Ghana’s Minister for Railways Development, John Peter Amewu, has called for the maintenance, protection of heritage and the transformation of the Navrongo Minor Basilica into a potential tourist destination.
He urged the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture, the Ghana Museums, and Monuments Board to collaborate with caretakers of the sacred building to take steps to preserve and make it one of the country’s potential tourist sites.
Mr. Amewu noted that as a House of God, the Basilica offered spiritual solace to countless individuals who gather to pray for interventions to the difficulties they face in life, stating that its preservation would largely boost tourism in the locality.
Mr. Amewu, who doubles as the Member of Parliament (MP) for Hohoe, made the call when he represented Vice President Alhaji Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia at the centenary celebration of the Our Lady of Seven Sorrows Minor Basilica in Navrongo on Saturday, September 18, 2021.
He said, “While you take stock, I expect that you are already planning for the future. This should include a maintenance plan with new ideas and strategies on how to enhance this House of God. Through regular maintenance, the traditional architecture will be sustained.
It is on this note that I commend the Basilica Maintenance Committee for the good work and urge them to keep at it. Aim to boost the tourism potential of not only the church but the locality.
On this note, I encourage the Hon. Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture, and the Ghana Museums and Monuments Board to collaborate and assist the Committee in charge of the maintenance of the Minor Basilica to protect this national heritage.”
While urging the Catholic faithful, who gathered for the celebration to follow the sacrificial and good example of the missionaries who constructed the basilica, Mr. Amewu commended the Catholic Church for their efforts in keeping the edifice in good shape.
He presented a government donation of Ghc20,000 to cater for a year’s maintenance cost of the building and assured the government’s continuous support to the Catholic Church.
Mr Amewu appealed to the Catholic Church as well as other faith based bodies to lay more emphasis in their homilies and catechesis the need for people to uphold values such as hard work, honesty and integrity, and to shun the materialism and get rich quick syndrome that is fast eroding the moral fabric of our society.
For his part, the Bishop of the Navrongo-Bolgatanga Diocese of the Catholic Church, Most Rev. Alfred Agyenta, prayed for the peaceful rest of the soul of Hajia Mariama Bawumia, mother of the Vice President.
He extended his condolence to Dr. Bawumia and his family and prayed to God to continue to comfort them as they mourn the death of their beloved mother. He urged the congregation to also pray for the second family.
Bishop Agyenta commended the Basilica committee for ensuring its proper maintenance and urged them to keep to the protection and preservation of the culture and tradition of the sacred building.
“100 years in the lifespan of a building constructed entirely of mud is a great achievement, especially in a nation noted for its very poor maintenance culture? It is a great feast worth celebrating.”
The centenary celebration was on them, “100 years of existence of the Minor Basilica, celebrating our membership of the household of God, (Eph 2, 19).” in attendance was the Apostolic Nuncio to Ghana, Most Rev. Henryk Micczyslaw Jagodzinski.
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