“Agents of evangelization should be theologically formed within African context”: Priest

Some of the participants at the ongoing pan African Congress on Theology held at the Catholic University of Eastern Africa (CUEA) in Nairobi Kenya. Credit: ACI Africa

There is need to prepare those involved in evangelization in Africa in theological studies that are relevant for their ministry among the people of God on the continent, a Ghanaian Catholic Priest has said.

In his presentation on the third day of the July 19-22 biannual Pan-African Catholic Congress on Theology, Society, and Pastoral Life that members of the Pan-African Catholic Theology and Pastoral Network (PACTPAN) organized at the Catholic University of Eastern Africa (CUEA) in Nairobi, Fr. Francis Appiah Kubi reflected on St. John Paul II Apostolic Letter, Pastores Dabo Vobis, on the formation of Priests in the circumstances of the present day.

“The agents of evangelization should be theologically formed within the African context to meet Christ in the neighbor, in the brother, and not behind the brother or the sister nor above them,” Fr. Kubi said in his Thursday, July 21 presentation.

He underscored the need to consider the African context in preparing pastoral agents for Africa, saying, “Every formation takes place within a context, and that of religious evangelization is not exceptional.”

Formation that takes into account the African context will need to foster the love God has for His people on the continent, and not “consider the struggle for pre-eminence and rank as being in accord with the word of God,” Fr. Kubi said.


He said that formation within the African context in the light of St. John Paul II’s Apostolic Letter recognizes the fact that the Clergy and Religious are called from specific human contexts and need to focus more on the service of God than status.

“God always calls his Priests from specific human and ecclesial contexts, which inevitably influence them; and to these same contexts the priest is sent for the service of Christ's Gospel,” the Ghanaian Catholic Priest said in his July 21 presentation.

“Priests, Catechists and all agents of evangelization must be formed in a way that is distinctively African,” he emphasized, adding that such a contextualized formation would facilitate their coping “with the challenges of the time”.

Fr. Kubi explained, “We need to worship God as Africans, so the agents of evangelization including leaders of various societies need to design a formation with high standards with effective related and comprehensive goals.”

He underlined the need for the Synodal Church to focus more on the four areas of formation, which he listed as spiritual, intellectual, pastoral, and human.

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Fr. Kubi also reflected on the fraternal relationship that needs to be fostered by the Church as God’s family, saying, “This relationship is neither dominion nor servitude.”

It is a family based on communal paternity, filiation and fraternity, he said, and added, “It is the basis of this unity of the children of God that the diversification of the various servitude takes place for the good of the whole body and for the benefit of all of us who share Christs’ dignity.”

The Catholic Priest spoke about the relationship between members of the Clergy and the Laity, and emphasized the need for the Clergy to recognize with appreciation and tap into the talents of the lay faithful for the good of the people of God.

He regretted the fact that “most of the books published by the church leaders don’t have the lay people in mind as their target audience.”

As a Church, Fr. Kubi said, “We need to journey together, men and women sharing the mantle of priesthood that leads to the discovery of the dignity of the people and function of authority as service.”


“It is necessary to feel theologically that the laity as we are in the Synodal process should not be considered as auxiliary to the Clergy; they are the Church,” the Ghanian Priest said, adding that the participation of the Laity “in the Synodal Church is not of convenience, it is of conviction of faith.”

He made reference to the ongoing preparations for the Synod on Synodality, saying, “Synodality will help the Laity to be conscious of their dignity, and identity as responsible Christians in the world.”

“Just because God granted the lay vocation to the majority of the Christians does not mean that it is less vulnerable or less important than the others,” Fr. Kubi told participants in the biannual Pan-African Catholic Congress on Theology, Society, and Pastoral Life that Pope Francis lauded as “a sign of the outgoing African Church” in a video recording.

Silas Mwale Isenjia is a Kenyan journalist with a great zeal and interest for Catholic Church related communication. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Linguistics, Media and Communication from Moi University in Kenya. Silas has vast experience in the Media production industry. He currently works as a Journalist for ACI Africa.