Emulate virtues of Mary
- Madina Parishioners urged
By Damian Avevor and Angela Ofosu Boateng
The Queen of Peace Catholic Church at Madina in the Accra Archdiocese recently climaxed its 50th Anniversary with a call on Parishioners to emulate the virtues of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
Most Rev. Charles Gabriel Palmer-Buckle, Metropolitan Archbishopof Accra, made the call in a homily at a thanksgiving Mass to climax the year-long celebration, concelebrated by 16 Priests and attended by over 1,000 Parishioners.
The concelebrants at the colourful celebration, characterized with cultural displays, included Very Rev. Fr. James Owusu, Regional Superior of the Society of African Missions (SMA); Rev. Fr. Dr. Paul Ennin, SMA, Rector of CFM in Cote D’Ivoire, and Rev. Fr. Koos Janssen, SMA, the first Parish Priest, representing the Dutch Province.
Others were Rev. Frs. John Benyah Mensah, Dean of the Madina Deanery, Daniel Louh, SMA, former Parish Priest, Nimorious Kwabena Domanzing, Parish Priest of the St. Francis of Assisi Church at Ashaley-Botwe and Charles Owusu Ansah, Parish Priest of the Madina Church.
The theme for the Anniversary was Come, Let us Build a Family of Faith, Love and Unity.
Activities to mark the celebration included Blood Donation, Health Screening, What Do You Know Quiz competition, Crusade, Pentecost Novena, Games, Rosary procession and a Mass wedding of ten couples.
Archbishop Palmer-Buckle said they were celebrating together with Mary, the Queen and Mother of the Universe for building such a strong, loving and peaceful Christian family.
Dilating on why the Catholic Church honoured the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Archbishop said among other things that God the Father honoured her by choosing her from among women to be His spouse and the mother of His son.
The Chief Shepherd of Accra called on all Catholics to not only call her blessed but emulate her virtues of faith, purity, humility, service, patience, and long suffering and walk in her footsteps to share in her glory.
Saying that she was the model of all Christians, he urged the faithful to invite Mother Mary into their lives through prayer so that she would intercede for them.
In a Goodwill Message, Archbishop Palmer-Buckle commended the Priests and the Parishioners for their achievements in the past fifty years including the founding of many Parishes, Rectories and Outstations.
He said as a community of faith, love and unity, they had also nurtured many vocations to the Holy Priesthood, to Religious and Consecrated Life and lauded them for their spiritual fruitfulness.
The Archbishop enjoined them to pray for their benefactors and all whose prayers and contributions had helped them to achieve abundant fruits of faith, love and unity.
Fr. Owusu Yeboah commended the Madina Church for the strides it had made in the past years and for growing to become a vibrant Catholic Community which had given birth to many Outstations with some being elevated to Parishes.
He lauded the Church for being the heartbeat of the SMA in Ghana and expressed the hope that it would maintain and improve its services to the Archdiocese.
The Regional Superior pledged the SMA’s unflinching support for the physical and spiritual growth of the Church in Ghana, saying that it would continue to provide material and financial support for Seminarians and Evangelical work in the Archdiocese and the country at large.
He thanked all the SMA Fathers who had served in the Madina Church for working assiduously to spread the Catholic faith in the area.
The Golden Jubilee celebration was attended by Mr. John Kofi Osei, Deputy Chief of Staff who represented President John Dramani Mahama.
Mr. Osei commended the Catholic Church for supporting Government in the areas of education and health and for speaking boldly against social ills and moral decadence, saying that he owed his success to Catholic education.
He urged Catholics to speak against corruptions and other acts that retard the development of the nation and not condone crime.
Delivering President Mahama’s speech, Mr. Osei said the theme for the anniversary celebration fitted society’s quest for family unity and cohesion, commending the Queen of Peace Church for its contribution to the transformation of society.
He thanked the Catholic Church for its strong moral teachings as well as the educational and social infrastructure the Church has established across the country, calling for partnership to mount social engineering programmes in line with government’s transformation agenda.
The President lamented moral decadence in the nation which were attributable to family disintegration and called on the Catholic Church to come on board and play a leading role “in stemming this tide of moral turpitude”.
In a welcome address, Mr. James Klu, the Parish Pastoral Council Chairman, expressed delight that the Parish had made significant progress towards achieving the Church’s primary objective of evangelization.
He noted that the Parish had acquired a plot of land to construct a Senior high School since education was the hallmark of the Church and called for support from Parishioners to undertake the project.
As part of the celebration, Citations of Honour were presented to the founders of the Church for their dedication and commitment including Mr. Alphonse Dery, formerly of the National Catholic Secretariat.
The Queen of Peace Church started in 1965 in a classroom at the Madina Social Welfare School where the first Mass was celebrated by Rev. Fr. John Koster, SVD.
In 1967, under the administration of Fr. Koster, the Madina Community erected a shed for worship at its present location with Rev. Fr. Joop Visser, SMA, becoming the first Resident Priest in 1979.
The Church has since given birth to nine Churches including St. John the Evangelist and Holy Rosary Churches, Adenta; St. Mark, Ashongman, St. Barnabas, Agbogba, St. Monica, Adjiringanor and St. Francis of Assisi, Ashaley-Botwe.
*Archbishop Palmer-Buckle with the PPC Members (inset) Fr. Koos being assisted to cut the anniversary cake.