Damango, Ghana. The General Prefect of the Apostolate, Fr. Miguel A. Velasco, CMF recently visited the missions of Ghana, attended by Claretians from the Province of Nigeria. At the end of the trip he shared the following impressions.
(…) between the 5 – 20th of November I took the opportunity to visit the parishes of Koluedor (Accra), Akropong (Kumasi), Abuakwa (Kumasi), Buipe (Damango) y Jamdede (Sunyani). There are currently ten Nigerian Claretians in Ghana, and in the seminary of the Province of Nigeria, there are three Ghanaian students.
The mission is firmly anchored in the five parishes mentioned, that have a central headquarters, and between nine and twelve smaller communities. Each parish has its parish council which coordinates the missionary activity of the parish territory; under which there are lay coordinators – catechists – for each one of the parish communities.
The parishes are situated in four dioceses ranging from the South to the North of the country. Each one has its own characteristics, from being in a rural zone or in a city, or in a zone populated by a Catholic majority. In Ghana 16% are Muslims, 20% practice traditional religions, and 63% are Christians; approximately 13% of the 25 million inhabitants of the country are Catholics.
Currently, after fourteen years of the Claretian presence in Ghana, a new stage begins in which we can better shape the priorities and objectives in a style which must characterize the Claretian presence in this country. Priorities such as Biblical work, the formation of catechists, the impetus for Youth Ministry, concern for JPIC, and ecumenical and interreligious dialogue have emerged in talks with the Bishops of the four dioceses. A high priority among all: vocation ministry. It is necessary to form, little-by-little, a group of Claretians born in Ghana who, in the medium term, can boost the Claretian presence in this country. As you can see, all the priorities are part of the set of options from our general chapters.
It is now up to the Provincial Government of Nigeria and the Claretians present in Ghana to seek concrete ways to implement all of this. Of course they may count, at all times, on the help of the General Government. I think that we, as Claretian Missionaries, can make an important contribution to the development of the Church in Ghana.
I can only be thankful. Thanks to all of you for the truly fraternal reception that was extended to me, but especially to E. Francis Nana, Fr. Calistus Emenyuonu, Fr. Joseph Egbu, Fr. Declan Ugorji, and Fr. Olisaemeka Oranebo who shared with me the hours journey by bus or car. With all those present during my stay I was able to share many things, but especially with them.
Please access the report on Ghana at: www.apostoladocmf.org