SMA GHANA – A Glance at the Pastoral Dimension of Our Life and Formation

After the resurrection, Christ commissioned his disciples in these words: “Go 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 I have commanded you. And surely, I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” (Mt28:19-20) In the same ways, the founder of SMA, commissioned his fellows to continue spreading the Good News especially to the pagans.

At the SMA Formation House, Sowutuom, Ghana  the students, in addition to studies also engage in pastoral work as a way to witness to the Gospel.  They undertake activities such as pastoral visitation. In this, seminarians are sent to the hospitals where they pray with and for the sick, imploring God’s healing and blessings upon them. The students also benefit from this experience and learn by listening to the sick and, if needed, give advice when they can. This kind of involvement and work was very much at the heart of the SMA Founder, Melchior de Marion Brésillac’s mission. His advice was to  “seize every opportunity to preach the word of God”.

Another opportunity welcomed by our seminarians is going out to teach catechism in nearby parishes. As the Bible says, , Ephesians 2:10  Through this  work we help and guide people to know more about their faith, thus to bringing them closer to God and encouraging, especially the youth to give their life to Christ.  Seminarians also visit the elderly priests’ home at the SVD community.  This mission of presence is meant both to assure elderly priests that they are not forgotten and give the seminarians and opportunity to learn from the rich experience of these missionaries.  There is always joy and happiness experienced in this apostolate.

We also visit residents at “Hope for Life Centre”, a home for the disabled, located at the outskirts of Accra, a project started and run by the SMA.  This work allows our seminarians to carry on the mission of Christ who cared for the sick, the abandoned, the orphans and those in need of our help – “I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, in prison and you came to visit me”. Matthew 25:35-37)  

 In addition to this pastoral outreach the SMA Seminary Formation House at Sowutuom also seeks to engage with the local community by offering pastoral services, such as catechetical lessons liturgy and sacraments. Events such as talks and prayerful reflections are also ways used to engage with the local community and to spread the Gospel of Christ. The laity are welcomed to participation in the spiritual activities and life of the SMA formation community, its Masses, Adoration, Benediction, Vespers, Rosary, and other devotions.  The Seminarians also visit some families and they, in turn, are invited to social events such as picnics with our community.  All of these activities help in forming our student priests and in forming one Christian family. A Facebook page has also been created by the SMA Seminary Formation House, a way of spreading the Good News and of posting information about the important activities taking place. This is a modern way of motivating young people to her the Gospel message and perhaps even for some to join the SMA congregation.

Our thanks to Martoger Pouwerou Katanga (Seminarian) and Rev. Fr. Jonathan Malong, SMA (Rector) for the information and photographs in this article






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