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Peter Poreku DERY.

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Cardinal Dery

Birth. May 10, 1918, Ko, diocese of Wa, Ghana. Of a Pagan family. His father's name was Poreku. He was born in the house of his uncle Ngmankurinaa. He was born after the death of his immediate brother and he was thought to be a reincarnation of his brother and thus called Dery. The future cardinal accompanied his uncle to establish his many and varied fetishes for the prominent people of the area; his main duty was to help his uncle slay the animals and hens required for the establishment of konkpenebie, konkyekommo, sokyere, doosoglaa, nyogebaliere, and the rest of them. He was baptized in Jirapa in 1933.

Education. Minor Seminary, Navrongo; St.Peter`s Major Seminary, Wiagha (philosophy and theology); University of St. Francis Xavier, Antigonish, Canada (diploma in social studies, 1958), International Catechetical Institute "Lumen vitae", Brussels, Belgium. Obtained a doctorate in theology.

Priesthood. Ordained, February 11, 1951, St. Theresa's Church, Nandom. (No further information found yet).

Episcopate. Elected first bishop of Wa, March 16, 1960. Consecrated, May 8, 1960, patriarchal Vatican basilica, by Pope John XXIII, assisted by Napoléon Alexandre Labrie, titular bishop of Hilta, and by Fulton John Sheen, titular bishop of Caesariana, auxiliary of New York. In the same ceremony was consecrated Paul Zougrana, M.Afr., archbishop of Ouagadougou, future cardinal. 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 vocations promotion were his three other main goals. Participated in the Second Vatican Council, 1962-1965. Apostolic administrator, sede vacante of Tamale. Transferred to the see of Tamale, November 18, 1974. Promoted to metropolitan archbishop of Tamale when the see was elevated to that rank, May 30, 1977. President of the Ghana Catholic Bishops' Conference from 1982 to 1988. Attended the II Extraordinary Assembly of the World Synod of Bishops, Vatican City, November 24 to December 8,1985; and the VII Ordinary Assembly of the World Synod of Bishops, Vatican City, October 1 to 30, 1987. Resigned the government of the archdiocese, March 26, 1994.

Cardinalate. Created cardinal deacon in the consistory of March 24, 2006; received the red biretta and the deaconry of S. Elena fuori Porta Prenestina, March 24, 2006. He was older than 80 years at the time of his promotion to the cardinalate and thus not eligible to participate in a conclave.

Bibliography. Dery, Peter Poreku ; Bemile, Paul. From assistant fetish priest to archbishop: Studies in honour of Archbishop Dery. New York : Vantage Press, 1987.

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