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

Message of the Holy Father Francis for the 53rd World Day of Social Communications, 24.01.2019

The following is the Pope’s message for the 53rd World Day of Social Communications, which this year will be held in many countries on Sunday 2 June, Solemnity of the Ascension of the Lord:

Message of the Holy Father

«We are members one of another» (Eph 4:25).

From social network communities to the human community

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Ever since the internet first became available, the Church has always sought to promote its use in the service of the encounter between persons, and of solidarity among all. With this Message, I would like to invite you once again to reflect on the foundation and importance of our being-in-relation and to rediscover, in the vast array of challenges of the current communications context, the desire of the human person who does not want to be left isolated and alone.

Read moreMessage of the Holy Father Francis for the 53rd World Day of Social Communications, 24.01.2019

ARCHBISHOP PALMER BUCKLE ENDS PASTORAL VISIT AT ELMINA

Archbishop Buckle, Archbishop Nketsiah and the Priests of the parish with the Confirmed

The Metropolitan Archbishop of Cape Coast, Most Rev. Gabriel Charles Palmer Buckle has ended a three-day pastoral visit to the cradle of the Catholic faith in Ghana, St. Joseph Minor Basilica, Elmina with a call on Christians to remain steadfast in all their Christian life. The Archbishop who was given a rousing welcome by the parishioners, was full of praise for the faithful whose forefathers and mothers accepted the Catholic faith in Ghana for the first time and have kept same till now. The occasion was also used to administer the Sacrament of Confirmation on 174 candidates.

Read moreARCHBISHOP PALMER BUCKLE ENDS PASTORAL VISIT AT ELMINA

2018 APPOINTMENTS & TRANSFERS

NAME OF PRIEST                                                                                                              PARISH/INSTITUTION

  1. Very Rev. Fr. George Opoku Danso (PP)               Stephen, DunkwA-On-Offin
  2. Fr. Peter Paul Donkoh (PV)                              St. Stephen, Dunkwa-On-Offin
  3. Fr. James Yaw Nkum (PV)                              St. Stephen, Dunkwa-On-Offin
  4. Fr. Ebenezer Arthur (PV)                                  St. Edward, Jukwa
  5. FR. Samuel Conduah (PP)                                        Sacred Heart, Breman Essiam
  6. FR. Benjamin Agyeman Duah (PV)                        Sacred Heart, Breman Essiam
  7. Fr. George Tandoh (PV)                                     Assumption of Mary, Katakyiase Nyankomasi
  8. Fr. Anthony Coffie (AG. PP)                                    St. John the Baptist, Twifo Praso
  9. Fr. Francis Ansah-Mensah (PV)                             St. John the Baptist, Twifo Praso
  10. Fr. Patrick R. Offin In-Charge                                Assin Nyankomase
  11. Fr. Anthony Boakye Affrifah (PV)                         Immaculate Conception, Assin Foso
  12. Fr. Collins B. Quaidoo In-Charge                          Holy Family, Foso Habitat
  13. Fr. Evans Afful (PV)                                            St. Joseph Minor Basilica, Elmina
  14. Fr. Bernard Ackon (AG-PP)                                    St. John the Baptist, Saltpond
  15. Fr. Joseph Mensah (PV)                                   St. John the Baptist, Saltpond
  16. Very Rev. Fr. Joseph E. Arthur ( Spiritual Director) Amisano Seminary
  17. Fr. Anthony Hayford (In-Charge)                         Benso Akropng  under Agona Swedru
  18. Fr. Edward Gyasi (PP)                                             St. Teresa, Diaso
  19. Fr. Theophilius Hagan (PP)                                   St. John the Evangelist, Abrem Agona
  20. Fr. Sylvester Essilfie (PP)                                        Immaculate Conception, Anomabo
  21. Fr. John Bernard Beecham (PV)                 Immaculate Conception, Anomabo
  22. Fr. Anthony Sackey: Chaplain, OLA College of Education; Lecturer, Pedu Seminary
  23. Fr. Augustine ESSel: Chaplain, Our Lady of Grace Hospital, Breman Asikuma
  24. Fr. Francis Oteng Dumfeh: Asst. Administrator, St. Luke Hospital, Apam
  25. Thomas Egyir : Chaplain, Archdiocesan Laity Council, In-Charge, Amamoma
  26. Fr. Charles K. Arthur In-Charge                           Asebu
  27. Fr. Alfred Danso (PV)                                       St. Stephen, Abura-Dunkwa
  28. Rev. Fr. Louis Emil (PP)                                        St. Joseph, Dawurampong
  29. Fr. Gabriel Addison (PP)                                       St. Paul, Denkyira Asikuma
  30. Fr. Alexander Aboagye (PP)                                  St. Raphael, Breman Brakwa
  31. Fr. Emmanuel Seli Adjine :PV & Teacher: Mary Queen of Peace Parish & School
  32. Fr. Joseph Morgan (PP)                                        St. Lawrence, Abora
  33. Fr. Francis Nyarko Bamfo (PV)                           St. Lawrence, Abora
  34. Fr. Anthony Arko Baidoo (PV)                             Blessed Trinity, Breman Asikuma
  35. Fr. Paul Peprah (PV)                                 St. Louis, Assin Darmang
  36. Fr. Louis K. Hammond: Chaplain: Aggrey Memorial, Ghana National, Sammo
  37. Fr. Francis K. Fynn Chaplain: Wesley Girls, Adisadel College, University Practice
  38. Fr. Joseph A. Abban: Asst. Financial Adm. & Sunday Mass at Ampenyi
  39. Fr. Joseph Damtse Crankson: In Residence: St. Anthony, Twifo Hemang
  40. Fr. Bonaventure Annan (AG Cathedral Administrator)

NEW APPOINTMENTS

The Archbishop, Most Rev. Charles Gabriel Palmer Buckle in consultation with the College of Consultors of the Archdiocese of Cape Coast has made some changes in the pastoral assignments of some priests in the Archdiocese. The newly-ordained have also been appointed to their respective places of work. The affected Parish Priests will assume duty by 9th November, 2018. Meanwhile, the newly-ordained have reported since 19th October, 2018.

MOST REV. CHARLES GABRIEL PALMER BUCKLE INSTALLED ARCHBISHOP OF CAPE COAST

Archbishop Charles Gabriel Palmer Buckle has been installed as the fifth Archbishop of Cape Coast with a call to the clergy and the Religious to be ever ready for any kind of missionary work. The installation Mass which took place at the St. Francis de Sales Cathedral, happened in the presence of many bishops, priests, vowed Religious, lay faithful and government representatives.

Read moreMOST REV. CHARLES GABRIEL PALMER BUCKLE INSTALLED ARCHBISHOP OF CAPE COAST

ARCHBISHOP MATTHIAS NKETSIAH’S RESIGNATION

On, 11th May 2018 the Apostolic Nuncio to Ghana, His Excellency Most Rev. Jean Marie Speich, gave a press conference at which he issued the following statement: “His Holiness Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of His Grace Archbishop Matthias Nketsiah of Cape Coast and has appointed His Grace Most Rev. Charles Palmer Buckle as the new Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Cape Coast”.

This statement has given rise to a lot of misunderstanding, confusion and anxiety among many Catholics and the media houses. At the centre of all this is the use of the word “resignation”. Why has Archbishop Nketsiah resigned? Is he no longer happy being an archbishop? Has he done something wrong in the Church or in the Archdiocese which is causing him to resign? Is he running away from his work as a shepherd? Will he cease to be an archbishop? The answer to each of these questions is an emphatic No. The word “resign” in this context should not be taken in the normal secular sense in which one can resign from one’s work or job for any of the above reasons. In the context of the Catholic Church, when a bishop resigns, he does so on the grounds that he has attained the age stipulated by church law for bishops to retire (i.e. 75) or ill health. Moreover, unlike the secular usage, when a bishop resigns, he does not cease to be a bishop. He is still a bishop, but he is no longer in charge of the diocese.

Read moreARCHBISHOP MATTHIAS NKETSIAH’S RESIGNATION

ARCHBISHOP NKETSIAH ORDAINS EIGHT AS PRIESTS

The Metropolitan Archbishop of Cape Coast, Most Rev. Matthias Kobena Nketsiah has ordained eight deacons as Catholic priests at Apam in the Central Region of Ghana. The solemn and colorful ceremony which brought together family members, well wishers, Religious Sisters and Brothers, seminarians and a host of others also had Most Rev. Peter Paul Angkyer and many priests as concelebrants.

Read moreARCHBISHOP NKETSIAH ORDAINS EIGHT AS PRIESTS