Hundreds of Ghanaian Catholics in the tri-state of New York, New Jersey and New England in the United States of America, on February 17th.2008, gathered at the St. Catherine of Genoa Catholic Church in Brooklyn, New York City for a mass celebrating the elevation of Rev. Monsignor Dominic Yeboah Nyarko as the new bishop of Techiman in the Brong-Ahafo region of Ghana.
Monsignor Nyarko, a Ghanaian priest who is on a sabbatical at the Brooklyn Diocese in the United States ,was recently named by his Holiness, Pope Benedict XVI as the first Bishop of the newly created Diocese of Techiman.
The thanksgiving service, organized by the Ghanaian Catholic Apostolate in the Brooklyn Diocese, was also used to honor the Bishop-elect and to bid him farewell as he prepares to take up his new appointment in Ghana.
In attendance were a number of the clergy and religious ,as well as Ghanaian Catholics clad in splendid traditional wear. They prayed, sang, clapped and danced to the glory of God for the life of the Bishop-elect.
Addressing the gathering, Bishop-elect Nyarko called on Ghanaians to assist rural communities through the establishment of schools, clinics, as well as the provision of potable drinking water.
“As a Bishop, my priority would be to improve the quality of life for the people in my diocese by increasing access to potable drinking water, schools and clinics for deprived families in the rural areas”.
He urged the congregation to develop a “soft heart” as that would enable them contribute to the development of their families, the church and their country.
The Bishop-elect pledged to serve the congregation diligently and called for support of the members to ensure the growth and development of the new Techiman diocese.
He expressed appreciation to all those who have helped him in diverse ways during his formation years ,and expressed special thanks to Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio of the Diocese of Brooklyn for his support and words of encouragement.
Rev. Fr. Francis Anane in his homily reminded the Bishop-elect , that his appointment repesents a call from God to lead his people.
He said when God calls on an individual to serve; it entails sacrifice, obedience, courage and selflessness , and urged the Bishop-elect to work harder for the benefit of humanity.
“Propagate the gospel to win more souls for Christ”, Fr. Anane told the new bishop-elect.
Rev. Fr. Anane pledged the support of priests, the religious and the congregation to the bishop-elect in the discharge of his duties.
Bishop-elect Dominic Nyarko was born on December 19, 1953 at Nsuta, near Techiman. He attended St Hubert’s Minor Seminary in Kumasi from 1977-1984, and later at the St. Peter’s Regional Seminary , Pedu near Cape Coast ,where he studied Philosophy and Theology from 1984-1990. He was ordained a priest on July 21, 1990 by the late Bishop James Owusu of the Sunyani Diocese.
After his ordination, the bishop-elect held various positions which included parish priest, spiritual director to the St. James Minor Seminary in Sunyani and diocesan vocations director. He also studied public administration and financial management at the Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration (GIMPA) in Legon, Accra.
He arrived in the USA four years ago and is currently pursuing a masters program in family counseling at Fordam University in New York , where he would be graduating in May 2008.
The creation of the Techiman Diocese brings to 19, the number of Catholic dioceses in Ghana and Monsignor Nyarko's appointment brings to 23, the number of Catholic Bishops in Ghana which also includes two Cardinals- Peter Appiah-Turkson and Peter Dery.
Bishop-elect Nyarko would be enthroned on March 29, 2008, at the newly-created Techiman Diocese of the Catholic Church in Ghana.
Written by Paul Awortwi-Mensah, formerly of the Daily Graphic Newspaper, Accra, Ghana. Awortwi-Mensah now resides in Worcester, Massachusetts.