The Africa North-West (ANW) Province of the Society of Jesus has officially launched the 50th anniversary of Jesuit presence in Ghana.

The event took place on January 7, at the St. Ignatius Parish in Accra with an impressive gathering of Jesuits including the Provincial, Very Rev. Fr. John Ghansah, SJ.

Director of the Arrupe Jesuit Institute, Fr. Kpanie Addy, SJ, in a homily, reflected on the significance of the day and the enduring mission of the Jesuits in Ghana.

Fr. Addy emphasized the providential nature of the anniversary launch, taking place on the Epiphany of the Lord, symbolizing God’s revelation to the nations.

Despite acknowledging human weaknesses and sins, Father Addy expressed gratitude for the favorable gaze of God upon the Jesuits, calling them to serve under the banner of the cross.

The homily delved into the historical roots of the Jesuit presence in Ghana, tracing back to September 29, 1974. On that significant Sunday, Fr. Patrick Joseph Ryan, SJ, arrived in Ghana, having been missioned from the east, specifically from Nigeria, the headquarters of the current Jesuit province of North-west Africa.

Father Ryan, described as a “wise man,” played a pioneering role as the first Jesuit formally sent on a long-term mission to Ghana in 1974.

The Jesuits of the North-west Africa Province commemorated this ab initio moment, marking the initiation of the Jesuit mission in Ghana.

Father Addy led the audience in expressing gratitude to God for the life and mission of Father Ryan and other Jesuits who preceded him, such as German Jesuit Johannes Hofinger, and those who visited sporadically between 1968 and 1974.