FOUNDERS’ DAY MESSAGE – NOVEMBER 2015
My Dear brothers and Sisters, I bring you warm and fraternal greetings from the Supreme Council on the occasion of this year’s Founders’ Day Celebrations.
As you all know, the Noble Order of Knights of Marshall was founded by Thirteen (13) enthusiastic young parishioners of St. Paul’s Catholic Church, Sekondi, with the consecration of the first Council (Council 1) on 18th November, 1926. The aim of the Founders was to create a space for rallying young Catholics together for effective lay apostolate and catholic action, and also to provide a friendly social forum for Catholics who may otherwise be attracted to non-Catholic friendly societies.
To-day the Noble Order of the Knights of Marshall has grown from one Council in Sekondi to 119 Councils located in almost all the major cities and towns in Ghana with a strong presence in Togo, Benin, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Burkina Faso and the UK.
This day, has been instituted to honour the memory of those 13 gallant men of vision whose dream of forming a society to bring Catholic men together for lay apostolate has blossomed beyond expectation. The Noble Order is 90 years next year and that makes this year’s celebration very special! This year’s Founders’ Day is considered as part of the year-long 90th Anniversary celebrations.
A few weeks ago the 90th Anniversary was launched with a Thanksgiving Mass in Accra. The theme for the Anniversary is ‘’The Marshallan and the New Evangelization for the Transmission of the Faith’’
This is a call for Marshallans to spearhead the Church’s re-evangelization mission. This call is reminiscent of the mission of Sir. James Marshall when he worked so hard for the re-introduction of Catholicism in the Gold Coast (now Ghana).
My Dear Brothers and Sisters and Parishioners, for our re-evangelization efforts to succeed and yield fruits, we need to start from ourselves. We need to strive to deepen our faith in Christ Jesus and in the Catholic Church as one, holy and apostolic Church. More often than not we succumb to the temptation of making the central focus of our evangelization ministry, people who are external to us especially non-Catholics. While that is not entirely wrong, it is important to start with ourselves getting to understand Jesus Christ and His Mission, strengthening our faith, and understanding the teachings of the Church better. We should make it a point to immerse ourselves in the catechism and the Church’s position on various social and moral issues of our day, such as abortion, contraception, homosexuality, same-sex marriage and many others that the Catholic Church has made pronouncements on.
Such learning or re-learning will, no doubt, place us in a position of strength to reach out to others with the message of the Good News and what the Catholic Church stands for; after all one cannot give what one does not have!
We are therefore enjoined as Marshallans and lay members of the Church to chart the narrow path of introspection and self-assessment to identify our short-comings and the gaps in our knowledge of the Bible and about our Church. These shortcomings are indeed part of the challenges we need to overcome to enable us effectively participate in the re-evangelisation mission of the Church.
Marshallans are thus called upon to populate the moral high ground of our society and become the beacon of hope to the hopeless. Our very lives and lifestyles should serve to bring people to Christ. We should stand for the poorest of the poor in society and reach out to them and share with them the little we have. Let us abhor corruption and corrupt practices and make a strong point by our principles in life that there is dignity in opting for honesty and integrity in our dealings with others.
A CALL TO BE RESOLUTE
As we commemorate this day, let us recall the strong character and the sense of purpose exhibited by the Founding Fathers for ensuring that they bring the dream of establishing the Noble Order to fruition
It will be gratifying for Brothers and Sisters, to adopt the same uncompromising stance in defending the Church and being active participants and champions of the Church’s mission of re-evangelisation, no matter the circumstances and challenges, with God being our helper.
I would like to remind you to let your light so shine among the world that the world may see the beauty of the Holy Mother the Catholic Church and be led to unity of true Christian Brotherhood.
Long live the Catholic Church. Long live the Noble Order
by the Supreme Kt, Sir Kt Ernest Amoako-Arhen