Like Abraham in the Old Testament of the Holy Bible, Very Rev. Fr. Andrew Campbell, SVD, who is due to retire from active service in the church at age 75 as prescribed by the church, is poised to begin a new life focusing more on his humanitarian works to support the vulnerable in the society.
Rev. Fr. Emmanuel Salifu, who is the Rector of St. Joseph, Weija and St. Peter, Tetegu Rectorates in the Catholic Archdiocese of Accra has described Very Rev. Fr. Andrew Campbell, SVD as a father who generates life in people, and a good example to many.
Fr. Salifu made the statement while giving the homily during the birthday mass held in honour of Fr. Campbell at the Christ the King parish, Accra to mark his 75th birthday.
Rev. Fr. Salifu, who will be 9 years as a Catholic Priest for the Archdiocese of Accra in August this year, recounts how he has come to know Fr. Campbell as a young 11 year old boy when he was appointed Parish Priest of his home parish, Good Shepheard Catholic Church, Tema Community 2 and therefore proceeded to share 3 points he has come to know about Fr. Campbell, whose life reflects the works of God in heaven.
- Holiness in Adoration
Fr. Salifu said that the first thing Fr. Campbell will do anywhere he is appointed, to is to build an Adoration Chapel and he would encourage all parishioners to dedicate at least one hour a week to pray to God. The purpose of this action is to draw people closer to God so that at the end, he, Fr. Campbell must decrease and for God to increase.
- Truth in Charity
Fr. Salifu stated that when truth is said in charity, it always builds, and that is the personality Fr. Campbell exhibits. Fr. Salifu recalls what he learnt from Fr. Campbell as a young boy in Good Shepherd Catholic Church, Tema Community 2 as a Mass Server, especially what it means to comply by “the intention of the donor.” “When you give Fr. Campbell any amount you are sure that it would be used for its purpose to which it was given.”
- Fundamental option for the poor
Rev. Fr. Salifu stated that “fundamental option for the poor” has been manifested in the life of Fr. Campbell who constantly empties himself to touch the life of many, for he became a priest pouring out his life for others especially the vulnerable and less fortunate in the Ghanaian society.
The homilist, who recently received his Licentiate at the Pontifical Urban University (Urbaniana) in Rome, ended his homily by suggesting to Fr. Campbell that like Abraham in Genesis 12: 1- 4, God was beginning a new journey and ministry in his life, even though the Church says he should retire. That at 75 years, maybe all that he, Fr. Campbell has gone through was just to prepare him for the new phase of his life’s journey.
In attendance at this thanksgiving Mass were the Metropolitan Archbishop of Accra, Most Rev. John Bonaventure Kwofie, CSSp; Bishop of Keta-Akatsi Diocese, Most Rev. Gabriel Edoe Kumordji, SVD; Rev. Fr. Cyprian Kuupol, SVD, Provincial Superior, Society of the Divine Word (SVD), Ghana–Liberia Province; Rev. Fr. Emmanuel Salifu, who was the homilist at the Mass, as well as about 20 other priests.
Goodwill messages were given by the Speaker of Ghana’s Parliament, a representative from the President of Ghana, the Christ the King Parish, the SVD Ghana-Liberia Province and the Archdiocese of Accra.
Juliette Manomey//DEPSOCOM Accra