With great solemnity, song, and dance, the Congregation of Holy Cross's District of West Africa joyfully gave thanks to God on the Feast of Saint Joseph for the Perpetual Profession Vows of seven members, the First Profession of Vows of three Brothers, and the 70th Anniversary of Religious Profession of a long-time member of the District, Br. Thomas Dillman, C.S.C.
The seven religious brothers to profess Final Vows were: Br. Aaron Aleniabaghr, C.S.C., Br. Augustine Amissah, C.S.C., Br. George Asare, C.S.C., Br. Patrick Mbroh Baidoo, C.S.C., Br. Gabriel Yawkoi Boahen, C.S.C., Br. Evans Akwasi Mensah, C.S.C., and Br. Martin Yabang, C.S.C. The three newly temporarily professed are: Br. Frederick Cudjoe, C.S.C., Br. Louis Oppong, C.S.C., and Br. Emmanuel Osei Bonsu, C.S.C.
The District was privileged to have as its main presider and preacher, its dear friend, the Most Rev. Matthias Kobena Nketsia, Archbishop Emeritus of Cape Coast. Concelebrating with the Archbishop were the neighboring Jesuits and several diocesan and religious priests who know the Holy Cross Brothers well.
At the opening of the Mass, Br. John Affum, C.S.C., Superior of the District of West Africa, welcomed to the District Centre all of the invited guests, including community, family, friends, and other religious.
A special welcome was also given to Br. Kenneth Haders, C.S.C., Superior of the Midwest Province, which has responsibility for the District of West Africa. Br. Haders received the vows of the newly professed.
With the professions of the newer members, it was an especially poignant and inspirational moment for them and the entire assembly present to witness the renewal of vows of Br. Dillman who this year completes 70 years of religious profession. At 93 years old, Br. Dillman has spent over 50 years of service in West Africa, most of which were in Liberia until he was forced to leave because of the civil war there.
After the ceremony, everyone gathered for a reception where they greeted the newly professed and continued the fellowship they received from the Eucharistic table.
Of the seven newly finally professed, Br. Aaron Aleniabaghr who hails from Sunyani is a graduate of the Catholic University of Ghana with a degree in geography. Whether serving in a parish or school, his ability to speak Dagaare, Fanti, Twi and English has enabled him to reach out to many people in his ministry.
Br. Augustine Amissah comes from Abream Essiam in the central region of Ghana. After his First Profession in 2014, he pursued his B.S. in health education at the Catholic University College of Ghana. A drummer and gardener, Br. Aaron shares his gifts generously in community prayer and in the beautification of the grounds at the District Centre.
Br. George Asare hails from Sunyani in the western region of Ghana. Br. George is a 2018 graduate of the University of Energy and Natural Resources. He has a special love for the poor, and in the future, would like to work with those in great need.
Br. Patrick Mbroh Baidoo made his First Vows in Holy Cross in 2014. He completed his B.A. in Education, with a major in Religious Studies, from the Catholic University College of Ghana. He also has an M.A. in Pastoral Ministry and Religions. Devoted to the Virgin Mary, Br. Patrick has ministry experience in youth ministry, chaplaincy, and education.
Br. Gabriel Yawkoi Boahen also made his First Profession in 2014. He was awarded a Higher National Diploma in Electrical/Electronic Engineering (EEE). An active member of a charismatic prayer group, he is devoted to the Blessed Sacrament. His ministries have included teaching religion and electronics at Holy Cross Technical School.
Br. Evans Akwasi Mensah was born in the central region of Ghana and converted to Catholicism at 14 years old. He now brings his joy to the St. Joseph Hall Candidacy House, where he currently serves as Assistant Director. After earning his B.A., he is working on the completion of an M.A. in Religious Studies with Pastoral Ministry.
Br. Martin Yabang was born in Boo, in the upper West Region of Ghana. Br. Martin has a B.Ed. in accounting from the Catholic University and College of Ghana. In his ministry at St. Peter’s Parish in Fiapre, he was known for his zeal, hard work, and compassion. Br. Martin’s caring spirit in the community is nurtured by his prayer life and enriched by his theological studies and devotion to the Rosary and Divine Mercy.