Rev. Fr. Isaac Akapata, Wiaga

Bishop Alfred Agyenta Akawura: Life, career and his first activities as a bishop

Life and career

His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI, Head of the Catholic Church, has appointed the Reverend Father Alfred Agyenta as the new Bishop of the Navrongo-Bolgatanga Diocese. The new Bishop succeeds the late Most Reverend Lucas Abadamloora, who passed away on December 23, 2009. Bishop Alfred Agyenta is the third indigenous Bishop of the Navrongo-Bolgatanga Catholic Diocese. Rev Fr. Agyenta was born in Wiagha in the Navrongo-Bolgatanga Diocese on January 20, 1959 to Mr. & Mrs. Sylvester and Diana Agyenta with a humble family background. Mr. Sylvester was for a very long time both a carpenter and cook to the Missionaries in Wiaga, while Diana dedicatedly served the family as a housewife.

Bishop Alfred Agyenta attended his primary and middle schools in Wiaga from 1964-1974 and thereafter entered the Notre Dame Minor Seminary Secondary School in Navrongo from 1974-1979 for his O-Levels. He proceeded to study for his ‘A’ Levels in the Nandom Secondary School. In 1981 he entered the St. Victor’s Major Seminary in Tamale for his priestly formation and was ordained on August 6, 1988 in Wiaga for the Navrongo-Bolgatanga Diocese. He worked as assistant parish priest in the Our Lady of Seven Sorrows Cathedral, Navrongo, from 1988-1991.

The late Most Rev. Rudolph Akanlu of blessed memory sent him to Rome to study Scripture in the Biblicum. After his brilliant success in his studies he returned to Ghana and his bishop, the late Most Rev. Lucas Abadamloora of blessed memory, appointed him Lecturer and Formator at the St. Victor’s Major Seminary from 1995-2000. Rev. Fr. Agyenta went to Belgium, Leuven, for his doctorate and returned in 2006 as a staff of St Victor’s and St. Augustine Millennium Seminary till his election as bishop of the Navrongo-Bolgatanga diocese. His Excellency, the Apostolic Nuncio to Ghana, Most Rev. Leon B. Kalenga, made the announcement at a press conference in Accra on Tuesday, April 5th, while his secretary and the archbishop of Tamale announced the news of the election of Bishop Alfred Agyenta to the clergy, religious and lay faithful in the Sacred Heart co-Cathedral Parish in Bolgatanga on the same date and time. The ordination of the new bishop may take place in July 2011.


Installation and Ordination: see separate article in BULUK 6 with photos taken by Fr. Isaac Akapata


First Pontifical Thanksgiving Mass

Most Rev. Bishop Alfred Agyenta celebrated his first Pontifical Thanksgiving Mass in Bolgatanga on 2nd July 2011. During the Mass Bishop Alfred Agyenta preached a sermon on the theme, "They have no wine." This theme was drawn from the Gospel story of the wedding at Cana. "In the story, we are told that when the wine ran out Mary informed her son Jesus about it: "They have no wine," said the Bishop. He explained that "to say that ‘there is no more wine simply means there is no more joy, there is nothing to celebrate. Life has become sombre, gloomy, dark and meaningless." The conclusion of the bishop’s sermon was that the Navrongo-Bolgatanga Diocese has run out of wine because "when Navrongo-Bolgatanga is mentioned anywhere it is about a diocese that is divided and polarised; in conflict and at war; very turbulent and with people fighting one another." In a mournfully loud voice that chilled the crowded congregation (moving some to tears), the bishop passionately pleaded with all to give peace a chance since the diocese cannot continue this way.


First Solemn priestly ordination

The Most Rev. Alfred Agyenta, Bishop of Navrongo-Bolgataga Catholic Diocese, had the joy of ordaining Rev. Alfred Awogya, M.Afr., on 6th August 2011 in the Our Lady of Seven Sorrows Cathedral in Navrongo. He related that the ordination of Rev. Alfred Awogya reminds all catholic Christians in the diocese to be aware and grateful to God for the seed of faith sown over hundred years ago in Navrongo by the Missionaries of Africa from then Upper Volta.

In a welcome address Rev. Msgr. James Tachuah, Rector of the Our Lady of Seven Sorrows Minor Basilica, Navrongo, welcomed all to the ordination in Navrongo by recalling the first solemn priestly ordination of Msgr. Alexis Abatey, the first diocesan priest of the then  Northern Region, trained by the Missionaries of Africa for the diocese of Navrongo. Many Missionaries of Africa priests came all over from Burkina together with some diocesan priest for the ordination.

The newly ordained priest, Rev. Fr. Alfred shares much with the Most Rev. Alfred Agyenta with respect to the following, which came to be known as happy coincidences: their names – Alfred; Birthdays – 20th January 1959 and 1981 respectively; their Priestly ordinations – 6 August 1988 and 2011 respectively; their fathers’ names – Sylvester Agyenta and Sylvester Awogya respectively and their mothers’ names nearly close, Diana and Joana!

In his thankful remarks, Rev. Fr. Alfred Awogya thanked the Most Rev. Fr. Alfred Agyenta for ordaining him and being his senior brother in every respect. Most Rev. Alfred Agyenta, Fr. Richard Baawobr and Fr. Dominic Apee (Superior General and Provincial Superior of the Missionaries of Africa) thanked the parents of Fr. Alfred Awogya for offering him to the Church for mission. Rev. Fr. Alfred is posted to Zambia, Southern Africa.