Father Francis Amoah heeded an early call to service, entering seminary after high school graduation. Always looking to further his own education, he has received degrees from St. Paul Seminary and St. Peter Seminary in Ghana, as well as a Ph.D. in industrial and organizational psychology from Grand Canyon University in Arizona. Through his education and commitment to spreading the word of God, Father Amoah has reached hundreds with his community outreach programs.
Why did you choose to become a priest?
I felt compelled to serve God and to serve people from a very young age. It was just a natural calling for me. I wanted to do something that would have a real and genuine impact on others. There was never a moment for me that I thought of another path. Becoming a priest is a lifetime commitment to share the love of God with as many people as you can reach. You do this through ministering and through setting an example by your own behavior. When you are a priest, you are held to a certain standard and you have to be aware of who you are and who you represent.
As you entered the priesthood, what surprised you the most?
I am always surprised at how God uses me to bring Jesus to people. Whether I am giving a sermon or just walking around talking to people, I find joy in bringing people closer to Jesus and to God. When someone tells me they really understood what I was saying and that something I have said or done really resonated with them, I know I have done well. Prayer can do so much, not just for physical healing, but spiritual healing also. I’ve spoken with people who have been struggling with all kinds of problems, and after speaking with them and praying with them, they have told me how their lives have changed.
Do you have advice for anyone just entering the priesthood?
It is a call from God to want to enter the priesthood. Those who are compelled to this kind of service have generally already felt the love and power of God. I would encourage any such person to recognize that this commitment is lifelong. Would-be priests need to be prepared to make that solemn commitment. I would also make sure they are aware that this is not a field that will bring financial gains. The priesthood is the epitome of service to others, and the rewards you receive are not worldly. You bring people closer to salvation by bringing them to God.
How do you maintain a balance between serving in your spiritual role and taking care of yourself?
This is a very important thing. You need to be focused. Always remind yourself who you are every day and why you chose this path. Study as often as you can—and not just the Bible, but other religious books, as well. Personally, I have found that staying physically active is also a great way to take care of myself. You never know how God will use you, but being ready to be active when needed is important. The priesthood can be a lonely life if you are not prepared for it. You are sacrificing a spouse and family for this service. Reading, watching movies, listening to music, and staying active are all ways that I keep in balance, both physically and spiritually.
Who has been a role model to you and why?
The number one person who has been my role model is Jesus himself. I strive to live my life in such a way that he would be proud of. There is no better role model for someone to follow. He was sent here to bring all people closer to God and spent the entirety of his life doing so. That is essentially what being a priest is, so he is the best example of someone to model after.
What is one piece of advice you have never forgotten?
Back in seminary, I was advised to always be true to myself and who I am. It is easy to lose track of who you are as a priest because you can get caught up in the service itself and forget who you really are and what led you here. I am grateful to have received this advice while still studying because it is something that has stayed with me ever since. I think it has helped me through some challenges over the years, remembering that I have always been true to who I really am.
What is one habit of yours that you would recommend everyone to do?
My prayer life is something that I take very seriously. I have the belief that everyone should have a healthy and consistent prayer life, no matter what religion they follow. Prayer is a way of calmly reflecting on your own life. It allows you the ability to examine what you believe in and how you conduct yourself. I find it such an important aspect of life that I make sure I give myself time for prayer every single day. Also, I have learned to let go of things. I don’t hold on to anger, I do not allow the actions or inactions of others to affect my own actions. I try to stay positive.
What does spiritual success look like to you?
Spiritual success is being able to trust in the Lord in every way, in all aspects of your life. Many people may pray for material things or for healing from illness. Trusting in the Lord and believing that He will guide your path in the way you should go is a true spiritual success.
Are there any community contributions or charities that you would like to share with our readers?
In Ghana, I helped communities drill for clean drinking water. I also spent time working with communities, educating people about diseases, and about creating a sustainable environment.. I have spent time in the US Virgin Islands doing community outreach and helping to feed the needy, as well. In reflection, I have ministered to the ill and the aging in many communities, and it is my great hope to do as much more of that as possible in my lifetime.