Ho Diocese is located in the Volta Region of Ghana and constitutes ten Administrative Districts, namely: Ho, Kpando and Hohoe municipal areas. Others include, North Dayi, South Dayi, Adaklu, Agortime-Ziope, Ho-West, Afadjato-South Districts and parts of Asuogyaman District in the Eastern Region. The Diocese lies within longitudes 12'E and 0 53'E; and latitudes 6 20'N.

The Jasikan District lies in the North of the Ho Diocese while it is bordered in the East by the Republic of Togo. The Southern border is shared with Akatsi and North Tongu Districts while the Volta Lake forms the Western boundary. Ho Diocese covers a total land area of 5893 square kilometers. It is divided into twenty-nine Parishes.

The History Of St. Anthony’s Guild In The Diocese Of Ho

The St. Anthony’s Guild in the Ho Diocese dates as early as the 1940s when the early Missionaries, worked in the former Keta Diocese. The prayer Book “St. Anthony’s Treasury which was either given or sold to the literate few who worked with them and the statues the Missionaries left at the various stations encouraged private devotions to the Saint and inspired the formation and devotion to the saint.

Those private devotees were interested in the miracles of the saint and later spread the devotion among others.
In 1943 Col P.K.D. Habada, the immediate past National President and others at Keta started the J unior group of the Guild.
In the early fifties and sixties through to the seventies devotion spread to most churches in the Diocese by those who experienced the Saint’s prompt intercession to prayer for quick results.
In 1962, devotion to the Saint spread to Kpando and its surrounding towns and villages by Messrs Donkor Boniface and Tambo Christopher (both deceased).

It was the same in the St. Augustine Church, Gbi Central Hohoe with the late Bro. Linus Kudzi and Alfred Soglo firmly behind its success. Bro. Kudzi Linus became a member of the National council of the Guild in Ghana.
Devotion to St. Anthony entered Kete – Krachi in the Northern Volta in 1970 from Dodi Amanfrom by Bro. Agbodamenu, a head teacher.
It later reached Ho-Bankoe but faded away. However, Mr. & Mrs. P. D. T. Hondjoh arrived from Dodi Papase in 1974 to revive it; now using the Ewe language. Eighty adults firmly supported its formation and Mr. & Mrs. Simon Kangah, James Kukah, Bro. Emmanuel Gakpe and Togbi Akordor to mention just a few worked for its success. The Ho Bankoe Guild still stands as the seat for the Diocesan Guild.

In 1972, the Guild reached Hlefi (from Anfoeta Chebi) where the early Missionaries had earlier left a beautiful gaint statue of St. Anthony.
Between 1972 and 1987, the Guild spread to most towns and villages like Taviefe Aviefe and Deme, Frankadua, Anfoega Dzana, Kpando Agbenoxoe, Ve – Golokwati, Botoku, Vakpo, Shia, Kpetoe, Likpe, Lolobi, Liati, Ho Dome, Holy Rosary Hohoe to mention just a few.
The Ho Diocesan Spiritual Directors now are Rev. Frs. Clemence Ashaira and Anthony Dotsey, who are very dynamic Priests working to spread the Guild.
Our energetic Bishop Most Rev. Francis Anani Lodonu, Bishop of Ho Diocese is firmly behind our success.
We thank him for his special interest in the Guild. May St. Anthony intercede for the growth of the Guild in the Diocese to the Greater Glory of God.

The Gbevivi (sweet melody) Group was founded by Most Rev. Francis A. K. Lodonu, Bishop of Ho Diocese on 18th September 1998 after the Bishop returned from his trip to Europe including Germany. He came back with the idea that a cultural troupe must be formed for the youth as a channel in their education and also to portray the culture of the ewe people in the Volta Region in Ghana and more so to enhance the inculturation of the Catholic Liturgy.

In fact, the Bishop’s vision in forming the group is to help in the education of the youth to break out of their entangled poverty and to promote and champion the cause of child education especially the girl child where they are being suppressed. The Bishop wants to give a meaning to life to the youth, to help them to know and love their culture better, to love their country and work for it, live in it and develop it, to love their churches and so come to know God better.

The instructors who train the Gbevivi Group are distinguished experts in music, performing arts, choreography and liturgy. The instructors are: Mr. Pius Penni, Fr. Jesse Amedzi, the late Godwin Feye and Sr. Peace Omega as the liturgical artists. Mr. Martin Amlor, Mr. Francis Amoakutefe and Miss Rose Mansah also taught the group at the initial stage.

The Gbevivi Group is well known and famous for its singing, drumming and dancing at historic, social and liturgical celebrations in Ghana and abroad. The influential person and promoter of the group is Frau Angela Schmalstieg from Duderstadt in Germany.

Bu June 1999, the group was ready for their maiden trip to Germany to perform at various places including Schools, Parishes and the Kirchentag at Stuttgard. It was a very successful six weeks trip.
The group was invited again to the EXPO2000 in Hannover as well as to perform in various places all over Germany from Bremen through Berlin all the way down to the Bavaria region.

In 2001 the group has been invited to the Kirchentag in Frankfurt and also to perform in many Parishes both Catholic and Evangelical, and to perform in many schools from Kindergarten level to the Gymnasium level. The troupe also had the privilege to participate and to perform at the World Youth Day in Cologne, Germany from 16 – 21 august 2005.

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