director of Caritas and of the Development Office of the Archdiocese to give us some information relevant to this and I will complete his statement.

Launch of the COVID-19 Fund:

7. Siege of Jericho within the Novena to the Holy Spirit: As our prayerful contribution to the battle against this COVID-19 pandemic, I, hereby, direct that during the Novena to the Holy Spirit for Pentecost Sunday, we, Priests and Consecrated Persons in this Archdiocese, undertake at least ONE HOUR ADORATION of the BLESSED SACRAMENT per day from Friday, May 22 to Friday, May 29, (a Siege of Jericho, ref. Joshua Ch. 6) pleading with the Lord Our God to deliver us and the whole world from this coronavirus scourge.

I encourage you, our lay faithful especially in your homes and with your families as the domestic church to continue more intensely with:
• the daily prayer of the Holy Rosary;
• our chosen prayer “We fly to thy patronage…”
• as well as the Divine Mercy 3.o’clock Prayer: “Eternal Father, I offer you the body and blood…”
This is to be our prayer-crusade in support of the efforts of our government, our scientists and our frontline health workers, security personnel etc., to combat definitively this plague. Please let us observe religiously the health protocols and without fail.

8. Conclusion: To conclude this day of Commemoration of the 140th Anniversary of the arrival of the two SMA Missionaries, Rev. Frs. Auguste MOREAU and Eugene MURAT to our shores, I have the honour to announce officially too that preparations are far gone towards the re-opening of the Women’s Monastery, which my illustrious predecessor, Most Rev. John Kodwo AMISSAH of blessed memory started on March 06, 1960, but had to fold up sometime in 2009.

I entrust this intention to your prayerful solicitude as one of the 140th Anniversary projects of this Archdiocese.

May the will of God, through the maternal intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of Christ the Son of God and that of St. Joseph, Patron of all Women in Monastic and Consecrated Life, be done for us!

At this juncture, I would like to thank you one and all for your presence. I wish you a happy year-long 140th Anniversary celebration as we prepare for the Second Synod of the Catholic Archdiocese of Cape Coast. Let us pray our special prayer for divine protection against the coronavirus pandemic.

“We fly to thy patronage…”

And I bless you in the name of God the Father… Amen!

Delivered by
Most Rev. Charles G. PALMER-BUCKLE,
Metropolitan Archbishop of Cape Coast,
At St. Joseph Minor Basilica, Elmina,
On Monday, May 18, 2020.

CAPE COAST GETS 13 DEACONS

BY: Fr. Charles Arthur

The Metropolitan Archbishop of Cape Coast, Most Rev. Charles Gabriel Palmer-Buckle, has ordained 13 young men into the Order of Deacons with a call on them to be Christ-like in the discharge of their duties. The call was made in his homily at St. Matthew’s Catholic Church, Moree, where he presided over the diaconate ordination Mass with a number of Priests and the Archbishop Emeritus, Most Rev. Matthias Kobena Nketsiah as concelebrants.

The Archbishop in his homily, underscored the important role of the ministry of deacons in the Church as he made reference to the first and second readings of the celebration ( Num. 3:5-13 and Acts. 6:1-7) where the duties of deacons are alluded to. In the Book of Numbers, ‘ the Lord specifically tells Moses to bring the tribe of Levi to Aaron the Priest to be his assistants.’ This, according to the Archbishop, indicates one of the functions of a deacon in the Catholic. Deacons are ordained to assist the Bishop and priests of a diocese as they carry out their priestly ministry. Among other functions of the deacon according to the Archbishop, is a call to service. He told them that they had been chosen to serve the Church and they had to undertake that duty in simplicity, humility and with a heart full of charity.

Archbishop Buckle further urged them to be Christ-like in their ministry as they live the Evangelical counsels of Poverty, Obedience and celibate Chastity. He reminded them never to forget the sick, the poor and the aged who would be the recipients of their service as they undertake their duties. Additionally, the would be deacons were urged to take pains to meditate on the Word of God and prepare very well before proclaiming it.

To the families and well- wishers who had gathered there, the Archbishop encouraged them to pray for priests and deacons in their ministry. He thanked the family members for offering their sons to the Church and urged them to support the deacons.

The deacons who came from parishes were as follows:

Rev. Charles Kwofie: Elmina

Rev. Eric Bosomtwe: Pedu

Rev. Gideon Ewuah: Assin Fosu

Rev. Bright Raymond Acquah: Jukwa

Rev. Daniel Opokyi Quainoo: Dunkwa-On-Offin

Rev. Leslie Tandoh Donkor: Dunkwa-On-Offin

Rev. Alex Abakah: Anomabo

Rev. Stephen Zotor: Diaso

Rev. William Donkor: Assin Fosu

Rev. Ebenezer Ennin Asamoah: Assin Beraku, Rev. Joseph Afful: Ajumako Bisease , Rev. Emmanuel Donkor: Breman Essiam, and Rev. Dominic Andoh: Mankessim

GOMOA TRADITIONAL AREA TO RECEIVE TECHNICAL INSTITUTE

A sod-cutting ceremony hBishop Nketsiah, Paramount Chief and other Dignitariesas been organised at Gomoa Oguaa in the Gomoa Akyenpim Tradtional area to inaugurate the establishment of a pure Technical Institute to equip the teeming youth  of Gomoa with technical skills.

The ceremony which took a form of a mini durbar brought together the Paramount Chief of the Traditional area and many illustrious sons and daughters of the Gomoaland. Giving the background to the project, Most Rev. Matthias K. Nketsiah said that the request for an institution was made by the Paramount Chief with his Council to Cardinal Peter  Kojo Appiah Turkson  and he had taken it up to make the Catholic Church go into partnership with the Traditional Council. He said the Archdiocese would support them with technical assistance and ensure that the project saw the light of day.

Read moreGOMOA TRADITIONAL AREA TO RECEIVE TECHNICAL INSTITUTE