On September 1-13, 2019, the Delegate General for Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation (JPIC), Friar Joseph BLAY, visited formation houses in Ghana and spoke about the themes in Pope Francis’ encyclical Laudato Si’.
There are three formation houses in Ghana. The postulancy program is housed in Sunyani. There, the Delegate General met with six second-year postulants, all from Ghana. He next visited with the twelve novices in Saltpond. Ten of the novices are from Ghana. One is from Burkina Faso and the other is from Uganda. The post-novitiate program for philosophy is housed in Accra. There, the Delegate General met with twenty-one clerical students, including nine from Ghana, six from Uganda, three from Burkina Faso two from Kenya, and one from Nigeria who belongs to the Custody of the Orient and the Holy Land.
While teaching the postulants and novices, the Delegate General explained the importance of ecological conversion and how to live the spirituality of ecology. Friar Joseph pointed out that the Pope mentions the name of our founder eighteen times in ten paragraphs of Laudato Si’. Therefore, this document is essential to enhance one’s formation journey and to grow in ecological spirituality as an integral part of the Franciscan charism.
Various biblical citations found in the encyclical were proposed to the clerical students. The Pope explains the reasons why Christians have neglected to protect our common home. Genesis 1:28 has been used as justification to exploit the earth. However, Genesis 2:15 asks us to care for the earth. We are not owners of Creation, we are only its beneficiaries; therefore we must deliver an intact planet to the next generation.
After the visit, on September 14, 2019, Friar Joseph attended the priestly ordination of Friar Francis Pascal AFFUM. The following day, he gave the homily at Friar Francis’ first Mass.
Friar Joseph BLAY