SUPREME KNIGHT’S INSTALLATION ADDRESS- Sir Kt Bro Ambrose Yennah
SUPREME KNIGHT’S INSTALLATION ADDRESS
Supreme Director, Sir Kt. Vet. Bro. Cdr. Sir Dr. E.S.K.Kwaw (KCSG, PIP IACK), Sir Kt. Bro. Cdr. Sir Lawrence Owusu Akyeaw Prempeh (KCSS, PIP IACK), Sir Kt. Bro. James Adomako, Sir Kt. Bro. Ing. Sam Barnes, (PIP IACK), Sir Kt. Bro. Prof. Dr. Dr. Sir Wireko Brobby (KCSG), Sir Kt. Bro. Edward Aloysius Prah (President, Unum Omnes), Sir Kt. Bro. Anthony C. Kemavor, Sir Kt. Bro. Derx Baffour, Sir Kt. Bro. Ekow Paintsil, Sir Kt. Bro. Ernest Amoako Arhen, Our Supreme Spiritual Director, His Lordship, Most Rev. Joseph Osei Bonsu, Bishop of Konongo-Mampong diocese and Past President of the Catholic Bishops Conference, Supreme Chaplain, Sir Knights, Most Respected Ladies, Worthy Brothers, my Brother Grand Knights;
It is with a deep sense of humility and gratitude that I give thanks to God Almighty for selecting me as the 32nd Supreme Knight of the Noble Order of the Knights of Marshall to provide leadership at this time in the life of the Noble Order which has just celebrated its 90th Anniversary (2016) of existence, while we look forward to celebrating the Centenary anniversary in 2026.
I begin this installation address therefore with a prayer:
Lord Jesus, I thank you for the events of this evening. You have chosen me to be an instrument of your action and to lead the Noble Order of the Knights of Marshall at this particular time in history. It is no coincidence, but your Divine providence. We have sailed through an era of ninety (90) years as a Noble Order and are now entering fresh waters with new beginnings in the horizon. I am trusting you, Lord, to grant me the wisdom of Solomon, the courage of your Prophets and the inner strength of your Martyrs to do right to all manner of people that I may come across in the course of my duties as Supreme Knight. I pray for a spirit of humility to recognize my shortcomings and imperfections and to take responsibility for my actions. I pray this through Christ our Lord, AMEN.
I dedicate this maiden address to my late father, Mr. Raphael Yennah RSM and Signaler, 2nd World war veteran and an educationist, a teacher who was conscripted and served in Japan and Burma and who has modeled my life to enable me come this far.
- May he always be an inspiration to me
- That I may be a friend to all
- That I may be an instrument of peace at all times
- That I may be a servant leader
- That all my thoughts, actions and words may be for the greater glory of God
- That I may serve God in humility
- May God Almighty be my helper
- May He give me the courage to change the things I can
- The humility to accept the things I cannot change
- The wisdom to know the difference
- And may He protect and keep me steadfast. AMEN.
I will now direct my attention to what kind of leadership I intend to provide so that we can have the same understanding and appreciation. I can feel there is a lot of expectation. I will confidently and gladly say that with your support those expectations will be met. We can achieve a lot together and I ask for your support. I intend to be Christ-like in service. Servant leadership is what I offer you.
The Noble Order is blessed with over 15,000 Brothers and Sisters operating in 140 Councils and 130 Courts in Seven (7) countries and has 95 Junior Councils and Courts. This is a phenomenal growth, but at 90 years, we need to do some introspection.
- Has this growth led us closer to God?
- Has it increased our love and devotion to prayer?
- Have we become better Catholics?
- Have we matured in our faith?
- Have we through the Noble Order been able to win souls for Christ through our works, words and deeds?
- Are we experiencing good Christian family lives?
We need to redouble our efforts and be able to contribute in very positive ways to the growth in our faith, our family lives, our public lives, our spirituality and our community service through comprehensive works of charity and lay evangelization.
We need to uphold the standards of morality and ethics as in our code of conduct.
We need to work to instill discipline, respect, hard work, love for spiritual works and keep our bodies holy since our bodies are the Temples of the living God. Indeed, Scripture tells us, we are Priests, Prophets and Kings. What does this mean to us?
- Priests – to live in holiness and the sanctification of our souls
- Prophets – to speak the mind of God (i.e. speak the truth under any circumstances)
- Kings – to service in humility (servant leadership)
We need to re-engineer our Noble Order, the systems and structures we have in place and make them work more efficiently and effectively. This will be the focus of our new administration and this will require the cooperation of all. I know I can count on you all.
Our Noble Order is blessed with a lot of talents in the human resource we have. We have various professional and business skills that would be harnessed in a productive way for the development of the Noble Order. I thank God for this opportunity to serve. I thank you for reposing your trust and confidence in me
The Strategic Plan of the Noble Order informs this position going forward. It will involve:
- Strengthening the existing Structures of the Noble Order
- Increased Spirituality of our Members as Model Christians
- Improved Physical and Infrastructural development at our Supreme Secretariat
- A very comprehensive Fundraising and Resource mobilization drive for the empowerment of the Organization through profitable business ventures.
- Increased Service to our Holy mother, the Catholic Church, our Communities and our Country Ghana
- Promotion of Formation of our members and Lay Evangelization
- Promotion of Integral Human Development through our Social contribution and creation of impact through our NGO, MAREDES
- Improved research, advocacy and contribution to political and policy debates
VISION, MISSION AND VALUE STATEMENT
Dear Supreme Director and ALL here present, I have a dream, the dream has crystallized into a Vision, this Vision has been discussed and shared with many to secure buy-in and ownership. Our duty now is to roll it out with flawless execution and this will require the support and participation of all.
As Supreme Knight, I will uphold the values of our Noble Order as enshrined in our Constitution and code of ethics. Our unique selling points are informed by our values namely:
- Catholicity (One, Holy, Roman, Catholic and Apostolic)
- Knightly Discipline
- Ethical and Moral values
- Commitment for Justice, Peace and “Common Good”
- Honesty and Integrity in all our undertakings
Action towards living our values:
- Beyond our option to stand by the poor and provide community service, we will continue to work as a pious Church Society known for the spirituality of its members, imbued with a Spirit of empathy and generosity through our charitable activities
- We will commit and rededicate ourselves to being living witnesses for Christ and effective lay evangelizers, promoting and proclaiming gospel values in all our undertakings
Our Vision is to build, promote and develop a vibrant society of committed and knowledgeable Catholic men and women imbued with unalloyed Catholic faith, ever determined to play our individual and group roles to the highest level towards the realization of the universal sacrament of salvation.
Action towards implementing our vision:
- We will work and ensure that the Noble Order is well resourced and energized for Greater Results and Impact in the medium (2017-2019) to long term (2020-2026);
- Instill in our membership, the boldness and courage to do right to all manner of people and to be deeply spiritual and guided by the fruits of the Holy Spirit.
Our Mission is to prepare Catholic men and women to work in cooperation with the hierarchy of the Church and other Kindred Orders to enhance the propagation of the Gospel and the transformation of society, as well as foster amongst members, a strong fraternal spirit and relationship.
Action towards realizing our mission:
Guided by the spirit behind the Founding Fathers in 1926 and the Strategic Plan of 2014 as well as by the Social Teachings of the Catholic Church, we will focus on:
- Organizational Re-engineering; strengthening of existing structures of the Noble Order and ensuring that the systems work efficiently and effectively through strict compliance with the protocols on Supreme Councils projects, approvals and financing of physical and infrastructural development.
- Designing Programs and Projects that emphasize our Spirituality (i.e. Lectures, Retreats, Intellectual debates / discourse on the Social Teachings of the Catholic Church, Catholic Catechism and Encyclicals, increased Charity works in collaboration with Regional Councils and Courts and also in collaboration with MAREDES and Other Partners)
- Encouraging Lay Evangelization and winning souls for Christ through our works, words and deeds; we will try in all situations to model our lives after Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ
- Developing our Youth, the Junior Marshallans to put them in the path of righteousness to grow to become good adult Catholics, worthy sons and daughters of Ghana (and taking lessons from the Motto of Young Christian Students (YCS): SEE, JUDGE, ACT, REFLECT and ACT again.
- We will work to improve on evidence-based research and advocacy in supporting the Catholic Bishops Conference in the promotion of Justice, Peace and “Common Good”. We will strengthen our research and advocacy capacity as a credible policy think tank on issues concerning our Communities and National development so as to help build a robust national psyche, patriotism and altruism.
- We will be continuing with projects and physical infrastructure developments that would enhance the image of the Noble Order.
- We will work to secure the financial wellbeing of the Noble Order and members through investment activities as well as voluntary contributions from Brothers and Sisters, Corporate sponsorship and other Development Partner’s support.
- We will work to strengthen and deepen Internal and External relations especially our fraternal relations with Knights of and Ladies of Mulumba (Nigeria), Knights of Da Gama (South Africa) in the context of International Alliance of Catholic Knights (IACK) and Onum Omnes.
Our Approach and Methodology to Achieving the Plans, Programs and Projects:
- Together, we will be driven by our vision and set agenda;
- We will have a computerized database for measurement of performance (KPI’s) to aid the proper planning and management of our Councils. Improved ICT infrastructure to enhance good records keeping, financial management, controls and reporting.
- We will create space for every talent to make a contribution
- We will implement the Regional Reporting template for Monitoring and evaluating performance towards achieving Results and Impact.
- We will engage the Media for publicity and also public relations
- We will foster Government & Development Partners relations through the Marshallan Centre for Fraternal Relations (Head office annex located at Council 10 Secretariat, Okponglo, Accra)
My Team’s agenda during its two-year mandate (2017 to 2019):
- Annual Retreat for New Officers of the Standing Committees (New Administration)
- Forum of Grand Knights and Noble Ladies, RGKs and RNLs
- Joint Consultative Meetings – Grand Court and Supreme Council
- Regional visits also to include Retreats, Lectures and Workshops
- Meetings of Standing Committees – Grand Court / Supreme Council
- Bi-annual Pilgrimage as a spiritual exercise for Brothers and Sisters
- Plan the 50th Anniversary of Ladies of Marshall (Grand Court), (for Dec 2019).
- Five-yearly Re-Union Conference (University of Ghana, Legon; July 2018)
- Fundraising to support Supreme Council and Grand Court Programs and Projects.
- Forum for Chaplains (to give financial support).
- Begin laying the foundation works for an impactful centenary celebration in 2026.
- Continue and fully implement the Strategic Plan as approved by the Supreme Council and Grand Court
- Strengthen the Administrative Systems and Structures of the Supreme Council to make them more efficient and effective
- Establish the for-profit Business wing of the Noble Order to generate income to support the charity works of MAREDES and the Programs and Projects of the Supreme Council.
- Roll out a comprehensive program for our charity works in collaboration with Regional Councils and Regional Courts and MAREDES for the promotion of the spirit of generosity and option for the poor.
- Strengthen and resource MAREDES and its advocacy role as the public face of the Noble Order. This will enable it go global with its Charity and Human Development efforts and Community service, thanks to project proposals and subsequent funding received from our Development and Corporate Partners, i.e. Ecobank Ghana Ltd
- Engage in an expansion drive and the strengthening of existing Councils including twinning.
- Work to strengthen the overseas branches of the Noble Order, i.e. UK, Togo, Benin, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Burkina Faso and Cote D’Ivoire.
- Establish a fund for the beatification of Sir James Marshall i.e. Committee on Beatification
- Provide Transportation and other Logistics for works of the Supreme Secretariat
- Crosscutting issues: Create platforms to discuss and do advocacy on Migration, Human trafficking, Human Ecology and Climate change.
My dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ, I will not end my address without us reflecting on some issues that are dear to my heart and listed as crosscutting issues above. These issues relate to the phenomenon of modern day slavery and the need for us, as Marshallans, to work to protect Humanity and Mother Earth (Nature), which is our heritage.
Of great concern to us are the following:
- Human Trafficking (Modern day slavery); Child Labor, Sex trade and Organ harvesting.
- Migration (illegal or undocumented migration and its effects in dehumanizing the human person).
- Human ecology and Climate change are some of the root causes of trafficking of human beings. What is our role? (Gen 1: 26 talks about the exercise of responsibility over God’s creation. The least we can do is to keep our environment clean, since cleanliness is next to Godliness).
I urge and appeal to you all to let us talk about this on all platforms, to sensitize, educate and create awareness among our members, our communities and especially in our schools. We would be saving a lot of lives if we spend some time and engage with Stakeholders to help shape policy and bring about the necessary reforms in these areas to save people who may otherwise fall prey to these modern forms of slavery. These activities dehumanize the human person. Indeed, human beings that are made in the image of God and for a purpose.
As Ambassadors of Christ, our lives should be a sermon onto others. We should be the Salt of the Earth and the Light of the world. Our light must shine before people, so that they will see the good things we do and praise our Father in heaven.
In all of this, temptation will come; but Scripture provides us with the key, which is Prayer.
“Build up your strength in union with the Lord; […] Put on the armour that God gives you, so that you will be able to stand up against the devil’s evil tricks. For we are not fighting against human beings but against the wicked spiritual forces in the heavenly worlds […] and cosmic powers of this dark age. So put on God’s armour now! Then when the evil day comes, you will be able to resist the enemy’s attacks; and after fighting to the end, you will still hold your ground” Ephesians 6:11-13.
And finally; “Be sure that the book of the Law is always read in your worship. Study it day and night, and make sure you obey everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful”
As Supreme Knight, I embrace in all humility the responsibility you have entrusted on me. I will be honest and sincere in all my dealings with everyone. You will find in me a reliable partner, an efficient, innovative and goal-oriented person.
I pledge my total commitment to the ideals and principles of the Noble Order and our forebears. I promise to be a unifier and will work to promote welfare, peace, harmony, trust and confidence amongst all brothers and Sisters.
To our Brothers and Sisters in Togo /Benin, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Burkina Faso, Cote D’Ivoire and the United Kingdom, I give the assurance that we will continue to support you in a spirit of fraternity and collaboration to move the Noble Order forward and alongside the process winning more souls for Christ.
To my Brothers from Northern Ghana where I hail from, I am eternally grateful for all the support and encouragement given. That is what has brought me this far.
To my Installation team led by our veteran and venerable Supreme Director, the Installation planning team and all whose tireless efforts have brought us this far, may the good Lord bless you abundantly for the brotherly love and sisterly support.
Concluding Prayer: Heavenly Father, give me the insight to seek the purpose and meaning in my life so that through you I may attain the great goals that I feel burning in my heart as a Leader of this Noble and Fraternal Order. I make this prayer through Jesus Christ our Lord, AMEN
Thank you and God bless us all