Very Reverend Father Bonaventure Annan, the Vicar-General of Catholic Archdiocese of Cape Coast, has called on Catholics to stand firm and preserve the church’s teachings and practices that they have been taught from childhood.
Very Rev. Annan made the call during the opening of the 8th biennial congress of the Saint Theresa of the Child Jesus Society Sekondi-Takoradi Diocese; held at the University of Mines and Technology (UMaT) in Tarkwa.
The four-day congress being organized under the theme:” The ideal Catholic woman as the salt of the earth and light of the world in this 21st century”, was attended by sixty branches from the Sekondi/Takoradi Diocese.
He said they were currently witnessing a gradual abandonment of some Catholic practices, adding that, “we walk into church as if we are walking into malls, genuflecting as we step into the church before we find someplace to sit, is gradually becoming a thing of the past.”
“Today more than ever before, there are calculated attempts by outsiders; those who do not share our faith and do not understand us; they have twisted our catholic beliefs and practices and placed it in a bad light, so as to lure some of our fold; and we need to be aware and vigilant to guard our faith”, he said.
The Vicar-General said when people are cutting corners, cheating, stealing and defrauding, the ideal Catholic woman does not take part in these negative acts but rather sets good example for others to emulate.
“If the ideal catholic woman cannot make any impact where she lives or works then she has lost her influence. This also means she has turned away from living by her Christian values and is living according to the dictates of the flesh.
Very Rev. Annan urged the ideal catholic woman to stay in close contact with Christ in order not to be carried away by things of the world.
He also stressed the need for Christians to adopt the culture of assisting the sick, the marginalized and vulnerable in the society.
Madam Augustina Abaidoo, the out-going President, said the society has made a lot of progress under her stewardship.
She said eight new branches were inaugurated and they are Egyakaa Manso, Wassa Saa and Bawdie in the Wassa Akropong Deanery, Enzemetianu, Jehu and Wharf in the Half Assini Deanery with Tarkwa-Nsueam and Bepo also in the Tarkwa Deanery.
Madam Abaidoo said almost all the branches have initiated new members and it has increased the numerical strength of the diocese.
She said the Damang and Shama junction branches were under preparation and would soon be inaugurated.
Madam Abaidoo said the Saint Theresa Society has not relented on the charity works they have done for the past years adding that they would continue to assist parishes, priests and seminarians.
Madam Abaidoo said the society intends to construct buildings to support the church and entreated the incoming executives not to lose focus on the aims and objectives of the society but instead work hard to uplift the image of the society in the diocese.
She expressed appreciation to the members, executive committee and the council members of the society for their various contributions.
Mr Albert Soboh, the ex-provincial coordinator of the Catholic Charismatic Renewal, who presided, pleaded with the participants to put into practice what they would be thought at the conference.
He entreated Christians to emulate the giant but little steps of Saint Theresa of the Child Jesus as she was able to set a good example for humanity to follow at the age of 14.
Tetrete Okuamoah Sekyim ll, the paramount chief for Wassa Amenfi Traditional Area, called on Christians to encourage one another in all their affairs and hold on to the word of God.