A MESSAGE BY THE SUPREME KNIGHT SIR KT ERNEST AMOAKO-ARHEN
2016 REGIONAL CONFERENCES OF THE NOBLE ORDER OF THE KNIGHTS OF MARSHALL
A MESSAGE BY THE SUPREME KNIGHT SIR KT ERNEST AMOAKO-ARHEN
My dear brothers and Sisters
I greet you all in the name of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
We have gathered here for yet another Regional Conference to engage in discourses which I believe, will deepen our spirituality and also enhance our fraternal relationships as members of the Noble Order. For many Regions, this year’s conference will also see the installation of new Regional Officers. Allow me therefore to congratulate all outgoing Regional Grand Knights and Noble Ladies for their dedication and hard work during their reign. You have helped to keep aloft the Marshallan torch in your various regions.
On behalf of the Supreme Council and the Grand Court, I wish to express our appreciation for your support and continuous prayers. May the Good Lord continue to bless us all.
This year’s Regional Conferences are being held under the auspices of the 90th Anniversary of our Order and are therefore to be seen as part of the activities commemorating the Anniversary.
THE MARSHALLAN AND THE NEW EVANGELIZATION
The theme for the 90th Anniversary, as you all know, is: ‘’The Marshallan and the New Evangelization for the Transmission of the Faith’’.
This theme places on us a great responsibility. As soldiers of the Holy Mother the Catholic Church we have to pause, reflect and identify our individual and collective role in the New Evangelization.
We should also reflect on how to equip and position our members to “go into all the world” and preach the good news to all creation (Mark 16:15) and “to proclaim release to the captives…” Luke 4: 18.
The major resource required for this noble undertaking is nothing more than our deeper understanding of the Gospel and of our faith as Catholics. We need to understand the teachings of the church and strive to improve on our Marshallan practices with the view to demystifying certain rituals and activities to make it easier for people to understand who we are. This, we can do without watering down the essence of our being.
You are, no doubt, aware that the Noble Order is perceived differently by different people in the Church. Are these perceptions real or imagined? What are the things we do to feed those perceptions? Do these perceptions constitute a barrier to people joining the Noble Order or being drawn to the church? These are pertinent questions we have to be concerned about and also address in order that we can become catalysts for ‘winning souls’ for Christ and for the Catholic Church. Let us devote time for Bible reading and sharing.
These and many others should be part of the serious introspection we have to do especially in this Anniversary year.
90 YEARS OF EXISTENCE AND BEYOND
The answers to the many questions about our existence would indeed help us envision the future of our Order. Questions such as the following are very pertinent:
- How do we wish to see the Noble Order in the next 60 years when we will be 150 years old, and
- What successes has the Noble Order chalked in the ninety years of its existence?
It is true and indeed impressive that the Noble Order has grown from one Council in Sekondi to about 124 Councils presently operating not only in Ghana but also in Togo, Benin, Burkina Faso, Liberia, Sierra Leone and London.
- How viable are these Councils? Are all these Councils well-resourced and self-sustaining?
- Is our Supreme Council well-endowed and controlling great assets to adequately represent us nationally and internationally?
I believe the above should constitute the desirable profile that we should all aim to carve for our Order.
To realize this vision, it cannot be business as usual. We need to adopt different ways of doing things if we are to achieve different and desirable results. We have to be strategic in our thinking and the way we do things as Marshallans for our Noble Order.
We have grown in numbers and for that matter the quality of membership as well. We have persons with diverse backgrounds and expertise. We have to identify what will lead us to what constitutes our “promised land” and harness the relevant expertise within our ranks to execute the strategy to get us there.
It is about time the Noble Order embarked on iconic projects in the areas we operate and beyond to enhance our visibility and relevance within the church and in our communities.
To climax the 90th Anniversary Celebrations the Noble Order has these activities lined up:
10th & 11th November, 2016 – MMMM Lectures at Takoradi Polytechnic; 5.00pm each day. Chairman – Nana Kobina Nketsia, Omanhene of Essikado Traditional Area, Sekondi.
12th November, 2016 – 9.00am – National Junior Quiz Competition Finals at St Francis of Assisi Parish Hall, Effia Kuma, Takoradi
12th November, 2016 – 6.30pm – Marshallan Awards and Dinner Dance at Akroma Plaza, Takoradi
Sunday 13th November, 2016 8.30am Parade and Thanksgiving Mass at Star of the Sea Cathedral, Takoradi.
All Councils will pay for a minimum of 10 tickets per Council for the Awards/Dinner Dance at GHC120.00 per ticket.
All Courts in the Greater Accra Region will pay for a minimum of 10 tickets per Court. Courts outside the Greater Accra Region will pay for a minimum of 5 tickets at GHC120.00 per ticket.
SPECIAL ANNIVERSARY LEVIES = Councils will pay GHC500.00 each; Courts with more than 60 members GHC200 each, those below 60 members GHC150.00 each.
Regional Councils and Courts will each contribute GHC150.00 each.
These Special Levies and the Tickets, Awards/Dance must be paid at the Sept. 14th – 17th GRAND COURT Meeting at the Christian Village in Kumasi; and the 30th Sept – 2nd Oct Supreme Council Meeting in Sekondi.
Regional Councils and Regional Courts must nominate two persons each for the National Awards
Brothers / Sisters who have been in the Noble Order for 25 – 39 years will be honored. So also are members who have joined for 40years and above.
Regional Grand Knights and Regional Noble Ladies must forward the names of these nominees to the Supreme Council by the 30th September, 2016.
THE IMPORTANCE OF THE JUNIOR ORDER
While thinking about giving the Order a new lease of life, we need to re-focus attention on our youth – the future of our Order!
The Noble Order is indeed fortunate to have the Junior Order. While encouraging our Councils and Courts to ensure the proper and effective coordination of the JUNIOR MARSHALLANS I wish to charge all Regional Grand Knights and Regional Noble Ladies to personally work out strategies for the smooth transition of the eligible Junior Marshallans into the Adult Councils and Courts. It is not just enough to invoke the constitutional clause of age limit to get over-aged Junior Marshallans out of the Junior Order, we have a greater responsibility to indeed facilitate their integration into the adult order.
In my maiden Address as the Supreme Knight I made a few proposals towards the growth of the Junior Order. Kindly permit me to reiterate them here:
- Councils and Courts which do not as yet have the Junior Order should endeavour to consecrate one before the climax of the 90th Anniversary celebrations in October 2016.
It is my hope that this will engage the urgent attention of the Regional Advisory Boards
- For the first time, the Junior Order will have a Re-Union Conference in the month of August this year. The Conference will afford our Junior Marshallans the opportunity to fraternize and socialize with their brothers and sisters from other parts of the country and from the rest of the Marshallan world.
To ensure the success of the Conference, I call on the Regional Advisory Boards to coordinate the participation of their respective Junior Councils and Courts and provide the needed support towards the organization of this Re-union Conference for the Juniors.
- There is an urgent need for additional resources to support the activities of the Junior Order to make them attractive to the very many young people in our church to-day who are sitting on the fence and who are therefore vulnerable to poaching by other churches and religious Faiths.
It is my hope that our Regional Councils and Courts would find it necessary to inject adequate financial resources into the organization of the Junior Order and ensure that the Junior Order becomes a safe space for young Catholics.
It is by investing in our youth to-day that our future as a Society can be assured! We therefore neglect the Junior Order at our own peril.
There is a lot that we can achieve together as a society in the Catholic Church if we stayed focused and united as our motto enjoins us to do.
Let us congratulate ourselves for 90 years of our existence as a Noble Order, but more importantly, let us use the occasion of this Regional Conference to envision the future of the Noble Order and work out strategies for realizing that vision.
I wish you all a successful conference.
Long live the Noble Order of the Knights and Ladies of Marshall.
Long live the Catholic Church.