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Ghana’s Cardinal Kuuia Baawobr dies at 63

Ghana’s Cardinal Richard Cardinal Kuuia Baawobr, Bishop of Wa, Ghana has died in Rome, the Catholic church confirmed on Sunday.

The 63-year-old Cardinal died on Sunday 27 November 2022.

“Our confrere was taken by ambulance from the Generalate to the Gemelli Hospital at 5.45pm and we received the sad news at 6.25pm,” an official communication said.

Below is the official statement announcing his death:

Health situation
On 27 August, Pope Francis called for prayers for Ghanaian Cardinal Baawobr, who got ill upon his arrival in Rome after he was elevated.

On 18 November 2022, the Cardinal was discharged from the Agostino Gemelli University Hospital/Policlinic where he had been transferred and underwent a heart-related surgery in Rome.

International perspective
In 2016 the Holy Father appointed Reverend Father Richard Kuuia Baawobr (M Afr), then Superior General of the Missionaries of Africa (White Fathers), as the Bishop of Wa in northern Ghana.

Most Reverend Baawobr was born on 21 June 1959 at Tom-Zendagangn, in the Diocese of Wa. He attended elementary school in the village, and continued his studies at St Francis Xavier Minor Seminary and Nandom Secondary School.

He entered the St Victor diocesan major seminary in Tamale in 1979 after his philosophical studies. In 1981 he entered the Society of Missionaries of Africa, where he continued his studies for the priesthood. From 1981 to 1982 he moved to Fribourg, Switzerland, for his novitiate.

Subsequently, he worked to completed his theological studies at the Missionary Institute London between 1982 and 1987. On 5 December 1986 he professed his religious vows at St Edward’s College, London and was ordained a priest on 18 July 1987.

Distinguished career
Since his ordination, Most Reverend Baawobr has served in the following pastoral and academic roles:

1987-91: assistant priest in Livulu in the Archdiocese of Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo;
1991-96: student of exegesis at the Pontifical Biblical Institute in Rome and of Ignatian spirituality at Le Chatelard in Lyons, in France, where he obtained a licentiate in sacred scripture and a doctorate in biblical theology;
1996-99: formator of the Missionaries of Africa in Kahangala, Tanzania;
1999-2004: director of the formation house of Toulouse, France;
2004-2010: first assistant general of the Missionaries of Africa
Since 2010 he has been the Superior General of the Missionaries of Africa (the first African to hold this position) as well as vice-chancellor of the Pontifical Institute of Arabic-Islamic Studies (PISAI).
He was elected by the Union of Superiors General to attend the ordinary assembly of the last Synod of Bishops on the Family, which took place in October 2015.

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