Most Reverend Charles Palmer-Buckle, Archbishop of Accra Catholic Diocese has deplored the lavish spending on funerals by Ghanaians, which he said deprive descendants of the deceased the badly needed resources they need.
He observed that a funeral for an ordinary Ghanaian now costs a minimum of GH¢7,500, stressing that it is ridiculous to spend such an amount to “celebrate” a deceased person, who left behind a number of children who are yet to find their feet in life.
He argued that lavish spending on funerals, which is a Ghanaian custom to resettle the dead, was an invention of the present generation and was never a part of cherished Ghanaian traditions.
Archbishop Palmer-Buckle made the observation when he presented GH¢40,000, being the ninth edition of the Archbishop Andoh Education Endowment Fund, scholarship bursaries to 83 students at St Paul’s Catholic Church at Kpehe in Accra on Saturday.
The money is meant to cover the full expenses of the beneficiaries.
The Fund, which was a contribution of members of the church, was established in 2001 to support needy but promising students.
Archbishop Palmer-Buckle said instead of spending hugely on the dead, Ghanaians must rather establish an endowment fund in memory of the deceased, which would be used to sponsor education of their relatives to realise their full potential.
He said: “One genius is worth 4,000 normal people… That is why we need to invest in human beings.”
He said one person who receive proper upbringing could impact on the lives of a number of others.
Archbishop Palmer-Buckle said children would largely remember their great grandfather in whose memory a fund was established to sponsor their education as against their relatives who much money was spent to bury them and left behind debts.
He advised Ghanaians to cultivate a savings culture in order to make money available for future needs.
Archbishop Palmer-Buckle also called on the church to adopt sustainable means of generating funds for missionary activities rather than solely depending on the traditional offertory by members to carry out projects.
He advised beneficiaries of the scholarship to learn hard and eschew indiscipline to enable them become responsible citizens who would also give back to society.
He thanked benefactors of the fund for their kind gesture, which he said is transforming the lives of others.
Madam Hannah Felicity Quarm, Human Resource Manager of the Internal Revenue Service, who was the Guest Speaker, underscored the need for Christians to support the needy, saying it is necessity that facilitates pure and complete Christian life.
She said even though government is implementing a number of interventions to make education affordable to all, the citizenry especially Christians also need to step-in in fulfilment of the Scriptures to reach out to the less-privileged in the society.
Very Reverend Father Francis Adoboli, Vicar General of Accra Archdiocese and Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the fund, prayed that “our collective efforts to help produce knowledgeable and loving future leaders for the church and country, will receive God’s guidance and blessings.