Priests Should Prioritize “spiritual and pastoral needs of their flock”: Catholic Bishop in Ghana

Bishop John Baptist Attakruh of Ghana’s Sekondi-Takoradi Diocese . Credit: Sekondi-Takoradi Diocese

The pastoral and spiritual needs of the people need to be prioritized in Priestly ministry, Bishop John Baptist Attakruh of Ghana’s Sekondi-Takoradi Diocese has said.

In his Tuesday, March 26 homily during the Chrism Mass that is traditionally celebrated on Holy Thursday, Bishop Attakruh said, “Priests should make themselves readily available to meet the spiritual and pastoral needs of their flock as shepherds of the people.”

He added, “Since they (Priests) share in the ministerial priesthood of Christ, they are equally called to serve and to give their lives for service of the people as Jesus did.”

The Priesthood, the Ghanaian Bishop said, “is a gift and the Priest is called to use it wholeheartedly for service stressing that the gift enables the Priest to radiate the love of Christ.”

He urged Priests to reflect on their roles and how they have been Christlike to God's people. 


Bishop Attakruh went on to appeal to Priests to “listen to their parishioners, know their needs and concerns, and show them the true path to holiness, to a life that is pleasing to God.”

People need to see Priests as sources of relief and not as a burden, he further said.

The Catholic Church leader, who first served as Apostolic Administrator of Ghana’s Sekondi-Takoradi from August 2020 and was later appointed Local Ordinary of the same Episcopal See in June 2021 called upon the Laity to continue supporting their Priests, “praying for them and loving them despite their shortcomings, understanding that they too face challenges in their spiritual journey yet they avail themselves to attend to the needs of others.”

He went on to acknowledge with appreciation efforts Priests in his Episcopal See make in living their Priesthood to the full, even if sometimes their efforts go “unnoticed and unrewarded.”

The Ghanaian-born Catholic Bishop said he was optimistic that the renewal of their Priestly promises during Chrism Mass “would be a renewal of their efforts to continue to improve.”

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He also explained the use of the Holy Oils of the Sick, Catechumen, and the Sacred Chrism, and emphasized the need for members of the Clergy to apply them with reverence during appropriate liturgical celebrations.

Jude Atemanke is a Cameroonian journalist with a passion for Catholic Church communication. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from the University of Buea in Cameroon. Currently, Jude serves as a journalist for ACI Africa.