After twenty years of self-sacrificing hard work (from 1880 to 1900, thirty priests and nuns had died) there were four residential stations (Elmina, Cape Coast, Keta and Saltpond), with a Catholic population of 4905. in appreciation this missionary zeal and hard work, the Holy See elevated the Prefecture Apostolic, which the Gold Coast mission had been, to an Apostolic Vicariate of the Gold Coast. Thus, the mission would now be administered on behalf of the Holy Father by a Bishop, who would be the head of mission. This was Fr. Maximilian Albert; and so, on May 12, 1901, he was consecrated the first Bishop of the Gold Coast.
In November 1904, Fr. Isidore Klaus arrived from Nigeria to succeed to Bishop Albert as Apostolic Vicar and head of mission. Although his ministry was short, only one year, it was eventful.
Sekondi was a harbour town; and the completion of the railway link between Sekondi and Kumasi made Sekondi an important trading centre, which attracted peoples from all over the Gold Coast. Settlers from Elmina had already started a community, which the priests from Cape Coast used to visit for baptisms, confessions and masses. For their meetings, St. Paul's hill was acquired, and two settlers from Elmina, Mr. J.E. Andoh and Mr. W.F. Laast, helped raise funds to build a chapel-school. When it was ready, Bishop Klaus went to bless it and to promise them resident priests. This was in 1905.
Cardinal Peter Kodwo Appiah Turkson, a former Archbishop of Cape Coast (Ghana), was born on 11 October 1948 in Wassaw Nsuta, Ghana. He was ordained for the Diocese of Cape Coast on 20 July 1975 and holds a doctorate in Sacred Scripture from the Pontifical Biblical Institute, Rome.
Two SMA Fathers had been taking care of Accra since 1926, but it required more hands and greater presence. Its mixed population of different tribes and languages called for specialized ministries. Therefore, in 1939, the SMA Fathers ceded the pastoral care of Accra to the SVD Fathers, Accra, with its principal stations of Koforidua, Nsawam and Akim Swedru, and their outstations were entrusted to the American SVD Fathers.
Archbishop John Kodwo Amissah
Bishop Hauger retired on 24 th October 1932 on account of ill health; and he was succeeded by Bishop William Thomas Porter, a former supervisor of mission schools in Nigeria. He arrived on October 31, 1933 to take possession of this vicariate.
A three-day celebration in Elmina marked the Golden Jubilee of the Gold Coast mission. High points of the celebration were the following:
• The unveiling of a memorial in the memory of the missionaries.
• The blessing of a foundation stone for the building of a Seminary for indigenous clergy by
On 12 th April 1906, Bishop Hummel succeeded Bishop Klaus as Apostolic Vicar of the Gold Coast. Lay Catholics had spread the faith far and wide, and communities had sprung up all over. The method for extending pastoral care to these communities consisted in setting up residential stations, whose priests organized visits to the villages and outlying communities.
For whatever it was worth, Catholic presence in and around El-Mina would be practically snuffed out by the Dutch with the defeat of the Portuguese and the capture of the castle in 1637.
When Holland got involved in the trade with the Guinea coast, she made use of Portuguese and Spanish ports. With the defeat of Portugal by Spain at Alcantara in 1580, however, the king of Spain took over the administration of Portuguese interest and forbade the use of Portuguese ports along the guinea coast by the Dutch. As a result, the Dutch developed their own ports along the Guinea coast, at Shama, Kormentse and Moree in 1612, and tried unsuccessfully to capture the Sao Jorge castle at El-Mina in 1625. in 1637, the Dutch attacked the Sao Jorge castle a second time, and succeeded in capturing it. All the Portuguese who were found in the castle, with their African wives and children, were all banished to Sao Thomé. The vicar and the other missionaries were later deported to Brazil, to Pernambuco.