The Catholic Church was established in Keta in 1890 by 2 Catholic Fathers but then the magnificent church building was built in 1928.
And for the whole Catholic Church to build such a magnificent structure in Keta as at that time should tell you Keta was a City worth building a church which still looks magnificent even after almost a decade.
Indeed, Keta was a booming “harbour city” for decades and Missionaries from a lot of countries used to visit Keta since before the 1800s because of the natural harbor in Keta where Ships came to dock.
But the first Missionaries to officially come and start a church in Keta in 1890 were Rev. Father Jean Baptiste Thuer and Rev. Father Michael Wade who was the Superior. They were members of the “Society of African Missions” (or S.M.A. Fathers) which is a Roman Catholic missionary organization.
They brought along a very young Catholic Father by the name of “Rev. Father Corn Van de Pavoort” who was the first Catholic Priest to die and be buried in Keta.
He was originally stationed in Cape Coast but was sent to come and support the Fathers in Keta to run the new church. But then he fell sick of Malaria and died just a year after the Church was established on the 30th of September 1891. He is therefore the first Catholic Father to be buried in Keta.
In 1912, 3 sisters came and built an all-girls school in Keta called “Ola Convert Girls Boarding school” to educate young girls as well as convert some into Sisters. The (OLA) stands for (Our Lady of Apostles) and this institution grew to become the “Ola Girls Secondary school” we know today.
And the results of promoting girl child education in Keta by the Catholic Church in the 1900s is the reason Keta and its environs has been able to produce a lot of highly educated women which includes the first female to get a BS degree in Ghana (Charity Akorshiwo Zormelo) as well as the first female Judge in Ghana and the Commonwealth (Annie Ruth Jiagge).
And they also had a school since the 1890s but they officially built the first school in 1927 which is now named after Bishop Herman.
There is a lot of interesting stories to tell you about the history of the Catholic Church in Keta.
Trying to confirm the full details of the stories before I publish like the story of the Catholic Priest, “Bishop Herman” who said he had a dream and God told him to throw his “Apostles ring” into the sea to stop it from destroying the church, which he did and indeed the sea couldn’t break past the Church building. This is the man whose name has been given to the Bishop Herman College and he has his tomb in Keta. Would tell you his interesting story later of how he rode a horse or a Bicycle from Keta to Ketekrachi to Togo to Benin and back to Keta.
And also trying to confirm the story of one “Monsignor Kpeglo” who was a Black Catholic priest in the 1900s who also has an interesting story worth telling.
Source: Selorm Ameza