CHARLESTON—It may be difficult to feel grateful when it is cold and dreary, but on the morning of Nov. 22, there was cause for celebration at St. Patrick Church.
Parishioners and friends joined for Mass and a reception honoring Father Henry Kulah’s 25 years of priestly service to God. No seat was empty at the liturgy, which was followed by an equally packed celebration at the parish center. The event was hosted by the College of Charleston’s Catholic Student Association and the parish planning committee.
Father Kulah is a quiet man who said he enjoys being a priest. He said at the beginning of Mass, “No one is unworthy to serve God.”
It seemed obvious to those around him that God chose him to affect the lives of many. As he walked into the church he shook hands with the people standing in the back, maintaining his characteristic smile. During the reception, representatives of many parishes spoke about the impact Father Kulah had on their own lives and the lives of St. Patrick Church members.
“We have been given a special person as our priest,” said Arthur McFarland, a member of St. Patrick. “We as parishioners love father and we want to thank you for the priest you are.”
Annabell Seabrook from Our Lady of Mercy Church described the priest as a shy and complex man. When he was asked to come up and say a few words, he received a standing ovation. He said he did not deserve all the praise.
From the back of the room a young woman yelled “You do deserve it father,” which was quickly followed by, “We love you father!”
“I am glad all these people showed up to help father celebrate,” Veronica McDaniel, a member of the planning committee, said.
Bernice Nesmith said his presence at the parish has been wonderful.
“He is a great spiritual leader, a great administrator and he is very humble,” she said. “We will miss him very much when he travels home to visit with his family in Ghana for a month.”
Father Kulah spent the morning and early afternoon talking to the many people gathered. He went from table to table thanking people for attending and catching up on the lives of those he had not seen in a while. He shook many hands and posed for pictures.
Father Kulah is originally from Ghana. He graduated from St. Victor’s Major Seminary in Tamale, Ghana, in 1984, and was ordained on Dec. 15 of that year by Archbishop Gregory E. Kpiebaya of the Diocese of Wa. He served as a curate at a parish in Nadowli and then as a hospital chaplain in Jirapa.
In 1992 he went to the University of Western Sydney in Australia, where he earned a degree in commerce. He returned to the Diocese of Wa in 1995 to serve as bursar.
Father Kulah came to the Diocese of Charleston in 2002 as a supply priest and has served at Our Lady of Good Counsel on Folly Beach; St. Andrew Church in Myrtle Beach; Church of the Infant Jesus in Marion; and St. Louis in Dillon. He was assigned as administrator of St. Patrick and Our Lady of Mercy churches in 2007.