Share this story

 | By Barbara Umpleby

Gift of self: Father Beyuo and the voyage of vocation

The life of a parish priest is one of self-gift to the people that he shepherds and to God. Our Lord said, “The harvest is abundant, but the laborers are few; so ask the master of the harvest to send out laborers for his harvest” (Mt 9:37-38).

In a parish of over 4,000 families like St. Michael Church in Murrells Inlet, there is much labor to be done. It takes total self-sacrifice to others to be able to say “yes” to such a call, and Father Christopher Beyuo took his call seriously and gave of himself fully while at St. Michael.

Childhood, moving, working

Christopher Beyuo was born in September 1966 in the little village of Ketuo, Nandom District, in the Upper West Region of Ghana. He is the youngest of nine siblings — with four brothers and five sisters. His father passed away in 1978 when he was only 13, and because he was the youngest, Christopher was educated from basic to middle school.

At age 16, he went to live with one of his older brothers, Vincent, who was a successful farmer in the northern region. While he lived with his brother, the future priest no longer had to worry about one of the necessities of life: food. But after three years of hard labor on the farm, young Christopher’s health began to decline, and so he and his friends decided to go on an adventure — one that would play a pivotal role in his vocation. The group of boys went to the Diocese of Mampong (now the Diocese of Konongo-Mampong), in the Ashanti Region.

After arriving in this southern part of Ghana, Christopher began working for a woman named Comfort Gyamfi, whose husband was the vice principal of a commercial business school. She was so impressed by the young man’s intellectual ability that she encouraged her husband to allow the teen to attend the school. Christopher got into the program and was encouraged by his teacher Kwakyi Marfo to pursue higher education. He would go on to earn a Master in Business Administration.

Priesthood calls

Divine providence continued to guide his every step. Christopher met Most Rev. Peter Porekuu Dery, then Archbishop of Tamale in Kumasi (who went on to become the first Ghanaian Cardinal). The archbishop encouraged Christopher to attend St. Charles Minor Seminary. He accepted the offer and began his studies.

In his final year at seminary, with the spiritual fatherhood of the archbishop, he realized how many opportunities were before him. Young Christopher realized how much he appreciated the archbishop and admired his life and work. And then, he began to realize his desire to become a priest.

Christopher told the archbishop that he was called to something more than secular life and attended pre-university at St. Hubert’s Minor Seminary from 1991 to 1993. Taking a short break to do his “National Service to Mother Ghana,” he taught underprivileged children from 1993 to 1994. Then, he went on to priestly formation at St. Victor’s Major Seminary, studying philosophy and theology.

On Aug. 11, 2001, Father Christopher Beyuo was ordained to the priesthood. He would later say of his vocation, “I consciously think through my priestly ministry, Christ gave me his whole heart.”

Then to America

Father Beyuo spent his first years of priestly duties at St. Charles Seminary as a chaplain and a tutor. In December of 2001, he became the vocations director for the Archdiocese of Tamale. In addition to his regular assignment, he worked as chaplain for youth at the Cathedral of Our Lady of Annunciation. He was able to use his business skills as a member of the Tamale Archdiocesan Co-Operative Society, which is a micro-finance venture of the church.

In 2007, Father Beyuo was assigned to Sacred Heart Church, where he served until 2016, and on to Holy Spirit Church of Kanvili in the Northern Region of Tamale.

In 2018, he was transferred to the United States. He arrived in Charleston in May that year, and spent some time at various parishes in the area until he was appointed to St. Peter Church in Beaufort. He was sent to St. Anthony Mission in Hardeeville and finally assigned to St. Michael in April 2019.

And headed home

Father Beyuo radiates the love of Christ to all he meets. He makes a point to remind people that Christ lives in each one of us and that we must not do big things but little things for the love of God. He offers compassion and guidance in the confessional with a humility that inspires his penitents. He has a firm confidence in the will of God, and he encourages others to have the same trust.

The priest has a profound love for our Blessed Mother, and he taught the parishioners of St. Michael that they “must do all things to make her a proud Mother of our words and deeds.” Above all, however, Father Beyuo has a deep and abiding love for the Blessed Sacrament, and he never gave a second thought when he was asked to do something for others.

Although it was bittersweet to say goodbye to this shepherd, the parishioners of St. Michael were aware how joyous it would be for him to go home to Ghana and be present in the lives of his family members.

Father Beyuo shared his beautiful and precious God-given gifts, rich history and talents with the Diocese of Charleston. Our love, prayers and confidence in the will of God go with you.

Barbara Umpleby, MFT, OFS, is a licensed marriage and family therapist who lives in Murrells Inlet. Email her at