A Jubilee Thanksgiving Mass has been held at the Our Lady, Star of the Sea Cathedral, Takoradi to climax the year-long celebration of the Golden Jubilee of the Catholic Diocese of Sekondi-Takoradi. The Mass was presided over by Most Rev. John Bonaventure Kwofie, Apostolic Administrator of the Diocese.
In his homily, the Archbishop called for an “attitudinal change.” “The word repent is always in the imperative. It orders all of us. Let us change our mental attitude. Let us change the way we think, let us change our way of doing things.” He said and urged all present to “repent from our old way of doing things, change our direction and take the direction that leads to God.”
Archbishop Kwofie who also happens to be the Metropolitan Archbishop of Accra, further challenged all Catholics “to be ministers of the gospel, ministers of compassion, ministers of mercy, ministers of love and peace.”
Reflecting on the story of the healing of the blind and deaf in Mark 7:31-37, Archbishop Kwofie noted that “good news cannot be hidden. It has to be announced.” He thus thanked God for His goodness towards the diocese. “The Lord has been good to us, the Lord has blessed this diocese with many priests, religious and a vibrant lay faithful and this is the reason for the year-long celebration.”
The president of the Republic of Ghana, His Excellency Nana Akuffo Addo graced the occasion with his presence as special Guest of Honour. In his address, he appealed to Catholics to pray for him and for the country.
“Pray for Ghana, for peace and unity, her progress and prosperity, for me and for the men and women of my team so that God will grant us courage, honesty, strength, wisdom and a good heart to administer the affairs of this nation to the welfare of the Ghanaian people and the glory of God.”
He also reminded Ghanaians that all have a “sacred duty to God and man to help build in Ghana, a nation founded on the values of equity, fairness and integrity and an economy that will bring progress and prosperity to our people.” According to him, “we can do so through hard work animated by a sense of enterprise, creativity, innovation and with the determination to fight corruption in our public life.”
President Akuffo Addo also expressed gratitude for the Church’s contribution towards national development especially in the sectors of health and education. He further pledged government’s continued support to the Church. He made a donation of 20,000 Ghana Cedis to the diocese and promised the construction of the road from Ankyernim Nkwanta to the Marian Sanctuary at Egyam.
Chairman of the Golden Jubilee Planning Committee, Monsignor Francis Abuah-Quansah in an address, highlighted the various projects being undertaken to commemorate the Jubilee. These include “a Diocesan Marian Sanctuary at Egyam, a new Bishop’s Residence and a children’s hospital.”
According to the Monsignor who is also the Apostolic Administrator’s delegate, “This vision is nearly now completed. The Children’s hospital has been completed and commissioned. And our Marian Grotto at Egyam has seen a remarkable transformation even though not yet completed.”
Rev. Fr. Emmanuel Dolphyne, Communications Director of the diocese and secretary of the Golden Jubilee Planning Committed in an interview also encouraged Catholics in the diocese to “continue to remain faithful to God and the church.” He added that “though the Jubilee has ended, the living of our faith continues.”
The Catholic Diocese of Sekondi-Takoradi was carved out of the Cape Coast Archdiocese on 20th November, 1969 with 13 indigenous priests. Presently, the diocese can boast of 140 priests working in Ghana and 27 priests on further studies and other missionary assignments outside the country.
Department for Social Communications
Catholic Diocese of Sekondi-Takoradi