Peter Poreku Dery (10 May
1918 – 6 March 2008) was a Ghanaian Cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church.
served as Archbishop of Tamale
from 1974 to 1994, and was elevated to the cardinalate
was born in Ko
the fourth of the ten children of Theodore Poreku and Agnes Zoore.
Having been born shortly after the death of one of his brothers,
believed him to be the reincarnation
of his brother and thus called Dery
. He later
, being baptized
attending the minor seminary in
studied philosophy and theology at St. Victor's Major
Seminary in Wiagha.
to the priesthood
by Bishop Gérard Bertrand
, on 11 February 1951, and then furthered
his studies. He earned a diploma in
social studies from the St. Francis
Xavier University in Antigonish, Nova Scotia in 1958, and obtained his doctorate in theology after studying at
the International Catechetical Institute "Lumen vitae" in Brussels, Belgium.
On 16 March 1960, Dery was appointed the first Bishop of Wa
by Pope John XXIII
. He received his episcopal consecration
following 8 May from Pope John himself, with Bishops Napoléon-Alexandre Labrie
, and Fulton
J. Sheen serving
as co-consecrators in St. Peter's
Dery, soon after his formal installation
as Bishop, requested permission
from the Holy See
to translate the Ordinary of the Mass
and have it sung in local melodies,
accompanied by local musical
; permission was given and Dery himself composed the
first Dagare Mass
. He also attended
the Second Vatican Council
(1962-1965), and focused on the involvement of the laity
, the education
youth, and the promotion of vocations
during his tenure.
later named Apostolic
Administrator of Tamale, rising to
become the fourth Bishop of Tamale on 18
He was the first non-religious Ordinary
of that diocese
all his predecessors had belonged to the White Fathers
. He was promoted to the rank of
a metropolitan archbishop
Tamale's elevation to an archdiocese
May 1977. From 1982 to 1988, he served as President of the Ghanaian Catholic Bishops'
He resigned his post as Archbishop on 26 March 1994, after nineteen
years of service, on reaching the mandatory retirement age of 75.
Pope Benedict XVI
Elena fuori Porta
in the consistory
26 March 2006; however, at the age of 87, he was not eligible to
vote in any future papal
Dery died in Tamale, at age 89.