Three ordinations are to take place in different Dioceses in Ghana in 2017; in Sunyani, Bolgatanga and at the Diocese of Wa. One of them has actually taken place: the priestly ordination of Paul Donnibe.
His ordination took place at St. Mary Help of Christians Parish, Sunyani on Saturday 22nd July 2017, by His Lord, Most Rev Matthew Gyamfi, Bishop of Sunyani Diocese. I personally travelled on Friday. On our arrival, one could observe that people were arriving from different parts of the country and across the borders with Burkina Faso to witness the event.
At the venue, it looked like nothing was taking place when we first arrived. But it did not take long when parishioners, family members, friends, priests, sisters, and religious men and women started to show that something great was about to unfold.
The District Commissioner of Sunyani, one of the chiefs and most especially the Bishop, were introduced. The Bishop likewise welcomed the whole assembly. He emphasised the importance of the day and the reason of the gathering. He mentioned that our brother Paul was set apart and reminded the people to pray for him and his family.
While congratulating our Brother Paul, the Bishop mentioned that the whole parish and the diocese of Sunyani were proud of him. Paul is the first fruit of the Missionaries of Africa in the diocese. In a manner of advising Paul, the Bishop pinpointed in his homily the good examples Jesus sets for us. He reminded Paul that Jesus was a servant for others illustrated by the washing of his disciples’ feet. The priesthood is a journey of service for others just like our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
The bishop emphasised that a good priest finds joy in his duties. Since God loves a cheerful giver, if our brother Paul, as a priest, gives himself to God’s service by doing what a priest is supposed to do, indeed he will be a joyful servant of God in his priesthood. The bishop ended his homily by reminding our brother that he was also sent as a missionary to be an ambassador of the diocese of Sunyani wherever he will be.
Before Mass ends, our brother Paul gave his first and fresh blessing as a newly ordained priest, first to the Bishop, then the Provincial followed by all the religious men and women and then his parents and his relatives, lastly to all the faithful who were present. Finally, he expressed his gratefulness to all of us and to special people who made his ordination possible including some of his former teachers who were present and the District Commissioner of Sunyani.
After Mass we were invited for some refreshment at the parish house. We had supper together with Paul’s family and some parishioners. On Sunday, Paul said his first thanksgiving Mass at 7h00. After it, we took the road to go back home. It was good to be part of Paul’s ordination and very interesting to see how people celebrate life.