The 14th bienniel congress of the National Union of Ghana Diocesan priests’ Associations held in the Kumasi Archdiocese from 2nd to 6th January 2017 was offically closed with a high Mass presided over by the metropolitan Archbishop of Kumasi Most. Rev. Gabriel Justice Anokye on thurday January,5 at the St. Peters’ Cathedral within the Episcopal jurisdiction of the Kumasi Archdiocese.
The congress which coincided with the the 40th anniversary of the union was on the theme, NUGDPA @ 40: The Joys and Challenges of the Priesthood. The congress began with an arrival of members on Monday January 2, followed by an opening ceremony on January 3, series of talks and workshops and a forum with the Ghana Catholic Bishops’ Conference on Wednesday January 4, election of executives, games and closing mass at the St. Peters Basilica on Thursday January 5 and departure on Friday January 6 .
Present at the congress were, the Vice president of the Ghana Catholic Bishops’ Conference Most Rev. Gabriel Charles Palmer Buckle, former president of the Bishops’ Conference Most Rev. Joseph Osei Bonsu, the Episcopal chairman for clergy and religious Most Rev. Richard Kuuia Baawobr, host Archibishop Gabriel Justice Anokye and some other members of the Ghana Catholic Bishops’ Conference, members of the clergy, government officials, papal knights and Dames, societies and groups in the Catholic Church among others.
The conference presented an opportunity to all diocesan priests in Ghana to meet and reflect deeply on their priestly identity and mission in the contest of the theme of the congress , to share fraternal love and to learn from brother priests as they socialise.
Speaking at the opening ceremony on Tuesday January 3, Rev. Monsignor Professor Stephen Ntim, Dean of the faculty of education at the Catholic University College of Ghana, Fiapre highlighted work load, loneliness, celibacy, minimal remuneration and lack of professional competence as the challenges of the 21st century priest. Prof. Ntim however added that in the face of the numerous challenges, priests are happy people due to the divine communion they have with God which gives them peace within. He urged the leadership of the national union and the respective diocesan associations to encourage and fraternally dialogue with other priests who for some reasons refuse to attend priestly meetings.
“The priesthood has many challenges that can be overwhelming at times. Nevertheless, there is fulfillment in the form of inner peace, happiness and joy that outweigh the challenges. Precisely because of the challenges of the priesthood mentioned above, as we gather here to celebrate the forty years of our national union, we need to reinvigorate the communion of our priesthood, rekindle the solidarity and support among ourselves individually as priests and collectively as members of the National Union of Ghana Catholic Diocesan Priests Association” He said.
There were fraternal messages to NUGDPA by the Catholic Bishops’ Conference, Kwame Nkrumah University of science and Technology, Anglican Church of Ghana, national laity council, national Catholic women council, Knights and Ladies of Marshall and St. John international among several groups and associations.
Source: Topfmonline.com/Ernest Dovlo