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Be Agents of the Kingdom of God, Bishop in Ghana at Diocesan Silver Jubilee

Some Bishops of Ghana with the Apostolic Nuncio in Ghana, Archbishop Henryk Mieczysław Jagodziński who presided at the Holy Mass of the 25th Anniversary of the Keta-Akatsi Diocese in Ghana’s Volta Region.

The Bishop of Keta-Akatsi Diocese in Ghana’s Volta Region has called on the people of God under his pastoral care to be true agents and promoters of the Kingdom of God “through Word and Sacrament.”

Speaking at the height of the Silver Jubilee celebrations of the creation of the Diocese, Bishop Gabriel Edoe Kumordji urged the people to serve in the example of the missionaries who he said had worked tirelessly to evangelize the West African country.

“As we climax our Silver Jubilee celebrations, the Gospel is challenging us to be agents of promoting the Kingdom of God which was started by the Missionaries,” said Bishop Kumordji in his homily at Christ the King Cathedral of Keta-Akatsi Diocese.

The height of the Anniversary was the Sunday, November 15 Pontifical Mass, which was presided over by the Apostolic Nuncio in Ghana, Archbishop Henryk Mieczysław Jagodziński and concelebrated by members of the Ghana Catholic Bishops’ Conference (GCBC) who had concluded their Annual Plenary Assembly in the Diocese.

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The year-long Silver Jubilee celebration was launched on 10 June 2019 on the theme, “Promoting the Kingdom of God Through Word and Sacrament.”

“We are celebrating today because of the goodness of Lord to the Diocese, which has moved from different forms of development as a Prefecture, a Vicariate, Keta Diocese, Keta-Ho and Keta-Akatsi Dioceses,” Bishop Kumordji told hundreds of members of the Clergy and Lay faithful who congregated for the Silver Jubilee Eucharistic celebration November 15.

Reflecting on the day’s Gospel reading, the Ghanaian Prelate told the congregation, “We are unique and God has given us different gifts, talents and responsibilities according to our capacities to help in the future growth of the Diocese.”

“The early Missionaries planted the mustard seed over 130 years ago in the Southern part of the Volta region in order to bring out the talents in the people they evangelized,” he further said.

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He extolled the efforts of the many lay people, the catechists and the special evangelists who planted the Christian faith in many villages, and reminded the people of God that as Christians, they are unique people, hence “you do not have to compare yourselves to other people.”

“People took the Diocese of Keta-Akatsi as their own and worked in season and out of season. Many have sacrificed themselves,” Bishop Kumordji noted, commending the early missionaries for their sacrifices for the Diocese.

Members of the Society of African Missions (SMA) and the Society of Divine Word Missionaries (SVD) were the first to evangelize Ghana’s Volta Region during the second half of the nineteenth century. The region currently covers the Dioceses of Keta-Akatsi, Ho, and Jasikan.

Members of the Comboni Missionaries arrived in the now Keta-Akatsi Diocese in 1975 and were later joined by the Servants of Charity (Don Guenella).

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The 64-year old Prelate told the people of God that 25 years is not a time to relax but “a time to prepare for more work to be done.”

“The Church will continue to look for you (Catholics) to use your talents to bring the Church in Keta-Akatsi to a different level,” he said.

In his congratulatory message, Bishop Kumordji called on the people of God to come together as a family to work for the continuous spiritual growth of the Diocese.

“Twenty-five years is only a quarter of a century; let us listen to the spirit of this celebration to work together with God’s grace as a family, pray together to enhance the mission of the Church in the coming years,” he said.

The member of the Society of the Divine Word Missionaries (SVD) said that working together as a family would enable the Diocese to reach the centenary with greater development in the Church and the universal mission of Christ.

‘The celebration of the Silver Jubilee of the Diocese is a celebration of the people whose hospitality and responsiveness to the message of the missionaries has made us to have something to celebrate,” he said.

According to Bishop Kumordji, “Silver Jubilee of an institution or an organization is a celebration of those who started it, developed it and brought it to its present stage.”

“We celebrate the individuals and the societies who risked their members for this missionary venture to evangelize this unknown place,” he said.

In a brief remark, Archbishop Jagodziński told the people of God under Keta-Akatsi Diocese, “I join you all in praising God for all the blessings he has bestowed on the Diocese.”

“I am filled with happiness because this is my first trip and celebration outside the Capital City of Ghana,” added the Polish-born Nuncio who officially assumed office as the representative of the Holy Father in Ghana on September 9.

The 51-year old Papal Representative expressed deep appreciation to the people of God in Keta-Akatsi Diocese, which was created during the papacy of St. John Paul II.

He prayed that the significance of the Silver Jubilee celebration will empower the people to renew their faith and promote the Kingdom of God in line with the charism of St. Paul John Paul II.

The Diocese of Keta-Akatsi was canonically erected on 19 December 1994. However, the official announcement to that effect was made by Archbishop Andre Dupuy, the Apostolic Nuncio on 17 March 1995 under the auspices of Bishop Francis Kofi Anani Lodonu, who at the time, was the Bishop of the then Keta-Ho Diocese and GCBC President.