MOST REV. JOSEPH OSEI-BONSU
BISHOP OF KONONGO-MAMPONG
ON THE OCCASION OF THE 20TH ANNIVERSARY
OF THE KONONGO-MAMPONG DIOCESE, THE 20TH
ANNIVERSARY OF THE BISHOP’S EPISCOPATE AND
THE 40TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE BISHOP’S PRIESTLY ORDINATION
On the occasion of the 20th Anniversary of the Konongo-Mampong Diocese, of the 20th Anniversary of my episcopate, and the 40th Anniversary of my priestly ordination, it gives me the greatest pleasure, on behalf of the Konongo-Mampong Diocese and on my own behalf, to welcome you all to this Thanksgiving Mass.
I was ordained a priest on 3 August 1975 together with Fr. Martin Adu, now in Miami, Florida, U.S.A., and Fr. Augustine Barimah of blessed memory, in St. Peter’s Cathedral Basilica by Most Rev. Peter K. Sarpong, at that time Bishop of Kumasi (now Archbishop Emeritus I of Kumasi). After my ordination I was assigned to the St. Mary’s Parish, Suntresu, Kumasi. After one year of pastoral work, I was asked to pursue doctoral studies in New Testament in Aberdeen, Scotland. On completion of my doctoral studies, I was asked by my bishop in 1981 to go and lecture in the Department for the Study of Religions, University of Ghana, Legon. While there, I also did chaplaincy work for the Catholic Communities at Legon and Kwabenya.
On 17 March 1995, while on a sabbatical leave at the Pontifical Beda College, Rome, I was appointed the first bishop of the Konongo-Mampong Diocese that had been erected on 3 March 1995. I was ordained a bishop on 28 May 1995 together with Most Rev. Thomas Kwaku Mensah, Bishop of Obuasi (now Archbishop Emeritus II of Kumasi), Most Rev. Philip Naameh, Bishop of Damongo (now Archbishop of Tamale), Most Rev. Anthony Kwami Adanuty, Bishop of Keta, and Most Rev. Gabriel Akwasi Ababio Mante, Bishop of Jasikan. My installation in Mampong took place on 11 June 1995.
MOST REV. JOSEPH OSEI-BONSU,
BISHOP OF KONONGO-MAMPONG AND PRESIDENT,
GHANA CATHOLIC BISHOPS’ CONFERENCE,
AT THE SECAM CONSULTATIVE MEETING
ON THE FAMILY HELD AT GIMPA, ACCRA,
FROM 8TH TO 11TH JUNE 2015
Your Eminences, Your Excellencies, Rev. Fathers and Sisters, ladies and gentlemen, it gives me great pleasure, on behalf of the Ghana Catholic Bishops’ Conference, to welcome you all to this Consultative Meeting for African Synod Fathers being organized by SECAM (the Symposium of the Episcopal Conferences of Africa and Madagascar) in preparation for the upcoming Synod in Rome on the Family. This Consultative Meeting, which is being held at GIMPA, Accra, from 8th to 11th June 2015, is being attended by about 50 participants, made up of five Cardinals, 38 Bishops and Priests.
As you are all aware, the 3rd Extraordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops took place in Rome from 5 to 19 October 2014 on the theme “The Pastoral Challenges of the Family in the Context of Evangelisation”. As a follow-up to this Synod, the XIV Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops will be held in Rome from 4 to 25 October 2015 on the theme “The Vocation and Mission of the Family in the Church and Contemporary World”.
The theme of this Consultative Meeting is “The Family in Africa: What Experiences and What Contributions to the XIV Ordinary Assembly of the Synod of Bishops?” The point of departure in addressing this theme must be the Christian understanding of the family and marriage. This understanding is that God, by forming the first man and woman and commanding them to be fruitful and to multiply (Gen. 1:28) definitively established marriage to be a permanent union between one man and one woman. Consequently, the family becomes the sanctuary where life is born, nurtured and welcomed as a gift of God. By matrimonial covenant which the Lord Jesus raised to the dignity of a sacrament, a man and a woman come together to establish between themselves a relationship of love which by its very nature is ordered towards the good of the spouses and the procreation and education of offspring. This covenant of love consequently takes the character and effect of unity, indissolubility, fidelity and openness to life. Marital love also requires the fidelity of the spouses flowing from the gift of oneself to one’s lawful spouse (cf. Eph. 5:32).