On two weekends in June, we will have missionaries here at this parish to promote support for the Church around the world.
On June 16 and 17, Father George Kintiba will be celebrating Mass and giving homilies for Cross Catholic Outreach, whose priests have given presentations here during the last two years.
On June 23 and 24 Father Kwadwo Angyekm from the Diocese of Obuasi in Ghana will be celebrating Mass and describing the specific situation of the Church in Ghana and the west coast of Africa. Fr. Collins will also be taking up a second collection to support the church in his diocese. Fr. Kintiba is from Congo and is a priest for the Society of the Divine Word, a rapidly growing missionary order that currently has 6000 priests and brothers sent to all parts of the earth.
That Society is an example the Church’s creative response to difficult situations. When the German government forcibly closed many seminaries and religious institutions in the late 19th century, one of the exiled priests Saint Arnold Janssen moved to the Netherlands and united many priests, seminarians and religious brothers into the new Society of the Divine Word, which has since then supported missions that are based heavily upon a reverence for God’s revelation through the Bible and through nature.
Soon, two women’s religious orders arose from the same inspiration: the Holy Spirit Missionary Sisters, which carries on active missionary work in 49 countries and the Holy Spirit Adoration Sisters, contemplatives who now pray for the missions in their 22 convents around the world.
Fr. Kintiba, sent from this order, will be speaking about the efforts of Cross Catholic Outreach, a lay ministry run by American Catholic nonprofit that helps poorer communities in their efforts both to recover from natural and manmade disasters and to develop dignified and prosperous lives for the future. Likewise promoting an understanding of the universal Church.
Fr. Collins will be speaking about the Church in Ghana and the west coast of Africa. Ghana became independent in 1957 when the British withdrew from the so-called Gold Coast of Africa, ending almost five centuries of European colonial control. The country is mostly Christian and about 10 percent Catholic.
The Catholic Church in Ghana has strongly supported human rights, the culture of life and family, and protection of the environment. Her defense of rights of the people incurred the oppression of the government for many years. But the situation has improved somewhat and the country’s 3 million Catholics are served by about 850 priests and about 1000 religious sisters.
By uniting our efforts in the West and the Church in other lands, we are bringing the nations together in the grace and truth of Christ and building hope for a better future.