Priesthood is Living Life of “total self-denial”: Ghanaian Prelate at Ordination

Archbishop Charles Gabriel Palmer-Buckle of Cape Coast with six new Priests, he ordained for the Accra Archdiocese at the Holy Spirit Cathedral on Saturday, September 19, 2020.
Credit: Radio Angelus

The Archbishop of Ghana’s Archdiocese of Cape Coast has, on the occasion of the ordination of six Deacons to the Priesthood for the Archdiocese of Accra, urged the candidates to the Priesthood to view their Priestly ministry not as a time for taking “honor upon oneself but a life of total self-denial.”

“Your ordination to the priesthood is to serve the people of God and the holy Church by giving up possessions and means of livelihood and following in obedience to God’s call,” Archbishop Charles Gabriel Palmer-Buckle told the Deacons of Accra Archdiocese he was about to ordain as Priests on Saturday, September 19.

In his homily at the Holy Spirit Cathedral of Ghana’s Accra Archdiocese, Archbishop Palmer-Buckle who stood in for the Metropolitan Archbishop of Accra, John Bonaventure Kwofie noted that the Lord required of His followers and close associates “total self-denial, the giving up of all worldly expectations and family ties if one is to fit for the Kingdom of God.”

“These are really tough demands. Jesus did not just ask of his followers these tough demands. Jesus Christ, the son of God will not call anyone to His discipleship without living up to the very rigorous standards He demands from His disciples,” Archbishop Palmer-Buckle said.

He noted that not even Jesus Christ took honor of the High Priest upon himself but was glorified by God himself.

“Like Elisha, the Lord Jesus is calling you to follow Him unreservedly leaving every security of life, even family ties and expectations in order to be fit for the Kingdom of God,” the 70-year-old Ghanaian Prelate told the Deacons he was about to ordain as Priests.

At the September 19 ordination Mass witnessed by the Clergy and selected few lay faithful with the strict observance of COVID-19 protocols of social distancing, the Local Ordinary of Ghana’s Cape Coast Archdiocese underscored the need for older and senior Priests of the Archdiocese of Accra to offer support to the young men who have availed themselves to be ordained to the Priesthood.

“My older Priests, may you be good examples for these young ones just like Elijah was to Elisha. Be ready to give them even your clothes and teach them to listen to God only and to look up to Him only,” he counselled.

In his ordination sermon, Archbishop Palmer-Buckle who doubles as the Vice President of the Ghana Catholic Bishops’ Conference (GCBC) added that “as elder brothers in the priesthood, you must lead these young ones to understand God in the difficulties of their lives and to follow Him selflessly. May you never be a source of scandal for these young ones.”

The Prelate urged the Priests-to-be, “Never forget that God is in control and He is good all the time. Even in COVID-19 times, God is good.”

“Take time to meditate upon this COVID-19 and like Jesus Christ with tears, prayers and supplications, learn to be obedient, Christ-like, selfless and self-denial. Only this way will you also be perfect and become a source of eternal salvation in Christ Jesus in your priestly Ministry and be fit for the Kingdom of God,” the Ghanaian Prelate who was ordained a Bishop in January 1993 advised.

He stressed that the call to Priesthood was also “a call to obedience, simplicity and poverty.”

“By this we know how to do with the little and to share with the little. It is a call to greater charity and pastoral attention,” Archbishop Palmer-Buckle who served as the Local Ordinary of Accra Archdiocese from March 2005 to March 2019 told the Deacons who was about to ordain as Priests for Accra Archdiocese.

Earlier, during the ordination of 13 Deacons to the Priesthood for the Archdiocese of Cape Coast on September 12, Archbishop Palmer-Buckle reminded the candidates that the holy Priesthood is totally gratuitous and undeserving.

“No one takes this honor upon himself but only when called by God,” he said.

In his homily at the ordination Mass at St. Teresa Minor Seminary at Amisano, Archbishop Palmer-Buckle encouraged the candidates to the Priesthood to make every effort to live in Christ-like selflessness and self-denial by giving up on worldly expectations.

“To follow Christ in the priesthood, you must be ready to follow Him in the evangelical counsels of obedience, poverty and chastity,” the Prelate urged at the ordination Mass where Archbishop Matthias Nketsiah, Emeritus Archbishop of Cape-Coast was in attendance.

He further entreated the lay faithful including the families of those he was about to ordain as Priests to give prayerful support to the new Priests as they embark on their journey of service to the people of God.

“Do not become for these young men the stone of scandal and the obstacle of their becoming fit for the Kingdom of God,” the Ghanaian Prelate cautioned.


ACI Africa was officially inaugurated on August 17, 2019 as a continental Catholic news agency at the service of the Church in Africa. Headquartered in Kenya’s capital, Nairobi, this media apostolate will strive to facilitate the telling of Africa’s story by providing media coverage of Catholic events on the African continent, giving visibility to the activities of the Church across Africa where statistics show significant growth in numbers and the continent gradually becoming the axis of Catholicism. This is expected to contribute to an awareness of and appreciation for the significant role of the Church in Africa and over time, the realization of a realistic image of Africa that often receives negative media framing.

Father Don Bosco Onyalla
Editor-in-Chief, ACI Africa
[email protected]