All posts by Godwin Delali Adadzie

Godwin Delali Adadzie is a Christian living in Africa. He is the founder of CATHOOLIC. Most people know him for his work Let’s talk about the Rosary. He can be reached on his Twitter handle @Apologetics.

Christmas–the Good, the Pretence and the Hypocrisy

Wow! So Christmas is coming again? Really? Oh No! Not again. Well, at least it is our hope as Christians that the Christ would be celebrated not just for a day but everyday.

Christmas – the Good

The Annunciation by Henry Ossawa Tanner 1896
The Annunciation by Henry Ossawa Tanner 1896

On Christmas not only would we learn about the birth of Jesus Christ, we also are reminded of the role played by the Virgin Mary. This is the only moment where both Catholics and non-Catholics seem to agree to a degree on Our Lady. At least, the Ave Maria, Hail Mary is implied partially which is a good start for a fruitful dialogue.

In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary. And he came to her and said, “Hail, O favored one, the Lord is with you!” But she was greatly troubled at the saying, and considered in her mind what sort of greeting this might be. And the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High; and the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there will be no end.”
(Luke 1:26-33)

Christmas – the Pretence

Christmas

At Christmas most of our beloved brothers and sisters in Christ Jesus outside the Catholic Church also have the nativity scene depicted at both home and church. It is only during Christmas that in practice, they suspend their Catholic idolatry allegations since they also entertain graven images of Jesus, Mary and Joseph for their nativity scenes. Catholic apologist Dave Armstrong said it best in a recent post:

“Christmas: that wonderful time of year when Protestants by the millions have statues (aka, “idols”) of the Blessed Virgin Mary (not to mention, St. Joseph) displayed prominently in their living rooms or lawns, and gaze at and meditate on them reverently, in a manner hardly distinguishable from Catholic veneration.

Does anyone else find that highly odd and not a little humorous, or is just me, with my overactive sense of the ironic?

For example, a totally consistent Calvinist (who follows the example of Calvin and the early purists / Puritans) could have, at best, only the baby Jesus in a manger scene. But even that is questionable, since some Calvinists to this day (following Calvin himself) hold that even an image of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ is essentially idolatrous in nature.

But of course, it’s fine to have the famous statues of Calvin and three other “Reformers” at the “Reformation Wall” in Geneva . . .”

Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, saying, “Where is he who has been born king of the Jews? For we have seen his star in the East, and have come to worship him.” When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him; and assembling all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Christ was to be born. They told him, “In Bethlehem of Judea; for so it is written by the prophet: ‘And you, O Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; for from you shall come a ruler who will govern my people Israel.'” Then Herod summoned the wise men secretly and ascertained from them what time the star appeared; and he sent them to Bethlehem, saying, “Go and search diligently for the child, and when you have found him bring me word, that I too may come and worship him.” When they had heard the king they went their way; and lo, the star which they had seen in the East went before them, till it came to rest over the place where the child was. When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy; and going into the house they saw the child with Mary his mother, and they fell down and worshiped him. Then, opening their treasures, they offered him gifts, gold and frankincense and myrrh.
(Matthew 2:1-11)

Christmas – the Hypocrisy

prayingman

It is only at Christmas when you see the pews of most churches full and overflowing. This is even more than that crowd that Easter attracts. Well, it is time for many of the once-in-a-year Churchgoers to show up. Whether on 25th of December, Christmas Day or 31st of December. After that they wait for another Christmas to come back home.

So Barnabas went to Tarsus to look for Saul; and when he had found him, he brought him to Antioch. For a whole year they met with the church, and taught a large company of people; and in Antioch the disciples were for the first time called Christians.
(Acts 11:25-26)

Lord Jesus Christ make us to be worthy of the name Christians just as those in the early days of the Early Church. Amen.

What is Hail Mary?

Well, Hail Mary is a historical and biblical phrase used by an angel of God to a virgin called Mary. This historic event is so important that the most ancient Christian Church has made it into a prayer to remind her members who are the Body of Christ about what the Yes of a Virgin in ancient Israel did to the whole of mankind. The Hail Mary prayer goes like this:

Hail Mary, full of Grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou amongst women, and blessed is the Fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and in the hour of our death. Amen.

Hail Mary

Hail Mary

Hail Mary

Hail Mary

Hail Mary

Hail Mary

Hail Mary

Hail Mary

Hail Mary

Let’s examine the Hail Mary prayer.

[Part 1] Hail Mary, full of Grace, the Lord is with thee.  This is derived from the greeting of the angel Gabriel to Mary.

And he came to her and said, “Hail, O favoured one, the Lord is with you!” (Luke 1:28 RSV)

And the angel being come in, said unto her: Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women.  (Luke 1:28 DRB)

The biblical Greek word used by the angel kecharito¯mene¯ is rightly translated as “full of grace,” it is the perfect passive participle of the Greek word charitoo¯  which means, “to grace.”  Mary was “full of grace” because the Lord is united with her, “the Lord is with thee” as the angel added.

We should note that angels are messengers of their masters, in this case an angel of God. So, we can conclude for certain that God Almighty Himself was saying to Mary that she is “full of grace” and that He was with her. How sweet it is to imitate God by saying the “Hail Mary?” [Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children.  (Ephesians 5:1 RSV)]

In other passages of the New Testament, certain men are said to be “full of the Spirit” and also “full of grace and power” according to Acts 6:3 and Acts 6:8 respectively. How much more grace do you expect to be contained in The Woman who is to bring forth the Son of the Living God?

The moon does not take away from the brightness of the sun, but reflects it.  Likewise, Mary does not take away from the glory of her Son, Jesus, but reflects Him. Without the sun the moon is useless, so also, without Christ, Mary is nothing. She is “full of grace” because of Christ, the Source of grace.

Continue by reading Is the Hail Mary Biblical? Thank you.

10 Quotes about the Rosary

Rosary

I really love everything about the Rosary. It is quite refreshing to read what other giants of the Holy Catholic Faith have to say about this priceless devotion.

Quote #1
“The Rosary is the most beautiful and the most rich in graces of all prayers; it is the prayer that touches most the Heart of the Mother of God…and if you wish peace to reign in your homes, recite the family Rosary.” Pope Saint Pius X

Quote #2
“Go to the Madonna. Love her! Always say the Rosary. Say it well. Say it as often as you can! Be souls of prayer. Never tire of praying, it is what is essential. Prayer shakes the Heart of God, it obtains necessary graces!” St. Padre Pio of Pietrelcina

Quote #3
“You always leave the Rosary for later, and you end up not saying it at all because you are sleepy. If there is no other time, say it in the street without letting anybody notice it. It will, moreover, help you to have presence of God.” St. Josemaria Escriva

Quote #4
“Among all the devotions approved by the Church none has been so favored by so many miracles as the devotion of the Most Holy Rosary” Pope Blessed Pius IX

Quote #5
“The Rosary is a powerful weapon to put the demons to flight and to keep oneself from sin…If you desire peace in your hearts, in your homes, and in your country, assemble each evening to recite the Rosary. Let not even one day pass without saying it, no matter how burdened you may be with many cares and labors.” Pope Pius XI

Quote #6
“One day, through the Rosary and the Scapular, Our Lady will save the world.” St. Dominic

Quote #7
“The greatest method of praying is to pray the Rosary.” St. Francis de Sales

Quote #8
“The rosary is the book of the blind, where souls see and there enact the greatest drama of love the world has ever known; it is the book of the simple, which initiates them into mysteries and knowledge more satisfying than the education of other men; it is the book of the aged, whose eyes close upon the shadow of this world, and open on the substance of the next. The power of the rosary is beyond description.” Archbishop Fulton Sheen

Quote #9
“The Rosary is the most excellent form of prayer and the most efficacious means of attaining eternal life. It is the remedy for all our evils, the root of all our blessings. There is no more excellent way of praying.” Pope Leo XIII

Quote #10
“No one can live continually in sin and continue to say the Rosary: either they will give up sin or they will give up the Rosary” Bishop Hugh Doyle

You can learn more about the Rosary by reading my booklet Let’s talk about the Rosary.

The Homosexual Conspiracy

One thing that Hollywood is good at is broadcasting falsehood in bits and pieces over a long period of time like a drip being administered to a patient in a hospital.

It was successful using this strategy for the promotion of “the pills” in the c. 1950s. Hollywood also pushed the sex outside marriage propaganda, i.e. premarital sex and extramarital sex. It glamorised sex in movies just as it did with the smoking of women.

A recent trend that is easily noticeable in many latest movies is the innocent portrayal of homosexuality using lesbianism as bait. This is a careful plot set by the powers behind the same-sex movement. It seems to be working for them so far.

Why am I saying so? Well, Hollywood is very good in psychology and marketing. They know that sex sells. They have the statistics to back up this fact.  Hollywood knows how sex was used as a tool to control many societies and generations. They are aware of how powerful their depiction of sex can lead a marriage to divorce. They are also aware how it can influence people to have or abort their babies. This knowledge is the power they are using to push the gay rights and gay marriage agenda worldwide.

By this sex sells formula, Hollywood is featuring many lesbian sexual acts (i.e. girls kissing girls, women on top of other women) in many movies nowadays. Hollywood knows that gay sexual acts (i.e. male-to-male sex) on their movies is repugnant to both male and female audiences, however, lesbian sexual acts seems to at least please male audiences. Lesbian sex in movies pleases most male audiences as a result of this sex sells formula. Most males have no issue seeing two or more nude women acting their sexual fantasies because males are by nature attracted to these women (females). This is the whole secret behind Hollywood’s homosexual propaganda using lesbian sexual acts as a bait to attract non-homosexual male audiences into accepting lesbianism (and later ‘gayism’) as an alternative and healthy sexual act.

Be Careful about St. Paul (Part 1)

The man Saul of Tarsus was once a terrible name to the infant Church of Christ as he was noted to carry out torture and execution at least indirectly to those who believed, preached and lived the Gospel message of Jesus the Christ. One of these persecutions of the Church led to the martyrdom of the first Christian martyr called Stephen, a man described to be “full of faith and the Holy Spirit,” (Acts 6:5).

God in His perfect wisdom found a place for this man called Saul from Tarsus in His vineyard. By the grace of God, Saul became Paul as he experienced a life changing encounter with the Lamb of God, Jesus Christ Himself on his journey to Damascus to carry out similar persecution of the Church. (cf. Acts 9) Years later after this encounter with Christ, Paul became one of the most instrumental authors and figures of the New Testament, and a man of heroic virtue and extraordinary charism (gifts).

Although St. Paul was not among the original 12 Disciples of Christ, he is acknowledged as an Apostle of Christ and compared and even paired up with St. Peter the Prince of the Apostles.  Many people mistakenly think that St. Paul wrote the Acts of the Apostles because of his other excellent New Testament writings/epistles. In fact, the author of the Gospel of Luke is the same person behind the Acts of the Apostles. Those two writings were addressed to a man named Theophilus (cf. Luke 1:3 and Acts 1:1).

In our days today, just as the days of the Apostles, many people have directly or indirectly pick-and-choose what to believe and what not to believe in the Gospel. The Gospel is the heart of the whole revealed truth of God to man. It is in the Gospel that the greatest miracle ever took place which involved God becoming man through what is historically called the Incarnation. It is in the Gospel that Jesus the God-Man taught us all we need to know about God and how to be pleasing to Him. It is in the Gospel that Jesus as the Bread of Life offered Himself freely that those who believe and eat His body and drink His blood will have everlasting life. It is in the Gospel that Jesus as the Messiah suffered for our sins and died for the whole world. It is in the Gospel that Jesus Christ resurrected from the dead. It is in the Gospel that Jesus Christ ascended into Heaven and stated that He would come again in glory to judge the living and the dead. It is in the Gospel that man is reconciled with God.

Just as many people treat the King James Version translation of the Bible (KJV) as though it were the original manuscript (MSS) of the Scriptures, so sadly too, many treat parts or whole of the writings of St. Paul as though it were the Gospel of Jesus Christ, or much worst contradictory or superior to the Gospel message found in Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.  The letters of St. Paul are supplementary but not self-sufficient and independent from the Gospel of Christ.

The Rosary Explained

 

Let's talk about the Rosary

Many people are wondering why Catholics hold those beads called the Rosary in their hands and what’s the real inspiration behind them. In this little booklet I’ll attempt to give quick answers to some of the questions and doubts often raised by people.

Click to Download Your Copy Now (PDF 326.9 KB).

Never be afraid of loving the Blessed Virgin Mary too much. You can never love her more than Jesus did and If anyone does not wish to have Mary Immaculate for his mother, he will not have Christ for his brother. ~ St. Maximilian Kolbe

New Catholic Generation

New Catholic Generation

One of the main reasons why I love the youth, especially Catholic youth, is because I am one. My heart is always on fire to reach out to these youth and teens and share with them their struggles, joy and pains and much more the Gospel of Our Lord Jesus Christ. As I wrote some time ago the reason behind my All Things Apologetics was because a youth, a family member of mine left the Catholic Church for an Evangelical one.

I almost left the Catholic Church because I nearly believed those charges, and especially a cousin of mine who was quite holier than me and smarter than me and much more a cradle Catholic left the Catholic Church earlier before my College admission.

Read the full context here.

It was a blessing is disguise for me personally since it ignited the thirst for me to know as much as humanly possible about the Catholic Church and Scripture in order to help prevent or at least delay another dear youth, whether far or near, from leaving Holy Mother Church again.

These teens on fire for Jesus Christ and His Catholic Church on YouTube are called the New Catholic Generation. The are ordinary teens like other teens elsewhere with the difference of knowing, living and sharing their Catholic Faith among themselves and to the rest of the world via the great Jungle of the Internet called YouTube. One of the members was very popular on YouTube and in the catholic blogosphere. Do you remember SheIsCatholic? Watch her version of “Girls Just Wanna Be Nuns!”

Other members include:

CalledToBeCatholic

Azu Maria

Jonathan

ChurchTriumphant

Reborn Pure The Lady behind all these 🙂

Reborn Pure is the lady behind this great project. I have spoken with her via Skype and also we’ve been in touch via Facebook. She is really into the Holy Catholic Faith and I am touched and encouraged by people like her. I’ll fully support these vloggers and I’m even inspired to start podcasting and vlogging soon myself.

Kindly support the these young new media users by liking them on Facebook at New Catholic Generation, and by subscribing to them on YouTube. Here is a list of current members the vloggers. I wish I were younger so I could be part of them. Thank you.

Homilies from an African Priest

Saint Augustine of Hippo by Philippe de Champaigne

The famous African bishop, doctor and Father of the Church, Saint Augustine of Hippo, once said, “If you believe what you like in the gospels, and reject what you don’t like, it is not the gospel you believe, but yourself. ” He also said, “I would not believe in the Gospel, had not the authority of the Catholic Church already moved me.”

One thing I have realized over the years is that if you can’t ‘market’ the gospel message effectively as Christ has commissioned everyone to (c.f. Matthew 28:16-20), you can at least start by ”marketing’ those that are marketing the Gospel quite well. In the process of ‘marketing’ those ‘marketing’ the Good News, you would pick up a thing or two to help you in your evangelism.

In the West one person who I think markets the Gospel quite effectively is Fr. Robert Barron of the Word on Fire Catholic Ministries, USA. I just love him not because he is a Thomist or a great theologian and academic, but because he knows how to make the Gospel message easily digestible to every listener. You can verify this by listening to his Sunday Sermons.

Now back to Africa — West Africa to be specific. I know a priest who is also a scholar and an exciting theologian and preacher as well. He can deliver the unchanging Word of the Living God to a changing generation in such a manner that there is a sync between the listeners/readers and the Word of God, which usually results in a metanoia (change of heart), and the transformation of the Christians into the perfect imitators of Christ Jesus our Lord and our God. Let me introduce you to Very Rev. Fr. John Kobina Louis from Ghana.

Fr. Louis has been a priest in the Holy Catholic Church for over 20 years and, like old wine, his sermons taste good and bring about transformation of lives. I recently made a website for him and created a Facebook page for his ministry as well without his knowledge. It’s about time we as a Church, the Redeemed people of God, help our priest spread their messages to reach all the four corners of the world to the greater glory of God. Kindly visit his website at www.frlouis.com and like his page here: Fr. John Louis

God bless you.

Remembering a Hero from Africa

Tribute to His Excellency Professor John Evans Atta Mills, former President of the Republic of Ghana in West Africa, a defender of what is true and right, a great Christian who fought the good fight of faith. A man of unquestionable humility and respect. A man of peace (Asomdwe hene) and a defender of morality and conscience.

President Atta Mills and President Obama
President Atta Mills and President Obama

President Atta Mills and President Obama

He was the third President of the Fourth Republic of Ghana. He was the Head of State, Head of Government and the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of  the Republic of Ghana. In case you are wondering what is the significant of Ghana, well, don’t worry. Ghana is the gateway to Africa. It has been historically the champion of everything African (almost). Most of the slaves taken from Africa came from or passed through Ghana (formerly called Gold Coast and also know as the Slave Coast).  Ghana was the first country in Africa South of the Sahara to gain independence from British rule and people like Kofi Annan, former Gen. Secretary of the U.N. and the legendary Dr. Kwame Nkrumah all come from this great land.

President John F. Kennedy and President Kwame Nkrumah
1st President of the Republic of Ghana, Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah with the 35th President of the United States, John F. Kennedy in The Pentagon on 8 March 1961

Let President Mills  introduce himself to you:
“When, on October 1, 1971, and at the age of 27, with a Ph.D in law from the University of London, I started teaching at the Faculty of Law, University of Ghana, Legon, no soothsayer, prophet, fortune-teller or necromancer could have convinced me that one day I would abandon the serene and sheltered confines of academia and wander first into Ghana’s Public Service and then later wade through the shark-infested, hostile and tempestuous waters of politics, which term somebody has, rightly in my view, explained at the Ghana website as follows: “Poli” in Latin means “many” and “tics” means “bloodsucking creatures”.” President J.E.A. Mills (in a special 2002 lecture at UBC, Vancouver)

“My unshakeable resolve as a young, idealistic lecturer then was to teach until my compulsory retirement. But even though my lofty dreams did not materialize, and I sometimes ask myself whether this excursion outside the Ivory Tower was worth the effort, I am nevertheless always grateful to God and also the good people of Ghana for the rare opportunity they offered me to serve my dear nation. As to whether I made the best possible use of this opportunity, I shall not attempt an answer; I shall leave the judgment to the historians and posterity.”

The Gay Community would forever remember his response to UK Prime Minister David Cameron’s Gay aid threat:

“No one can deny Prime Minister Cameron his right to make policies, take initiatives or make statements that reflect his societal norms and ideals but he does not have the right to direct other sovereign nations as to what they should do especially where their societal norms and ideals are different from those which exist in Prime Minister’s society.

I as president of this nation will never initiate or support any attempt to legalise homosexuality in Ghana.”

RIP President Atta Mills


Seminary Formation in Ghana and it Challenges

Written by Rev. Hillary Agbenosi (A Ghanaian Deacon about to be ordained a Priest later this year)


The Lord has promised to always provide for his people shepherds after his own heart. In fulfillment of this promise he constantly calls young men to his vineyard, first of all, to be with Him in order that they may be sent out to preach (cf. Mk 3:14). I will say that aspect of “being with Him” is what the seminary offers to those of us who feel called to serve in His vineyard.

I will like to give a short overview of Seminary Formation in Ghana and its challenges today based on my own experience in my Major Seminary life. This will also go along the lines of the Pillars of Formation in Blessed John Paul II’s document “Pastores Dabo Vobis”: Human Formation, Spiritual Formation, Intellectual Formation and Pastoral Formation. These pillars of formation are all at work all through the seminary formation so that the priest will be one who is a balanced person; who has had an intimate relationship with God and so is able to minister to others to come to that kind of relationship in their own way.

The seminaries I will be referring to are the two major seminaries I have attended; St Paul’s Major Seminary, Sowutuom (Spiritual Year and Philosophical Studies) and St Peter’s Regional Seminary, Pedu (Theological Studies). These seminaries have trained some Priests from Ivory Coast, Benin, Burkina Faso and especially Ghana. They serve the dioceses in the three ecclesiastical provinces of Cape Coast, Kumasi and Accra.

The first Pillar is the Human formation which the document defines as the Basis of seminary formation. This aspect of formation helps us to form good human qualities such as integrity, honesty, humility among others.  The knowledge of self is encouraged and the formation of the moral conscience is strongly pursued, and the Seminarian is helped to come out effectively matured. The life of the Priest becomes one whose life itself is a bridge that allows people to find their way to God and not one that rather scares them away. In the seminary our life together whether at the Halls of residence, at games or at work all give us the opportunity to form ourselves in the best possible way humanly. We study and work together as a team among other things. Spiritual direction and seminars on various topics all push this agenda strongly. Various departments have been created not only to assist the Seminarian to develop and exhibit his talents but also it creates room for others to learn new things. Departments like carpentry, masonry, painting, electrical, plumbing, interior decoration, and some other Seminarians who work on our farms. Aside these departments, every Seminarian is expected to weed the compound when the need arises. Activities such as football, volley ball, basket ball, lawn tennis, jogging, and the likes are also undertaken.

One can talk, however, about inadequate rooms for Seminarians as place of residence as a challenge. For this reason, halls of residence one in both major seminaries which are uncompleted are a real challenge to seminary formation. These when completed will ease pressure and allow good and quality personal reflection times for personal growth.

Spiritual formation also seeks to bring the future Priest so close to Jesus Christ that he may radiate Him himself. It seeks to bring us to that personal encounter with Jesus Christ that comes from prayer, reading of Sacred Scripture, reception of the sacraments (especially the Eucharist and the Sacrament of Penance and Reconciliation), other approved devotions of the Church, Spiritual Direction and meditation. Morning, afternoon, evening and night, the Seminarian is challenged to pray; to sanctify almost every hour of the day. At 5:30am, the Blessed Sacrament is exposed in the Chapel where every Seminarian is encouraged to go and commune with the Lord for 30 minutes after which we all gather as a community to pray at 6: 00am. After our morning prayer, a 30 minute of meditation is observed by all to enable each Seminarian digest the Psalms we have prayed that morning.

The Church believes in silent prayer because it avails much and it exposes our wretchedness to us. Also, an appreciation of the evangelical counsels of obedience, celibate chastity and poverty is stressed. Here again, one can talk of our daily attendance of Holy Mass, praying the Liturgy of the Hours and other private prayer and devotions and the monthly recollections we are privileged to enjoy. The seminaries in this area have a challenge of getting more spiritual books and spiritual directors who will greatly aid our spiritual growth.

Intellectual formation has to do with making the future Priest a critical, balanced and objective person. It prepares him to have a good capacity to appreciate the faith and be able to explain it so that others may also come to faith and be able to judge situations and take decisions. Intellectual formation also helps to broaden the future Priest’s knowledge-base so that he may not be limited only to the ecclesiastical sciences but may seek knowledge generally, while being careful to distinguish what is truth from falsehood. For this reason, we study various aspects of Philosophy, Theology, Sociology and Education as main courses among many others. A well-stocked modern library is our challenge in this area. St Peter’s Regional Seminary has a refurbished library with too many old books and St Paul’s Catholic Seminary has a newly built library crying also for new books to fill them.

Pastoral formation is aimed at making the future Priest a good shepherd after the example of Jesus Himself that he may learn to take initiatives and be ready to sacrifice in the ongoing evangelizing mission of the Church. We come to appreciate that pastoral work as a mystery because it is animated by God Himself; it is communion because it cannot be done alone, and that it is a mission which should be embraced with all humility and in obedience not withstanding where it takes us to or what demands it makes of us. In this area too, we are given the chance to put all that we study into practice on the pastoral field for five weeks in the earlier stages and a whole year before we are ordained Deacons. The challenge here is that the Pastoral Year is still new and is still undergoing some form of restructuring. But all efforts are being made to make it the best, and I personally attest to how fruitful this year has been and how it has added to my pastoral orientation.

One other big challenge that St Peter’s Regional Seminary faces is that we do not have a good vehicle that transports us to programmes outside the seminary; especially pastorals and teaching practice. It has become so serious that we decided to dedicate this whole year to raising funds for it as a student’s body. God has been so good and our target of getting a Benz MCV 400 is on course to replace the old one which is in real bad shape now after serving the seminary for close to 30 years. This same bus goes to the market to buy yams and rice among other things for us with the seats unscrewed.  And when it has to convey Seminarians, we screw the seats back. We ask for all well-meaning people to come to our aid.

Despite all these challenges God is still providing Priests after his own heart to shepherd his people. All of us have a part to play in cooperating with God in this regard.

Mary and anti-Catholic bigotry

Pastor Gino Jennings and statue of Mary, sorry Saint Therese of the Child Jesus
Pastor Gino Jennings and statue of Mary, sorry, Saint Therese of the Child Jesus

I just came across a shocking but not surprising video by Pastor Gino Jennings of the First Church of Our Lord Jesus Christ in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. This video was made in the year 2003. It’s quite old and boring too 🙂

Let’s begin by saying a Hail Mary to his soul before I continue.

Hail Mary,
Full of Grace,
The Lord is with thee.
Blessed art thou among women,
and blessed is the fruit
of thy womb, Jesus.
Holy Mary,
Mother of God,
pray for us sinners now,
and at the hour of death.
Amen.

This is a statue of Mary:

Statue of Mary
Statue of Mary

This is a statue of Saint Therese of the Child Jesus:

Statue of St Therese of the Child Jesus
Statue of St Therese of the Child Jesus

Now that you’ve seen the obvious differences let’s watch the video now:

He quoted 2 Chronicles to justify his case for smashing the statue of Mary (sorry St. Therese)

And they brake down the altars of Baalim in his presence; and the images, that were on high above them, he cut down; and the groves, and the carved images, and the molten images, he brake in pieces, and made dust of them, and strowed it upon the graves of them that had sacrificed unto them.  (2 Chronicles 34:4 KJV)

As you can see above, he wrenches Scripture out of context. But for his congregation, he is a hero. Interesting. There is a huge difference between idol and sacred images.

Consider the Ark of the Covenant. Is it an idol or not?

Replica of the Ark of the Covenant
Replica of the Ark of the Covenant

It seems ignorance is indeed bliss to some. Well, let’s continue.

According to the Bible, when Moses went up to Mount Sinai, to receive the law, the people of Israel rose against Aaron. They  said:

And when the people saw that Moses delayed to come down out of the mount, the people gathered themselves together unto Aaron, and said unto him, Up, make us gods, which shall go before us; for as for this Moses, the man that brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we wot not what is become of him. And Aaron said unto them, Break off the golden earrings, which are in the ears of your wives, of your sons, and of your daughters, and bring them unto me. And all the people brake off the golden earrings which were in their ears, and brought them unto Aaron. And he received them at their hand, and fashioned it with a graving tool, after he had made it a molten calf: and they said, These be thy gods, O Israel, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt. (Exodus 32:1-4 KJV)

It is the making of graven images and the worshiping of these images as a god which God forbids.

Take ye therefore good heed unto yourselves; for ye saw no manner of similitude on the day that the LORD spake unto you in Horeb out of the midst of the fire: Lest ye corrupt yourselves, and make you a graven image, the similitude of any figure, the likeness of male or female, The likeness of any beast that is on the earth, the likeness of any winged fowl that flieth in the air, The likeness of any thing that creepeth on the ground, the likeness of any fish that is in the waters beneath the earth: And lest thou lift up thine eyes unto heaven, and when thou seest the sun, and the moon, and the stars, even all the host of heaven, shouldest be driven to worship them, and serve them, which the LORD thy God hath divided unto all nations under the whole heaven. (Deuteronomy 4:15-19 KJV)

The ten commandments affirm that God forbids the worship of graven images as a god.

Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me; (Exodus 20:4-5 KJV)

Turn ye not unto idols, nor make to yourselves molten gods: I am the LORD your God. (Leviticus 19:4 KJV)

Thou shalt have none other gods before me. Thou shalt not make thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the waters beneath the earth: Thou shalt not bow down thyself unto them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me, (Deuteronomy 5:7-9 KJV)

We have seen from the context of the above Bible passages that the creature should not be worshiped instead of the Creator. Let us now see passages in the Bible where the Living God commands the making of images. The first instance is the making of the Ark of the Covenant. Here, God said to Moses,

And thou shalt make a mercy seat of pure gold: two cubits and a half shall be the length thereof, and a cubit and a half the breadth thereof. And thou shalt make two cherubims of gold, of beaten work shalt thou make them, in the two ends of the mercy seat. And make one cherub on the one end, and the other cherub on the other end: even of the mercy seat shall ye make the cherubims on the two ends thereof. And the cherubims shall stretch forth their wings on high, covering the mercy seat with their wings, and their faces shall look one to another; toward the mercy seat shall the faces of the cherubims be. And thou shalt put the mercy seat above upon the ark; and in the ark thou shalt put the testimony that I shall give thee. (Exodus 25:17-21 KJV emphasis mine)

Again, God commands the making of bronze serpent.

And the LORD said unto Moses, Make thee a fiery serpent, and set it upon a pole: and it shall come to pass, that every one that is bitten, when he looketh upon it, shall live. And Moses made a serpent of brass, and put it upon a pole, and it came to pass, that if a serpent had bitten any man, when he beheld the serpent of brass, he lived. (Numbers 21:8-9 KJV emphasis mine)

I’ll get back to this pastor soon.

You can get more Catholic perspective on a similar issue I made concerning the Grand papa of anti-Catholicism by clicking the image below. God bless you. Please say a prayer for me too. Thank you.

GADEL vs Jack Chick - Why is Mary crying?
GADEL vs Jack Chick - Why is Mary crying?

“Jesus is your friend. The Friend. With a human heart, like yours. With loving eyes that wept for Lazarus. And he loves you as much as he loved Lazarus.” Saint Josemaría Escrivá — Godwin Delali Adadzie is a Catholic living in Ghana, West Africa. A former smoker (Fish smoker now a Vegetarian) but still loves to drink a lot (of water). He attempts to blog at the Fair (HubBlogs with GADEL), the Good (Blessed Virgin our Mother Mary Immaculate), the Bad (GADEL Said What?) and the Ugly (Catholic Fiction: Responding to Myths & Half-Truths)

Education is Priceless

Education is priceless
Children vaccinated against river blindness in a school in Ewoku. Ghana. Photo by Lynn Johnson for the National Geographic.

There is an Arabic proverb about Education that goes like this, “Seek education from the cradle to the grave.” This is very true indeed. I have seen some arguments and sentiments about whether attaining education in a secular or sacred institution make a difference in ones life. Well, I cannot speak for another but myself. But before that, fellow IGNITUM TODAY contributor, Anna Williams, has a superb piece on the issue of Catholic Education. I’ll love to borrow her quote here:

Education is defined more by the student than by the teacher, because what you bring into the classroom affects what you get out of it. If you bring faith into your secular studies, each realm can light up the other. History, literature, art, politics, philosophy — your faith gives you a new perspective on all these, and all these give you a new perspective on your faith.

Read her piece over here.

Now back to my own experience. First of all, I have NEVER attended any Catholic school/institution. I, like the above photo depicting some student in a public school in somewhere in my country Ghana, went to a public school most of my life. The public schools I attended were a bit better than those in the picture though :). Non of those public school were affiliated to any religious body. They were secular in nature but with many openness to the Divine.

The story changed when I got admitted to a private Methodist University. It’s for me the finest Christian school to pass through. That’s where I started to know what is and is not Catholic. I was challenged, provoked and forced to do some serious research on Catholicism and almost everything about my Catholic Faith. It was as though I was asleep until fellow student caused me to awake and think and know and act Catholic. I have covered this over here some months ago on IGNITUM TODAY. You can check it out at here.

Isn’t it quite ironic for the saintly Archbishop Fulton Sheen to say, “I tell my relatives and best friends, ‘If you want your children to fight for their faith, send them to public school. If you want them to lose their faith, send them to Catholic school.’”?

“Jesus is your friend. The Friend. With a human heart, like yours. With loving eyes that wept for Lazarus. And he loves you as much as he loved Lazarus.” Saint Josemaría Escrivá — Godwin Delali Adadzie is a Catholic living in Ghana, West Africa. A former smoker (Fish smoker now a Vegetarian) but still loves to drink a lot (of water). He attempts to blog at the Fair (HubBlogs with GADEL), the Good (Blessed Virgin our Mother Mary Immaculate), the Bad (GADEL Said What?) and the Ugly (Catholic Fiction: Responding to Myths & Half-Truths)