“Today, as we commemorate these two missionaries and others who followed them, some of whom died within a few weeks of their arrival here notoriously known as ‘the white man’s grave’, let us pray for the advocate, the Holy Spirit of Truth to empower us also in times of difficulties and challenges of the COVID-19,” the Local Ordinary of Ghana’s Cape Coast Archdiocese, the first and the oldest Ecclesiastical circumscription in the country, said.
Due to the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic and the ban on public gatherings in Ghana, the 140th Anniversary celebration was marked with a private commemorative Mass. Other activities to mark the anniversary celebration have been postponed to next year.
“We had lined up programs to commemorate the day of the 140th Anniversary itself, however man proposes and God has disposed. Yes, our God has disposed that we postpone this celebration to next year May 18, 2021,” said Archbishop Palmer-Buckle in his letter dated May 15.
In the letter, the 69-year-old Prelate requests “all Parish Priests, Religious Priests, Sisters and Brothers in all Religious Houses in the Cape Coast Archdiocese to have commemorative Thanksgiving Masses at a time convenient and in due respect of the State COVID-19 protocols.”
In an earlier Online discussion live streamed on Zoom Webinar, the Archbishop called on Catholics in his country not to allow the challenges posed by COVID-19 to diminish their faith.
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“The worldwide coronavirus pandemic that has hit our country Ghana should not allow the faith of Catholics to diminish,” Archbishop Palmer-Buckle said during the May 14 Online discussion conducted under the topic, “Sustaining Our Catholic Faith in Difficult Times.”
“COVID-19 is a fire that has come to put our faith to test, which should purify our understanding of faith and advance the depth of our faith, love and service,” he said, encouraging Catholics “not to let our hearts be troubled because of COVID-19; we need to place our trust in God and into His care and we shall overcome COVID-19.”
“It is very challenging for me to talk of virtual Holy Mass, which cannot replace the Mass,” the Archbishop further said and advised the faithful “not to get used to the virtual Mass but avail ourselves for the physical Mass anytime Church activities resume.”
He said the ban on public gathering and the partial lockdown “had brought families together as a domestic Church,” a situation that gives the opportunity to families to “stay, pray and study the Word of God together.”
“God is a spirit and can be worshipped anywhere in spirit and truth; the virtual Holy mass and teachings in the era of COVID-19 is good but the Spirit unites us together. In difficult times of not being able to have the Sacrament, we are to enhance our faith by praying and reading the Word of God,” Archbishop Palmer-Buckle said.