UP Catholic 10 28 2016 E Edition Page 2

2 October 28, 2016 THE U.P. CATHOLIC PRIESTHOOD SUNDAY - OCT. 30, 2016 www.upcatholic.org Ghanaian missionary follows in the footsteps of Bishop Baraga, and his brother as well JOHN FEE THE U.P. CATHOLIC Father Joseph Boakye Yiadom stands in front of St. Kateri Tekakwitha Mission church in Bay Mills. Father Boakye Yiadom, a missionary priest from Ghana has been parochial administer of the mission as well as St. Francis Xavier Parish in Brimley since 2014. Diocesan Collection Dates: November 19 -20, 2016 Please give generously. BY JOHN FEE THE U.P. CATHOLIC Would you like to sacrifice to go? Fa- ther Joseph Boakye Yiadom remembers his bishops call in 1989 for his priests to become missionaries. Are you afraid to die? Death comes wherever you are you dont have to be scared. Ordained on the Feast of our Lady of Mt. Carmel, July 16, 1987 Father Boakye Yiadom (last name pronounced Bwah-chee Yah-dom) answered that call to leave the Diocese of Konongo-Mampong in Ghana for the Archdi- ocese of Monrovia. The Liberian archdiocese had only five native priests and needed more. Missionaries were scarce as a brutal civil war had broken out that would last six years. It was horrible, but God protected us, Fa- ther Boakye Yiadom said of his time there. He was placed with a white missionary pastor from the U.S. and soon after arriving at his assignment rebels came into the area killing everyone. Father Boakye Yiadom said people were running to the rectory to hide but the priests didn't know what to do. Then a pregnant woman arrived who had been shot in the womb. People urged the priests to take the woman to the hospital in their car. Do we sacrifice to take this woman to the hospital? You can hear gunshots here and there. People were screaming, Father Boakye Yiadom said. Even though the streets were filled with rebels, the priests decided they couldnt just let her die. We knew we wouldn't come back, said Father Boakye Yiadom. That was a challenge for us. The pastor was afraid. I was afraid. The two priests managed to safely drive to the hospital, but the woman did not survive. They stayed at the hospital for three days without food or water until the government said the area was clear of rebels. When we went back home, there were dead bodies in the rectory, Father Boakye Yiadom said. God sent this woman to save us. That's how I see it. The first time Father Boakye Yiadom re- members attending Mass, he was 6 or 7 years old. The priest visiting his village in Ghana was also the first white man he remembers seeing. So impressed by this encounter, the young Boakye Yiadom started practicing what he saw the priest do at Mass. The priest had a parish of 50 or 60 villag- es and would walk from village to village to celebrate Mass and bring the sacraments. Since it could be several years before Mass was celebrated in the village again, all the parishioners would follow the priest for his next several stops. In the times between visits by a priest, there was a daily service without the Holy Eucha- rist. Father Boakye Yiadom's father would lead the service, sometimes allowing his son to lead it as well. Daily family prayer, includ- ing the rosary, was the norm for Catholics in the African village. SEE PRIESTHOOD SUNDAY, PAGE 3

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