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Sekondi Takoradi diocese:going forward

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On september 13, 2015, Most. Rev. John Bonnaventure kwofie, CSSp. was consecrated as the fourth bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Sekondi Takoradi. I hope this write up will serve as a catalyst to inspire all Priests, Religious and lay faithful to support him in his ministry. This is the time to start afresh by forgetting the pains of the past and allowing the present to inspire us to work for a better future for generations yet unborn.

Therefore I would like to use Isaiah 43:18-19 as my point of reference in this reflection.
” Forget the former things,do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a away in the desert and streams in the wasteland. “Isaiah 43:18-19.The prophet Isaiah speaking at a time when the people of Israel were in exile invites them to look beyond their present situation to the future promised by God.It is indeed a call to start afresh by moving on from the past by focusing on the future by relying on the grace of God.

However the desire to move forward cannot be achieved without a struggle. In the case of Israel there was the need for her to move from what she has lost due to the exile namely, the temple, the land as well as her unique identity and pride as the chosen of God.

For us as a diocese now is the time to move away from the many negative things that has been said or was said about us in the past. We have a responsibility to prove to the world that it is actually the best that comes from the West and not a case of the worse coming from the West.

The way forward is to stop the grumbling and become action oriented man and women of God who do not rely on favours as a means of motivation but hard work and determination; for the too much talking will not get us anywhere. Let us therefore join our new bishop in making his motto ” Duc in Altum” the slogan of the diocese by going the extra mile in every aspect of our endeavors.

However i also have to acknowledged that in this endeavor of starting anew the letting go of the past and bitterness are our greatest challenge. In fact the past is the worse enemy we have in moving forward hence the call by Isaiah not to dwell on the past.Now is the time for us as a individuals and as a community to look deeply and honestly at ourselves, our past actions, speech, and thought and create a fresh beginning within ourselves and in our relationship with others.

Finally, let us admit that the fresh start we seek will not happen over night that notwithstanding we need all hands to be on deck to ensure that we work together at achieving it. Therefore as we read Isaiah 43:18-19, individually let us apply it to our lives, for it is not the past but the future that can be changed with the grace of God.

By Rev. Fr. Emmanuel Dolphyne
Catholic Diocese of Sekondi Takoradi.

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