The Bishop of Ghana’s Catholic Diocese of Techiman has, on the occasion of the ordination of four Deacons to the Priesthood, underscored the importance respect in the practice of Priestly ministry among the people of God.
“The priesthood is a ministry that demands total respect for oneself and the Church as a whole,” Bishop Dominic Yeboah Nyarko said Saturday, August 8 during the ordination event at the courtyard of St. Joseph’s Parish Kintampo in Ghana’s Eastern Bono region.
Bishop Yeboah invited the candidates to be ordained Priests foster “respect and live in unity with senior priests,” cautioning them against pride tendencies manifest in the thinking that because they are fresh from the Seminary, they know it all than those ordained years before them.
He also encouraged the Deacons to be ordained Priests to be courageous in their ministry and be ready to serve wherever they are sent inspired by servants of God like prophet Jeremiah.
“God called Jeremiah and told him that he should not be afraid and wherever he will send him he should go, that God will give him the strength and show him what to do,” the 66-year-old Ghanaian Prelate reflected during the ordination Mass.
Bishop Yeboah who chairs the Biblical Apostolate of the Department of pastoral Ministry at Ghana’s National Catholic Secretariat also told the candidates, “Through the power of the Holy Spirit, you will be molded into the likeness of Christ, Teacher, Priest and Shepherd.”
The Local Ordinary of Ghana’s Techiman Diocese expressed the hope that the Deacons to be ordained to the Priesthood “will become good priests in the Lord’s vine yard” and urged the Laity “to continuously support Priests with your prayers so that they can work together in building the kingdom of God.”
Meanwhile, the Bishop of Ghana’s Damongo Diocese who presided over the ordination of a Missionary of Africa Priest on Saturday, August 8 emphasized altruism as a significant principle in the life of ordained ministers.
“A priest is not in the priestly ministry for himself but for the people of God,” Bishop Peter Paul Angkyier said and added addressing himself to the Deacon Richard Abobopuo Dery, “You are not a priest for yourself or your family but for the people you are called to serve.”
“The Priesthood is God’s gift to the Church and His People. It is a call to service,” Bishop Angkyier said August 8 at the Priestly ordination event that took place at St. Anne’s Cathedral, Damongo in the Savannah region of Ghana.
The Ghanaian Prelate advised the candidate to the Priesthood to “avoid chasing material things but rather focus on your ministry as a Missionary Priest” and to remember that as an ordained minister, he is being called to “serve and not to be served.”
The 58-year-old Prelate cautioned the candidate against pride and encouraged him to “be compassionate, recognize your weaknesses and ask the Lord to strengthen you in your ministry.”
He encouraged the member of the Society of the Missionaries of Africa to collaborate with other Priests and Religious to enhance the work of God and to “have the missionary zeal to serve wherever he is posted by his superiors.”
“You decided to become a priest from your own will, so you need to bring dignity to the priesthood you have chosen for yourself. As a Priest you have the will to change society through your ministerial Priesthood,” Bishop Angkyier told the candidate to the diaconate.
He added, “Your life must reflect the message you preach to the people. You are an ambassador of Christ and you are to represent him as such.”
The Local Ordinary of Damongo Diocese who doubles as the Chairman of the Department of Strategic Investment of the Accra-based National Catholic Secretariat urged the candidate to the Priesthood to see his call as “a privilege and be grateful to God despite the challenges you might encounter in your journey.”
“Despite your limitations, God wants you to know that you have a task to bring positive change to the world through your ministry,” Bishop Angkyier told the Deacon.