“Behold, how good and pleasant it is brethren dwell together in unity…” Psalms 133:1 was the theme for the 2019 Agape celebration of the St. Francis of Assisi Society (Nigerian Community) in the Catholic Archdiocese of Accra held on Saturday the 12th of October, 2019.
By Eunice Sabina Dollah, CCONEWS
In April, 1998 some Nigerian Catholics were invited to Martyrs of Uganda Catholic Church, Mamprobi by His Eminence Cardinal Francis Arinze as he visited the country. In an interaction with those who honored his invitation he encouraged them to start a Nigerian Catholic Community in the Archdiocese of Accra and mandated the then Parish Priest of Holy Family Catholic Church, Mataheko, the Late Rev Fr. Jerome Francis Kusi to provide them with spiritual guidance and enabling environment.
On the 22nd of October, 2011, they were officially inaugurated at the Holy Spirit Cathedral by Most Rev Charles Gabriel Palmer – Buckle and Very Rev Fr. Japheth Obieloke was appointed as their first Chaplain. They have their goals as follows; uppermost in our choice of goals is to keep the catholic torch continuously burning in them all, to preach and demonstrate love for one another, to be our brothers and sisters keeper and to win souls for Christ.
The Agape celebration began with a Holy Mass presided over by Very Rev Fr. Delasi Atsu Parku, Parish priest of Holy Family Catholic Church, Mataheko and con celebrated by other priests.
In a welcome address by the chaplain, Very Rev Fr. Peter Rocky Hesse emphasized on the fact that there is power in unity and admonished them to show love to all regardless. He again said they should share their gifts and talents not forgetting the rich culture God has given to all.
Fr. Hesse in his homily touched on the theme for the celebration and encouraged all to live up to the laws of Christ in order to inherit the Kingdom of God. “When we live in unity, the blessings of God come upon us but when we drift away from this it brings about discord”, he said. He added that, “believe in yourself and assure yourself that you are good just like God who created us in His own image”. He concluded by urging them to become ascertain in life to be able to bring unity or allow unity to prevail and that God should make them an instrument of peace just like the patron saint Francis of Assisi.
Mr. George Adeyinka Olajide the President of the Accra Archdiocesan Nigerian Community in a speech appealed to the government of Ghana and Nigeria to work together to ensure that all disputes relating to trade are speedily resolved to the benefits of all. He encouraged them all to embrace the teachings of their patron saint which is simplicity, humility, love, respect for others and care for nature as well as respect for constituted authority backed by law and above all make prayer their rock and the Eucharist their spiritual food.
Awards were presented to some recognized priests for their efforts and dedication towards the society. The statue of St Francis of Assisi was later unveiled and blessed to the glory of God.
The second part of the program was all about socialization, where they fraternized and enjoyed some good cultural music, dance and drama.