Date: 08 Jun 2018
It is with great joy and thanksgiving that we join the West Africa Province of the Presentation Brothers in celebrating their 50th Anniversary of arrival and dedicated service to the Church and people of Ghana, and (10) years ago the Brothers moved to Nigeria in the quest of sharing that service with the people of Nigeria.
In September 1968, three Presentation Brothers, Br. Xavier McInerney, and Br. Stephen Purcell from Canada and Br. Tom O’Brien from the Irish Province, arrived in Ghana to begin a legacy of great education, work, development and the sharing the Charism of Edmund Rice and the Presentation Brothers with the local people and particularly with young people. These first Brothers formed the first community that ignited a flame that burns brightly today. It is that witness as a community that allowed the Charism of Blessed Edmund Rice to take root and blossom in these lands, ‘ambassadors of God’s love.’
“The community acts as an ambassador of God's love in the world, an instrument of salvation among those who are suffering, among the marginalized, among the lowly and the weak. It embodies the saving presence of God within human reality in need of salvation. That is why it is easy to identify it as a sign that points directly to its meaning. This is a group of brothers who strive to live in communion around Him who has gathered them, and they communicate that experience as the message of the One who sends them.”(Identity and Mission of the Religious Brother in the Church, 2015, 23).
The last 50 years have seen the hard work and diligence of the many Brothers, who went to Ghana as missionaries from Canada, America and Ireland, blossom into local vocations of young and enthusiastic native Ghanaians and Nigerians, who have worked and rallied together in bringing the Presentation Brothers Charism to fruition. Their presence has been a blessing for Ghana and the many young people who have been beneficiaries of quality service in Christian education and formation, which the Brothers continue to selflessly offer to the people of Ghana and Nigeria. The mission and vision of the Presentation Brothers in Ghana have helped many young people recognised and developed their gifts and talents, many of whom have excelled in the various professions and continue to serve their country, the African continent and beyond at the highest levels.
Our Congregation is in transition, a reality that is shaped by the young, active and growing West Africa Province of Brothers. Over 50 years, the seed planted and nurtured by the first community has grown from a community to a region to a province producing its own team of local leaders and the first non-Irish and first Ghanaian Congregation Leader. The election of Br Francis Xavier Agoah, at Chapter 2017, is evident of the confidence, trust and responsibility entrusted to the Brothers of this part of the Congregation to shape its future and keep the spark of the Charism ablaze.
We thank God for collaborating with all the Brothers, Teachers, Co-workers, Students, past and present, Parents, associates and the wider Presentation Family, in this great work of Christian Formation, especially with young people and those on the margins. We acknowledge the invaluable contribution of all the Brothers who have served in Ghana during the past 50 years, in shaping this success story. We pay tribute to the dedicated and stunning contribution of Br. Joe Gilleece to the formation and development of the Brothers and their mission in Ghana.
The Congregation Leadership Team joyfully and gratefully offer sincerest congratulations to all the Brothers of the West Africa Province, as you celebrate the Golden Jubilee of the Presentation Brother in Ghana – 50 years of loving generosity and dedication.
May the compassionate Christ continue to surround you and all those with whom you collaborate, with his abundant blessings and graces as you continue the project of God’s work.
Mary, Our Mother, who we honour in a special way, as our Patroness and model, be your guide and inspiration as the story of the Presentation Brothers continues to bear fruit and success.
Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam.
Brs. Francis, Patrick, Barry, Kevin and Joseph
Congregation Leadership Team