Dr. Diedong made the remark when he launched a book in honor of Archbishop Emeritus, Gregory E. Kpiebaya in Wa in the Upper West Region.
GBC’s Emmanuel Mensah-Abludo reports that the priestly journey and leadership style of Most Rev. Kpiebaya are in tune with the principle of a servant-leader.
The 436-page-book written by Rev. Fr. Dr. Eugene Suom-Dery is titled, “From ‘Pagan’ Boy to Church Prelate – Archbishop Kpiebaya in Northern Ghana Church History.”
Some of the themes in the ten-chapter book include “Leadership Qualities of Archbishop Emeritus Kpiebaya”, “Peace Efforts in Dagbon in Northern Region”, “Inter-Religious Diologue”, and “Smaller Parishes and Small Christian Communities.”
Dr. Diedong commended the priestly leadership style of Archbishop Kpiebaya, saying the book is a physical testimony of his influence.
He indicated that the book is an eloquent testament of how Archbishop Kpiebaya has touched and indeed continues to influence the lives of countless people to experience the joy and peace of living a committed Christian life.
As a servant leader, Archbishop Emeritus Kpiebaya has a clear vision and love to serve others, Dr. Diedong opined.
He stated that the Archbishop exudes affability and humility, shows commitment to excellence and believes in the worth and value of others.
Indeed, there cannot be any other formula for a successful and fulfilling life than this.
Dr. Diedong said there was the need in Ghana today to pay particular attention to what he termed “the pastoral needs” of people in society, particularly the vulnerable.
Giving further commentary, he points out that book offers clear and practical pathways through which Archbishop Emeritus Kpiebaya has made some notable steps towards revamping pastoral structures and boosting of evangelization.
Dr. Diedong equally praised the author, Rev. Fr. Dr. Suom-Dery for his monumental achievement in writing a “landmark book” because it had filled a void in Christian literature on books of that nature and provided depth of analysis of a unique prelate in Northern Ghana church history.
A former MP for Nandom, Dr. Benjamin Kumbuor who was the guest of honor talked about how the historical and biography of the Archbishop Emeritus Kpiebaya had been captured within relational framework by the author.
In the words of Dr. Kumbuor, “The Archbishop Emeritus before his calling came from a background that was pure, rich in values and resistant to storms of the wider world as we encounter it today and as we have encountered over the years.”
The former MP for Nandom told the gathering that “we should move away from how this history and the background of the Archbishop Emeritus portray our current decadent society where children have become the parents and the parents have become the children”.
He regretted that some parents are too quick to even relinquish their parenthood to children, saying any house in which we have a child-landlord there is something catastrophic or terrible about that house.
Dr. Kumbuor noted that Archbishop Emeritus Kpiebaya at his advanced age and situation, definitely might have encountered a mixed bag of feelings in his life’s journey be it joy and sadness and said “let us increase his joy by taking the baton he has left for us and to run with it even faster than he did.”
Most Rev. Kpiebaya shared an encounter he had with the author, Rev Fr. Dr. Eugene Suom-Dery before giving him the green-light to write the book.
“One day in 2011, Fr. Eugene came to my house and after we had some pleasantries together as we always do whenever he comes to my house, then he told me that, he was coming to tell me that he was he going to write a book about me. I said a book about me? He said yes, I have already written one on Cardinal Dery to commemorate his 50th anniversary of priesthood and that book was well received. And that he even got some comments from some readers and said one of the readers told him, that he should write a book about Archbishop Kpiebaya too. He said I have also done something, so he should write something about me. So he was struck by these comments and that encouraged him to write the book. Now, he wanted to find out from me what information I could give him. I said well, I fall short of Cardinal Dery, how can you treat us the same way? He said both of you have kind of lived a similar life.
First of all, you both come from a deep heathen background, secondly both of you were “Zugblo” when you entered the Church and now both of you are prelates of the Church. And you have walked the same path, first as Bishop of Wa, then secondly as Archbishop of Tamale, so your life is similar. With these strong arguments, I said ok, you go ahead, but you will have very little to write about me. Then he told me he was going to put it in wider context, that is to say the history of the development of the Catholic Church in Northern Ghana."
This is exactly what he has done in this book.
The first copy of the book was auctioned for one thousand, 500 Ghana Cedis.
A lecturer at the Wa Campus of the University for Development Studies (UDS), Dr. Damasus Tuurosong, a member of the organising committee and a co-auctioneer at the event announced that two thousand 600 Ghana Cedis was realized from the sale of some copies the book whilst pledges amounted to six thousand 350 Ghana Cedis.
Prof. Daniel Bagah of UDS who chaired the function, described the session as full of academic and socio-religious treat.
Report by GBC's Emmanuel Mensah-Abludo
Ghana “is in great need of selfless and transformational leaders” UDS Lecturer
16 May 2018
Dr. Africanus Diedong, launching the book