The Priest-in-Charge, Rev. Fr. Blaise Bobi-Attachie, Rev. Sisters, the Church Pastoral Council, invited guests, brothers and sisters in Christ, let us praise and thank God for the grace to celebrate the 25th anniversary of our church, All Saints Catholic Church. On a personal note, as a pioneering priest of this church, it is both an honour and a pleasure to deliver this anniversary lecture. So, I am grateful to God for this grace, and the Planning Committee for the invitation.

The theme for our anniversary is “All Saints @25: Rooted in Faith, Renewing our Mission”. I wish to outline this lecture as follows:

  1. All Saints @25
  2. Rooted in Faith
  3. Renewing our Mission
  1. ALL SAINTS @25

In 1997, St. Joseph the Worker Catholic Church (Community 8) established the Archbishop Andoh Basic School at Community 11. The site of the school was acquired from the then Tema Development Corporation (TDC) in the 1970s when Rev. Fr. Martin Wells, SVD, was the Parish Priest of Our Lady of Mercy Catholic Church. Subsequently, with the creation of St. Joseph the Worker Church as a rectorate in 1995, with a jurisdiction covering Communities 7 to 12, the site came under the management of the pastor of the new rectorate. (St. Joseph the Worker Church attained its Parish status in 1998 on the occasion of its 30th anniversary.)

The two-storey school building of the Archbishop Andoh School was largely funded by the St. Joseph the Worker Church (with about 10% financial support received from the office of the Archbishop of Accra). After the ground floor of the school block had been completed, children from the Kindergarten at St. Joseph the Worker Church were admitted to Class (Basic) 1 in 1997. Then, in 1999 while the construction works of second floor was ongoing, Rev. Fr. John Kobina Louis, the then Parish Priest, together with his assistant, Rev. Fr. Jerome E. Francis Kusi, and the Parish Pastoral Council decided to establish an outstation church at Community 11.

It was decided that parishioners of St. Joseph the Worker Church belonging to the Basic Christian Communities (BCCs) in Tema Communities 10, 11 and 12 should be encouraged to attend the first Holy Mass, which took place on Sunday 12th December, 1999. Thus, those who attended the first Mass were mainly parishioners of St. Joseph the Worker Church, with only about 5% of Catholics from other Tema parishes.

The grace of the joyful celebration of the first Mass spurred on members who had played or were playing leadership roles in the mother Church of St. Joseph the Worker Parish to enthusiastically volunteer to team up with others to undertake various ministries and tasks in the new outstation. Soon there were catechists (Mr. Atu Rockson, Madam Ernestina Seddoh), Marriage Counsellors (e.g., Mrs. Rockson), Mass Servers, lectors, ushers, singers (though yet to be a fully-fledged choir), Interim Church Pastoral Council (with Mr. Joseph Boateng as Chairman) with its sub-committees (e.g., liturgical, finance, and projects), etc.

It took several months to decide on the name of the Church. About five patron Saint names were proposed to Archbishop Dominic K. Andoh for his consideration. The names included: Sacred Heart, St. Anthony, etc. However, upon prayer and reflection, Archbishop Andoh chose “All Saints Catholic Church”, probably to cover the various proposed names.

In the infancy stage of our church (i.e., till my pastoral service here came to an end in June, 2002), many families and individuals played key roles. Among the living are: Mr. Joseph Ayippey and his family, Mr. John Fletcher and his family, Dr. Paul Foli and his family, Mr. and Mrs. Ben Ogoe and their family, Mrs. Rose Kusi Appiah and her family, Madam Mariam Abraham and her family, Mr. Kreggar and his family, Capt. Augustine Dzator and his family, Mr. Sasu and his family, Nana Boadi, etc.

The departed souls include: Mr. Joseph Boateng, Sir Nutifafa Folie, Cdr. Joseph Combey, Col. Kusi-Appiah, Mr. Abroakwah, Mrs. Nyann, Mrs. Esther Nyamalor, etc. Let us respectively rise and observe a moment of silence for them and Fr. Kusi.

By 2001, the 3-classroom space on the ground floor of the school block used for Masses was getting smaller for the numbers which attended Sunday Masses. Hence, when the second floor was completed, Masses were celebrated in the bigger space there (often referred to as the Upper Room). By this time, discussions had begun for a proper church building for All Saints Church.

In 2002, an architectural church building plan was obtained and fundraising activities began. Then, in 2004, when Rev. Fr. Isaac Maunger was the Parish Priest of St. Joseph the Worker Parish, the construction of the present church building commenced. Rev. Fr. Alfred Atta Eshun would ensure the continuation of the construction and Rev. Fr. (now Bishop) Anthony Narh Asare would see to its roofing. Subsequently, Rev. Fr. Blaise Bobi-Attachie has seen to the windows as well as various internal and external works to date. There is, though, still much to be done to complete the building.

Over the last 25 years, the membership of the church has grown steadily to a total of 573 on register. This number is made up of former parishioners of St. Joseph the Worker Parish (50%), Catholics who formerly belonged to Our Lady of Mercy Parish, (25%), Good Shepherd Parish (20%), and others who have come from outside Tema, or even the Archdiocese (5%).

From one Mass a week on Sundays, to two Masses a week, today there are daily Masses at All Saints Church. From a situation where a handful were involved in the lay ministries, today about 100 members serve as catechists, Mass Servers, Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion, choristers, lectors, ushers, and Children Service Animators. From the non-existence of societies/associations, today there are eleven (11) societies. Furthermore, from an interim pastoral leadership to assist the priests, today there is a substantive Church Pastoral Council with nine (9) committees, as well as a Church Youth Council.

This story of growth, however, is not the complete picture. Like many other churches or organizations, All Saints Church has its deficiencies or challenges. The 25th anniversary is an occasion of God’s special grace to soberly and objectively examine our strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats, so as to be more firmly rooted in our faith and more zealous about the mission Christ has entrusted to us.


All Saints Church was rooted in faith from its very beginning about 25 years ago. What kind of faith, you may ask? It is the faith of the one, holy, Catholic and apostolic Church. This is because, it was established as an outstation of St. Joseph the Worker Catholic Church. Besides, the priest who celebrated the very first Mass and the faithful who attended the Mass were and intended to remain Catholics.

What, then, are the key elements of the Catholic faith? They are highlighted in the Creed we profess every Sunday. Firstly, we believe in one God, who is Father, Son and Holy Spirit (cf. Matt. 28:19, 2 Cor. 13:13).

Secondly, we believe in Jesus Christ as the Son of God and the unique Saviour of the world (cf. Acts 4:12). To save us, He took flesh and was born of the Blessed Virgin Mary (cf. Matt. 1:18-25); He suffered, died, arose on the third day (cf. Mark 15:1-16:14) and ascended into Heaven (cf. Acts 1:6-11), from where He shall come to judge us all (cf. Matt. 25:31-46).

Thirdly, we believe in the Holy Spirit who sanctifies us for eternal life (cf. 1 Cor. 6:11) and guides the Church (cf. John 14:25-26; 16:12-13).

Fourthly, we believe that Jesus established only one Church. We believe that He established His Church on the profession of faith made by St. Peter the Apostle. We believe that He entrusted this one Church to St. Peter and all his successors, the popes (cf. Matt. 16:13-20). And this one Church of Jesus Christ is the Catholic Church.

With the guidance of the Holy Spirit, the popes and bishops who have succeeded St. Peter and the other Apostles have safeguarded and continue to safeguard the sound doctrine of the faith. Beloved, it is in this faith that our Lord Jesus enjoins us to be firmly rooted.

What, then, are the signs which indicate that we are firmly rooted in the faith? They include:

  • We love God above everybody and everything (cf. Matt. 22:37-38; 6:24)
  • We love our neighbours as ourselves and are charitable to the needy (cf. Matt. 22:39; 1 John 3:17-18)
  • We seek first the Kingdom of Heaven and its righteousness (cf. Matt. 6:33)
  • We lead holy lives (cf. 1 Pet. 1:15-16)
  • We carry our crosses to follow Jesus who carried His cross to save us (cf. Luke 9:23-25)
  • We seek and work towards the unity of the Church (cf. John 17:20-23)
  • We foster fellowship among church members (cf. Acts 4:32)
  • We are active in church activities (cf. Heb. 10:25; Acts 2:42)
  • We are involved in spreading the good news (cf. Mark 16:15-16)
  • We contribute towards church programmes and projects (cf. 2 Cor. 9:6-8)
  • We work towards the betterment of the larger society (cf. Rom. 13:1-7)

On the contrary, signs which indicate that the lack of rootedness in faith and therefore in Jesus include:

  • We love certain persons or things more than God
  • We don’t love our neighbours as ourselves and are uncharitable
  • We seek first worldly things
  • We lead sinful lives
  • We abandon our crosses and find unchristian solutions
  • We cause disunity in the Church
  • We are indifferent to or discourage fellowship
  • We are inactive in church activities
  • We don’t spread the good news; rather, we discourage people from practicing their Catholic faith
  • We don’t contribute towards church programmes and projects
  • We impact negatively on the progress of the larger society

Let us seek God’s grace to overcome our weaknesses and threats to our faith-life, so as to be more rooted in our faith. This is very crucial, because we cannot renew our participation in mission without a firm faith in the Lord as passed on over the centuries by the one, holy, Catholic and apostolic Church.


What is our mission? Mission means to be sent. So, who has sent us and what has he sent us to do? Through St. Peter and the colleague apostles, Christ has sent us (His Church) to bring the good news of salvation to all nations. Firstly, on the evening of His resurrection, Christ told His apostles: “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you” (John 20:21).

Secondly, some days later and before His ascension, Christ would give some details about our mission. He told His apostles: “Go into all the world and proclaim the good news to the whole creation. The one who believes and is baptized will be saved” (Mark 16:15-16). St. Matthew, in turn, reports as follows: Christ said: “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age” (Matt. 28:19-20). So, our mission entails:

  • Proclaiming the good news of salvation in Jesus Christ to as many people as possible
  • Baptizing those who believe the good news
  • Making them disciples (true followers) of Christ through:
    • Teachings
    • obedience to His commandments and
    • the reception of the other sacraments
  • Fellowship with Jesus Christ
  • Etc.

Thirdly, since we cannot fulfil this spiritual mission on our own, Christ assures us of both His accompaniment (cf. Matt. 28:20) and the empowerment by the Holy Spirit (cf. John 20:21-22). Regarding the empowerment for mission, He would say to His disciples on the day of ascension: “you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth” (Acts 1:8). Ten days later, on the Day of Pentecost, the disciples would receive the empowerment of the Holy Spirit, and from that moment, under the leadership of St. Peter, they would boldly proclaim the good news (cf. Acts 2).

Therefore, to renew our participation in the Church’s mission, we must:

  • Renew our relationship with Jesus, our Sender
  • Be passionate about the Church’s mandate to make disciples of all nations
  • Seek the empowerment of the Holy Spirit
  • Hit the “mission road’ in the company of others and under the Church’s leadership

Dear Priest-in-Charge, Rev. Sisters, brothers and sisters in Christ, we have been reflecting on our 25th anniversary theme: “All Saints @25: Rooted in Faith, Renewing our Mission”. Firstly, we have looked at the history of our church. Here, I focused more on its first three years when I was the pastor. I hope the pioneer members present today have enjoyed the trip down the “memory lane”, while those who joined the church later have appreciated its beginnings.

Secondly, we have considered how the foundation of this church was firmly rooted in the Catholic faith; and how each member should be firmly rooted in this faith.

Thirdly, we have seen how we can renew our participation in the mission which Christ has entrusted to the Catholic Church. Indeed, without a renewal of our faith, we cannot renew our participation in mission; for our mission is to bring others to faith in Jesus Christ, and no one can give what he/she does not have.

Finally, as St. Joseph the Worker Church attained full parish status on the occasion of its 30th anniversary, so All Saints Church should strive to attain that status within the next five (5) years!

On this note, I wish you all a happy silver jubilee celebration!

Long live All Saints Catholic Church, Community 11, Tema!

Long live the Roman Catholic Church in Ghana!

Long live the one, holy, Catholic and apostolic Church!

Thank you!

Bishop John Kobina Louis

Most Rev. John Kobina Louis is an auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of Accra, Ghana. More about him here.

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Catholic Homilies and Sermons for the Liturgical Year by Most Rev. John Kobina Louis, auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of Accra, Ghana.

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