The Catholic Diocese of Ho has unveiled a bust in honour of Most. Rev. Francis Anani Kofi Lodonu, the first Bishop of the Diocese.
The unveiling ceremony was held on June 20 on the occasion of the 50th Episcopal Anniversary of the Bishop at the St. Aloysius Catholic Church Gbi Atabu his home Parish.
The unveiling ceremony is part of activities marking the homecoming and golden jubilee episcopal ordination Thanksgiving Mass attended by Priests, Religious and Faithful of the Catholic Diocese of Ho and around Volta and Oti Regions.
The Mass was celebrated by Rev. Fr. Dr. Azarias Benuyenah Schueller and con-celebrated by the Vicar General of The Jasikan Diocese Rev. Msgr. Joseph Nsiah with over 30 priests.
Rev. Monsignor Joseph Nsiah, Vicar General of Jasikan Diocese, in a homily, said the Bishop Emeritus exhibited the characteristics of the Biblical shepherd in carrying out his Episcopal duties.
He said the Bishop’s evangelisation efforts had brought a lot of them into the priesthood and they would forever be grateful to him.
Msgr. Nsiah urged the faithful to continuously pray for Bishop Lodonu. The celebration also saw the launch of the Bishop Lodonu’s Educational Fund.
Speaking at the event, Bishop Emeritus Lodonu expressed his appreciation to God and all who were present including the priests and nuns. Adding that, being ordained a Bishop just nine years into the priesthood was not because he had special qualities but was chosen to shepherd God’s faithful.
Bishop Emeritus Lodonu admonished the youth to take good care of the Church since it rested on their shoulders.
Bishop Emeritus Francis Anani Kofi Lodonu was born at Gbi-Atabu Hohoe in the Volta Region on 19th November 1937. He is the twelveth and the last child of Mr. Emmanuel Koku Allala-Lodonu of Gbi-Atabu and Madam Akosua Lodonu (nee Tenge) of Alavanyo Agoxoe. Teacher Catechist Emmanuel Lodonu was one of the distinguished catechists who held the fort when the German Missionaries were deported.
Bishop Lodonu attended elementary school at Gbi-Atabu Roman Catholic School from 1944 to 1947. He attended the Roman Catholic Boys’ School at Gbi-Bla from Class 5 up to Class 6 from 1948 –1949 and from 1950 – 53 he attended the R. C. Boys Middle School, Form 1 – 4 also at Gbi-Bla.
He had his Secondary School Education at Bishop Herman College, Kpando from 1954 to 1957. He attended St. Peter’s Regional Seminary, Cape Coast from 1958 to 1964 where he studied Philosophy and Theology.
Francis A. K. Lodonu was ordained a Priest on 18th May 1964 at St. Augustine’s Church at Gbi-Central by Bishop Anthony Konings who also baptized him in December 1937. After his ordination to the priesthood, Rev. Fr. Francis A. K. Lodonu was appointed Assistant Parish Priest to Ho Sacred Heart Church from June 1964 – August 1965.
He studied at the University College of Cork, Ireland from September 1965 to September 1968 where he obtained Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) General Degree in Geography, Sociology and History. He also studied Latin as a non-examinable subject in the university.
Most Rev. Francis Kofi Anani Lodonu was elected as Bishop on 14th May 1973 as the Titular Bishop of Mascula. He was subsequently ordained a Bishop on 29th June, 1973 in St. Peters Basilica, Rome by Pope Paul VI. He was among ten bishops ordained in commemoration of the 10th Pontificate of Pope Paul VI.
Then Msgr. Francis A. K. Lodonu was thirty-five years old and nine years as a priest when he was ordained a Bishop with the title, Bishop of the Titular See of Mascula and the Auxiliary Bishop of Keta.
At election as Bishop, he was conferred with an honorary professional doctorate degree of Doctor of Divinity (honoris causa) by the Holy Father.