“Whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me.”
A Vehicle for Capuchin Fathers in the Parish of Saint Michael in Kpassa, Ghana
The West African nation of Ghana has a population of almost 29 million, of which approximately 70% are Christians. Most belong to a variety of different Protestant denominations, while 15% are Catholics. Among the remaining followers of traditional African religions, there are many who are interested in Christianity. For them, the Good News of Christ means liberation from their fear of sorcery and evil spirits.
One flourishing new parish, where many people are now turning to the Catholic faith, is the Parish of Saint Michael in Kpassa. This town of some 45,000 people is situated in the east of the country, roughly 250 miles from the capital Accra. In 2008, the Capuchin Fathers established a mission station here, which in 2010 was raised to the status of a parish.
Today, the parish includes 34 outlying villages, and 17 outstations have already been established – small Catholic communities, each accompanied by two catechists. The priests visit these villages regularly to celebrate Holy Mass and administer the Sacraments. Meanwhile, four other villages are in the process of developing into similar outstations. Some of these outstations lie up to 28 miles from the center of the parish.
There are other villages that are so remote that it has not yet been possible to proclaim the Gospel there. The state of the roads can be very poor, and in the rainy season many of these tracks degenerate into almost unnavigable rivers of mud. What is needed here is a powerful and robust all-terrain vehicle, but for now, the three Capuchin priests in the parish have just one motorcycle and one old car between them. This is better than nothing, but it means that they cannot minister to the outstations as intensively as they need to, or even regularly visit the other outlying villages. This is a cause of concern to the Fathers, since it means not only that the people are left to themselves in their spiritual and often their social needs as well, but also that there is a concern, wherever the Church cannot be physically present, of an increase in sects.
The parish priest, Father Robinson Melkis has turned to ACN for help to obtain a suitable all-terrain vehicle. As he says in his letter, these pastoral visits are essential in order “to keep the flame of the Christian faith alive in the hearts of the faithful.”
He needs another $12,200 to be able to purchase this vehicle, and we have already promised this sum.
Will you help contribute so that Father Melkis can have a vehicle that will enable him to visit remote villages in the surrounding areas of his parish in Ghana?
Aid to the Church in Need commits to invest your funds where they will have the greatest impact for the Church that we serve. Funds donated to Aid to the Church in Need’s projects will be used towards the greatest need in our programs to help keep the Faith alive.