St Theresa of Child Jesus Society installs new national president

Dame Obaapanyin Theresa Efua Arkhurst was last Saturday  installed the new  national president of the St Theresa of Child Jesus Society  at its 8th biennial national delegates  conference  held at the St Kizito Retreat Centre,  at  Apowa, in the Takoradi Diocese  in  the Western Region.

It was held on the theme, “Emulate St Theresa, our beacon of hope for the  sick and suffering’.

Dame Arkhurst,  a   former  vice  national  president  of the   St Theresa, elected  into office  on October  2019, was recently awarded  a Papal Knighthood of the Order of St Gregory the Great, and would occupy the position from 2019 to 2021.

In her address, she called for a transformation and renewal of the vocation of the patron saint and rededication of services  of  members  to the poor and the vulnerable.

Emulating  St Theresa, she admonished,  rested  on faith, enduring suffering and severe temptations, but, this she believed  should  end  in the joy  of faith,  saying that  “in suffering,  Mother Theresa  always united with  the heart  of  Jesus Christ.”

She continued, “We must bear the pain of one another as followers  of the ‘ little flower’. We must desist from caring for only our friends and loved one to caring for all ,” she urged.

Dame Arkhurst told the delegates that many women in the church were going through depression and other forms of suffering just as St Theresa, their patron saint, experienced  in  life, and added that, the youth in Ghana were  going  through pain in the area  of their faith,family life, education and individual development.

She noted: “The issue of sickness in our world today  is always a difficult  one to deal with. However, one thing is for sure, sickness should not cause us to lose faith in God, and I want to believe that anyone who belongs to the St Theresa, suffering for one reason or the other believes that God is still in control.

“Such was the case of St Theresa of the Child of Jesus in whom I state my conviction as our beacon  of hope for the sick and suffering. St Theresa knew the world of suffering. She had her own share in the world’s pain, distress and hardships. She lost her mother when she was only four and half years old.”

Dame Arkhurst said the patron saint fought the temptation to despair and made frequent acts of faith in Jesus and God’s love for her, and was convinced that the  suffering   and death of Jesus Christ could transform the world.

She was  proud to see St Theresa  become a formidable society as the conference reflected on the “good works  of our patron St Theresa  of the Child of Infant Jesus across the nation,” stressing  that “the church  without doubt   should  be our concern   and with the little smiles brighten the faces  of the suffering and  offer hope for the future.”

Dame Arkhurst  declared: “Let us experience a St Theresa Society that is ready to change the face of the mother Church by making sacrifices needed to uplift  her.  We all can start to experience the inward renewal that she experienced when we come to God with our suffering.”

The Archbishop of Accra and Apostolic Administrator for the Sekondi-Takoradi Diocese, Most Rev John Bonaventure Kwofie, who joined the society  for a thanksgiving service at the Star of the Sea Cathedral in Takoradi, applauded the work  of Dame Arkhurst on the Diocesan Finance Council and as a Coordinator of the Laity Council,  adding that “you  have been leader of women organisation.”

Commenting on the Papal award, he said,  Dame Arkhurst was an accomplished educationist,  who  was  inspired by the patron saint and brought  dignity, commitment,  and was not surprised  that  she was elected  President of St  Theresa Society.


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