News & Events

MESSAGE OF HIS HOLINESS POPE FRANCIS
FOR THE 50th WORLD COMMUNICATIONS DAY

Communication and Mercy: A Fruitful Encounter

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

The Holy Year of Mercy invites all of us to reflect on the relationship between communication and mercy. The Church, in union with Christ, the living incarnation of the Father of Mercies, is called to practise mercy as the distinctive trait of all that she is and does. What we say and how we say it, our every word and gesture, ought to express God’s compassion, tenderness and forgiveness for all. Love, by its nature, is communication; it leads to openness and sharing. If our hearts and actions are inspired by charity, by divine love, then our communication will be touched by God’s own power.

As sons and daughters of God, we are called to communicate with everyone, without exception. In a particular way, the Church’s words and actions are all meant to convey mercy, to touch people’s hearts and to sustain them on their journey to that fullness of life which Jesus Christ was sent by the Father to bring to all. This means that we ourselves must be willing to accept the warmth of Mother Church and to share that warmth with others, so that Jesus may be known and loved. That warmth is what gives substance to the word of faith; by our preaching and witness, it ignites the “spark” which gives them life.

Communication has the power to build bridges, to enable encounter and inclusion, and thus to enrich society. How beautiful it is when people select their words and actions with care, in the effort to avoid misunderstandings, to heal wounded memories and to build peace and harmony. Words can build bridges between individuals and within families, social groups and peoples. This is possible both in the material world and the digital world. Our words and actions should be such as to help us all escape the vicious circles of condemnation and vengeance which continue to ensnare individuals and nations, encouraging expressions of hatred. The words of Christians ought to be a constant encouragement to communion and, even in those cases where they must firmly condemn evil, they should never try to rupture relationships and communication.

For this reason, I would like to invite all people of good will to rediscover the power of mercy to heal wounded relationships and to restore peace and harmony to families and communities. All of us know how many ways ancient wounds and lingering resentments can entrap individuals and stand in the way of communication and reconciliation. The same holds true for relationships between peoples. In every case, mercy is able to create a new kind of speech and dialogue. Shakespeare put it eloquently when he said: “The quality of mercy is not strained. It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven upon the place beneath. It is twice blessed: it blesseth him that gives and him that takes” (The Merchant of Venice, Act IV, Scene I).

Our political and diplomatic language would do well to be inspired by mercy, which never loses hope. I ask those with institutional and political responsibility, and those charged with forming public opinion, to remain especially attentive to the way they speak of those who think or act differently or those who may have made mistakes. It is easy to yield to the temptation to exploit such situations to stoke the flames of mistrust, fear and hatred. Instead, courage is needed to guide people towards processes of reconciliation. It is precisely such positive and creative boldness which offers real solutions to ancient conflicts and the opportunity to build lasting peace. “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God” (Mt 5:7-9)

How I wish that our own way of communicating, as well as our service as pastors of the Church, may never suggest a prideful and triumphant superiority over an enemy, or demean those whom the world considers lost and easily discarded. Mercy can help mitigate life’s troubles and offer warmth to those who have known only the coldness of judgment. May our way of communicating help to overcome the mindset that neatly separates sinners from the righteous. We can and we must judge situations of sin – such as violence, corruption and exploitation – but we may not judge individuals, since only God can see into the depths of their hearts. It is our task to admonish those who err and to denounce the evil and injustice of certain ways of acting, for the sake of setting victims free and raising up those who have fallen. The Gospel of John tells us that “the truth will make you free” (Jn 8:32). The truth is ultimately Christ himself, whose gentle mercy is the yardstick for measuring the way we proclaim the truth and condemn injustice. Our primary task is to uphold the truth with love (cf. Eph 4:15). Only words spoken with love and accompanied by meekness and mercy can touch our sinful hearts. Harsh and moralistic words and actions risk further alienating those whom we wish to lead to conversion and freedom, reinforcing their sense of rejection and defensiveness.

Some feel that a vision of society rooted in mercy is hopelessly idealistic or excessively indulgent. But let us try and recall our first experience of relationships, within our families. Our parents loved us and valued us for who we are more than for our abilities and achievements. Parents naturally want the best for their children, but that love is never dependent on their meeting certain conditions. The family home is one place where we are always welcome (cf. Lk 15:11-32). I would like to encourage everyone to see society not as a forum where strangers compete and try to come out on top, but above all as a home or a family, where the door is always open and where everyone feels welcome.

For this to happen, we must first listen. Communicating means sharing, and sharing demands listening and acceptance. Listening is much more than simply hearing. Hearing is about receiving information, while listening is about communication, and calls for closeness. Listening allows us to get things right, and not simply to be passive onlookers, users or consumers. Listening also means being able to share questions and doubts, to journey side by side, to banish all claims to absolute power and to put our abilities and gifts at the service of the common good.

Listening is never easy. Many times it is easier to play deaf. Listening means paying attention, wanting to understand, to value, to respect and to ponder what the other person says. It involves a sort of martyrdom or self-sacrifice, as we try to imitate Moses before the burning bush: we have to remove our sandals when standing on the “holy ground” of our encounter with the one who speaks to me (cf. Ex 3:5). Knowing how to listen is an immense grace, it is a gift which we need to ask for and then make every effort to practice.

Emails, text messages, social networks and chats can also be fully human forms of communication. It is not technology which determines whether or not communication is authentic, but rather the human heart and our capacity to use wisely the means at our disposal. Social networks can facilitate relationships and promote the good of society, but they can also lead to further polarization and division between individuals and groups. The digital world is a public square, a meeting-place where we can either encourage or demean one another, engage in a meaningful discussion or unfair attacks. I pray that this Jubilee Year, lived in mercy, “may open us to even more fervent dialogue so that we might know and understand one another better; and that it may eliminate every form of closed-mindedness and disrespect, and drive out every form of violence and discrimination” (Misericordiae Vultus, 23). The internet can help us to be better citizens. Access to digital networks entails a responsibility for our neighbour whom we do not see but who is nonetheless real and has a dignity which must be respected. The internet can be used wisely to build a society which is healthy and open to sharing.

Communication, wherever and however it takes place, has opened up broader horizons for many people. This is a gift of God which involves a great responsibility. I like to refer to this power of communication as “closeness”. The encounter between communication and mercy will be fruitful to the degree that it generates a closeness which cares, comforts, heals, accompanies and celebrates. In a broken, fragmented and polarized world, to communicate with mercy means to help create a healthy, free and fraternal closeness between the children of God and all our brothers and sisters in the one human family.

From the Vatican, 24 January 2016

Francis

  

DATE

ACTIVITY

VENUE

JANUARY

 

 

3rd

Diaconate Ordination

Cathedral, Goaso

9th

Opening Ceremony of CWA Congress

Mim

10th

Episcopal Ordination

Obuasi

11th

Closing Mass of CWA Congress

Mim

13th

Conference of Bishops till 3rd February 2015.

USA

FEBRUARY

 

 

1st

Inauguration of Year of Consecrated Life

 

Goaso

6th

Returns from USA

Goaso

7th

St. Thomas Aquinas Day

Cathedral, Goaso

10th

Administrative Board Meeting

Accra

12th

End of meeting. Departure

Goaso

14th

Goaso Deanery Pastoral Councils’ Meeting

Pastoral Centre, Goaso

16th

Education Committee Meeting

Secretariat, Goaso

18th

Ash Wednesday

Goaso

20th

Inauguration of Josco Governing Council

Accra (NCTE)

21st

Funeral of Bechemhene’s Mother

Bechem

28th

Funeral of “Sister” Madam Pokuaa

Brosankro

MARCH

 

 

1st

Thanksgiving Mass for “Sister” Pokuaa

Brosankro

6th

Independence Day Celebration

Goaso

7th

Mr. Owusu Asare’s funeral

Brosankro

8th

Pastoral Visit

Kunsu

14th

Graduation of CUCG

Fiapre, Sunyani

21st

40th Anniversary, OLA

Kenyasi

22nd 

Pastoral Visit, Josco

Bechem

23rd

Provincial Meeting

Mampong, Ash.

28th

Funeral of Fr. Charles Aduse Poku

Cathedral,Sunyani

29th

Palm Sunday

Mehame

31st

Chrism Mass

Cathedral, Goaso

APRIL

 

 

2nd

Holy Thursday

Cathedral, Goaso

3rd

Good Friday

Cathedral, Goaso

4th

Holy Saturday

 

5th

Easter Sunday

To Israel

12th

Return from Israel

Accra

19th

Confirmation

Kukuom

26th

Inauguration of Quasi Parish

Ayomso

MAY

 

 

3rd

Confirmation

Botech,D/Nkwanta

4th

May Plenary Assembly Arrival

NCS. Accra

8th

End of Assembly

NCS. Accra

10th

Confirmation

OLA, Kenyasi

16th

St. Anthony Guild Annual Celebration

Duayaw Nkwanta

17th

Beatification Process of Cardinal Dery

Tamale

24th

Confirmation  (Pentecost)

Cathedral, Goaso

25th -29th

GODPA updating Seminar

Goaso

31st

Inauguration of St.Patrick Quasi Parish

Mankranso

JUNE

 

 

7th

Inauguration of St.Francis Quasi Parish and Confirmation

Kwapong

13th

20th Anniversary Konongo-Mampong Diocese & 40th Anniversary of Bishop Osei-Bonsu

 

Mampong

14th

Confirmation

Hwidiem

 

16th

Senate Meeting

Goaso

 

 

19th

Kumasi Grand Commandery:

BIENNIAL Convention of Knights of St. John International

CUCG, Sunyani


21st

Confirmation

Kenyasi

JULY

 

 

1st

Assoc. of Catholic Teachers’ Congress

Cathedral

5th

Confirmation

Bechem

11th

Priestly Ordination

Duayaw Nkwanta

12th

Confirmation

Kasapin

19th

Confirmation

Manfo

25th

Funeral (Nana Anna Adjeiwaa)

Mpobi


26th

Confirmation

Yamfo

AUGUST

 

 

4th

Administrative Board Meeting

NCS. Accra

8th

End of Meeting

Accra

14th – 16th

Feast of Our Lady of Assumption

Our Lady of Victory Grotto, Manfo.

21st

Children of St. Theresa’s Congress

Mim

23rd

Children of St. Theresa’s Congress Climax

Mim

27th -30th

Ghana Version of World Youth Day

Cape Coast

30th

Climax of World Youth Day

Cape Coast

 

 

 

SEPTEMBER

 

 

3rd

Centenary Celebration of Sacred Heart Confraternity Kumasi province

 

Kumasi

6th

Climax of Centenary Celebration

Kumasi

OCTOBER

 

 

2nd

Inauguration of Nazareth School

Yamfo

4th

Confirmation

Techmantia

11th

Confirmation

Wioso

16th

St. Theresa’s Society Congress

Bechem

18th

Climax of St.Theresa’s Society Congress

Bechem

 

24th

Silver Jubilee of Rev. Frs. Stephen Dabanka & Augustine Owusu Addo

Cathedral, Goaso.


25th

Confirmation

Akrodie

NOVEMBER

 

 

1st

Confirmation

Kunsu


6th

Plenary Assembly (arrival)

Bolgatanga

14th

End of Plenary Assembly

Bolgatanga

DECEMBER

 

 

19th

Diaconate ordination

Cathedral, Goaso

24th

Midnight Mass

Goaso

25th

Christmas Day Mass

Kenyasi No.1

26th

Boxing Day

Goaso

28th

Co-worker’s get-together

Pastoral Centre

 

 

 

 

 

 

                                                                          BY

FR. COSMAS EBO SARBAH

 I would like to thank the organising committee for giving me this opportunity to address the participants of the national congress.
This paper is in five parts:
*The first part deals with the introductory remarks on evangelization and interreligious dialogue.
*The second part presents the classical models of interreligious dialogue and critique.
*The third part outlines challenges of the contemporary world environment.
*The Fourth part proposes guidelines and models of interreligious dialogue for the new evangelization.
*The fifth is the conclusion

Read more: NEW EVANGELIZATION AND INTER-RELIGIOUS DIALOGUE IN THE GHANAIAN CONTEXT

 
by
Fr. Peter Yaw Oppong-Kumi
Preamble
Evangelization comes from the Gk word group euvaggeli,zw/euvaggeli,zomai /euvagge,lion (euangelizo/euangelizomai) and means "to bring the good news". The noun euvagge,lion (euangelion) appears in Homer (Od. XIV 152f; 166f) and in Cicero, AA II 3.1) and was used in the context of enthronement of an emperor or a birth of a prince. Such occasions were made public with some announcement of some form of good news e.g. amnesty for prisoners. The word apostolate derives from the composite of two Gk words apo "from", "away" and stello – (avposte,llw) "make ready". It is from this composite verb that we get our common Gk word avpo,stoloj (apostolos) which means a delegate, an envoy/ambassador or messenger. Technically speaking these euangelion and apostolos are complimentary in meaning. According to Liddel and Scott, the word school derives from Gk σχολή (scholē), originally meaning "leisure" and also "that in which leisure is employed", but later "a group to whom lectures were given, school".[94] The usage of the term school varies from country to country. In UK it refers to pre-university education. I think in Ghana, the term applies to universities as well. My job this morning is to provide a reflection of how best we can evangelize our pupils and students to become apostles – envoys of Christ to bring the good news of Christ/God pupils and students in our places where lectures are given, school.

Read more: THE NEW EVANGELISATION AND SCHOOL APOSTOLATE IN GHANA

THE NEW EVANGELISATION AND GHANA’S RELIGIONS’ POPULATION DYNAMICS
BY
PROF. KOFI AWUSABO-ASARE
Cf. Appendix I: Power Point Presentation
 BY
MR KENNETH ASHIGBEY

I cannot stress my gratitude enough for this grand opportunity to join your respectable assembly and with you, together seek ways to reach the world and direct all of us towards salvation.  While still on the point of thanking you, may I plead with you to remember me in your prayers, for I am a poor sinner.

Mr. Chairman I am tempted to assume that this assembly agrees that the duty to Evangelize is non-negotiable for every follower of Christ, and my assumption stems from the precisecontextualization of my assignment - New Evangelization; Social Communication;Ghanaian Context.

Read more: THE NEW EVANGELIZATION AND SOCIAL COMMUNICATION IN THE GHANAIAN CONTEXT



BY
 FR. CHARLES BRUNO KABIR, (OFMConv)
Introduction
Mr. Chairman [...], Your Eminence, Peter Cardinal Kodwo Appiah-Turkson, President of the Pontifical Council for Justice & Peace (PCJP) Your Excellency, Most Rev. Jean-Marie Speich, Apostolic Nuncio to Ghana, Your Grace Archbishops, My Lord Bishops, Monsignors, Priests & Religious, Nananom, Distinguished Invited Guests, Beloved Brothers and Sisters in Christ, all Protocols observed:
May the Lord Fill Our Hearts and Minds with His Peace![72] Amen!
I am most grateful to the Planning Committee of the Second National Pastoral Congress[73] in Ghana for inviting me to share with you on the topic: The New Evangelization and the Role of Pastoral Agents.

Read more: THE NEW EVANGELIZATION & THE ROLE OF PASTORAL AGENTS

BY
MRS. ANGELINA MORNAH DOMAKYAAREH
GREETINGS:
Chairperson, I would first of all crave your indulgence to permit me to start on a note that sounds like a vote of thanks. I would like to thank our Heavenly Father Almighty God for granting me the good health and travelling mercies to be here today and indeed I also thank Him for granting all of us the same good health and travelling mercies from far and near to be here today. I would like to thank the Organisers of this 2014 National Pastoral Congress for choosing me to present a Paper at this most importantevent on the calendar of the Catholic Church in Ghana which I understand is the second series, the first one having been held in Cape Coast in 1997. I am well aware, as no doubt all of you are, of the varied suitable and competent talent withinthe Catholic Church in Ghana for the delivery of this Lecture. You however settled on me for which I am most thankful.

Read more: THE NEW EVANGELISATION AND THE FAMILY IN THE GHANAIAN CONTEXT


AND THE NEW EVANGELIZATION
        by
Rev. Wynnand Amewowo
Most Rev. Moderator, Episcopal Chairman NPCPC, Archbishops and Bishops, Rev. Fathers, Consecrated Persons and the Lay Faithful; Congress Fathers and Congress Mothers, Peace of the Risen Lord be with you all! I am deeply grateful to the NPCPC for the honour to make an intervention on SCCCs, Biblical Apostolate and the New Evangelization in the context of the theme: The New Evangelization for the Transmission of the Christian Faith in the Light of Africae Munus.
Introduction
Small Christian Communities and Biblical Apostolate have the same genesis, vision and mission, namely evangelization – primary evangelization, re-evangelization, on-going evangelization and in these last days, in our times; the New Evangelization. The point of departure and the point of arrival of both the SCCs and Biblical Apostolate (Biblical Pastoral Ministry) is now the New Evangelization proclaimed by

Read more: SMALL CHRISTIAN COMMUNITIES, BIBLICAL APOSTOLATE

 
BY FR. VINCENT OWUSU, SVD
OUTLINE
I. PRELIMINARY CONSIDERATIONS: KEY IDEAS AND PRINCIPAL THEMES OF “AFRICAE MUNUS”, AS APPLIED TO THE LITURGY
--Africae Munus, the word of God, and the sacraments
A. The sacred Scriptures
B. The Eucharist
C. Reconciliation

II. THE NEW EVANGELISATION
A.    Structure and method in new evangelization
1. The structure
2. The method

B. The contents essential for new evangelization
1. Conversion
2. The Kingdom of God
3. Jesus Christ

Read more: NEW EVANGELISATION AND THE LITURGY IN THE GHANAIAN CONTEXT

 
By Rev. Fr. Nicholas AFRIYIE
1.0  INTRODUCTION
Since the First Mass was celebrated in Elmina in 1482 and the arrival of Frs. August Moreau and Eugene Murat, SMA Fathers in Elmina in 1880, the Catholic Church in Ghana has seen a lot of physical development and spiritual upliftment. The Church has been growing steadily.

The mission of the Church, the People of God, the family of God in Africa is evangelizing and bringing salvation to the world (Matt. 28:19). This Mission of evangelization is a complex process involving proclamation of the Good News such that there can be inner conversion and transformation of society. The Good News to be carried forward addresses all the needs of the person – spiritual, social and material. It is not confined to teachings about eternity or life hereafter, but also it concerns itself with changing conditions here on earth. Consequently, the Catholic Church of Ghana has been concerned with not only the spiritual upliftment of the people but also their socio-economic progress.

Read more: STRATEGIES FOR RESOURCE MOBILIZATION AND SELF-RELIANCE



ITS RELEVANCE TO THE CATHOLIC CHURCH IN GHANA
By
Most Rev. Gabriel Mante
The celebration of the XIII Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, with the theme The New Evangelization for the Transmission of the Christian Faith, takes place at a time when the Catholic Church in Ghana has barely attained 132 years of continuous evangelization. In these 132 years, the Church has experienced phenomenal growth from being a small community of Catholics on the south western coast of the country into the largest single Christian community whose members are in all the ten regions of country. This community now comprises nineteen dioceses and one vicariate.
The New Evangelization is relevant to the Catholic Church in Ghana for two main reasons. First, it is an invitation to us, Ghanaian Catholics, to critically examine the roots of our faith and personal relationships with Christ and his Church. Secondly, it offers us a unique opportunity to find ways of facing the religious and social challenges confronting the Church.

Read more: THE NEW EVANGELIZATION FOR THE TRANSMISSION OF THE CHRISTIAN FAITH