Take 5 with Father: A Generous Gardener
HE IS: Monsignor Francis Boakye Tawiah, a diocesan priest for the Archdiocese of Kumasi, Ghana, and parochial vicar of St. Philip the Apostle in Lewisville since 2016. Msgr. Tawiah came to the diocese in 2012 and has also served at St. Vincent de Paul Parish in Arlington and St. Patrick Cathedral.
LEARNING FROM THE ELDER: Francis attended the parish and Catholic school where his grandfather worked, and he even lived part-time with the “prayerful, peace-loving man.” His grandfather’s influence began when Francis was an infant, listening to his grandfather pray the Rosary, a habit the priest has embraced. Although Francis considered becoming a physician, his grandfather’s example in faith led the young man to the priesthood.
FAMILY UNIT: Msgr. Tawiah has three siblings, plus cousins too numerous to count (his grandfather had 12 children). An uncle is a priest, and the family has three religious sisters. “No matter where we are, we are a cohesive family,” he said. His near daily phone calls with his mother keep that relationship strong despite the miles.
A SEED IS PLANTED: Msgr. Tawiah loves the parable of the sower. “It’s unthinkable for someone to generously cast seeds. That is the generosity of God. God is not always looking for results and payback. It’s what He generously can give and will give that makes meaning in life.”
Msgr. Tawiah keeps a flower garden at home and tends the plants at the parish. “I love anything that comes from the earth and brings life.”
EUCHARISTIC JOY: Seeing the community gathered at Mass brings a smile to his face. “God Himself is kind enough to offer Himself as food, and whenever I give food to the hungry, it brings joy to my heart.”
A GLOBAL PANDEMIC: “Unfortunately our world today is losing our sense of community, of care and concern. At this moment, we should be thinking about how to reach out to others, not only about ourselves.” Msgr. Tawiah said COVID-19 has tested our humanity and provides the opportunity to appreciate how precious life is and to improve how we relate to one another.
ONE CHURCH: He is grateful to this diocese for giving him the opportunity to serve here and comprehend firsthand the universality of the Church. The Liturgy reminds Msgr. Tawiah that “anywhere I go, I have a family.”