Diasporian News of Tuesday, 13 August 2013
Source: Awortwi-Mensah, Paul
Ghanaian Catholics in the United States of America have been urged to be crazy for the Lord in their acts of evangelization.
Rev. Fr. Justice Baffour Fosu who made the call said the time has come for Catholics to go all out and spread the good news in a manner that people who do not share in their faith would think they are crazy.
Fr. Baffour Fosu who was speaking at a two-day retreat organized by the Ghanaian Catholic Apostolates’ Laity Council of New York, New Jersey and New England under the theme “The New Evangelization: A Call To Live, Deepen And Share Our Christian Faith” urged the congregation to put their faith into practice by sharing it with those who do not have it, inviting people to come home and worship with them.
The retreat, held at the St. Mary’s Catholic Church in East Hartford, Connecticut, was attended by over 600 delegates from the seven apostolates that forms the Laity Council. They are St. Mary’s, Newark, New Jersey, St. Catherine of Genoa, Brooklyn, New York, St. Benedict the Moor, Queens, New York, Christ the King and St. Margaret Mary, Bronx, New York and St. Joan of Arc, Worcester, Massachusetts. For the first time, delegates from St. John’s Catholic Church, Lowell, Massachusetts attended the retreat.
The Retreat, which is an annual ritual, afforded members a platform to pray for peace and unity among all Catholics and Ghanaians as well as sharing their faith in the glory of God and humanity.
Continuing, Fr. Baffour Fosu urged Catholics to form small cells, clusters and basic Christian communities to pray together in their small communities and win more souls for Christ.
Using biblical quotations to further buttress his point, Fr. Baffour Fosu said “people may see you to be crazy or insane but tell them that if you are crazy, you are crazy for the Lord and if you are sane then it is for the sake of the people you are ministering to”.
Rev. Fr. John Kyere, Chaplain to the Laity Council advised the congregation to follow the good works of Jesus, to live in faith and put their faith into action through love.
“If you do not role in faith, graduate in faith, mature in faith, establish in faith and grow in faith, there is nothing that you can do that would be a success“, he stated.
Fr. Keyere, therefore, advised the congregation to adhere to strong Catholic faith so that they do not get swayed by earthly ventures.
Mr. Anthony Boadu, Chairman of the Laity Council, said “we have been given the faith in baptism and this faith has grown in us with the help of our priests, our catechists, our parents and godparents”.
In his welcome address, Rev. Fr. Robert Roy, Parish Priest of St. Mary’s Parish which hosted the retreat said Christians should let their lives be symbols of peace and love, devoid of discrimination and uncontrolled craving for wealth. These, he said, divert their focus from faith to worldly adventures that are of no use to humanity.
Against this backdrop, Fr. Roy called for strict adherence to religious life, explaining that it can impact social, spiritual and the cultural development of any society.
Speaking about the Retreat, the President of the Ghanaian Catholic Community in Worcester, Mr. Nicholas Obeng said “as Christians, there is the need for us to meet from time to time to take stock of our lives, our relationship with Christ and with society”.
According to him the Catholic Laity Council in the United States has made strides in the area of spiritual and social development, adding that, the Laity Council has through fund-raising activities, been able to extend financial support to the Ghana Catholic University College in Fiapre, Sunyani as well as other projects being undertaking by the Catholic Church in Ghana.
Rev. Fr. William Aguzey, main celebrant for the Eucharistic celebration offered special prayers for citizens of Ghana and the United States.
Present at the retreat were Monsignor Dr. Stephen Ntim and Rev. Dr. Augustine Owusu-Addo both lecturers at the Ghana Catholic University College in Fiapre, Sunyani, Rev. Dr. Stephen Jantuah, Rev. Frs. George Gyasi Adjei, Eric Kweku Asante and William Agyeman. Also present were Deacons Tony Xatse and Teddy Adjei-Kensah.
The Laity Council was formed in 1998 to foster unity and cooperation among Ghanaian Catholic Communities in the tri-region of New York, New Jersey and New England, as well as to coordinate the activities of various Ghanaian Catholic apostolates.
It also promotes Ghanaian Catholic presence in the local areas/dioceses, and serves as a link between Ghanaian Catholic Communities in the United States of America and local churches in Ghana with the Ghana Catholic Bishops Conference serving as the pillar between this link.