APPOINTMENT AS AUXILIARY BISHOP
On Tuesday, 14th February 2023, the feast of the two saintly brothers, St. Cyril and St. Methodius, the Apostolic Nuncio to Ghana, the Most Rev. Henryk M. Jagodzinski, announced at the Holy Spirit Cathedral, Adabraka, that the Holy Father, Pope Francis, has appointed two Auxiliary Bishops for the Archdiocese of Accra. The appointees were Rev. Fr. John Kobina Louis and Rev. Fr. Anthony Narh Asare. The former has been assigned the Titular See of Fesseiin Numidia, an ancient Diocese which was located in present-day Algeria.
BIRTH AND BAPTISM
John Kobina Louis is the second born of Mr. Vincent Louis and Mrs. Catherine Esi Dede Louis (née, Mensah; deceased on 26th September, 2015). He was born on Tuesday, 24th November, 1964, in Accra and baptized on 3rd January, 1965 at the Holy Spirit Cathedral by the late Very Rev. Fr. Charles Schneider, SVD.
BASIC EDUCATION, FIRST COMMUNION AND CONFIRMATION
In the 1969/1970 academic year, John attended King’s Royal School, Nima, for his pre-school education. He, then, proceeded to the Nima Roman Catholic School for his basic education from 1970 to 1978. Together with his parents and siblings, he belonged to St. Kizito Parish, where he received his First Holy Communion and was confirmed by the then Bishop of Accra, Rt. Rev. Dominic Andoh.
In 1978, John passed his Common Entrance Examination and gained admission to St. Augustine’s College (AUGUSCO) in Cape Coast. While in AUGUSCO, he aspired to pursue the BSc. Civil Engineering Programme at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (Kumasi), so that he could work with his father who was a contractor. In line with this aspiration, John read Science at AUGUSCO. Mathematics, Additional Mathematics and Physics were his favourite subjects. As a student of AUGUSCO, he successfully passed the General Certificate of Education (GCE) Ordinary Level and Advanced Level Examinations in 1983 and 1985 respectively.
THE CALL TO PRIESTLY SERVICE
In God’s infinite goodness and providence, He calls Priests, Religious Brothers and Sisters even before their births (cf. Jer. 1:4-5). In the course of time, then, God uses diverse ways to draw their attention to His calling. Thus, it was not until his last year in AUGUSCO that John’s attention was drawn to the call to the priesthood. This is how it all started. John had gone to visit his friend, Johnson Detty, but met his absence. While waiting for him, the latter’s mother, Mrs. Georgina Detty, engaged John in a conversation. Having mentioned her observations about John, she asked whether he wanted to become a Priest. “No, Mummy!’ was his immediate response. She then told him to think and pray about the matter. This was to be the beginning of two years (1984 – 1986) of reflection and prayers to discern whether God was calling him or not.
Subsequently, John consulted his Parish Priest, Msgr. Alex Bobby-Benson as well as his College Chaplain, the late Msgr. Gabriel Mensah, in his process of discerning God’s call. Upon the completion of his studies at AUGUSCO, he was advised by his Parish Priest to do his national service while the discernment process continued. He did his national service at the Laboratory Unit of the then Ghana Water and Sewerage Corporation (now Ghana Water Company), at Mile 4, Accra, from September 1985 to August 1986. In the course of his national service, he finally decided to go to the seminary to pursue the formation and training of priests.
SEMINARY FORMATION, STUDIES AND ORDINATIONS
He was admitted to the St. Peter’s Seminary, Pedu, Cape Coast in September 1986. While in the third year in the Seminary, he and some of his mates were enrolled as the first batch of students to pursue the BA in Religious Studies and Sociology Programme at the University of Ghana, Legon. He obtained his BA (Legon) in 1991 and completed his priestly formation and training at St. Peter’s Seminary in June 1992.
On 11th July 1991, John and five other candidates of the then Accra Diocese were ordained as Deacons by the then Rt. Rev. Dominic Andoh at the Holy Family Catholic Church, Mataheko. The same Bishop ordained them as Priests on 18th July 1992 at the St. Mary Catholic Church, Asamankese. As the guiding Biblical text for his priestly life and ministry, John chose 1 Cor. 9:16, 27. He paraphrased it as follows: Lord, I could not resist your call to preach the Gospel. May I, therefore, discipline myself, lest after preaching to others, I myself be disqualified.
PASTORAL MINISTRY AND TEACHING APOSTOLATE
From 1992 to 1995, he was the Assistant Priest of Our Lady of Mercy Catholic Church, Tema Community 1 and was responsible for the outstations: St. Joseph the Worker Catholic Church, Tema Community 8; St. Peter’s Church, Tema New Town; and St. Michael’s Church, Michel Camp.
For the same period from 1992 to 1995, he was the Archdiocesan Chaplain of the Sea Apostolate in Tema and Youth Chaplain of the Tema-Battor Deanery. From 1995 to 2002, he was the Priest-in-Charge and Parish Priest, St. Joseph the Worker Church, Tema Community 8 (Outstations: All Saints Church, Community 11, Tema; St. John Church, Prampram; and St. Dominic Church, Dawhenya)
From 1996 to 2002, he was the Financial Administrator of Accra Archdiocese and the Director, Archdiocesan Pontifical Mission Societies, Accra; from 1997 to 2002, Director, Archdiocesan Pastoral Centre, Accra; 1998 to 2002 and 2016 to 2020, he served as the Spiritual Director, Handmaids of the Divine Redeemer Sisters, Christ the King and Generalate Communities.
He was an Associate Cathedral Administrator, Holy Spirit Cathedral, Accra from 2004 to 2006with Outstations: Immaculate Conception Church, Akweteman; St. Joseph the Worker Church, Weija; and St. Peter Church, Tettegu and from 2006 to 2012, he was the Administrator of the Holy Spirit Cathedral, Accra.
From 2008 to 2014, he was a part-time lecturer at the Department of Religious Studies and Church Administration at the Catholic Institute of Business and Technology (CIBT), Accra; from 2014 to 2020, Full- time Lecturer and Academic Dean, CIBT; from 2014 to 2023, Pastoral Assistant at the Mary Mother of Good Counsel Church, Airport West Area and from 2017 to 2018, Acting President of CIBT.
From July to November 2021, he was Priest-in-Charge, St. Jude Catholic Church, New Weija. From 2019 to his appointment as Auxiliary Bishop, he was the Vicar General, Accra Archdiocese.
COUNCILS. BOARDS, COMMITTEES AND ASSOCIATIONS
Msgr. Louis has also served in various capacities on Councils, Boards, Committees and Associations in the Archdiocese and elsewhere.
From 1996 to 2002, he was a member of the Board of Directors, Accra Catholic Press, Accra; 1996 to 2002, Financial Secretary, National Union of Ghana Diocesan Priests’ Associations; and 1997 to 2002, 2006-Present,member, Council of Priests, Accra.
From 1997 to 2002, 2006 to 2014, 2019-Present, he has been a member of the College of Consultors, Accra; 2003 to 2004, President of the Ecclesiastical Union of Ghanaian Students in Rome; 2005 to 2010, member of the Board of Directors, Millennium Guest House Ltd (Holy Spirit Cathedral)
He was Chairman of the Archdiocesan Catechetical Commission, Accra from 2006 to 2010; President, National Union of Ghana Diocesan Priests’ Associations from 2007 to 2011; Member & Chairman (2017-18), Academic Board, CIBT, 2010 to 2020; Chairman, Congregation Planning Committee, CIBT from 2014 to 2020.
Between 2015 and 2018, Msgr. Louis served as Chairman, Graduate Programme Management Committee, CIBT; 2015 to 2020, Chairman, Faculty Board & Examination Committee, CIBT; and from 2015 to 2020, Member & Chairman (2017-18), Management Committee, CIBT.
From 2016 to 2020, he was the President of the Society of Catholic Social Scientists (Ghana Chapter); 2017 to 2018, Chairman, Academic Quality Assurance Committee, CIBT and from 2017 to 2020, Member, Governing Council, CIBT.
Besides his participation In the Ongoing Formation Programmes for Priests of the Accra Archdiocese, Msgr. Louis pursued further studies. From October, 2010 to June, 2014, he did his PhD in Study of Religions (with thesis in the field of Ecclesiology) at University of Ghana, Legon. From September, 2002 to June, 2004, he had his Licentiate in Dogmatic Theology (STL), from the Pontificia Universitas Urbaniana, Rome. From April, 1996 to May, 1996, he pursued a Certificate Course in Financial Management and Budgeting, at the Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration (GIMPA), Accra.
In pastoral ministry, Msgr. Louis’ special interests are in preaching and teaching Catholic doctrines. Finally, he wishes that all will remember him in their prayers, so that, always remaining in Christ like a fruitful branch on the vine (cf. John 15:5), he will, together with Most Rev. Asare, faithfully fulfill the task of assisting the Archbishop of Accra, the Most Rev. John Bonaventure Kwofie, CSSp.