The religious men and women in the Archdiocese of Accra gathered as a family to celebrate this year’s day for the consecrated life on Tuesday, 2nd February, 2021.
Day of the consecrated life is a day dedicated for the consecrated life in the Catholic Church, a day dedicated to their wonderful vocation that makes God’s love for men, women and the entire universe shine forth in various ways.
The event which took place at the Holy Spirit Cathedral began with a talk by Rev Fr. Cyprian Kuupol, SVD, Provincial Superior of the Divine Word Missionary on the theme St. Joseph, a worthy model of consecrated life.
He gave a brief background of St. Joseph, the spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary. He said St. Joseph has remained in the backdrop when we go down the archives of the Church. Very little attention was paid to him until the 16th century when he was acknowledged as the Provider and Protector of the Holy Family, then specifically in 1870, Pope Pius IX declared him Patron of the Universal Church. Later, on the 8th of December, 2020, Pope Francis decreed a year of St. Joseph to give Catholics the opportunity to obtain a special plenary indulgence.
He further said, St. Joseph stands as an icon of obedience to the Almighty God. “It was Joseph’s prompt obedience, unwavering faith and overwhelming trust in God that saved his family”, he explained. Just as St. Joseph, he urged the religious to obey God without hesitation which will help build their individual congregation. Again, he encouraged them to start their day with a 30 minutes reflection to strengthen their relationship with God.
He continued to say St. Joseph stands as an icon of a Holy Family, an icon of compassion, selflessness and self-sacrifice, an icon of professionalism through his work of being a carpenter. “In our world today, listening attentively to the voice of God would give us knowledge on the battles of life which we are supposed to fight and those that we are to leave for God to handle”, he added.
As consecrated persons, they were charged to create protective environments for their families, communities and for the people they serve by recreating the atmosphere of intimate communion, love and prayer that was in the holy family of St. Joseph.
In summation, he advised them to seize the moment to renounce their shortcomings as they duly embrace the year 2021 as the year of St. Joseph-a truly worthy model for consecrated life.
The second part of the program which was a Holy Mass celebration saw the Vicar General of the Accra Archdiocese, Very Rev Fr. John K. Louis presiding over the Mass in the stead of the Archbishop of Accra who could not be in attendance due to an equally important appointment.
The Vicar General in his homily admonished the religious men and women to remain ever close to God through prayer, sacrament, etc. “Jesus was ever close to the Father, therefore we should also emulate that example”, he said. He urged them to adopt the virtue of humility and that there can be no holiness without humility. He added that, the act of humility should remind them of the importance of their consecration and strive to ever remain humble by emulating the life of Jesus.