Brother Joseph Annan, CSC, passed to his eternal reward on December 30, 2021, at the Korlebu Hospital (Stroke Unit), Accra.Joe Annan was 71 years old.The funeral, along with the funeral for Brother Daniel Dardoe, CSC, will take place at St. Andre’ Chapel at Holy Cross District Centre, Brafoyaw, Cape Coast, Ghana at 9:30 a.m. on Friday, January 14, 2022.
Below you will find a reflection on Brother Joe’s life written by Brother Nee Wayoe.
Brother Joseph Annan, CSC
September 19, 1950 – December 30, 2021
“Father! Into your hands I commit my spirit!” (Luke 23:46). Thus Brother Joseph Annan answered when, after 71 years of earthly life, the Lord invited him to His heavenly home on the morning of December 30, 2021.
Brother Joseph Annan was born on September 19th, 1950 to Opanyin Kweku Annan and Madam Esi Apiaa, both of blessed memory. He hailed from Gomoa Tarkwa, which he often referred to as ‘The Republic of GTK’. He was so passionate about his roots that, he could even convince adults that the Republic of GTK was a state in itself with highly developed infrastructure paralleled to those of a highly developed country.
Brother Joe, as he was often called, began his elementary school education at St. Joseph Catholic Primary in 1960 at Gomoa Tarkwa and continued at the Local Authority Middle School also in Gomoa Tarkwa. In 1968, he gained admission to St. John’s Secondary School in Sekondi. At St. John’s, the life of the brothers stirred in him the desire to be a religious brother of Holy Cross. He applied to begin his formation and took his first profession of vows in 1976. After his first profession of Vows, he continued his studies at the University of Cape Coast and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1981. His religious formation was not left out either. In 1981, Brother Joseph Annan left for St. Louis University in Missouri USA, to study formative spirituality. The studies in formative spirituality enhanced Brother’s own spiritual growth and also equipped him with the skills to assist others who expressed the interest in living religious life. On his return in 1982 from Missouri, he taught at St. John’s secondary School Sekondi. While teaching, he assumed the role of Vocation Director for the Congregation of Holy Cross in Ghana.
Satisfied that Bro. Joe had an ardent and genuine desire to serve God and humanity and, witnessing to his spiritual growth, the Congregation of Holy Cross permitted him to take his Final Vows on March 19, 1983. Thus, he became a fully incorporated member of the Congregation of Holy Cross. In 1987 to 1989 he was appointed Director of Novices for the Brothers of Holy Cross in the District of West Africa. In the same 1989, Brother Joe became the second Ghanaian Holy Cross brother to be elected as District Superior to lead the brothers for a period of nine years. It was during his tenure of office that the Holy Cross District Centre at Brafoyaw, where we are now gathered, was started.
After nine years of leadership to the Brothers in Ghana, Brother Joe earned a Master of Science degree in Administration at the University of Notre Dame, Indiana, USA. Upon completion of his Master’s degree, much of his apostolate centered on teaching and forming the hearts and minds of young men at St. John’s Secondary school in Sekondi. Committed and dedicated service in the area of education earned Brother Joe the rank of Deputy Director in the Ghana Education Service. Attaining this rank paved the way for him to be appointed the first Ghanaian Holy Cross brother and the first Old Saint to head his alma mater, St. John’s Secondary School.
Brother Joe’s life of service to the Church did not only rest with Holy Cross. In 1981 to 1985, he served as Secretary and eventually President to the then Indigenous West Africa Religious Union (IWARU), now African Religious Union of Ghana (ARUG). In 1992 to 1997 he was the Chairperson for the Board of the Institute for Continuing Formation, a spiritual renewal centre for religious and priests currently located at Elmina. In like manner, Brother Joe served as Vice-President for the Conference of Major Superiors of Religious Orders in Ghana from 1993 to 1997.
In the area of Catholic education, he was, from 2002 to 2006, the National Secretary for the Association of Heads of Catholic Higher Institutions. Until his demise, he was serving the religious of the Archdiocese of Cape Coast as the Episcopal Vicar for Religious, a position to which he was appointed in 2013.
Brother Joe was a man of prayer. And he allowed his prayer to influence his life. One of the manifestations of his deep sense of prayer was shown in the deep compassion he had for the needy. He was so sensitive and empathic that everyone’s problem became his own. His quest to assist those in need drove him to be generous to a fault.
Many who came into contact with him can testify that Brother Joe had a great sense of humor. He brought smiles onto the faces of people with his jokes. He similarly created laughter among those who otherwise felt downhearted and discouraged. He had great respect for people and would ensure that the dignity of each person, regardless of one’s status in society, was upheld.
Throughout his life, Brother Joe always strove to respond to God’s call to service. It is therefore not for nothing that once again Brother Joe answered God’s call to enter into His heavenly home by responding “Father! Into your hands I commit my spirit!” – His final yes to God’s invitation to join the heavenly hosts. And so death, the pathway to God’s heavenly kingdom laid its icy hands on him in the morning of December 30, 2021, after a short illness. This was the life of Brother Joseph Kobena Bekyebo Annan.
May his soul rest in peace! Requiescat in pace!