Society Matters | Volume 34 No. 2 | Winter 2024

Volume 34 No. 2 | Winter 2024 6 Society Matters Fr Edward letting his ‘light shine’ in first missionary assignment Fr Edward Teye, who was born and raised in Ghana and underwent part of his formation in Australia, says his enthusiasm for his first missionary assignment in Zimbabwe remains as high as the first day he arrived, despite the various challenges presented by a different culture and language. Fr Edward has been in Zimbabwe for about two years, living and working in the capital city of Harare at the Holy Cross Parish Budiriro, which is located about 21 km from the Central Business District. He says he has been busy since his arrival, first learning the ChiShona language, and also engaging in parish youth ministry. “Learning a new language for missionary work is a great challenge,” he says. “However, after six months in the language school and six weeks of practice in the village, my Shona has improved drastically. “Assigned as Assistant Priest and the Spiritual Director of Youth Ministry, I promptly engaged with youth recollections, youth retreats, and youth pilgrimages which took us far and wide.” Fr Edward says that his faith and missionary vocation was deeply influenced by the faith of his great grandparents, who had him baptised and introduced him to Marian spirituality, as well as SVD priests he encountered. Becoming an altar server at his parish also played a key role in his faith formation. He first encountered the SVD while growing up with his great grandparents at Sekesua, a farming village in the Lower Manya District in the Eastern Region. “I was greatly influenced by SVD Missionaries who used to pass by our home on their way to their Mission Station at Osonson,” he says. “When my great grandfather died in1992 and I moved to Odumase Krobo to live with my grandparents, there, at the Holy Trinity Parish I met Fr Clement Hortse SVD (deceased) and Fr John Acheampong SVD who motivated me a lot by the kind of life they lived.” Before joining the SVD, Edward studied Civil Engineering and then tried his hand in various work environments. “In 2011 as a Technician Civil Engineer having fun on various construction projects in Ghana, I decided to respond to the deep-seated desire of my heart to be a priest,” he said. After completing his three-year postulancy and philosophical studies and then the Novitiate program in Ghana, he was assigned to Australia in 2015 to Study Theology and to complete his basic formation at Dorish Maru College, Melbourne. Edward took his final SVD vows in 2020 and was ordained a deacon, carrying out his diaconal pastoral ministry during the COVID-19 pandemic, at St Francis Xavier Parish in Box Hill. “Fr Tony Kerin, my great mentor, and the generous parishioners afforded me the opportunity to learn and to prepare adequately for my future priesthood ministry,” he said. Edward was ordained to the priesthood on November 27, 2021, together with four other Divine Word Missionaries at the Our Lady of La Vang Shrine in Keysborough, Melbourne. Parishioners gathered outdoors for Mass while the church was being repaired.