MOST CHALLENGING THOUGHTS:
1, In its approach to dogma and doctrine, the African intellect likes to synthesise the abstract and the concrete. Over-emphasis in education on the purely abstract can lead to weakness of faith.
The catechist's task is to teach dogmas and doctrines in a way that takes into account the imagery of African culture. This requires intense study and research, training in catechetical techniques as well as a knowledge of the African mind.
A team of experts is wanted to give full-time attention to constructing an appropriate system of catechetics for Africa. Missionaries in the field are overworked, and are too scarce to he withdrawn. Experts must come from Europe.
They must set up a centre for study and the publication of catechisms and pamphlets, and a school for training lay African teachers and catechists in new and advanced methods.
2. In the S.V.D's vocational school in Accra youngsters study the Church's social teaching at the same time as they learn their crafts and trades. Principle and action interweave, and moral disciplines are learnt more sympathetically at the hands of thse who have given the students a chance to earn their living.
3. Africa's special need is for priest-specialists in many fields, trained before they come to Africa, There is no time or scope for training them after they have arrived. Specialists in social work are certainly needed. but Bishop Bowers also wants priests specially trained in theology and philosophy (to deal with the intellectuals) and above all in the techniques of Catholic Action.
Ile lays great stress on the need for priests trained in the
methods of the Young Chris tian Workers, whose genius is to integrate action with dogma.
He wants priests who can conduct social study classes with small elite groups and fit them fur action at Ike same time.
Too much time, he warns, can be wasted in travelling round giving lectures all over the place, and then leaving them without any follow-up.
4. On the level of the intellectual apostolate. Bishop Bowers points to the outstanding value of priests like Fr. Boaters, an American Divine Word missionary, known as the "Sputnik Priest" because he was one of the first to track the course of the first U.S. space satellite, who holds a Ph.D. in physics, and does vitally important work with the Aquinas Society in the University of Ghana.