Religion of 2014-05-08

Apam St. Joseph the Worker Parish chalks 90 years

Saint. Joseph the Worker’s Parish at Apam has celebrated its 90th anniversary with a call on Catholics to intensify evangelisation.

Very Reverend Father Isaac Ebo Blay, Vicar-General of the Cape Coast Archdiocese of the Catholic Church, who stood in for the Archbishop of the Archdiocese, Most Rev. Mathias Kobena Nketsiah, said statistics produced by the 2010 national population and housing census indicate that the Catholic population in the country has reduced from 14.6 per cent to 11 per cent of the country’s total population.

Very Rev Blay said the situation calls for Catholic parents to indoctrinate the doctrines of the church into their children while young, in order for them not to be misled by their peers when they go to Senior High Schools and tertiary institutions, and as a result, abandon their Catholic faith.

Very Rev. Fr. Blay urged Catholics to bear in mind that the church does not belong to the clergy, so they must work hard to protect it from attacks by mushroom churches which are springing up every day, so that they are not led astray.

The Vicar-General said Pope John XXII started some reforms in the church’s doctrine to open its windows to enable the church to interact with other Christian communities, adding that those reforms were confirmed by Pope Paul VI when he reigned from 1960 to 1968.

He said the reforms culminated in the establishment of Vatican Two Council, the Church’s governing Council from 1963 to 1965 by Pope John-Paul, to extend the interaction to even non-Christians.

The Catholic Church at Apam was started in 1910-1918 by some customs clerical workers whose ship temporarily used to anchor at Apam, but phased out when the workers were transferred to Winneba, following the construction of a permanent shipping port at Winneba.

The idea to plant Catholicism in Apam arose in 1924 when Messrs’ Thomas Fletcher, Carless Amity-Hutchison and J.E.K. Bostio who was their leader started the church.

The church has seen 40 different priests since its establishment and 11 Presidents of Advisory Board and three Catechists and had produced eight priests, one of them being the Vicar-General of the Cape Coast Archdiocese and another being Assistant-General of the Catholic Bishops Conference.

The church can boast of one hospital, an Infant Jesus convent, a double-stream Primary and Junior Secondary School, 32 out-stations and 14 societies.

A goodwill message from Archbishop Nketsiah urged the parishioners to be united and hold to the baton which the predecessors had passed on to them to make the church grow stronger.

Another message from Rev. Fr. Jude Eduafo Ampah, the immediate past Parish Priest, said a solid foundation being laid demands that members have to hold on to the beliefs and ideals of the church, nurture them and see that they flourish.

He said the future of the church in Apam depends on what the parishioners are able to do now.

Five members of the church were honoured with citations for their dedicated services