Most Rev. John Asiedu is new Vicar of Donkorkrom
There was excitement at Donkorkrom, the capital of the Kwahu Afram Plains North District in the Eastern Region, last Saturday when the Most Reverend John Alphonse Asiedu was ordained a Catholic Bishop and also installed as the Apostolic Vicar of the Donkorkrom Vicariate of the church.
Most Rev. Asiedu, who until his new position was the Apostolic Vicariate Monsignor of the Societas Verbi Divini (SVD), took over from the Most Rev. Gabriel Edoe Kumordji, who is now the Bishop of Keta-Akatsi.
The ceremony was particularly special for the people of Donkorkrom and its environs because Most Rev. Asiedu is a native of the area.
He hails from Adeambra, about five kilometres from Donkorkrom.
The cheers that characterised the ceremony, which was held at the Francis Xavier Cathedral at Donkorkrom, became deafening when the Consecrator and the President of the Ghana Catholic Bishops Conference, Most Rev. Philip Naameh, started presenting the symbols of office to the new Apostolic Vicar — a ring, a mitre, as well as the pastoral staff.
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The apparently appreciative Bishop Asiedu waved back to the crowd after his ordination and installation.
Most Rev. Asiedu then took his seat and all the bishops present took turns to congratulate him, followed by the priests who came to pay homage to him.
Traditional leaders, special guests and some selected parishioners also took their turns to congratulate him.
Political party representatives, representatives of other Christian faiths, security personnel and other members of society also attended the ceremony.
It took Most Rev. Naameh, who was assisted by the outgoing Nuncio to Ghana, Most Rev. Jean-Marie Speich and Most Rev. Kumordji as co-consecrators about two hours to complete the ordination and installation rites.
About 20 bishops and more than 200 priests and the religious (Brothers and Sisters), were on hand to support the ceremony.
It was an all-inclusive programme, as the performances of the choir and the Dagara Bawa cultural group drew cheers from the congregants and electrified the atmosphere.
And when it was almost over, the Metropolitan Archbishop of Cape Coast, Most Rev. Charles Palmer-Buckle, steered the crowd to ecstasy with the song: "Ma woa ni nye se Wo ye Roman ni." (Be happy that you are a Roman Catholic).
In a homily, the Bishop of the Ho Diocese, Most Rev. Emmanuel Kofi Fianu, advised the new bishop to be guided by his own motto of fidelity, love and service in carrying out his duties.
He expressed optimism that Most Rev. Asiedu's decision to heed to God's call to shepherd His flock would bring to bear his simplicity, humility and hardworking life, to address the physical and spiritual needs of the people.
In a speech, Most Rev. Asiedu thanked God for the gift of life and the Pope for identifying him as a worthy servant to shepherd the flock in the Afram Plains.
He thanked the Ghana Catholic Bishops Conference for the support it had given him ever since his name came up as the bishop-elect and pledged to learn from the senior members.
He also thanked the priests and religious in the Vicariate and asked them to support him in shepherding the flock the Lord had entrusted to them.
Most Rev. John Alphonse Asiedu was born on May 12, 1962
The Donkorkrom Apostolic Vicariate was originally part of the Accra Archdiocese. With the division of the Archdiocese in 1992, it came under the Diocese of Koforidua.