Foundation of the Archdiocese
The Apostolic Vicariate of Kumasi came into existence when the Ashanti and Brong Ahafo Regions were separated from the Vicariate Apostolic of the Gold Coast on 27th January, 1932.
The first Apostolic Vicar of Kumasi was His Lordship Rt. Rev. Hubert Paulissen, SMA, who was consecrated a Bishop in Maastricht, The Netherlands, on 11th February 1933. He arrived in Kumasi on 19th May 1933 and was made Bishop of Kumasi until December 31, 1951, when he resigned on account of ill health.
The first Baptisms, Schools and Churches
a) The first baptism in the Apostolic Vicariate of Kumasi was administered in Obuasi on 4th June, 1905 by Rev. Jean Ogé, SMA, also he administered the first baptism in Kumasi on 11th June, 1905. Three people were baptized on that day, all from Elmina.
b) The first Catholic School was established in Kumasi in February 1908 under its first Headmaster, Mr. McCarthy. This school was situated on the old premises of Mr. Simon David Karam.
c) Rev. Fr. Alfred Laurent, SMA from France, is considered to have been the first resident priest in Kumasi. In the beginning he resided for some time in Maame Dentaa’s house (O.B. 457). Maame Dentaa later changed her name to Mary Magdalene Fosuaa.
d) On 25th February 1910, Fr. Laurent started to build the Mission House on the present site (St. Peter’s Cathedral - Kumasi). The Fathers installed themselves in the partly finished mission house on 27th June, 1910.
e) On the 19th of November 1910, the Blessed Sacrament was permanently transferred from the house in the town to the Mission House (which apparently had been finished). Mass was celebrated in the northern veranda of the house.
On December 25, 1913, Solemn High Mass was celebrated in the newly built Church. St. Peter’s Parish was canonically erected on 2nd July 1916, under the Parish Priest, Fr. Joseph Muller, SMA.
f) St. Peter’s Cathedral was planned by Fr. Victor Burg, SMA, and the Foundation Stone of the Cathedral was blessed by Bishop Ernest Hauger in March 1929. The opening and blessing of St. Peter’s Cathedral took place on 1st December, 1931 under the Parish Priest, Fr. Joseph Vogel, SMA. The twin towers were completed in 1934.
The Solemn Consecration of St. Peter’s Cathedral was performed by His Grace Archbishop Riberi, Apostolic Delegate of East and West Africa, on 21st January, 1940.
g) The first Rev. Sisters who came to Kumasi were the Sisters of Our Lady of the Apostles (O.L.A.). They opened a Girls’ School, the first of its kind, in Kumasi on 27th September, 1933.
h) The first Asante Priest, Very Rev. Fr. Daniel Tawiah-Yesereh, was ordained on Easter Sunday, 25th April, 1943.
i) The Sisters of St. Louis (Monaghan, Ireland) arrived in Kumasi on 16th October, 1947.
j) The Vicariate Apostolic of Kumasi was created a Diocese on 10th April, 1950.
k) The first Eucharistic Congress was held in Kumasi from 21st – 28th February, 1951.
1952: His Lordship Rt Rev. Andre van den Bronk, SMA was transferred from the Episcopal See of Heliopolis (EGYPT) to become the 2nd Bishop of Kumasi in May, 1952.
1953: The foundation stone of St. Patrick’s Hospital, Offinso – Maase was laid on 23rd August, 1953.
1962: The first indigenous Bishop of the Diocese was elected on 24th February, 1962. His Lordship Bishop Joseph Amihere Essuah was consecrated Bishop of Kumasi in St. Peter’s Cathedral on 17th July, 1962.
1964: The Enrolled Nurses School in Offinso – Maase was opened in 1964 by the St. Louis Sisters.
1966: Midwifery Training School was opened.
1967: St. Hubert’s Seminary was founded in 1966. The foundation stone of the main building was laid by Sir Osei Agyemang Prempeh II, the Asantehene, on 7th January, 1967.
1969: a) Bishop Essuah was transferred to the newly-erected See of Sekondi-
Takoradi in November 1969.
b) Rt. Rev. Peter Kwasi Sarpong was elected as Bishop of Kumasi on 20th November, 1969.
1970: a) Rt. Rev. Peter Kwasi Sarpong was consecrated Bishop of Kumasi in St. Peter’s Cathedral on March 8, 1970.
b) St. Hubert’s Seminary opened its doors to admit pioneering students in September, 1970, with Very Rev. Robert Mensah-Abrampah as first Rector.
1971: The Holy Ghost Fathers, who had to leave Nigeria on account of the Biafra War, arrived in Kumasi in October 30, 1971.
1972: a) St. Louis Sisters saw one of their Ghanaian Sisters making her first temporal commitment in the Congregation in December 1972.
b) In November 1972, Bishop Sarpong set up the Diocesan Mobile Catechetical Team to have an oversight responsibility of forming parish catechists in their respective local parishes, in addition to the Diocesan Formation Programmes.
1973: a) The Centre for Spiritual Renewal, a brainchild of Bishop Sarpong, was started in April 1973. The Centre was housed in a rental premise till 1980.
b) Negotiations took place for the establishment of the Handmaids of the Holy Child Jesus in the Diocese.
c) On 30th June 1973, the Diocese of Sunyani was created by separating the Brong-Ahafo Region from the Ashanti Region.
1974: Rev. Fr. Joseph White, CSSP, was made the Rector of St. Hubert’s Seminary (1974 – 1980).
1975: St. Hubert’s Seminary sent its first batch of Seminarians to St. Theresa’s Minor Seminary, Amisano, to do a two-year Sixth-form course in 1975.
1976: a) Negotiations were initiated with the Rev. Mother General of the Sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary of Nigeria (Onitsha) to train Ghanaian candidates, first in Nigeria and later in the Diocese.
b) The Handmaids of the Holy Child Jesus made their formal entry into the Diocese in 1976.
1977: The pioneering students of St. Hubert’s Minor Seminary entered St. Peter’s Major Seminary, Pedu, Cape Coast.
1977: The Diocesan Health Committee (DHC) was established in July 1977, for a deeper involvement of the Diocese in the Health Care of the rural population.
1978: A representative of the Marist Brothers of the Schools visited the Diocese in May 1978, in the person of Bro. Michael Oruche, FMS
1979: The Marist Brothers of the Schools accepted four candidates from Ghana to be trained in Nigeria.
1980: a) On May 9, 1980, Pope John Paul II visited Kumasi and celebrated the Holy Eucharist at the Kumasi Sports Stadium for a packed audience from Ashanti, Brong Ahafo and Northern Regions. He commissioned 270 Catechists from Ghana and other countries where his pastoral tour had taken him.
b) The foundation stone of the Christian Village was laid on October 5, 1980.
c) On November 30, 1980, Rev. Sisters Bernice Broohm, and Bernadette Essien made their Perpetual Vows as Sisters of St. Louis, Ireland, as the first Ghanaian Sisters in the Congregation.
1983: Three of the pioneering students of St. Hubert Seminary were ordained priests
1984: a) The convocation of the first-ever Diocesan Synod of Kumasi took place from 5th – 16th December, 1984 at the Centre for Spiritual Renewal, Kumasi.
b) The first Diocesan congregation of Sisters – Daughters of the Most Blessed Trinity (Filiae Sanctissimae Trinitatis- FST) was founded on December 8th, 1984. The first 9 Postulants were accepted in a ceremony that took place in the Chapel of the Centre for Spiritual Renewal.
1985: a) The Acts and Declarations of the First Synod were promulgated by Rt. Rev. Peter Kwasi Sarpong, on the Feast of Pentecost, 26th May 1985, at the St. Peter’s Cathedral.
b) In response to the requests of the 1st Diocesan Synod, the Diocesan Pastoral Centre was established to liaise and coordinate pastoral programmes of the Diocese, with Fr. Piet Neefjes as its first Director.
1991: The Planning/Preparatory Committee of the Second Synod of the Kumasi Diocese was set up, with Fr. Stephen Ntim as the Secretary for the Lineamenta and the Instrumentum Laboris committee.
1994: The Second Kumasi Diocesan Synod took place from 4th – 14th December 1994 at the Christian Village, Kumasi, with Very Rev. Fr. Douglas Peters as the Secretary-General.
1995: a) The final Acts and Declarations of the Second Diocesan Synod were promulgated by the Bishop at St. Peter’s Cathedral, Kumasi, on 8th March, 1995, the 25th Anniversary of Bishop Sarpong’s Episcopal Ordination.
b) On 3rd March, 1995, Obuasi and Konongo-Mampong Dioceses were carved out from Kumasi Diocese.
c) The Diocesan Pastoral Council, after the division of the diocese, was reconstituted and inaugurated on the 9th December, 1995.
1996: a) On June 22, 1996, the Diocesan Synod Implementation Committee was appointed and mandated by the Diocesan Pastoral Council to see to the implementation of the Acts and Declarations of the 2nd Kumasi Diocesan Synod.
1998: a) August 23rd – 30th: AECAWA (Association of Episcopal Conferences of Anglophone West Africa) Plenary Assembly was held in Kumasi at the Christian Village.
b) On December 8th 1998, Prelate of Honour was conferred on Rev. Frs. Matthew K. Adjaye and Joseph K. Yeboah at the St. Peter’s Cathedral, Kumasi by Rt. Rev. Peter K. Sarpong.
2000: June 24th – July 2nd 2000, Golden Jubilee (1950 – 2000) celebration of Catholic Diocese of Kumasi was held.
One significant event during the celebration was the re-dedication of St. Peter’s Cathedral on the Solemnity of SS Peter and Paul, 29th June, by Most Rev. Peter Kodwo Appiah Turkson.
2001: a) April 3rd – 27th 2001–AECAWA–CERAO Consultation meeting at the Samaritan Villa, Kumasi.
b) On December 26, Prelate of Honour was conferred on Rev. Frs. Stephen Osei-Duah and Douglas Peters at the St. Peter’s Cathedral, Kumasi.
2002: a) On January 17, 2002, Most Rev. George Kocherry, Apostolic Nuncio to Ghana, made the official announcement of the elevation of the church of Kumasi to a Metropolitan See, with Sunyani, Goaso, Konongo-Mampong and Obuasi as Suffragan Dioceses.
b) Solemn Inauguration of the Ecclesiastical Province of Kumasi and the elevation of His Grace, Most Rev. Peter Kwasi Sarpong as the 1st Metropolitan Archbishop of Kumasi on Sunday, July 14, 2002 at St. Peter’s Cathedral, Kumasi.
2003: On November 29, 2003, the Holy Father Pope John Paul II appointed Rev. Fr. Gabriel Justice Yaw Anokye as Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Kumasi.
2004: a) Episcopal Consecration of Most Rev. Gabriel Justice Yaw Anokye (Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Kumasi) at St. Peter’s Cathedral, Kumasi, on Saturday, 17 January, 2004.
b) St. Peter’s Cathedral made Basilica, June 29, 2004.
c) The Third Synod of the Archdiocese of Kumasi was held from 3rd-12th December , 2004, with Rev. Fr. Dr. Stephen Ntim as the Secretary-General and Rev. Fr. Gabriel Acheampong as the Chairman.
2005 The final Acts and Declarations of the Third Archdiocesan Synod were promulgated by the Archbishop, at St. Peter’s Cathedral-Basilica Kumasi, on Sunday, May 15th, 2005, the Solemnity of Pentecost, and were jointly signed by the Archbishop, the Chancellor, Msgr. Douglas Peters and the Secretary-General of the Synod, Rev. Fr. Dr. Stephen Ntim, in the presence of the Clergy, the Religious and the Lay Faithful of the Archdiocese of Kumasi.
2008 a) On 26th March, 2008, the official announcement of the acceptance by the Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI, of Archbishop Sarpong’s request for retirement at the canonical age of 75, in accordance with the stipulations of Canon Law was made in the presence of the Clergy, the Religious and the Lay Faithful at the St. Peter’s Cathedral Basilica by the Chargè d’Affaires of the Apostolic Nunciature in Ghana with the consequent election and transfer from Obuasi Diocese of the Most Rev. Thomas K. Mensah as the Archbishop-elect for the Kumasi See.
b) Most Rev. Thomas K. Mensah was liturgically installed on 3rd May, 2008, as the Metropolitan Archbishop of the Kumasi See, after the Bull of his appointment by the Holy Father had been read in the presence of the Clergy, the Religious and the Lay Faithful at the St. Peter’s Cathedral Basilica. He took canonical possession of the Archdiocese on the same day.
c) That same day, 3rd May, 2008, he officially appointed some members of his Curia: Msgr. Douglas Peters as the Vicar-General, Rev. Fr. Stephen Ntim, as Chancellor, Fr. Peter Kwame Sarpong, as Assistant Chancellor and Fr. Felix Amofa, as the Financial Administrator.
d) Auxiliary Bishop Anokye was consequently transferred from Kumasi to Obuasi as a Diocesan Bishop. On Sunday, May 4th, he took canonical possession of Obuasi Diocese.
e) November 1st 2008, seven diocesan priests, Rev. Frs: Stephen Ntim, Gabriel Acheampong, Raphael Owusu-Peprah, Anthony Mary Amponsah-Poku, James Baffuor Addoh, Francis Boakye Tawiah and Dominic Asiedu Fosu, were invested as Prelates of Honour and made Monsignors, in a fully- packed liturgical ceremony at the St. Peter’s Cathedral Basilica after the rescripts from the Holy See had been read in the presence of the Clergy, the Religious and the Lay Faithful. Some 30 lay men and women also received various decorations and papal Knighthood and Dames.
2009 a) 5th December, 2009, the FST Sisters celebrated their Silver Jubilee (25th Anniversary).
b) 11th December, 2009, Archbishop Emeritus celebrated his 50th Anniversary as Priest (Golden Jubilee)
2010: a) 10th August – Creation of ten (10) Parishes and two (2) Rectorates
b) 24th October – Inauguration of the Chapel of St.Gregory the Great Major
2011 a) 1st May – Pope’s day grand celebration at St.Peter’s Cathedral Basilica. Almost all
the Bishops in Ghana were present
b) 26 June – Offical Inauguration of the 130th Anniversary of the Catholic
Archdiocese of Kumasi