The Vice-President, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, has expressed optimism that the economy will rebound from its challenges.
Addressing parishioners of the Our Lady of Mercy (OLAM) Catholic Church in Tema Community One to climax the 70th anniversary of the parish Sunday, Dr Bawumia said the government was pursuing a number of economic measures to address the challenges facing the economy.
“As your government, we do recognise the difficulties and uncertainties we are experiencing in our country, but with renewed strength and hope in the Word of God, we are hopeful that we will ride the storm and turn things around.” he said, and quoted Psalm 9:10 and Isaiah 40:31 from the Bible, which speak about trusting in the inexhaustible strength and power of God.
The anniversary was on the theme:”Honouring the past, celebrating the present and looking into the future with hope.”
Dr Bawumia said the government appreciated the contributions of the Catholic Church to national development and commended it for its contributions to the development and well-being of the people through the establishment of schools and health facilities, most of which had produced prominent Ghanaians and provided access to quality and affordable healthcare.
The Vice-President applauded the OLAM Parish for initiating the construction of a four-storey, multi-purpose building, a skills development centre and a library for the community and donated GH¢50,000 towards the project.
The Metropolitan Archbishop of Accra, the Most Rev. John Bonaventure Kwofie, encouraged the parishioners to emulate the shining virtues of the Blessed Mary, their patroness, adding that she was a woman of faith, hope, humility, purity and love.
The OLAM Catholic Church, the first Catholic Church in Tema, started in 1952 as a seed with the exploratory visit of Rev. Fr Frans Mertens, Society of the Divine Word (SVD), and Jerome Amendah, a lay catechist.
The first Holy Mass of the OLAM Catholic Church was held by Rev. Fr Mertens in the old UAC Store in Tema on Sunday, June 15, 1952.
As the new Harbour City grew, the number of resident Catholics increased steadily, and that included Africans and expatriates, and the swelling number of parishioners necessitated the establishment of a bigger structure to accommodate them.
The Catholic Church in Tema transited from an ‘outstation’ of Accra into a full-fledged parish in 1960.
The Chairperson of the OLAM Parish Pastoral Council, Richard Akpokavie, said over the past 70 years, the parish had grown into a big and mighty tree that had many people of God enjoying the spiritual warmth that it offered.
He said the parish had, since its inception, transformed many lives through its social intervention projects, adding that the skills development centre under construction, when completed, would offer opportunities to the youth in the church and the community.
Dignitaries present included the Minister for the Interior, Ambrose Dery; the Director-General of the National Lotteries Authority, Sammi Awuku; the Chief Executive Officer of the Coastal Development Authority (CODA), Jerry Ahmed Shaib, and the Member of Parliament for Tema Central, Yves Nii Hanson Nortey.