- Inaugurates Jubilee Year
- Papal Nuncio Blesses Marian Shrine
- Corn Mill Factory Sponsored by Proclade Commissioned
The 22nd August 2021 would forever remain indelible in the minds and hearts of the inhabitants of the Central Gonja both Catholics and non-Catholics, adults and children, royals as well as non- royals, students as well as teachers. It was a day Queen of Peace Parish Buipe, Damongo Diocese, Savanna Region inaugurated her silver jubilee; a day Our Lady Queen of Peace Grotto was blessed by Apostolic Nuncio to Ghana His Excellency Most Revd Henryk Mieczyslaw Jagodzinki. It was historic, unique, and symbolic. It was historic in the sense that the parish was about clocking twenty – five years in existence as chronicled by the founding fathers. It was unique in the sense that there would not be any silver jubilee like this in nature or form. It was symbolic in the sense that Our Lady Queen of Peace Grotto built by Dr Evan Kwara was blessed and the Corn Mill Factory sponsored by Santiago Proclade Foundation, Rome was commissioned and handed over to the Christian Mothers for its management and administration in line with UN SDGs and the self-reliance project of “Damongo 2021 to 2026”.
Brief History of Queen of Peace Parish Buipe
Queen of Peace Parish Buipe historically was carved out from St Anne Parish Damongo in 1995 and was established on 22nd March 1996 with the first Parish Priest Fr Lazarus Annyereh a priest from Damongo Diocese. It was officially handed over to the Claretian Missionaries of Nigeria, now East Province of Nigeria on 1st February 1998 with two missionaries posted Frs. Martin Okoro and Augustine Amadi, CMF. Providentially, the little mustard seed which was an outstation of St Anne Cathedral Damongo has grown to have four outstations viz: St Paul Lito, St Stephen Bornyamu, St Rita Kokokpe and SS Peter and Paul Mpaha. It has also three Christian Communities. They are: St Lucy Christian Community Yipala, St Michael Christian Community Buruwase and St Agatha Christian Community Bridge. The Parish has also produced a priest; Fr Luke Lansah and a religious sister, Sr Rita Kekeli.
Inauguration of the Silver Jubilee of Queen of Peace Parish, Buipe on 22nd August 2021
The activities of the day began with a meeting which took place at the palace of His Majesty Buipewura (Jinapor II). The meeting involved his Excellency Most Revd Henryk Mieczyslaw Jagodzinki and His Lordship Most Revd Peter-Paul Yelezuome Angkyier, the bishop of Damongo Diocese and Fr Hilary Anadu, CMF. Bishop Peter Paul then introduced the Papal Nuncio to His Majesty and also stated the purpose of the visit. His Excellency Most Revd Henryk Mieczyslaw Jagodzinki spoke majorly on the need to collaborate with Pope Francis’s effort on the protection of environment and the fight against environmental degradation. Continuing, he also stressed the need to collaborate and build a human society that is peaceful and just. ‘Peace’ he said, ‘helps in human flourishing and development of any society’. He concluded by thanking His Majesty Buipewura for collaborating with the church towards a peaceful society and fight against environmental degradation. The Bishop Peter-Paul corroborated the words of the Papal Nuncio and stated the need for the chieftaincy institution and the church to work together to protect our environment and also maintain peaceful society. In response, Buipewura thanked the Papal envoy and stated that “this was the first time a Pope’s representative was visiting him” and by extension the entire Damongo Diocese. He thus buttressed the need to collaborate with the Church especially on agricultural sector. Buipewura thanked the church especially on her impact on the area of education and stated the need to diversify to agriculture.
The Celebrations Proper
In a long and solemn convoy formed by priests and press men and camera men, Most Revd Henryk Mieczyslaw Jagodzinki arrived at Queen of Peace Parish Buipe in the company of Bishop Peter-Paul Angkyier. The Association of Children of Mary gave them red-carpeted reception with welcome songs and presentation of bouquet. The Papal Nuncio was handed over a crucifix by Fr Hilary, CMF (the Parish Priest) through His Lordship Peter-Paul which He (the Papal Nuncio) kissed and returned to Fr Hilary. These rituals of kissing the crucifix and sprinkling holy water at the entrance were highly captivating.
The Eucharistic celebration was presided over by His Excellency Most Revd Henryk Mieczyslaw Jagodzinki and concelebrated by Most Revd Peter Paul Angkyier, Fr Hilary Anadu and other priests present. In his homily, the Papal Nuncio said “… 25 years is a lot and a little at the same time, 25 years is a story that gives time of life of one generation and that the parish is one big family of those who follow Christ and therefore the need to live with one another in peace. The heart of man is restless until it rests in God, and it is only God that can give one true peace”. He continued, that “Our Lady teaches us not to be content about the peace in our homes and family, but also where we live in our parish and wherever God sends us”. Concluding, he said “we need to be operators of peace to show to the world that the Catholic Faith is peace and glory”.
At the end of the Eucharistic Celebration, speeches and goodwill messages were received from the Vice Chairman of Parish Pastoral Council Mr Richard Abodoo, Dr Evans Kwara who sponspored the building of the Marian Grotto, a Member of the Parliament Hon John Jinapor, Fr Perpetus Igwe (who represented the Provincial Superior), the Mission Coordinator of Ghana Mission, Fr Cyriacus Asiegbu, CMF and the Bishop of the Diocese, Most Revd Peter-Paul Angkyier. The Parish Priest, Fr Hilary Anadu, CMF, who was exuberant with joy, stated that: the Jubilee is a celebration of God’s divine providence and inexhaustible favours, twenty – five years of challenges and weaknesses, twenty-five years of achievements and successes and ultimately twenty- five years of spreading the word of God in this part of the country. In a nutshell, it is a celebration from idolatry to the worship of living God, from ignorance to enlightenment through missionaries, from captivity to freedom; a celebration to comfort the broken-hearted and all that mourn; a celebration of proclaiming good tidings unto the meek, to bind up the broken hearted. It is a celebration of God’s mercy, providence, love, and universal salvation. Indeed, it calls for celebration and gratitude to God. The Silver Jubilee is lined up with activities such as pastoral care to sick and the aged, pilgrimage to holy sites, sports amongst youths of various denominations and religions and other awe-inspiring and spirit-filled activities with the aims and objectives of maximizing the spiritual benefits of this sacred and holy moment.
The celebration came to an end with “Salva Regina” at the Grinding Mill” intoned by Bishop Peter-Paul. The social aspect of the event then followed where guests and parishioners were entertained.
Compiled by Fr Hilary Anadu, CMF