On February 7, 2023, the Provincial Custody of St. Anthony of Padua in Ghana conducted its annual fraternal assembly.

This assembly is held annually in order to bring together all of solemnly professed friars in the Custody. They meet to enjoy a meal together, interact with each other and to share the joys and challenges they encounter in their various ministries. This year’s gathering was held at the St. Anthony of Padua Friary in Sunyani, Ghana. Twenty-two solemnly professed friars attended. A few friars were unable to attend due to unforeseen challenges in their ministries. Nevertheless, the program was well organized by the continuing formation team headed by Friar Eugene ANTWI-BOASIAKO.
The assembly started with Mass at 6:00 a.m. presided over by the Vicar Custos, Friar Emmanuel Kofi OCRAN. Breakfast followed, at which time the friars heard some messages of hope and encouragement from the Assistant General for the African Federation of Conventual Franciscans (AFCOF), Friar Anthony Bezo KUTIERO and from the Provincial Custos, Friar Vitus Edem Yao MENSAH. During his talk, the AFCOF Assistant General mentioned that the friars should pay more attention to the mission ad gentes. They should strengthen their bonds of unity, and rekindle their identity and charism in their various apostolates. The Provincial Custos also encouraged the brothers to strengthen their bonds of fraternity. He also asked the friars to think critically about practical measures to make the Custody more self-reliant.
Next, a soccer tournament played among the various communities. After the tournament, the friars gathered to share lunch. After lunch, they remained inside to play a game of “ tombola” which featured various gifts for the winners.
The gathering concluded with Evening Prayer presided over by the Provincial Custos, Friar Vitus Edem Yao MENSAH. This year’s gathering was very entertaining and educational. It gave the friars an opportunity to strengthen bonds and to share what they have experienced in their various ministries.
May the good Lord, who has called us to his vineyard, continue to sustain us with his grace. May our Father St. Francis of Assisi continue to bind us together in love so that we can contribute more to the Custody of Ghana!

Friar Francis Pascal AFFUM, Custodial Secretary