Mortal Remains of Ghana’s Cardinal Kuuia Baawobr Arrive in Ghana


Mortal Remains of Ghana’s Cardinal Kuuia Baawobr Arrive in Ghana

The mortal remains of His Eminence Richard Cardinal Kuuia Baawobr, M.Afr., Bishop of Wa from Rome touched down at the Kotoka International Airport (KIA) at 8.16 pm on Wednesday, December 21, 2022.

Until his untimely death, the late Cardinal was also the newly elected President of the Symposium Episcopal Conferences of Africa and Madagascar (SECAM) and the Episcopal Chairman for Priests and Religious of the GCBC.

On May 29, 2022, Pope Francis unveiled the list of new Cardinals including Cardinal Baawbr. Two months after he was elected Cardinal, the Symposium of Episcopal Conferences of Africa and Madagascar (SECAM) elected him as the first Ghanaian to lead the Church in Africa since the institution of SECAM in 1969.

Late Richard Cardinal Baawobr

The late Cardinal left the shores of Ghana for his investiture in the Vatican scheduled to take place in Rome on August 27, 2022. He could not take part in the event due to ill-health.

He was hospitalised for a while, and the whole Church prayed fervently for his recovery and safe return to Ghana in good health. This could not happen as God had ordained otherwise.

At the airport to receive the remains were members of the Ghana Catholic Bishops’ Conference (GCBC) led by their President, the Most Rev. Matthew Kwasi Gyamfi, Bishop of Sunyani.

In a brief homily as part of the Rites of Reception at the VIP grounds of the Kotoka International Airport, Bishop Gyamfi reflected on the humility of the late Cardinal and his passionate desire for God’s work and helping people.

He lamented how sad it was to see the Cardinal die at the prime of his vocation.

Bishop narrated how he was going through the documents for the safe arrival of the late Cardinal and came across the Way Bill of the Cardinal which described his remains as “cargo”.

He said it was an indication that the Cardinal went as a human being but came back to Ghana and being referred to as a cargo, a situation he sobbed about.

At the end of a brief prayer session for the repose of his soul, the remains were conveyed to the 37 Military Hospital Morgue, and as of the time of filing this story had been flown to Wa, awaiting the final funeral interment from January 11 to 12, 2023.

Present at the airport were the Apostolic Nuncio to Ghana, His Excellency, Henryk M. Jagodzinski; the Vice President of the GCBC and Bishop of Ho, the Most Rev. Emmanuel K. Fianu, SVD; the immediate Past President of the Conference, the Most Rev. Philip Naameh, the Archbishop of Tamale.

Others were the Most Rev. John Bonaventure Kwofie, CSSp of the Archdiocese of Accra, the Most Rev. Gabriel Charles Palmer-Buckle, Archdiocese of Cape Coast, the Most Rev. Gabriel Edoe Kumordji, SVD, Bishop of Keta-Akatsi, Most Rev John Asiedu, SVD, Vicariate of Donkorkrom, current Episcopal Vicar for Priests and Religious), Most Rev Peter Paul Ankgyier of Damongo, and the Most Rev. Alfred Agyenta of Navrongo-Bolgatanga.

Government officials present included Ghana’s Ambassador to the Vatican, Her Excellency Angelina Baiden-Amissah; some officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and Office of the President of the Republic of Ghana, and other members of the Diplomatic Corps.

Religious during intercessory prayers at the Kotoka airport. 

Present also were the Secretary General of GCBC, Very Rev. Fr. Lazarus Anondee, and his Assistant, Fr. Charles Boampong Sarfo; Sr. Theodora Adzayawo, SMMC, Executive Secretary of the Conference of Major Superiors of Religious, Ghana who represented Very Rev. Fr. Dr. Paul Saa-Dade Ennin, SMA, President of the Conference.

Some Priests from the Missionaries of Africa (White Fathers), the Congregation of the late Cardinal, Priests from Wa and Religious Brothers and Sisters and family members were also present.

In attendance also were the Knights of St. John International and Ladies’ Auxiliary and Knights and Ladies of Marshall, and some Friends from the Media