Accra, Ghana, Jan 30, 2015 / 02:21 am
A national gathering of hundreds of priests in Ghana have resolved to become more involved with their parishioners through marriage preparation, family counseling, and educational youth formation.
"As priests, we promise to continually update our knowledge and educate ourselves on marriage and family issues, to be able to help the families of today to respond, cope with and manage the challenges they face," stated Fr. Francis Appiah-Kubi in a recent article for CANAA, the Catholic News Agency for Africa.
Fr. Francis Appiah-Kubi is the president of the National Union of Ghanaian Diocesan Priests' Association, a congress that gathers priests from around the country to discuss various pastoral issues and implement improvement when needed.
Concluding their recent assembly this January, the clergy created a nine-point resolution, which promised more involvement in remote, proximate, and immediate marriage preparation. They also discussed a deeper role in assisting families with challenges and formation with youth.
The five-day meeting took place in Takoradi, a western region of Ghana. Over 600 diocesan priests were present for the 25th national and 13th biennial assembly, which offered a renewed approach towards ministry in family life and the challenges it brings.
The theme of the congress was 'Pastoral challenges to the family in the context of the New Evangelization: The role of the diocesan priest.'
In light of the New Evangelization, the Catholic clergy in Ghana have resolved to reach out to couples, emphasizing unity, permanence, equality of spouses, and the importance of faith in the family. These priests will also become more involved in counseling and post-marriage guidance, as well as making a more profound presence with the youth in education.
"We resolve to improve upon our living together as one big priestly family in Ghana, working in unity and love in our various communities to give good examples to all families," Fr. Francis told CANAA.
"We resolve to be close and available to our faithful and their families and to give ourselves completely in their service."
The resolution comes in the months leading up to the 2015 Synod on the Family.
Following last year's gathering on the same topic, bishops from around the world will meet in Rome this October to discuss various challenges to the family and pastoral solutions to these challenges.