BIOGRAPHY OF THE MOST REV. JOHN BONAVENTURE KWOFIE, CSSp

Archbishop John Bonaventure Kwofie

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Born to the late Mr. John Kogyan Kwofie and Madam Agnes Ama Tokwah Kwofie on 26th April 1958, the Archbishop-elect Kwofie was the first of ten siblings. He hails from Apowa in the Ahanta West District of the Western Region.

The future Archbishop Kwofie started schooling at Apowa Roman Catholic Primary in 1963. He received baptism from Rev. Fr. Joseph Kwofie and enrolled as a Knight of the Altar. Inspired by the dedication exhibited by Rev. Fr. Kwofie in the discharge of his pastoral duties, he gradually developed interest in the priesthood and entered St. Theresa’s Junior Seminary, Amisano, for his secondary education and to pursue his vocation. At Amisano, he felt the call to the religious-missionary priesthood. He therefore sought to enter the Congregation of the Holy Spirit also known as the Spiritans. After his sixth form studies, the Spiritan Fathers sent him to Seminaire Jean XXIII, Ebolowa in Cameroun for his postulancy formation and to prepare himself for the bilingual formation program a year later at the Spiritan Novitiate in The Gambia. He made his first Religious Profession on 15th August 1981 and continued to Nigeria for studies in philosophy at the Spiritan Institute of Philosophy at Isienu-Nsukka. He did his pastoral year at the Holy Rosary Parish Suame in Kumasi and then proceeded to St. Paul’s College Seminary in Gbarnga, Liberia for theology. He received priestly ordination on 23rd July 1988 from the then Bishop Peter Kwasi Sarpong at Holy Spirit Parish, Bantama in Kumasi. He was sent immediately after his priestly ordination to do a short course on Pastoral Leadership at the Lumko Institute of South Africa.

As a response to his desire to serve the world-Church as a missionary priest, his Superiors sent him to The Gambia on his first missionary assignment. After three years in the mission area of Basse and Bansang, a mission he loved so much and gave himself totally to, he was sent to Rome in 1991 for studies at the Pontifical Biblical Institute where he attained Licentiate in Sacred Scriptures in 1995. As a student of the Pontifical Biblical Institute, he also had the opportunity to do part of his studies at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

Elected Superior of the Spiritan West African Foundation, he returned to Ghana and served the Spiritan Fathers and Brothers working in The Gambia, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Benin and parts of Nigeria for six years. He combined his service as Spiritan Superior with lectureship in biblical studies at the Spiritan Theologate in Enugu, Nigeria. When the Spiritan West African Foundation was raised to the status of a Province, he was elected its first Provincial Superior and served for another three years.

During these years of leadership of his Religious Congregation, he also served the Conference of Major Superiors (Men) as Vice-President for a term of three years and then as President for two terms. When the Continental Conference of Religious Major Superiors of Africa was at its inception stage, he was appointed its first Coordinator with a mandate to organize the Conferences of Religious Major Superiors into an Association of Conferences of Major Superiors of Africa and Madagascar. He carried out this mandate until the African Religious Continental Conference (COSMAM) was inaugurated. He handed over to an elected executive board after two years.

During his nine years of service as Superior of his Religious Congregation, he engaged in pastoral work especially on Sundays in the following parishes – Holy Spirit Parish, Bantama; Corpus Christi Parish, New Tafo and St. John’s Church, Bohyen Ampabame all in the Archdiocese of Kumasi and at St. Maurice Parish, La; St. Catherine, Burma Camp and St. Michel at Michel Camp in the Archdiocese of Accra.  He also loved facilitating Chapters of Religious Congregations. Thinking of helping the growth of Religious Congregations in Africa, he did a course in Monitoring and Evaluation at GIMPA with the hope of applying some of the principles of this discipline to the life of Religious Congregations. Soon after this short program, he was elected the first Assistant to the Superior General of the Congregation of the Holy Spirit and so relocated to the Headquarters of the Spiritan Congregation in Rome where he lived and served the Spiritan family worldwide from 2004 to 2012.  As a General Councillor of the Congregation of the Holy Spirit, he had special responsibility, among others, for the Spiritan circumscriptions in West, East and North Africa accompanying them in matters concerning presence, mission, administration and relationship with local Dioceses and in-charge of Inter-Religious Dialogue and Ecumenical Relations. He also served on the Board of the Centre of Spiritan Studies at Duquesne University, Pittsburgh, USA.

When he completed his term on the General Council of the Spiritans in Rome in 2012, he took a sabbatical year at Fribourg University in Switzerland. He then became a lecturer at the Theology Department of Duquesne University, Pittsburgh, in July 2013 and was appointed Bishop of Sekondi-Takoradi on July 03, 2014. He returned to Ghana and was ordained Bishop on September 13, 2014. Until his appointment on January 02, 2019 as Archbishop of Accra by His Holiness Pope Francis, he served as the fourth Bishop of the Diocese of Sekondi-Takoradi.