Baawobr’s absence from the consistory presided over by Pope Francis in St. Peter’s Basilica did not prevent him from being elevated to the College of Cardinals on Aug. 27.
The 63-year-old received the title of cardinal while being treated in the Roman hospital. Pope Francis asked people to pray for Baawobr at the end of his homily for the consistory.
Baawobr was recently elected head of the African bishops’ conference, the Symposium of Episcopal Conferences of Africa and Madagascar (SECAM), at the end of July.
He has led the Diocese of Wa, in northwest Ghana, since 2016, and is known locally for his charity and care for people with mental disabilities in a country where the stigmatization of mental illness is still high.
Six years ago he launched a diocesan street ministry that brings together parish volunteers and health care professionals to provide care and medical assistance for people with mental disabilities who have been abandoned by their families.
“I think each one of us, wherever we are, we are called to serve, and that is what will make us great, not the title,” Baawobr said in an interview with ACI Africa, CNA’s Nairobi-based news partner, before traveling to Rome for the consistory.