Category Archives: News
General News of Tuesday, 23 April 2019
Chief Imam celebrates 100 years in church
The National Chief Imam, Sheikh Osman Nuhu Sharubutu with Father Campbel after the service
The National Chief Imam Sheikh Osman Nuhu Sharubutu last Sunday made a
rare and spectacular appearance at the Christ The King Catholic Church, Accra
as part of his 100th birthday.
Accompanied by a large entourage of top clerics and leading figures in the Islamic community, the visit went viral within minutes as the images were being posted particularly on social media.
DAILY GUIDE has learnt that President Akufo-Addo was also excited about the gesture which observers say is worthy of emulation in countries where cross-faith harmony is not a feature.
For a man whose peace overtures have earned for him a cross-faith reverence, the visit to Christ The King on an Easter Sunday augmented an already existing deference which found space on BBC’s African programme – Focus On Africa – with Audrey Brown who described it as a ‘light in the dark.’
The Chief Imam was received on arrival by the Parish Priest, Rev. Father Andrew Campbell, SVD, who led the congregation to sing a happy birthday song to his guest.
A narration of the arrival by a member of the church, a certain Maya Musi Jata said it all about the excitement which greeted the cleric, as he set foot on the threshold of the church before the appointed time of 8am.
The congregation, as if the arrival had been rehearsed, commenced a ‘Happy Birthday’ song, as a supporting organ in the background provided the sweet notes in an appropriate pitch.
“He was supposed to arrive by 8am according to the programme, but he was there before 8am. I was excited about that. He was welcomed to the church by Rev Fr Campbell who told us that the Chief Imam was turning 100 and wanted to come celebrate with us,” Musi Jata told Audrey Brown.
The lady expressed happiness with the cleric’s position that God does not say that “we should fight those who do not belong to our faiths. There was a lot of encouragement for the cleric as he spoke. We are the same people and so should co-exist harmoniously. Let others outside Ghana emulate this gesture.”
Her admonition comes on the heels of an attack on churches and hotels in Sri Lanka in which scores of Christians lost their lives on Sunday.
How It Started
Cecil Garbrah, an official of the church, said “it all started with a call on Wednesday by a member of the Chief Imam’s team that the cleric wants to meet the Reverends and the congregation to mark his 100 years which is on Tuesday (today). I contacted the elders of the church and the hierarchy of the Catholic Church in Accra. We were excited that the Chief Imam was visiting us. If there is a red carpet let us lay it for him. We donated a pair of footwear, the kind worn by Muslims and he made a cash donation to the church.”
Mr. Garbrah spoke about a reciprocal visit to the mosque and how football matches, among other social activities, can enhance inter-faith harmony.
The Chief Imam, he told BBC, bemoaned the developments which have taken place across the world in which people have lost their lives.
Many social media users who spotted the Chief Imam at the church said the move inures to the harmonious co-existence among members of the two great faiths in Ghana
“Casa Betania Sta. Martha”, the welcome house for migrants in Salto de Agua, Chiapas, Mexico, is located about 100 Km from the border between Guatemala. The house is located on the route where the migrants go through. Here the cargo trains pass through this small town wherein many migrants boarded elsewhere to proceed with their journey. They jump off from these cargo trains at Salto de Agua and stop by Casa Betania Sta. Marta. The Casa, run by SVD Mexico Province has already hosted around 8000 migrants since its establishment in March 2018.
When I visited Casa Sta, Marta in November 2018, around 15 to 20 migrants were arriving in the house every day. However, I was told that this is not a significant number for them. The maximum number of migrants the Casa hosted in a day was 250.
In my conversation with a few of the migrants, I realized that each of them has his/her reason to leave their hometown. Some migrants are forced to leave their homes because of conflicts, persecution, disaster, and land grabbing. Some migrants are seeking a better life to improve their economic situation, for better job opportunities, education and medical treatment. Some migrants move because of family ties. Many times, for these migrants, the reason is not just one, but there are still many other complex reasons. Unfortunately, some people use these migrants for their political advantages. Also, there are experiences where people who have malicious interests use the migrants. Moreover, many people are indifferent and do not want to see such migrants.
Fr. Martín Islas, SVD, four FMM sisters and a few lay staff work at Casa Sta. Marta. There are also some volunteers from the SVD parish and other groups. They help like preparing beds and meals, providing clothes and medicine, offer places to shower and a counseling service. I saw that the migrants arriving at the Casa are often tired and some of them injured. They worry about their journey and their family. I heard that during the trip there are people that died by accident, killed, raped, cheated, and trafficked. Some children were also abducted.
As religious missionaries, social commitment is often a fulfilling work, because we can see the development and growth of individuals and communities. However, in the Casa the migrants merely come and go. They pass through the house temporarily. There is no way the staff of the Casa will ever know what will happen to these migrants or what is the future that awaits them. Indeed, this must be very tough work.
May God continue to bless this work and accompany this journey of the migrants and the staff of the Casa.
Daisuke Narui, SVD
Generalate JPIC Coordinator
Grace (if you haven’t met her) is the theological term for
the Holy Spirit
She is the Breath of everything that exists
She is the Divine Energy fuelling all of Creation
She is invisible Love being visible
She is the ‘deep within’ of every human being
She is our Inner Life Companion
She longs to live our lives with us
(Latin: gratia/Greek: kharis/grace, favour, gift of God)
Taken from OUR HOLY GROUND by Christa Murphy
Please try to see the webpage www.lectioyouth.net – it is prepared by our SVD confreres from AFRAM and it has for each Sunday a short biblical insight into the readings (in a popular form) and a listening of its message for life. There are also some suggestions for action. It has an opening and closing prayer.
Sister Gini George is on home leave at present and then she will go to Rome to join the Communications Team in the Congregation.
Sister Ewa Pliszczak left Bristol on 3rd December to go to a new mission. She will join those who are part of the new mission to Greece in Athens.
(As you can see these sisters are creative, not fair-weather missionaries and work hard wherever they are.)
We wish both of them God’s bless and protection.