The SVD Ghana Provincial Chapter in October 2009 made a recommendation on ‘Friends of the SVD’: “We should strive to promote the ‘Friends of the SVD’ in all our SVD administered Parishes, Institutions and Communities.”
‘SVD Friends’ is Lay people in all categories: parishioners, collaborators, workers and friends formed into groups who have accepted with joy to live the SVD Spirituality and to collaborate in their missionary works in parishes and institutions in Ghana especially where the SVD work.
This lay association which had record of membership in some Parishes including St. Margaret Mary Parish, Dansoman was revived and re‐inaugurated on August 7th 2009 at this Parish and it is active under the chaplaincy of Fr. Andrews Obeng, SVD.
The objectives of the Friends of the SVD are three fold;
1. To pray for SVD missionaries
2. To visit SVD missionaries in their mission territories (in Ghana for the time being).
3. To voluntarily support the missionary work of the SVD in cash and in kind.
The friends of the SVD, St. Margaret Mary, Dansoman branch meets every
last Sunday of the month at 5pm. The schedule for the meeting is as follows:
· Opening prayer
- Praying a decade of the rosary for SVD missionaries
· A short reflection on an aspect of SVD spirituality
- Reading and correction of minutes
· Matters arising from minutes
· Update on upcoming events
· Closing prayer (SVD prayer)
Currently, the numerical strength of ‘Friends of the SVD at St. Margaret Mary Parish, Dansoman’, stands at about thirty‐seven (37).
Some of the activities realised by the group which they share with us are:
- We participated in SVD ordinations in 2009 and 2010 and also supported donations to the newly ordained priests as well as presented offertory gifts at the Mass. We printed an SVD flag and T‐shirts for the members of the association to identify the group. These T‐Shirts were worn during the ordinations and other special occasions, like on the occasion of final vows and Mission Sunday.
- We visited one of the SVD communities in Accra at Christmas 2009 to spend time with the members of the community.
- We played host to the Novices when they visited St. Margaret Mary Parish on Mission Sunday in 2009.
- The association in April 2010 on its way to attend the consecration of the then Fr. Gabriel Kumordji, SVD as Bishop of Donkorkrom Vicariate, made a detour to visit the Novitiate again to present food items to the future SVD clerics and brothers.
Besides these activities, there have been spiritual programmes which normally take place during the monthly meetings. The spiritual activities include learning about the spirituality of the Founder of the SVD, St Arnold Jansen, St Joseph Fernademtz the first SVD missionary as well as learning about the general principles of SVD spirituality. There had been visits by Ghanaian missionaries who came home on holidays to share with the association their experiences as Ghanaian missionaries abroad.
As part of our objective to visit Mission territories in Ghana, we visited Our Lady of Good Counsel Parish, Kwahu – Tafo. This visit to the eco‐friendly Shrine of Our Lady did not only nourish our spirituality but also provided us with geographic and tourist information. For some members, it was an amazing experience to have travelled through the Kwahu scalps for the first time.
It was an opportunity to visit other towns on the Kwahu ridge. Among them was a tour to a popular city on the ridge, Obo (small London as it is affectionately called). Interesting enough, was the impacting experience of one of the members who for the first time set eyes on the city of her parents. It was an enriching experience for many of us to be informed at first hand the missionary works of the SVD in that area of Ghana.
Friends of the SVD, is a forum for the lay faithful to build active partnerships with our priests in the evangelization ministry. We are hoping to participate in more activities outside our parish to learn more about other parishes where missionaries are located in order to broaden our knowledge about missionary work and to give our support where it is required. We also hope to build our capacity in the WORD as well as in SVD spirituality in to order to be useful partners in the missionary work. We hope fervently that by our active participation the lay association will spread to other Parishes in SVD mission territories in Ghana.
Contact us if you want to be part of us or you want to start a group in your Parish or Insitution.