15 November, 2017
By Esther James, SHCJ
It was a beautiful sunny Friday morning, the 13th of October, 2017, commemorating the 171st anniversary of the foundation of the Society of the Holy Child Jesus. Coincidentally, it was also the 100th anniversary of the apparition of the Blessed Virgin Mary to the three shepherd children of Fatima, Portugal.
The Society of the Holy Child Jesus marked the official opening of Cornelia Connelly School of the Holy Child Jesus at Nkasaim in Goaso, Brong-Ahafo Region of Ghana. The ceremony was marked with the celebration of the Mass, blessing of the new school block, the plaque and the commissioning of a mechanised water borehole.
The Mass, which was presided over by the Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Goaso, Most Rev. Peter Kweku Atuahene, and other concelebrating priests started at 9:00am in the school’s multipurpose hall. The interdenominational choir of Goaso Diocese sang beautifully to the glory of God at the liturgical celebration.
The bishop blessed the school block immediately after the Mass and the reception ceremony followed with an opening prayer by Fr. Alex Nkansah, the Parish Priest of Blessed Sacrament Parish Nkasaim. The Nananom, an elder of the Nkasaim community, also said a traditional prayer and poured libation in thanksgiving for the gift of the new school. The Chairman of the occasion, Obrempon Agyei Danso Ababio, welcomed all present and thanked the Society of the Holy Child Jesus for bringing quality education to their door steps.
The occasion was also graced by the presence of the African Province Leader of the SHCJ, Sr. Philomena Aidoo, the Province Leadership Team member of the area (Ghana), Sr. Martha Attakruh, Sisters of the Society of the Holy Child Jesus from Ghana and Nigeria, chiefs, sub chiefs, queen mothers of the traditional areas around Nkasaim, priests and religious of the Diocese of Goaso, the Member of Parliament, Honourable Alhaji Collins Dauda, the District chief executive of Asunafo North, the District Education Officer, the Social Welfare in charge of Nursery/kindergarten Schools, the consultant and contractor for the school building, pupils from our Lady of Apostles School Hwidiem and a host of other local community members.
Sister Gertrude Denkabe, SHCJ, the Headmistress of the school, introduced the African Province Leader of the SHCJ, who in her address expressed her gratitude to the bishop and the chiefs of the traditional areas for their positive collaboration and support. She specially introduced and thanked the Consultant, Mr. James Frimpong, and the contractor for the beautiful work done. She, on behalf of the African Province, expressed gratitude to Sisters of the Society of the Holy Child Jesus for their love, support and encouragement.
There were speeches from dignitaries and fund raising to support the school. In his address, Most Rev. Peter Kweku Atuahene thanked the Sisters of the SHCJ for accepting to come to his Diocese and for the quality education they are bringing into the Diocese. The District Director of Education and the Member of Parliament for the area, each pledged their support to the growth and development of the school.
There were colourful displays by the Nursery/ kindergarten children of the CCSHCJ, Nkasaim including poem recitations and choreography. They also quoted some Cornelian Sayings and some verses from the Bible.
Sister Alberta Bonle, SHCJ, the Assistant Headmistress of Holy Child Senior High School, Cape Coast, expressed gratitude to all present on behalf of the Society of the Holy Child Jesus. The bishop, Most Rev. Peter Atuahene, gave the closing benediction after the closing prayer by Fr. Christopher Kwakye.
Bishop Atuahene then unveiled the plaque and commissioned the mechanised water borehole which was funded by Grove for Ghana, St. Hugh Catholic Church Miami, USA, and donated to the school by the Diocese of Goaso.