Sister-Parish in Ghana

St. Francis Xavier Parish in Wiaga, Ghana

The parish was founded in 1927 by the Missionaries of Africa (also known as the White Fathers). In 2007, the Missionaries of Africa turned the parish over to diocesan priests. It is the third oldest parish in Northern Ghana. Besides the main church, there are eight outstation (mission) churches in the parish:

  • Gbedema
  • Bayangsa
  • Chansa
  • Mutiensa
  • Tankangsa
  • Zamsa
  • Chiok
  • Aboluk
Only Gbedema and Bayangsa have church buildings. The others use schools for worship. <>

In Bayangsa, Fr. George (in the green shirt near the telephone pole) meets with parishioners to develop a parish strategic pastoral plan.

These outstations range from 5-20 miles away, but road conditions can make travel hazardous. When the priests cannot service the missions, extraordinary ministers of holy communion fill in.

English is the official language in Ghana. All schools teach in English, but there are many local dialects. The main population of the parish speaks Buli. Other minority tribes include Gurunse, Kasena, Akan, Kusasi, and Bimoba.

Most parishioners are very low-income earners who support their families through subsistent farming and petty trading. 

The parish has over 4000 Catholics (1250+ men, 1700+ women, 800+ children—2500+ of whom are baptized). Infant baptism is uncommon; most baptisms are adults. There is a 3-year preparation for baptism.

Christianity is the largest religion in Ghana, with approximately 71.2% of Ghana’s population being member of various Christian denominations as of 2010 census.

Parish ministries and organizations:

    • Parish Pastoral Council
    • Parish Finance Council
    • Parish Youth Council
    • Parish Liturgical Council
    • Christian Mothers Association
    • Knights of St. John
    • Catholic Teachers Association
    • Lucas Hospital
    • Catholic Organization for Social and Religious Advancement (COSRA)
    • Legion of Mary
    • Sacred Heart of Jesus
    • Theresa of the Child Jesus
    • League of Tarcisians (Youth service group)
    • Boy Scouts
    • Vincent de Paul
    • Catholic Youth Organization (CYO)
    • Catholic Charismatic Renewal

Because of a lack of classrooms, some of the younger classes meet under trees. Here Sister Matilda is teaching one of the primary classes.

Meanwhile, the parishioners have been working to build new classrooms for their children. They started construction of three classrooms in 2018

Since 2020, the walls have been up and the roof is on. Windows doors, plastering, flooring, painting, and furniture are still needed. When this is complete, they will start construction of another wing of three more classrooms to make it a six-unit block.