People give thanks to God for different reasons such as for the blessings they received, for excelling in a particular field, for good health, for saving them from dangers and many others.
Therefore, Rev. Fr Constancio Koh, SVD celebrated his thanksgiving mass at the Duori Catholic Church, an outstation of the St. Joseph Parish, Jirapa, of the Catholic Diocese of Wa. The purpose of the celebration was to thank God for the gift of priesthood and religious life that he has received from God. The celebration attracted people of all walks of life including priests and religious, the lay faithful among others.
In his welcome address to start the celebration, the Parish priest, Rev. Fr. Bennette B. Tang, gave a brief history of the Christian Community in Duori. He recounted how the people of Duori responded positively to Christianity. He also mentioned how some of the Christians responded to the vocation of the priestly and religious life. He indicated that the community has produced six (6) priests, and other religious. He further urged the youth to also respond generously to the religious and priestly life.
In the homily, Rev. Fr. Nicholas Aazine, SVD, dwelled on the readings of the day. He encouraged the newly ordained priest, Fr Koh to practice love. He noted that for one to be successful in the ministry the person needed to have love. He further stressed that to Christians, love is not optional, but a command. Hence he urged all present at the celebration to love unconditionally.
After the mass, there was a cultural display which added colour to the day. On display was the cultural dance called the “dala” dance. The dance is peculiar to the communities around Duori. It was meant to entertain and awaken the cultural spirit of the people, particularly the youth. Indeed to many of the youth, it was their first time witnessing the dance.
Also, the celebration was a form of home coming to some of the people. This was particularly so for those from Duori who are resident outside the community. To them, the thanksgiving mass presented an opportunity to enjoy home once more and familiarize themselves with the area.
In attendance to the thanksgiving was the Chief of Duori, Chief Tikang Simon Dombo III. He used the occasion to encourage the Christian Community. He urged them to hold unto Christ and deepen their faith in the Lord.
The celebration re-ignited a unifying spirit among the people in the community. This was shown in their participation in the programme. Many of them and all visitors took turns to present gifts to the newly ordained priest. Others took the opportunity to have pictures with him. They were all refreshed before they departed to their homes.
Rev. Fr Constancio Koh, SVD entered the SVD in July, 2011. He made his first profession in July 2015. Having successfully gone through the formation, he made his final profession as a member of the SVD in November 2019. In the same year he was ordained as deacon.
He was ordained a priest on 24th October, 2020 at the St. Charles Lwanga Catholic Church Abeka -Lapaz, Catholic Archdiocese of Accra. He was ordained by Most. Rev. John Alphonse Asiedu, SVD (Bishop of Donkorkrom Vicariate).
Fr. Koh comes from Duori in the Jirapa District of the Upper West Region of Ghana. He is the first SVD priest from Duori. It was therefore fitting to return to his community to thank God for the gift of the vocation.
Source: Emmanuel Wullingdool