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21.01.2005 Regional News

Call for more chaplains in the security services

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Koforidua, Jan. 21, GNA - The Chaplain of the Ghana Police Depot, Deputy Superintendent of Police, George Arthur, has stressed the need for the appointment of more chaplains into the security services to offer pastoral care for the personnel and their families to enable them to bear with their emotional and psychological needs.

He has also urged the Ministry of Health to include the study of Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) in the training curriculum for its personnel to enhance their human relations in their health care delivery.

DSP Arthur, who is also a Catholic Priest, was speaking at the 12th graduation ceremony for six seminarians and a Catholic priest, who completed a 12-week training at the CPE Centre at Koforidua on Friday. It formed the first Unit of four chaplaincy training modules which included field visits to patients at the Koforidua Central Hospital and people living with HIV/AIDS in their homes.

DSP Arthur also called on the Ministry of Education and Sports to incorporate the CPE and chaplaincy services for its teachers to cater for the spiritual, emotional and psychological balance of the youth. He urged chaplains of the various hospitals and educational institutions to unite to seek a National Accreditation Board for chaplains, to strengthen and expand effective pastoral care services to all sections of the society.

DSP Arthur reminded the graduands that with the training, they had acquired the knowledge and skills to face the future challenges as ministers of God not only for their personal good, but to those who would approach them with their problems.

The Director of the CPE, Rev. Fr Alex Bobby-Benson, said the country needed healing and people like them who had learned to be sensitive to what the people were going through were needed to help "bridge existing gaps and unite the country".

"You are a mediator of divine healing love and sign of God's compassionate presence to people at critical moments in their lives," he said, adding that they were going to be challenged to lead others to "change their ways and expand their hearts to embrace God who wants to be with them in their moments of suffering."

He appealed for permanent structures for the Centre to enable it to meet the high demands from churches and public institutions since it was the only offering CPE in the country.

The Catholic Bishop of Koforidua, Most Rev. Charles Palmer-Buckle, who distributed certificates to the graduands, urged them to put into practice what they learnt in order to offer the required pastoral care to those who need support in their period of pain infirmity and death.

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