Diasporian News of Thursday, 6 September 2012
Source: Paul Awortwi-Mensah
By Paul Awortwi-Mensah
Hundreds of Ghanaian Catholics and people from all walks of life gathered at the St. Joan of Arc Catholic Church in Worcester, Massachusetts for the viewing and memorial mass of the late John Nana Kwasi Adu-Gyamfi, former President of the Ghanaian Catholic Community in Worcester.
The numerous mourners later converged at the Armenian Hall for the funeral rites and the final commendation. The late Adu-Gyamfi died on July 21, 2012 at the Beth Israel Hospital in Boston. He was 80 years.
The late John Adu-Gyamfi was an ex Kyidomhene of Appiadu in Kumasi under the stool name Nana Derkyi.
In a tribute, the Ghanaian Catholic Community and the entire parish of St. Joan of Arc described Nana Adu-Gyamfi as a great man whose leadership sought to the growth of the Catholic Community in Worcester.
“Adu-Gyamfi, was a God-loving leader, believed in getting everyone involved in building their God-loving Community with everyone embracing and using their God-given talents”, the tribute stated.
According to the tribute, Papa John inculcated in his parishioners real value of fellow feeling which all his parishioners can attest to today, adding that “he saw the good side in everyone and taught us all the meaning of tolerance and forgiveness”.
The tribute described the late Nana Adu-Gyamfi as someone who was excellent in the discharge of his duties. He was reliable and dependable and his departure is a great loss, adding that “Papa John will be remembered for his exquisite contributions at meetings, his accurate presentation of facts and records and impeccable attitude towards the growth and development of the Catholic Community.
“Papa John was an extraordinary ambassador of the Catholic Church and the Community will always remember his ingenuous abilities and complete disdain for mediocrity’, the tribute concluded.
In a sermon during the funeral mass, Rev. Fr. Andy Jose Rodriguez, former Pastor of the St. Joan of Arc Parish, described Papa John as a caring and genuine man, an inspirer and a disciplinarian whose guidance and advice manifested throughout the lives of all members of the Catholic Community as well as the various societies in the church, thus he became a source of reference by all.
Papa John, who was an ex officer of the Ghana Police Force served in the Motor Traffic Unit (MTU) in Takoradi, Dunkwa, Tarkwa and the Kumasi MTU as a Charge Officer. He was privileged to drive President Alphonse Massamba-Debat of Congo Brazaville during an Organization of African Unity (OAU) conference in Ghana.
In 2001 when the Ghanaian Catholic Community took roots at St. Peter’s Church on the main street in Worcester, Agya John as he was affectionately called was the Vice President. Papa John became the President from 2003 to 2006.
From 2006 till his demise, Agya John became an adviser and assumed the role of the “Chairman of the Council of Elders” of the Community. Papa John was also a member of the Community Choir and the Men’s Fellowship as well as a patron to the two groups until his death.
The funeral mass was attended by seven Catholic Priest who included Rev. Fr. Rodriguez, the main celebrant, Rev. Monsignor Francis Scollen, Rev. Fr Miguel Pagan, Rev. Fr. Richard Jakubauskas, Rev. Fr. Anthony Mpagi, Rev. Fr. John Kyere and Rev. Fr. Eric Asante. Two Deacons, Rev. Teddy Agyei-Kensah and Rev. Anthony Xatse assisted.
He was survived by his wife, Mrs. Akosua Adu-Gyamfi and thirteen children.
Source: Awortwi-Mensah, Paul