Catholic Archdiocese of Accra launches 120th Anniversary, Tuesday, July 3, 2012 (page 65)
THE Catholic Archdiocese of Accra has launched its 120th anniversary, with a pledge to look back at the successes and failures of its mission over the past 120 years.
The church also launched a logo competition for the anniversary. It is open to young people under 25 years.
The year-long anniversary, which starts on December 2, 2012, will reach its climax on November 24, 2013 with a massive congregation of members of the archdiocese at the Independence Square in Accra.
The celebration will be on the theme: “120 years of Catholic Mission: Honouring the Past, Celebrating the Present, Building the Future”.
The Accra Archdiocese covers the entire Greater Accra Region and some parts of the Volta Region. It currently has 21 parishes and 33 rectorates.
Launching the anniversary, the Metropolitan Archbishop of Accra, the Most Rev Charles Gabriel Palmer-Buckle, said the period was a moment for the church to reflect on the many blessings that God had showered on it in Accra and its environs.
“We shall undertake a critical examination of our past efforts in order to forge a better evangelisation strategy for future challenges,” he said, adding that the process was being undertaken through strategic development seminars which had gone on for the past four months.
According to the Archbishop, the outcome of the strategic development committee meetings would be used in launching a five-year development programme from 2013-2018 for the Accra Archdiocese as “our renewed commitment to the future mission of the church, while preparing for the 125th anniversary”.
The Most Rev Palmer-Buckle noted that with one third of the 420,000 members of the Accra Archdiocese being young people under 25 years, “these young people are the most cherished treasure and asset of our church”.
He urged the various parishes to also plan their own programmes and urged all members of the church to participate and make the anniversary a memorable one.
A central committee, chaired by Rev Father Francis Adoboli, was inaugurated to plan events for the celebration.
The Chairman of the Protocol and Publicity Committee, Mr Andrew Agyekum, pledged that the committee would make the anniversary celebration a memorable one, such that years to come it would even be a referral point for other anniversaries.
The Catholic Church in Accra began officially with the celebration of the first Holy Mass on Ga soil at the house of one Chief John Quartey on January 31, 1893.
In the same year, the first Catholic baptism in Accra took place of one Louis James Buckle on May 25, 1894, while the first Holy matrimony was celebrated between Herbert Cheetam and Rose Mary Quaye.
After years of being under the watch of White missionaries, 1953 was a year of remarkable turnaround as Rev Father Joseph Oliver Bowers, an African-Caribbean, was appointed the first Black Bishop of the Gold Coast Colony.
It was not until 1971 that the mantle of leadership was handed over to the first Ghanaian, in the person of the Most Rev Dominic Kodwo Andoh.
It was under the leadership of the Most Rev Andoh that the Catholic Diocese of Accra was elevated to a Metropolitan See in 1992 and the Catholic Diocese of Koforidua created out of