By the Oblate community in Ghana: Frs. Hyacinth, Daniel and Bro. Rafał.
Due to some issues in ‘quota system’, the bishop of Ho Diocese had to wait long for a positive response from the government of Ghana to receive us into the Diocese. To everyone’s joy, he finally got it and we, the pioneer missionaries of the Oblate mission in Ghana arrived in Accra on March 21, 2022 . We were welcomed in the airport by the chancellor of the diocese of Ho, Fr. Benjamin Gawu. He took us to the friendly Guest House of the Society of the Divine Word (SVD) in Accra to sleep over and the next day we left to Agbenoxoe and the “Grotto Sanctuary” which is our mission territory.
Our new home in Agbenoxoe has undergone renovation, as new residents, we found three freshly renovated rooms, our recreation room, and the dining room. We thank the Bishop and the parish priest who ensured that all these were well done. Our adventure and mission have just started. On our arrival, we were greeted by the parish priest Fr. Anthony and representatives of the parish council.
After two days we started planning for the official inauguration of our mission in Agbenoxoe and the installation of the first superior of the mission Fr. Hyacinth NWANERI on the feast of the Annunciation. On that day the ceremony started with the Holy Mass presided over by Bishop Emmanuel Kofi Fianu SVD in the presence of many parishioners and the pilgrims who came from Accra, Togo and neighbouring towns. After the homily by the bishop, the pioneer Superior of the Mission Fr. Hyacinth Nwaneri recited the profession of faith and took the oath of office with the Bible in his hand in the presence of the Bishop. The faithful who had never watched such an event before happening in their area, were very happy to witness it. After communion the new oblate community consecrated their mission to the Blessed Virgin Mary who is our Mother. It was also the day the Pope asked the Church to consecrate Russia and Ukraine and the whole world to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. After the Mass we started the rosary procession with the Bishop to the grotto where the consecration was done. We moved on the hill and there, before the great figure of Our Lady of Lourdes the bishop lighted a candle.
On the following Sunday during Mass, we could get to know the community of the Catholic Church in Agbenoxoe. In addition to the center, there are three other sub-station chapels belonging to the parish. Later we visited two of them, Dafor and Dafor-Tornu. Currently, with the help of the local parish priest, we are getting accustomed to the culture, local dishes. Above all we are happy to meet people every day arriving in the Grotto on pilgrimage, they are mainly our first teachers of the local Ewe language.