Cape Coast May 15 GNA- The Central Regional Minister, Mr Isaac Edumadze on Saturday appealed to Catholic priests and churches to rededicate their efforts and support the government in fighting the upsurge of lawlessness and indiscipline in the society. He said the nation had enjoyed a peaceful co-existence of various religious faiths and called for this to be maintained to help preserve the prevailing peaceful atmosphere in the country.
Mr Edumadze made the appeal at the launch of the 50th anniversary of St Peter's Regional Catholic Seminary, at Cape Coast. The anniversary celebration, which would take place in 2007, is under the theme, "Fifty years of priestly formation at St Peter's regional seminary: past, present and the future."
The launch was attended by Archbishops, Bishops, Monsignors, priests and other members of the Church from its 18 dioceses in the country.
St Peter's regional seminary, which was established in 1957, has so far, trained more than 1,000 priests, including His Eminence Cardinal Peter Appiah Turkson, Archbishop of Cape Coast, who are serving in 13 dioceses of the dioceses.
It currently has 207 seminarians on roll, and is affiliated to the University of Ghana, and offers a Bachelor of Arts Degree and Diploma in Religions and Sociology, and a Post Graduate Diploma, Education, in affiliation with the University of Cape Coast.
Mr Edumadze, told the priests that as men of God, they should lead exemplary lives and that it behoves on them to serve as role models to the society, on order to "lead many to Christ".
The Regional Minister underscored and commended the positive contribution the Church was making towards the nation's development, and urged it to help intensify education of the cogregation on the benefits of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS).
He reminded them of the HIV/AIDS pandemic and said as priests poised both physically and spiritually, they should help combat the menace.
His Eminence, Cardinal Appiah Turkson told the seminarians to emulate the good works of the early Apostles of Jesus Christ who sought knowledge and wisdom to serve the poor and the needy.
He said the society holds Catholic priests in high esteem and they should therefore do everything possible to maintain the confidence the faithful have reposed in them.
The Rector of the Seminary, the Rev. Fr. Matthew Edusei, in his welcoming address said the seminary would continue to train good priests and is in this regard, reviewing every aspect of life in the seminary in "order to deepen the good things they see in their work and life." He appealed for the assistance towards the refurbishment, and restocking of the seminary library to an acceptable standard, and said the modernization of the library, has been chosen as "as a golden jubilee project."
Osabarima Kwesi Atta II, Omanhene of Oguaa Traditional Area, in a message, also underscored the important role priests play in the spiritual, social and economic lives of people in the society. He noted that although they were human and also face problems, they should endeavour to "brighten the little corner" in which they live and help in winning more souls for Christ.
Rev. Francis Valentine Odoom, President of the Students' Representative Council, noted that the seminary has played an important role in the training of priests, and called on its Board of Governors, the government and civil society to help train more priests to meet the challenges of society.