Q&A With Associate Father John Amankwah
Father John Amankwah made his commitment as an Associate in Mission on Sunday, Nov. 16 in the Motherhouse chapel. During the ceremony, Fr. John, alongside his companion, S. Monica Ann Lucas, was called forward to read his personal statement and make his formal request to the Community. Learn more about one of our newest Associates in the following question and answer.
Where do you currently live?
Are you currently employed? If so, please describe your responsibilities and how long you have been there.
I have been teaching at Mount St. Joseph University for the last 10 years in the field of Communication and New Media Studies.
Tell us a little about yourself (i.e. hobbies, interests, volunteer activities).
I do a lot of volunteering, at Our Lady of Victory parish, St. Antoninus and St. William. Part of my volunteer work with those communities is counseling, especially marriage counseling. At times I do a lot of religious teachings. Here at the University, I take part in many Campus Ministry activities. I celebrate Mass at the University twice a week.
How did you become acquainted with the Sisters of Charity of Cincinnati?
I didn’t know about the Sisters of Charity of Cincinnati until I got to the Mount. When I first moved here, Dr. Elizabeth Barkley was very kind and introduced me to her sister, S. Mary Bookser. She used to be the Service Learning coordinator for the University, so I worked with her on many Service Learning projects. It was through working here that I became open to the spirit and charism of the Sisters of Charity. I was introduced to their charism and their love of Christ.
What compelled you to become an Associate of the Community?
Slowly, slowly, S. Mary Bookser, who is now like an older sister to me, managed to get me more and more interested. One day we were talking and she said, “You know it would be nice if you became an Associate, and you could help the lay people.” I thought that it was a good idea.
How have some of the Sisters or your fellow Associates touched your life?
There is something about S. Mary Bookser; she exudes a lot of compassion. She carries an air of compassion around her and you can’t miss it. It has had a great impact on me. We have shared a lot spiritually. We have shared resources and ways to help people and she definitely knows how to evangelize.
Do you see yourself touching others similarly?
I have a very compassionate heart for people. I think that is how I have lived my life, just by being there for others.
In what ways do you feel you carry out the spirit of Elizabeth Seton in your daily life?
I feel strongly that students come here seeking knowledge and I have always made it a challenge to them to understand knowledge as one of the gifts of God; therefore, our exploration for knowledge should not be without the spirit of God.
The beauty of it is that the spirituality of Elizabeth Seton is so adaptable to any circumstance. That is what spirituality is supposed to be. That is what I hope to bring to the Community and my fellow Associates.