CATHOLICS BID KALENGA FAREWELL
Catholic Bishops of Ghana, Priests, Religious and the lay faithful of the Church, recently gave a befitting farewell to Most Rev. Leon B. Kalenga, former Apostolic Nuncio to Ghana. at a thanksgiving Mass at the Holy Spirit Cathedral in Accra.
He had been transferred to El Salvador with additional responsibility to Belize in South and Central America respectively.
The Mass was attended by members of the Diplomatic Corps, Papal Knights and Dames, members of the Knights of Marshall and St. John International, the National Council of Catholic Women (NCCW) as well as other Societies in the Church.
Archbishop Kalenga, 57, was the first African Nuncio to be assigned to Ghana and spent five years in the country.
The principal celebrant at the farewell Mass was Archbishop Kalenga himself with all the Arch/Bishops and many Priests concelebrating.
The Nuncio stressed the need for Catholics to remain united in their faith and urged Ghanaians to guard the peace and stability in the country so that Ghana would continue to be the beacon of peace, love and democracy in Africa.
He appealed to all to ensure the education of every child and do more to advance the cause of the poor and needy in the society especially women and children.
In a homily, Most Rev. Joseph Osei-Bonsu, Bishop of Konongo-Mampong Diocese and President of the Ghana Catholic Bishops’ Conference (GCBC), extolled the contribution the Nuncio made to the growth of the Church in Ghana and his dedication and support to the Bishops’ Conference, adding that he would be sorely missed.
He recalled some of the successes he chalked during his tenure of office in Ghana as Nuncio.
The Church, he said, witnessed the appointments and ordination of Most Rev. Peter Paul Angkyier and Most Rev. Alfred Agyenta as Bishops of Damongo and Navrongo-Bolgatanga Dioceses respectively.
It was during his time that the Apostolic Prefecture of Donkorkrom was elevated to the status of a Vicariate with Very Rev. Fr. Gabriel Edoe Kumordji, SVD, nominated as the first Apostolic Vicar with the characteristics of a Bishop.
Also, Bishop Matthias Kobena Nketsia, Auxiliary Bishop of Cape Coast, was appointed the Metropolitan Archbishop of Cape Coast.
The then Archbishop of Cape Coast, His Eminence Peter Cardinal Kodwo Appiah Turkson was nominated as President of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace at the Vatican.
Bishop Osei-Bonsu said Archbishop Kalenga had been a brother and a colleague and displayed warmth and affection to all.
On behalf of the GCBC, the Vice President of the Conference, Most Rev. Anthony Adanuty presented an Episcopal Gold Ring, two Mitres and a Citation to the Nuncio.
The Vice Dean of the Diplomatic Corps in Ghana, Mrs. Pavelyn Tendai Musaka, Zimbabwean High Commissioner to Ghana on behalf of her colleagues, commended the Nuncio for his work in Ghana and congratulated him on his new appointment.
She was hopeful that he would excel in his new appointment after what she described as “an excellent work in Ghana”.
Sir Fosuaba Banahene, President of the Forum of Papal Knights and Dames, wished him God’s blessing in his new assignment adding that he was leaving at a time the Papal Knights and Dames were consolidating their relationship with him.
Several gifts were also presented to the Nuncio including a Gold Crucifix by Mrs. Afua Amoo Adare on behalf of the National Council of Catholic Women (NCCW).
In a recital, the Young Ladies Sodality of Mary groomed by Mrs. Elizabeth Bulley, wished the Nuncio Bon Voyage.
The Nuncio was born in Kamina on July 14, 1956 in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Archbishop Kalenga who holds a Doctorate Degree in Canon Law, was ordained a Priest on September 15, 1982 and ordained Archbishop on May 1, 2008.
He entered the Vatican Diplomatic Service in February 1990 and had served in the Holy See Embassies of Haiti, Guatemala, Zambia, Malawi, Brazil, Egypt, Zimbabwe and Japan.
During his five-year stay in Ghana, he travelled the length and breadth of the country on Pastoral visits, even to the remotest areas.
A reception was later held him at the Cathedral Parish Hall with the cutting of cake and proposal of toast by Most Rev. Charles Gabriel Palmer-Buckle, Metropolitan Archbishop of Accra.
Archbishop Palmer-Buckle praised him for his commitment to the growth of the Church in Ghana through Pastoral visits, Ordination of Priests, Deacons and Confirmation of several Catholics.
Responding to the toast, the Nuncio thanked Ghanaians for the love and affection shown him.
He said Ghana as his first duty post as Nuncio would forever remain in his heart and urged all to pray for him and the Pope.
Meanwhile Very Rev. Fr. Cosma Ambrosini, Secretary to the former Nuncio takes charge as the interim Charge de Affaires at the Nunciature.
Source: The Catholic Standard