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Ghana: SGAM and GPIC Animation

On December 11-21, 2017, Friar Joseph BLAY, the General Delegate for Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation (GPIC) and Friar Jarosław WYSOCZAŃSKI, the Secretary General for Missionary Animation (SGAM) visited Ghana to carry out missionary animation. Prior to that, the two friars had been visiting the Conventual Franciscan mission in Burkina Faso, from December 6-11, 2017.

On December 11, the day of their arrival in Ghana, they met with the seminarians in Accra and presented lectures on Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation, and the Franciscan missions. On December 14, they participated in the inauguration of the hospital in Jema, the birthplace of Friar Joseph. On December 15-17, the two friars visited the community in Takoradi, where Friar Jarosław presided over the second Sunday Mass. On December 18-20, they visited the communities in Elmina and Saltpond. On the evening of December 20, they returned to Accra and departed for Rome the next day.
There are six students studying philosophy at the diocesan seminary in Accra; two are from Uganda and four are from Ghana. Their formation team is comprised of the Rector, Friar Anthony ASUH and the Vice-Rector, Friar Charles AMOAH. Other members of the community include the Custos, Friar Anthony BEZO; the Vicar-Custos and guardian, Friar Eugene ANTWI BOASIAKO; and the Vocation Director, Friar Gregory AMORE. Each of them works in tandem with the formators.
The novitiate is located in Saltpond, Ghana. This year there are twelve novices: two from Burkina Faso, one (a Nigerian) from the Custody of the Holy Land and nine from Ghana. The novices are directed by their Novice Master, Friar Moses ARTHUR and the Assistant Novice Master, Friar Timothy KUUPINE. The novitiate is part of a spiritual retreat center called the Franciscan Valley of Prayer and Silence. The friars of the stable community there, led by their guardian, Friar Isaac FRIMPONG, provide spiritual guidance to groups of lay people, religious and priests throughout the year.
During the lectures with the seminarians and the novices, Friar Joseph, a Delegate of the Minister General, explained what his mission is about. Starting with our spirituality and the example of Saint Francis, he stressed the importance of awakening in ourselves a new love for creation and a greater responsibility for our land.
As always, Friar Jarosław focused on missionary spirituality. He talked about the current status of the missions in our Order and the “New Evangelization” in the Franciscan and African context, starting with Pope Francis’ Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Gaudium and the letter of the Minister General on missionary work. He also spoke about his experience as a missionary in Peru and told the story of the martyrdom and the beatification of Friars Michał TOMASZEK and Zbigniew STRZAŁKOWSKI. At the end of the presentations, both lecturers joined the friars in formation to reflect on how we Conventual Franciscans can respond today to the challenges of the mission. What do we mean by mission today?
The inauguration of the hospital in Jema was an occasion for joyous celebration by the local community and surrounding villages. This project was inspired by the vision of Friar Joseph and was realized, after massive effort, by cash contributions from citizens and the collaboration of various organizations, including: St. Anthony’s Charities, Cuore Amico, the Salesian Association and the USA Province of Our Lady of the Angels.
On December 16, both visitors went to Takoradi to attend a music concert performed by the novices and their formators. The concert took place to launch their new album.
During the entire visit to Ghana, there were powerful moments of prayer and discussion with various friars about life and missionary work.

Friar Jarosław WYSOCZAŃSKI, SGAM Secretary General

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