On his 50th Birthday, several members of the family of Fr. Emmanuel Oposika Acquaye, OFM Conv., including his dear mother, three of his sisters, their husbands and children, traveled to the United States from Ghana, to celebrate with him.
With the help of Fr. Michael Heine, OFM Conv. [Minister Provincial], Fr. Gary Johnson, OFM Conv. [Vicar Provincial – photo cred] and the rest of our friars of Ellicott City, MD (Portiuncula Friary and St. Joseph Cupertino Friary), the family was able to surprise Friar Emmanuel, as they entered the Portiuncula Friary Chapel, where he was preparing to celebrate Morning Mass with his confreres. Friar Emmanuel was overwhelmed with joy as he began to celebrate Mass with so many of his loved ones, after a very long time apart. He was so moved with emotion that Friar Michael had to take over for him, in the middle of The Introductory Rites. The Acquaye family will enjoy the hospitality of these two friaries as they stay for an extended visit in the United States.
A bit about Friar Emmanuel: First professing his Simple Vows in 1999, Friar Emmanuel was ordained a friar-priest in 2006. Born in Ghana, during his formation years, he studied in Kenya, Zambia and Padua, Italy. A friar of the Provincial Custody of St. Anthony of Padua in Ghana (of the Italian Province of St. Anthony of Padua, in Northern Italy), he arrived in Our Lady of the Angels Province, USA, in 2014 to further his education (Spiritual and Pastoral Care & as a Clinical and Mental Health Counselor), as he lived and ministered with our friars of the St. Joseph Cupertino Friary. He moved “down the hill” to our Porciuncula Friary in 2019, transfiliation ad tempus to our province in 2020. Throughout his years living and serving with our province, Friar Emmanuel has provided Mass and Sacramental assistance at The Shrine of St. Anthony [Ellicott City, MD], celebrated Mass at the St. Joseph Nursing Home [Catonsville, MD], serves as Chaplain at MedStar Good Samaritan Hospital [Baltimore, MD], and works as a Mental Health Counselor.
On Saturday, December 17, 2022, more family traveled from Ghana and from around the USA to celebrate Friar Emmanuel in grand fashion, in the dining room of The Shrine of St. Anthony, set up and decorated by his dear family. Over 50 family members, friends and local friars enjoyed an incredible evening, organized, prepared and served by his abundance of visiting family members who prepared and a Ghanian Feast.