Jesuit Missions 11 Edge Hill ,
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Archbishop attends Faith in the Public Sphere event supported by Jesuit Missions

  • 8 January 2021

Photo from Arrupe Jesuit Institute website (Archbishop Sarpong is 3rd from left)

“Any lay person can do whatever he does in a way that people know they are a follower of Christ”

The inaugural event of the Faith in the Public Sphere series, organised by the Arrupe Jesuit Institute in Ghana and supported by Jesuit Missions took place in December. This initiative aims to provide a platform for the practical inclusion of Catholic Social teaching and Ignatian values in the business lives of professionals in Ghana.

Archbishop Emeritus Peter Sarpong, ordained in 1959, and known affectionately by Ghanaians as ‘Nana, attended the event. He spoke on the spirit of Jesuit tradition and how Ignatian spirituality has contributed to Catholic Social Teaching.

Other panellists included Dr Gilbert Buckle, a public health official who served on the Pontifical Council for Health in Rome and Mrs Mansa Nettey, the Chief Executive of Standard Charter Bank in Ghana.

Dr Buckle spoke passionately about what it means to be a professional guided by the Catholic faith. He acknowledges that our talents are our gifts, which were freely given to us. Thus, we are obliged to give them freely back by using them in service to others.

His talk was followed by a riveting discussion regarding whether profession can be separated from faith. Dr Buckle argued that we are only one person, and it is through our professions, which are part of our lives, that people can see God. He then went on and challenged the audience, saying, “sometimes it is the only way they encounter God.”

The first talk was ‘Towards a Theology of Christian Professionals: Providing Some Indicators’. This encouraged people to recognise the importance of incorporating faith into the workplace. Ghana has a 70% Christian population and 10% Catholic population (Ghana International Religious Freedom Report, 2018). Mansa Netti agreed that lay professionals should hold in high esteem the values of honesty, justice, sincerity and moral courage at work, regardless of profession.

The second talk is scheduled for June, if you would like to take attended virtually, please email lucy@jesuitmissions.org.uk