Catholics in Ghana should openly profess their faith in God if they want to improve their country, said Bishop Emmanuel Kofi Fianu of Ho last week, encouraging the faithful not to be ashamed of their Catholicism but rather boldly to proclaim it everywhere.
“Our world today does not want teachers but models; people who take the lead and invite others to follow them instead of sitting in their comfort zones and pointing out the way to others without they themselves ever taking the way,” said Bishop Fianu, chair for the Ghanaian bishops' Commission of Laity, Women and Youth, according to CANAA. “The witness of life and word demands that we march our words with our life so that what we say corresponds to what we do,” Fianu continued.
The bishop’s words came during a Sept. 29-30 conference on “Living Our Vocation as Catholic Faithful” held at the Star of the Sea Cathedral in Sekondi-Takoradi, Ghana. The conference also celebrated the legacies of the Diocese of Sekondi-Takoradi's three deceased bishops: Joseph Amihere Essuah, Charles Kweku Sam, and John Martin Darko.
Fianu told those gathered at the event that the sacraments of baptism and confirmation have endowed them with the responsibility of boldly sharing their faith with others, whether in groups or individually. He also encouraged the faithful to become involved in ministry and to utilize their talents for the Church.
Fianu also prompted local priests to help the laity in their parishes become active members within their communities. Fianu did note that he was inspired by the growing number of Catholics who showed interest in Bible studies and scriptural reading.
“Today, in Ghana, we see some people who stand at street corners, in buses, lorry parks, and other places to preach to others…They do so because that is how they understand the command of Christ to preach the Gospel to all nations,” Fianu said. “The Church desperately needs the laity to carry out that role with the authority, creativity, and power that the Holy Spirit has given them in Baptism.”