, 03 November, 2019 / 7:12 PM
Following the conclusion of the Extraordinary Missionary Month October 2019 (EMMOCT2019) commissioned by Pope Francis, a Church leader in Ghana has appealed to Catholics to renew their commitment in supporting the Universal Solidarity Fund arguing that it is not possible to evangelize without financial resources.
“Evangelization is impossible without financial resources,” the National Director of the Pontifical Mission Societies (PMS) in Ghana, Fr. Isaac Ebo Blay told Christians at the closing Mass for EMMOCT2019 at St. Thomas Aquinas Parish, Legon, Accra Wednesday, October 30.
Looking back at the start of Christian evangelization, Fr. Ebo Blay said, “Missionary work, as a systematic enterprise designed to spread the Christian Faith, needed a goal and a plan from the very beginning if it was to be successfully implemented.”
He added with regard to missionary work, “It required planning, organization, structures and strategies, but, above all, it needed and still needs resources.”
The Ghanaian priest who is also Archdiocesan Archivist for Cape Coast expressed the need for capacity building of agents of evangelization saying, “People need to be trained and equipped to do the job and ultimately the financial means to translate the plans into reality.”
“Even today, to perform its tasks of mission the Church still needs adequate resources that not every local church has available,” he added.
He encouraged the faithful to contribute to the Universal Solidarity Fund and for responsible Pastors to deliver the collected funds in good time.
“The offerings of the faithful collected by the PMS in the dioceses must be transmitted promptly, in their totality and with regularity to keep the Universal Solidarity Fund active to help mission activities,” the PMS Director in Ghana said.
The aim of the Universal Solidarity Fund, he noted, is to provide economic assistance to Churches in the mission territories in their commitment to evangelization, to ecclesial (Church) and social development as well as to education and material assistance.
“Mission and missionary organizations are enabling Catholics in Ghana to live out their baptismal calling to be missionary disciples, and enabling local churches to reach out to their own communities with the love and compassion of Christ,” Fr. Ebo Blay explained.
“Mission encourages the Catholic Church across the world to work together in proclaiming the unconditional love of the Father for all peoples,” he added.
Speaking to ACI Africa correspondent on the sidelines of conclusion of EMMOCT2019 in Accra, the Director of Missions in Accra, Fr. John Patrick Tindana recalled the beginning of the month-long initiative.
“The tone was set by the Archbishop (of Accra) for the diocesan celebration by launching it October 1, 2019 and after, the deaneries and parishes undertook special missionary projects to create the awareness for all to know that mission is the task of every baptized Christian.” Fr. Tindana recalled.
“Some visited schools, the less privileged, people living in the streets, in order to share the word of God with them and to share some material resources with them,” he added.
“Though officially closed, the missionary mandate of Christ to all of us is still valid. The EMM can be termed as a month of awareness creation and revitalization. We have been woken from our slumber,” the Ghanaian priest told ACI Africa correspondent.
He indicated that the Archdiocesan Mission Office “will continue to spearhead all the missionary activities in the archdiocese by partnering with religious institutions to undertake common missionary activities.”
“This missionary collaboration will also involve secular institutions, such as travel and tour companies, so that pilgrimages can be organized for people to visit holy sites,” Fr. Tindana said and added, “We shall come out with educational materials to be distributed to all so that people can come to a better understanding of what mission is, and what part they can also play.
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