Ho — A Lecturer at the University of Ghana, Dr. Fritz Gockel has called on the Catholic Church to develop a national policy on priests' retirement, because in organizational behaviour the presence and quantum of insurance has a direct effect on workers' productivity.
Addressing the 24th biennial conference of the National Union of Ghana Diocesan Priests Association (NUGDPA) at Ho at the weekend, Dr Gockel urged the Catholic Church to take steps to positively put in place measures that would ensure that after the priests had served diligently and faithfully, they do not become dejected, relegated and quarantined to some obscured corners without proper cure.
Dr. Gockel pointed out that if the priests, currently in active service, "know their future is secured, they would work more effectively", noting that there were still unconquered territories, as many people were waiting to hear the good news, saying priests had a lot to do, particularly the Catholic Priest whose membership continue to dwindle.
Dr. Gockel stressed the need for the church to put in place a strategic expansion policy to enhance the spread of the gospel to areas where it had never been heard before, noting that newly established churches are making more efforts in the areas of evangelism, which made it possible for those churches to increase their membership and that the Catholic Church being the premier church should be able to perform better.
The NUGDPA, whose theme was "The Catholic Priesthood: Prospects and Challenges", aimed at reviewing the activities of the association in 2012 and plan for the years ahead to ensure that the work of priests in the country was more effective.
Attended by over 800 priests from all Catholic diocese in the country, the five-day event offered the priests the opportunity to take some rest from their regular activities and socialize and share ideas among themselves.
The President of the Ghana Catholic Bishops' Conference and the Bishop of Konongo-Mampong, the Most Rev. Joseph Osei-Bonsu commended NUGDPA for their continuous efforts to live up to expectation and discharge their duties diligently over the years, which the Bishops' Conference cherished.
Most Rev. Osie-Bonsu contended that the quality of priests that the Catholic Church would be having in the future depended largely on the formation offered the candidates, noting that in the formation exercise, the criteria would be that of a call by God to that particular way of life.
He continued that it is God who calls and human beings respond, because people cannot become priests simply because they want to become priests, but priesthood could become possible through discernment of the vocation and that formators needed to be guided by the motives of the candidates for entering the seminary.
Another Lecturer, Prof. Cletus Dordunoo, urged the priests to distinguish themselves in society in the discharge of their duties and stressed the need for them to work with passion, understanding of the society where they work, create opportunities as well as to ensure that they get total satisfaction from the work that they do.
The Volta Regional Police Commander, Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCOP), Mr. Alex Bedie, noted that priests are respectful people in society, hence it is important for them to be law abiding in the society, especially to traffic rules and regulations to ensure that they would not find themselves wanting before the law.
The National President of NUGDPA, the Very Rev. Francis Appiah-Kubi, commended the priests for their hard work and dedication to duty, noting that it was important for priests to rediscover and identify the challenges confronting their work and stressed that the priests were going through difficulties and tension in view of materialistic desires but with commitment and determination they would stand tall.