In a memorable gathering that transcended geographical boundaries, the Archdiocese of Cape Coast witnessed a surge of joy and gratitude as hundreds of faithful and well-wishers celebrated the 75th anniversary, 30 years of episcopacy, and 20 years of cardinalate of the venerable leader of Ghana, Peter Cardinal Kodwo Appiah Turkson. The venerable St. Peter’s Regional Seminary in Cape Coast served as the sacred backdrop to this significant celebration, attended by the correspondent from RECOWACERAO NEWS AGENCY (RECONA) based in Ghana.
Amidst echoes of festive songs and dances, participants expressed deep appreciation for the life and service of Ghana’s first cardinal. Recognized for his unwavering dedication, wisdom, and significant contributions to the growth of the Church and humanity, Cardinal Turkson’s journey was commemorated with profound reverence and sincere joy.
Bishop Joseph Osei-Bonsu of the Konongo-Mampong Diocese and a seminary companion delivered a moving eulogy, highlighting Cardinal Turkson’s remarkable contributions to Ghana, Africa, and the global community. The bishop eloquently emphasized the various roles played by the Cardinal at the Vatican, showcasing his exemplary leadership and crucial tasks performed as a prelate.
Beyond the ecclesiastical narrative, Bishop Osei-Bonsu shared fond memories of their seminary days, describing the Cardinal’s brilliance, his inclination towards the sciences, his passion for music, and his proficiency in playing the guitar. The bishop praised the Cardinal’s services in Ghana, notably his role as the first president of the National Peace Council, which played a key role in promoting peace in the country.
The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Ghana, in a congratulatory message signed by its president, Bishop Matthew Kwasi Gyamfi, hailed Cardinal Turkson for his faithful service, reflecting the mission of Christ. The message acknowledged the Cardinal’s deep love for the Church, unwavering commitment to its teachings, and the profound impact of his wisdom, humility, and charisma on people from all walks of life.
Bishop Gyamfi specifically highlighted the Cardinal’s commitment to social justice, human rights, and the promotion of the common good, noting the indelible mark left by his contributions.
Apostolic Nuncio to Ghana, Bishop Henryk Mieczyslaw Jagodziński, delivered a benevolent message during the Mass, congratulating Cardinal Turkson for his intelligence, openness of mind and heart, faith, charity, and contagious smile, all cherished treasures within the Church.
Similarly, the Symposium of Episcopal Conferences of Africa and Madagascar (SECAM) conveyed a benevolent message, emphasizing the divine orchestration of the celebration. They highlighted the profound significance of reflecting the Holy Trinity, symbolizing unity and completeness, elevating the occasion beyond a personal milestone to a spiritual incarnation of the Catholic faith.
The Mass was attended by over ten bishops, including dignitaries such as papal knights and dames, traditional and political authorities, as well as close associates of Cardinal Turkson. The family, led by Dr. Stephen Turkson, presented a portrait of the Cardinal and donated GH¢20,000 to support his ongoing efforts.
As part of the anniversary, the book and brochure of Cardinal Turkson were officially launched, marking a significant contribution to his literary legacy.
Born on October 11, 1948, in Wassa-Nsuta, Cardinal Turkson was ordained a priest on July 20, 1975, consecrated a bishop on March 27, 1993, and created a cardinal on October 21, 2003, by Pope John Paul II. His life, encapsulated in the motto “Vivere Christus est” (To live is Christ), resonated throughout the Mass, serving as a testimony to his exemplary leadership, openness, strong faith, and unwavering service to the Mother Church over the years.
In a gracious response, Cardinal Turkson thanked the organizers for the honor bestowed upon him and urged the faithful to maintain their faith and strive to serve the common good in all circumstances.
To mark this exceptional anniversary, Cardinal Turkson’s book and brochure were officially launched, offering a deeper insight into the profound journey of this remarkable leader. A reception held in his honor provided an opportunity for participants to share in the joy of this exceptional celebration.
As a recipient of the National Order of the Star and the Order of the Rock by the traditional region of Anomabo, as well as numerous honorary doctorates, Cardinal Turkson’s legacy attests to a life dedicated to faith, service, and the betterment of humanity. The celebration of this triple milestone reflects not only the Cardinal’s personal achievements but also the spiritual embodiment of the Catholic faith, symbolizing unity, completeness, and a profound journey of service to others.
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