(Lingbinsi) – The St. Peters Parish of the Catholic Diocese of Damongo at Lingbinsi in the North Gonja district of the Savannah region has on Saturday, 2nd October, 2021, climaxed the 25th anniversary celebrations of the church under the theme: 25years of experiencing the light of the Lord, let us celebrate.
The parish priest for St. Peters parish, Rev. Fr David Dum in a welcome address explained that the St. Peters parish had very challenging beginnings as far as the response to the word of God is concerned and recounted the tireless efforts made by the missionaries of Africa, the Diocesan priests, catechists, prayer leaders, the early christians and the role played by the people of Lingbinsi in the life of St. Peters parish.
Rev. Fr David expressed gratitude to the Bishop of the Diocese, Most Rev. Peter Paul Angkyier for his support towards the growth and development of the church and to Monsignor Augustine Dery Towoni, the first parish priest for St Peters parish for sowing a seed that is growing well and bearing good fruits.
The Bishop of the Diocese, Most Rev Peter Paul Angkyier in a sermon explained that, jubilee years are years of favor for God’s people, a time of liberation and a time of God’s mercy which should be seen as a special moment of experience for St. Peters parish and for all God’s people in the Diocese.
Most Rev.Peter Paul Angkyier explained how God has been good to the parish through the White fathers of the missionaries of Africa who brought the faith to the area which was a difficult area to reach in the Early 50’s.
He further stated that, the parish was created 25years ago in order to let the power of God’s word transform and enrich the lives of the people in the light of the gospel and to intensify the announcement of the gospel and the propagation of the good news to promote the socio-economic and spiritual development of the people in the whole of the area in a holistic way.
The Bishop reiterated that the development was not targeted at only members of the church, but was created for all the people in the area.
He added that after 25years of the creation of the parish, there is a lot of evidence that the word of God is growing and has impacted in the lives of the people in the area with a growing missionary consciousness where more and more people of the community such as the tacticians, CYO, the Holy childhood, the ulter service, Christian mothers and other Christian societies are getting to know that the are called to mission by committing to evangelization.
He again explained that, the establishment of the church has given dignity to the people of the area through education and human promotion. The dignity of a person does not matter whether they belong to your religion or not and that we are all children of God whose word has helped us to transcend certain cultural and ethnic barriers to be able to engage with other people as the same family of God.
Most Rev Peter Paul Angkyier also acknowledged that the church has been in the forthfront in promoting peaceful co-existence by helping the community in Lingbinsi to realise that it is important to live in peace with one another not withstanding one’s tribe or religion.
He expressed gratitude to the first catechist of the area, Andrew Tibila, Gabriel Nzimba Wusah and others for their courageous steps in the implantation of the gospel in the area and urged the young people in the area not to be afraid to admit that God is important to them and can use them to change the lives of others.
From the St. Anne’s parish in Damongo, the missionaries of Africa led by Fr. Thomas Tryers extended their outreach visits to Daboya in the early 1960’s which was reached with a big resistance because the did not want to welcome the Christian faith. The situation made the missionaries to extend their efforts beyond Daboya towards the North-east realising the high rate of illiteracy, the missionaries started a Non-formal education program (Night school) in Nabengu and enrolled a young man called Tibila. Tibila showed interest in the Catholic faith and was later trained to be a catechist in 1966 and subsequently became the first catechist for the area and was stationed at Daboya where the people abandoned the faith. He then focused his attention to Tari No.2 where the faith was practiced even though he lived in Daboya.
Mr Gabriel Nzimba Wusah made the first attempt to bring the faith to Lingbinsi after some time of practice in Tari No. 2 which was rejected outrightly by the community members.
Catechists Andrew Tibila was later made a resident catechists for Lingbinsi in 1987 with Frs Luc coppejans, Christopher Bazaanaah, Martin Balemans, Frank Dirven, Augustine Dery Towoni, Bonaventure Quaidoo, Peter Paul Angkyier and Basil Tengkye being visiting priests to the community.
In a very short time, the Lingbinsi Catholic community grew in membership with some Tampulma songs being composed and some scriptures being translated into Tampulma.
In 1996 it was raised to the status of a parish by Most Rev Philip Naameh the first Bishop of the Diocese with Fr. Augustine Dery Towoni being appointed as the first parish priest.
The St. Peters parish currently has a Catholic population of about 700 from various ethnic groups; the Tampulma, Gonja, Hanga, Frafra, Ewe, Kasena, Kokomba, Vagla, Dagaaba, Brifo, Akan and Nigerians.
The celebration was graced by representatives of the Wasipewura, the Tampulnaa, Lingbinsi chief, Former mp for Damongo/Daboya Hon. Sammy wusah, Mr Gabriel Nzimba Wusah, representatives from the Ghana education service, priests across the Diocese among others.
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