Laity in Ghana Urged to Intensify Active Participation in Church Activities
CANAA || By Damian Avevor, Ghana || 03 July 2017
Rev. Fr. Dr. Simon Kofi Appiah, a Lecturer at the University of Cape Coast, has called on the laity in Ghana to refocus their activities on the pastoral care in their Parishes, Chaplaincies and Rectorates.
He said the laity could begin to intensify their involvement in the Pastoral activities of the Church by assisting Priests to provide spiritual and emotional support to Christ’s faithful and all persons who needed such assistance.
Speaking at the 2017 Accra Archdiocesan Laity Easter Seminar recently for about 400 participants from all Parishes in the Archdiocese at the Our Lady of Assumption (OLA) Catholic Church at New Achimota, Accra, Fr. Appiah, who is the Author of the 2017 Laity Week Study Programme (Booklet), said the laity could explore various ways to use their resources and time to promote positive feelings of Christian duty and self-worth in their communities.
He noted that Pastoral Care Ministry could reach many Christians if the laity participated with more commitment in the Ministry of the Priest. The laity, he said, must look out for one another and inform members of their Pastoral Councils and the Priests about the needs of the weak, the sick, lonely and those who lead their lives on the fringe of societies.
Taking the participants through the Study Programme, Fr. Appiah advised the laity especially the executives in Parishes, Deaneries in the Archdiocese to endeavour to understand the importance of their roles in the pastoral Ministry of the Church.
He called on Catholics to allow themselves to be formed and also make the effort to read and learn about the teachings and positions of the Church on doctrinal and social issues.
He entreated the lay faithful in Ghana to participate fully in Laity Week programmes to enhance their faith, lamenting that many Catholics fail to attend such programmes.
The Seminar organised to officially launch the Archdiocesan Laity Week, was on the theme: Do This in Memory of Me: The Eucharist as the Foundation for the Participation of the Laity in the Pastoral care Ministry of the Church.
It was attended by Very Rev. Fr. Andrew Quaye -Foli, Archdiocesan Laity Chaplain; Very Rev. Fr. Edmund Donkor-Baine, dean of the Kaneshie Deanery; Major J.R.K. Tandoh (Rtd.), Acting Chairman of the Accra Archdiocesan Laity Council; Mr. Augustine Acheampong Otoo, a Parishioner of St. Martha’s Church at Kasoa in the Cape Coast Archdiocese, who was the Guest Speaker and Mr. George Afetor, former PPC Chairman of OLA, who chaired the programme.
Mr. Otoo called on the laity to actively participate in the reception of the Eucharist. He appealed to the laity to love one another and take care of the needy in the Church and society at large to bring joy to many and collaborate with the Clergy and not to replace them.
He called for a unity of purpose between the Church hierarchy and the lay faithful as well as respect for one another.
Major Tandoh said the annual Seminar was relevant in the life and the mission of the Church, stating that “Our identity as members of Christ’s faithful is incorporated in Christ Jesus through our Baptismal consecration, sharing His Priestly, Prophetic and Kingly Office.”
He reminded the Laity that they were called to make wholehearted effort to lead a holy life for the growth and sanctification of the Church.