St. Peter’s Regional Seminary, Pedu, Cape Coast, was on February 22, 2017, joined by the Most Rev. Peter Akwasi Sarpong, Metropolitan Archbishop Emeritus of Kumasi, to mark her house feast, the Chair of St. Peter after which she honoured the prelate by naming her main lecture block after him.
In an address prior to the start of the Mass, Very Rev Fr. Dr. Robert Charles Snyper, Rector of the Seminary, explained that the Feast of the Chair of Peter commemorates “the Papacy and Peter as the spokesperson of the college of apostles [and] helps us to reflect on Peter in respect of his primacy of love and that of jurisdiction.”
Fr. Snyper noted that the Seminary deemed her celebration of this year’s house feast as special because “it falls within the 60th anniversary ceremonies of the existence of this noble ecclesiastical institution” noting the Seminary’s dedication of the day to its founding fathers and members in appreciation for their commitment and selfless sacrifices and love for holy mother, the Church.
Fr. Snyper indicated the Seminary’s privilege in having Archbishop Sarpong, “the oldest of the alumni, to be specific the 1959 year group and the first indigenous Rector” after the expatriate Rectors, to preside over the Eucharistic Sacrifice.
In his homily, Archbishop Sarpong recalled the efforts of the “Bishops of the then Gold Coast: Bertrand of Navrongo-Bolgatanga Diocese, Champaigne of Tamale Diocese, Andre Van den Bronk of Kumasi Diocese, Anthony Könings of Keta-Ho Diocese, Bowers of Accra Diocese and William Porters of Cape Coast Diocese,” in establishing the Pedu Major Seminary in 1957 thereby transferring the Philosophy and Theology Departments from St Teresa’s Seminary, Amisano near Elmina to Pedu, Cape Coast.
The prelate said, the Church gets Priests because “Christ instituted the Priesthood as a necessary part of the Church…” He entreated the Seminarians to follow the example of Saint Peter in loving and tending selflessly the People of God to be entrusted to their care.
Archbishop Sarpong said the Seminarians are in a Seminary with St Peter as its Patron Saint “to savour the goodness of Christ” and urged them to be inspired by St. Peter’s experience with the Lord to love their neighbours by suffering with Christ; be obedient; and uphold hard work in ministry.
In a ceremony after the Mass of the house feast, Archbishop Sarpong who is an illustrious son of the Seminary unveiled a plaque which names the seminary’s lecture block after him and also shows his episcopal coat of arms.
It is recalled that Archbishop Sarpong was a student of the 1959 year group of the Seminary; a lecturer and her first indigenous Rector who upgraded her infrastructural outlook and as a Bishop, formed and sent her Priests as lecturers and formators; paid her canonical visits; responded positively to her invitations for Theology week where he made thought provoking presentations.
In a remark, Fr. Snyper hinted that the honour was to give “public recognition” to the prelate for “his contribution to the growth of church and academia” adding that his undaunting character and academic prowess are worth emulating.
Expressing his heartfelt gratitude to the Seminary, Archbishop Sarpong recommended himself to her prayer and imparted his blessings on her.
The occasion coincided with a visit to the seminary by members of St. Theresa’s Society, Cape Coast Deanery who donated assorted food items, provisions, and above all a ‘jumbo size’ deep freezer to the appreciation of the seminary.