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Catholic Charity Donates Towards Primary Evangelization in Ghana’s Remote Villages

Aid to the Church in Need (ACN) International offers a a sturdy four-wheel-drive vehicle to the members of the Franciscan Capuchin Friars (OFM Cap) serving in Ghana's Jasikan Diocese/ Credit: ACN

The lack of reliable means of transport has, for over a decade, slowed down the activities of the members of the Franciscan Capuchin Friars (OFM Cap) who have been on a mission to evangelize remote parts of Ghana that do not know about the person of Jesus Christ.

In a Wednesday, June 23 report, Catholic Pontifical foundation, Aid to the Church in Need (ACN) International, says that the four Franciscan missionaries ministering at St. Michael Parish of the Catholic Diocese of Jasikan, have been struggling to reach the people of God in the vast Parish in the district of Kpassa.

ACN reports that the Parish is made up of 17 outstations, many of which are remote from the Parish centre with difficult access.

Fr. Robinson Melkis, the Parish Priest of St. Michael tells ACN that each outstation has one or two Catechists to help them in their work, but the Priests still need to visit in order to celebrate Holy Mass and administer the sacraments and perform other spiritual tasks, which are “necessary in order to keep alive the flame of the Christian faith in the hearts of the faithful.”

He says that some of the outstations are as far as 25 miles (45 km) from the Parish centre and that all the roads leading to them are “simply dirt tracks”, so that access is extremely difficult in the rainy season, especially on the motorcycle.

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The Pontifical charity reports that the Priests who first arrived in the Ghanaian Diocese in 2008 have had one vehicle, now over 11 years old, and one motorcycle between the three of them, a situation that makes it difficult for all of them to travel to the different places at the same time to meet the people.

“Besides, there are still many villages in the Kpassa district where Christianity has not yet arrived,” Fr. Melkis tells ACN in his appeal to the Catholic foundation for aid.

“In our evangelizing work, we are attempting to reach at least one new village each year,” he says, and adds, “In fact there are already four more villages that we have now evangelized, although we have not yet formally established an outstation in them.”

Besides spiritual care, the members of OFM Cap. have also been working to address poverty, illiteracy and a myriad of other social challenges that the people grapple with.

Fr. Melkis says, “Although our principal objective is to provide spiritual care for the community where we serve, our Friars are also involved in social and development work. Our goal is to create an awareness among the people of the social problems and encourage them to become involved in seeking their own solutions.”

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“The village people are extremely poor,” the Franciscan Priest says, and adds, “There are two main areas of focus: the provision of a decent education for the children and at the same time the provision of clean drinking water by drilling boreholes in the various villages.”

To reach as many people as possible within St. Michael Parish, Fr. Melkis has, on behalf of the Capuchin missionaries from Kerala, India, requested for a four-wheel-drive vehicle, which ACN has donated to the mission.

The missionaries, according to the leadership of the Catholic charity, requested for “something like a pickup truck, if possible, with a double cabin, so that they could serve the many outstations, celebrating Holy Mass and encouraging other spiritual activities.”