Robert wises up for twinning ceremony

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GHANA-BORN Father Robert Afayori returned to his Selkirk parish last week after attending a unique event to mark a new Christian twinning project involving his native country and Germany.

Father Robert, of Our Lady and St Joseph’s, flew to Coesfeld in north-west Germany to formalise the partnership between that city’s Church of Anna Katharina and Our Lady of Seven Sorrows Basilica which is in the market town of Navronga in northern Ghana.

Dressed as Balthazar, one of the Three Wise Men, Father Robert took greetings and good wishes, and joined local children as they raised 3,500 euros (£3,000) for under-privileged children in Ghana and Brazil by simply knocking on doors.

“The young people, between the ages of eight and 16, showed so much zeal and a willingness to help those less fortunate than themselves,” he told us.

“It was very moving to see the children do this in the gales and chilly weather, and the love and concern that accompanied it as a response from the community. It would be nice to see this happen here too.

“I had a fantastic reception and so many people queued to invite me into their homes for a meal – but time was short. Putting some of the invitations on hold, I surely hope to honour them on my next visit.”

Before that comes further study at Edinburgh University as Father Robert strives to complete his divinity degree.

While in Germany, Father Robert participated in the blessing of the new church of Anna Katharina parish, which had grown out of the old church building in the mainly Catholic town.

Back in Selkirk, Father Robert was delighted to play host to his fellow countryman, Brother Anthony Benjamin, who is a Benedictine monk at the Pluscarden Abbey in Elgin. Brother Anthony, 27, has been a monk for the past six years.