Friday, December 8, 2023

Closing Chapter: Love Has No Boundaries

When I began my journey to be a missionary I said it was the beginning of a new chapter in my life. Now it is time to end that chapter and begin a new one.

My three-year commitment to serve the Catholic Diocese of Damongo turned into five years of Love. Love of the village and the villagers. Love knowing that I was not just a “missionary” but someone’s granny, mama, auntie, sister, mentor. Love of the National Forest and the safaris I took; all ten of them. Love of St. Anne’s Girls Catholic Senior High School and all the girls who’s lives I touched. Sharing with them the importance of education; reading, writing, working and living together in harmony. Most importantly, sharing with them the Love I have for Christ, Mary his Mother, the Eucharist, the Rosary. 

As I bid farewell to the place that became my second home, and the anticipation of the next chapter to be written, I leave behind not just memories but the enduring belief that LOVE has no boundaries.

My adopted family: Annette, mother Paulina, Anne, Nathan and father, Francis Awose

My Grandchildren. Nathan, Anne, and Annette

Gogu family: Evans, Vivian, and sons Malvin and Mathias. They and the Awose family are truly my Ghanaian sons, daughters and grandchildren.

Reading with the girls

My Ghanaian son Cletus 

My favorite bread lady

Mole National Forest Safari

Mole National Forest Residents

Wednesday, October 18, 2023

Running Water

Not everyone in my village has access to running water. The Catholic Diocese has financed many bore holes for the local communities but they can’t supply water to everyone.

This morning as I was driving to the village to audit the local Catholic Church I saw women and children on the side of the road using the water that was gathered to wash pots, clothes and their children.

These women and children are part of the Fulani tribe. Fulani’s are a nomadic tribe; however,  those here in Damongo have built huts and seem to have settled here. 

When I got out of my pick-up truck they were more than happy to welcome me and let me take pictures.

It is sad to know that 1/2 of the cases of Typhoid fever in Ghana is contracted by children under the age of 15; this is a good reason why.

May God bless them and their mothers who do the best they can with what they have.

Monday, September 25, 2023

Auditing Adventure

One of my assignments while serving here in Damongo is to conduct internal audits of the Parishes in the Diocese. In the spring of 2022 I visited 12 of the 13 parishes. At that time I realized that what was needed was not an audit but guidance in establishing the procedures needed to properly record and safeguard the finances of the parish. 

During the past two weeks I returned to 8 of the 13 parishes to check on the progress made. I was happy to see that the parishes are working hard to put in place the procedures I helped them establish on my first visit.

Some of the parishes are not close to Damongo and it is necessary that I stay overnight at the parishes’ guesthouse. Below are pictures of my last audit.

I am almost always greeted my children in the area.

Members of the finance committee are asked to be present for the audit.

It is not uncommon to conduct the audits outside.

I was distracted by the goat standing on its hind legs eating leaves off of a tree.

At the end of the audit a meal is provided, ending in many cases with a cold beer.

I must say I do enjoy my work here. 

Friday, July 28, 2023

Ghanaian Dresses

I was never one to be concerned about my collection of dresses when living in the USA. Actually, I don’t think I ever owned enough to say I had a “collection”! I was pretty “blah” when it came to what I wore. I hated to shop for clothing and as far as I was concerned, the less the better. 

Here in Ghana, however, for some reason that has changed. It could be that I realize cotton dresses are remarkably comfortable, or maybe it is that clothing here is very affordable, or maybe that I just love the colors. Whatever the reason, I can now say that I have an amazing collection of beautiful colorful dresses that I love and although they are not the normal Western Pennsylvania style, I plan on wearing them when I get back. Everyone who sees me will be asking themselves “where in the world does that lady shop”.

Monday, July 17, 2023

Bakita Night

Each year at St. Anne’s Senior High School (SAGISS) an event known as Bakita Night takes place. This is where the Freshman girls compete for the title of Queen. The girls model, perform (sing, dance, act), and speak on a subject of their choice. Pregnancy before marriage, the importance of family, and female genital mutilation are examples of topics the girls spoke about this year.

The Senior class coordinates the entire event, therefore, no Bakita Night is ever the same. Each year the atmosphere tends to take on a different tone. What is the same, however, is that the celebration is always enjoyable, full of laughter, and entertaining; culminating with a Queen and her Court being chosen and making three girls extremely happy. 

Monday, November 28, 2022


 There are seven sacraments of the Catholic Church. Baptism, Confirmation, Holy Eucharist, Reconciliation, Anointing of the sick, Ordination and Matrimony. While living here in Damongo I have been Blessed to be present at five of the seven.

I attended the Baptism of my Ghanaian granddaughter, Annette (I adopted my neighbors, Paulina, Francis and their three children as my Ghanaian family). I also attended as Evan’s, another adopted son’s, second child Mathias, was Baptized. Yes, I have become Mama Karen/Granny Karen to many during my four years serving here in Damongo.

I experienced the Diaconate Ordination of 17 men whose main objective was to be ordained Priests. This most beautiful ceremony took place at a Seminary two hours from Damongo. Two of these young men are from my diocese. I missed their ordination to priesthood because of traveling to the USA when Covid-19 first hit, but was later able to experience three young men from the Damongo Diocese be ordained.

Shortly after I arrived in Damongo a group wedding was performed at St. Theresa of the Child Jesus Parish. I was present as 13 couples took the vows of marriage. Quite different, I know, to have 13 married at the same time, but quite exciting as the entire church was filled with dancing and singing with joy.

Also at St. Theresa’s Parish I watched as several children received the Sacrament of Confirmation. This Sacrament, performed by our Bishop, The Most Rev. Peter Paul Y. Angykier, is were the gifts of the Holy Spirit strengthen the newly confirmed. A group of young children performed during the Confirmation Mass.

As for me, I receive the Sacrament of Holy Eucharist several times a week while attending Mass. This enables me to be filled with God’s abundant Graces and unites me more closely with Christ. Living my life as a missionary in Damongo IS TRULY A BLESSING!

Friday, August 26, 2022

Birthday Blessings

I knew someone would do something for me on my birthday but this I never imagined. What a surprise when I got to my office.

Closing Chapter: Love Has No Boundaries

When I began my journey to be a missionary I said it was the beginning of a new chapter in my life. Now it is time to end that chapter and b...