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October 13, 1995     The Message
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October 13, 1995

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A STEADY RAIN A look at the development of the Church in northwest Ghana n Christmas Eve 1932, the first 12 members of the Church in Wa in northwest Ghana were baptized by two missionary priests. One among that group: Peter Dery, who would one day become Wa's first bishop. Just three years earlier, the Missionaries of Africa began their service in that part of Ghana, arriv- ing in the middle of a drought. To- :7 day, just a little more than six de- :!:!!! cades later, Catho- lics in Wa number 156,000, or 24% of the total population. tion of this vibrant local church." The Diocese of Wa, estab- lished in 1960, is served today by some 80 diocesan priests and four Missionaries of Africa; there are also 190 local Religious: 147 Sis- ters and 43 Brothers. his past May five new bish- ops were ordained for five new dioceses throughout Ghana -- new seeds being planted, ob- served then-national director of the Propagation of the Faith in Ghana, Father Anthony Balee. lso among the first baptized into the faith in the area was Anselm Bemile, who would later become a cat- echist in the Wa Diocese and the father of eight, including a son, Paul. Paul Bemile was ordained Wa's newest bishop on March 25 of this year. Shortly after that event, he told World Mission News: "I see the finger of God at work in my life and in the whole diocese through the Propagation of the Faith. It is the Propagation of the Faith which is at the very heart of the growth of the Church here, and which helps the Church con- tinue to grow. I rely on those who so faithfully support the Propagation of the Faith for the future growth and evangeliza- World Mission Sunday contributors receive MISSION, the national magazine of the Propagation of the Faith. (Above left) Bishop Paul Bemile of Wa, Ghana (Above right) In Ghana, a Eucharistic celebration under a tree To SPEAK OF FAITH... Tile journey qf one catechist eriously ill, Charlotte faced death alone. Then, the mis- sionary priest and the catechist in her village in Zaire stepped in. "Father Clemens and Marcel helped me get the operation I needed," Charlotte recalls. "Af- ter that, they nursed me back to health and helped me find work." Not that long ago, it was Fa- ther Clemens who presented the now-recovered Charlotte with her catechist's cross and her bible (see photo above right). These days, Charlotte prepares adults and chil- dren to receive the Sacraments. Baptized herself just 19 years ago when she was 11, Charlotte says, "When I was baptized, I didn't know where it would lead. Later my eyes were opened." "During the time I was ill," she continued, "I realized that everything depends on God. If you give your whole life to God, then He will make sure every- thing will come right." hroughout the Missions, some 383,000 lay men and women are giving all or part of The help they receive from Propagation of the Faith as are established and as velop, year after year, invaluable to these churches as it was in Wa still is today, notes ix decades ago, the sionaries came to Wa midst droug By with h from ! Pro of the steady God's the that part Ghana other since. O their lives to serve as echists. Catechists are leaders in their villa visitors to the sick of children and adults. importantly, they speak faith to those who never heard the Gospel. he offerings that will be collected on World Mission Sunday are destined for a com- mon fund of solidar- ity distributed, in the Pope's name, by the Society for the Propagation of the Faith, among the missions and mis- sionaries of the entire world. Pope John Paul I!