Cardinal Peter Porekuu Dery

Cardinal Peter Porekuu DeryAlso known as

  • Porekuu Der


A member of the Dagomba people, he was the fourth of ten children born to the pagan family of Theodore Poreku and Agnes Zoore, Porekuu was thought by them to be the reincarnation of his recently deceased brother. His uncle, Ngmankurinaa, was a type of shaman, and the boy travelled as his assistant, assigned to kill the animals used in the rituals.

A convert to Christianity in his mid-teens, Porekuu was baptized in Jirapa, Ghana in 1933, and took the name Peter. He studied at Wiagha, Ghana, in Antigonish, Canada, and Brussels, Belgium, and was ordained a priest at the church of Saint Theresa in Nandom, Ghana on 11 February 1951. Chosen the first bishop of the newly created diocese of Wa Ghana by Pope John XXIII on 16 March 1960; he served there for 14 years. With Vatican approval, he translated the ordinary of the Mass into the Dagare language. Council Father at all sessions of the Second Vatican Council from 11 October 1962 to 8 December 1965.

Bishop of Tamale, Ghana from 18 November 1974 till his retirement on 26 March 1994 following a stroke; he served for nearly 20 years including when Tamale was elevated to an archdiocese. He served a term on the Pontifical Council for the Laity under Pope Paul VI and a second time under Pope John Paul II. President of the Ghana Catholic Bishops Conference from 1982 to 1988. His public service to Ghana was recognized by the government when they awarded him their Grand Medal on 13 January 1974. Elevated to Cardinal-Deacon of Sant’Elena fuori Porta Prenestina on 26 March 2006 by Pope Benedict XVI. His college in Canada conferred an Honorary Doctor of Law on him, and Ghana made him a member of the Order of the Star of Ghana in 2007. His Cause for Canonization has opened.


  • 10 May 1918 in Zemuopare, Ko, Lawra, Ghana as Porekuu Dery


MLA Citation

  • “Cardinal Peter Porekuu Dery“. CatholicSaints.Info. 8 April 2021. Web. 21 April 2021. <>