The first missionaries arrived in Ghana around 110 years ago. At the time it looked as though their mission had little prospect of success. Most of them died within a few weeks, from tropical diseases and malnutrition. Moreover, the local population was somewhat hostile to the Christian faith. But then something happened that looked very much like a miracle: At the time there was a severe drought in Ghana, and people and animals were dying of starvation, while crops dried up and withered. The witch doctors tried everything to conjure up the rain, but not a drop fell from the heavens. In their despair, the people turned to the local missionary, who knelt and prayed. Within half an hour, the rain was drumming down upon the earth. At this, many people were converted and asked for baptism.
There are still a number of foreign missionaries living and working in Ghana today. One of them, Franciscan Father Martino Corazzin has been working there ever since 1991 and by now he has built many churches and schools and sponsored numerous social and pastoral projects over the years.
Since 2014 he has been parish priest in the parish of Saint Francis, in Elmina, in the south of the country, in Cape Coast diocese. His parish includes eight village sub-parishes, one of which is Saint Anne‘s in Nkontrodo. There are around 200 Catholics faithful here who regularly attend Holy Mass and play an active part in the life of the Church. But sadly, they have no church of their own and have to celebrate Holy Mass and their other community activities in the local school hall and refectory. But this is not really a fitting place for the celebration of Holy Mass, and besides, the parishioners have to check beforehand every time with the school to make sure it is free – and again and again there are clashes of timetabling.
Besides this, there are no fewer than eight separate sects and Pentecostalist communities in the town, each of which has its own permanent church or temple, and there is a real danger that some of the Catholic faithful will drift away to the sects out of sheer frustration at their own situation. As Father Martino reminds us, „Prevention is better than cure. We must do something now to save our community before it is too late! “And he is urgently appealing for our help. The people themselves are too poor to contribute more than a little to the cost of the work. For the most part they live from hand to mouth, growing a few vegetables and keeping a few chickens, mainly for their own needs and to sell at market. There is little money available, and many of the young people are unemployed. So without our help, the idea of a new church will remain no more than a dream.
Almost every day, people ask Father Martino, „So what about our chapel? “He responds by telling them, „Pray night and day with faith and with trust, and the Lord will hear your prayers and touch the hearts of those who can help us!“
We cannot disappoint the faith of the Catholic faithful in Nkontrodo, and so we are proposing to help with a grant of 30,000 Euros.