Tamale, May 10, GNA – An inauguration of the beatification and canonization process of late Peter Cardinal Porekuu Dery has taken place at the Our Lady of Apostles Catholic Cathedral in Tamale as a first step towards canonization and permitting public veneration.
Beatification in the Roman Catholic Church refers to a declaration by the Pope that a dead person is in a state of paradise, and constitutes the first step towards canonization and permitting public veneration.
Canonization, on the other hand, is the act by which the Catholic Church declares that a person who has died was a saint, upon which declaration the person is included in the canon, or list, of recognized saints.
Most Reverend Philip Naameh, Archbishop of Tamale, expressed joy that the Pope had granted the request to raise Cardinal Dery to the rank of a Saint, and advised Christians to live lives worthy of emulation to gain access to the kingdom of God.
He described the late Cardinal Dery as one who served God with all his heart, and that the life he lived touched many hearts and won more souls for Christ.
Most Rev Naameh expressed the hope that the beatification process would lead to his canonization.
He said some people were wearing Christian shirts, which they removed and dumped after church service, a situation he said was not building their faith in God to prepare them for heaven.
Most Rev. Naameh said the beatification of Cardinal Dery should be used to let Christians commit their lives and rededicate their time and resources to the work of God, in order to reap the enormous benefits associated with kindness.
“It is important therefore for us as worthy Christians to live the Christian ways but not any other ways of seeking wealth”, he said, and stressed the importance of peace, unity and togetherness, for Ghana to remain a safe haven for all Ghanaians.
He used the occasion to appeal to politicians to serve the nation with holy hearts, saying, “Politicians can make the people happy if they serve the country with holy hearts, ” and urged all religious faiths to constantly offer prayers for the President and his Cabinet, to work and meet the aspirations of the people.
Peter Cardinal Porekuu Dery was born on May 10, 1918 in Zimuopari, a village near Nandom in the Upper West Region, and was ordained priest on February 11, 1951 after he completed St. Teresa’s Major Seminary in the Archdiocese of Cape Coast.
Peter Cardinal Dery also completed the St. Paul’s Junior School and the Immaculate Conception Junior Seminary both in Navrongo in 1934 and 1939.
He enrolled in St. John Bosco’s Training College also in Navrongo, which he completed in 1941 with Teacher’s certificate ‘B’.
He was elected first bishop of Wa on March 16, 1960, and was consecrated bishop on May 8, 1960 at the Patriarchal Vatican.
After his retirement, Peter Cardinal Dery was created cardinal by Pope Benedict XVI in the consistory of March 24, 2006 and installed Cardinal-Deacon of Saint Elena on March 28, 2006.
He died on March 6, 2008.