· Vatican City ·

Ghana: Fr Andrew Campbell’s healing mission of hope

 Ghana: Fr Andrew Campbell’s healing mission of hope  ING-022
31 May 2024

On Monday, 27 May, Pope Francis received in private audience the Irish svd priest, Fr Andrew Campbell, a missionary who has lived and worked in Ghana for the last 53 years.

Inspired by Saint Theresa of Kolkata, India, Fr Andrew Campbell has dedicated his life to working with the poor and marginalized of Ghana. He has had great impact, especially working with street children, those suffering from disabilities such as Leprosy, and those generally disadvantaged by society.

I was a Labourer at the age of 13

“I was working at the age of 13 as a Labourer. So, I know what it is like to go without education. I don’t want anybody to go through what I went through . … there are a hundred thousand street children in the City of Accra living on the streets. They range from little kids onwards …. But with the Lepers, I am actually living with them. I help them, ensuring everything is okay: their health and food. I care for these needs while living with them,” Fr Campbell said.

Meeting Pope Francis

Speaking to Vatican News after meeting with Pope Francis, Fr Campbell expressed his great joy at the encounter.

“I can’t put words to it. It was so wonderful meeting him [Pope Francis]. This man has always attracted me with his love for the poor”, Fr Campbell said.

Fr Campbell was accompanied to the Vatican meeting with the Pope, by the Ghanaian couple, Mr Gabriel Asempa Antwi and his wife, Priscilla. Also, present were H.E. Mrs Merene Botsio Benyah, Ghana’s Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to Italy. She was with her dear husband, Mr Henry Benyah.

From Mangoes to a new calling

It all started when someone suffering from Leprosy gave Fr Campbell a bag of Mangoes. He failed to eat them, fearing he could contract the disease himself. Then, his conscience got the better of him. He went to see where those suffering from Leprosy were staying. He was appalled by the conditions and, from there, started an apostolate to Ghana’s marginalised.

By Paul Samasumo