|Birth: ||May 10, 1918|
|Death: ||Mar. 6, 2008|
Cardinal Peter Poreku Dery was born on May 10, 1918, in Zemuopare, Ghana, to a pagan family. The fourth of ten children of Theodore Poreku and Agnes Zoore, he was given birth in the house of his uncle Ngmankurinaa. As he was born after the death of his immediate brother and he was thought to be his reincarnation, the future Cardinal was called Dery. The future Prelate accompanied his named uncle to establish his many and varied fetishes for the prominent people of the area, where his main duty was to help his uncle slay the animals and hens required for the establishment. He was baptized in Jirapa in 1933, and took the Christian name of Peter.
Following studies in Wiagha and Antigonish, Canada, and Brussels, Belgium, from where he obtained a Doctorate in Theology, he was ordained to the Priesthood on February 11, 1951, at St. Theresa's Church, Nandom, by Msgr. Gerard Bertrand M. Afr., Bishop of Tamale at the age of 32.
On March 16, 1960, Dery was appointed as the First Bishop of the Diocese of Wa, Ghana, by Pope John XXIII and received his Episcopal Consecration on May 8, at the Patriarchal Vatican Basilica from the named Pope, assisted by Msgr. Napoléon-Alexandre La Brie, Titular Bishop of the See of Ilta, National Director of the Pontifical Missionary Work of Canada, French Sector, and by Msgr. Fulton John Sheen, Titular Bishop of the See of Cesariana, Auxiliary of New York, National Director of the Pontifical Missionary Work of the United States of America.
As soon as he was installed as Bishop, he requested permission from Rome to translate the Ordinary of the Mass into Dagare and have it sung in local melodies, accompanied by local musical instruments. Permission was given and the Bishop himself composed the First Dagare Mass. It was a milestone in the Africanization of the Church in Ghana. Laity involvement, the education of the youth and vocational promotion were his three other main goals.
After serving as Apostolic Administrator of the Diocese of Tamale, following the resignation of Msgr. Gabriel Champagne M. Afr., Dery was named his Successor on November 18, 1974. He further on named as Metropolitan Archbishop of Tamale when the See was elevated to that rank by the Holy See on May 30, 1977.
Msgr. Dery retired from his Office aged 75, on March 26, 1994. Pope Benedict XVI named him Cardinal Deacon in his First Consistory of March 24, 2006, with the Deaconry of Santa Elena Fuori Porta Prenestina at the age of 87, and was installed four days later.
The Cardinal died at the age of 89, on Thursday, March 6, 2008, in Tamale, on the occasion of Ghana's 51st Independence Day. His body was conveyed from the Morgue to the Our Lady of the Annunciation Metropolitan Cathedral, Tamale, for Reception and Vigil Mass at the Jubilee Park on Monday, March 31, 2008. President John Agyekum and Vice - President Alhaji Aliu Mahama joined the huge crowd of Catholic faithfuls from across the Country, Rome and Burkina Faso. Also present among others were Ministers of State, members of the Council of State and parliamentarians, Cardinal Peter Appiah Turkson, Archbishop of Accra, was delegated by the Pope to officiate at the burial service.
Following the celebration of a Requiem Mass at the at the Tamale Sports Stadium on April 1, 2008, the Cardinal was interred inside the Metropolitan Cathedral of Tamale.
Our Lady Of Annunciation Cathedral
Created by: Eman Bonnici
Record added: Apr 26, 2008
Find A Grave Memorial# 26400919
It Was You, O God, Who Made Your Servant Cardinal Dery, A Successor Of The Apostles By Raising Him To The Episcopal Order. May He Also Be Associated With Them Forever. We Ask This Through Our Lord, Jesus Christ, Your Son.|
Added: Jul. 19, 2011
Added: Apr. 26, 2008