Rev. Msgr. Alex Bobby Benson ’97G, a priest in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Koforidua, Ghana, has spent a lifetime following the directive of Jesus in the Gospel of Matthew — to care for the hungry and thirsty, strangers, prisoners, and the dying. Citing the greatest commandment Jesus gave mankind — to love one another — he urges support for those living under difficult circumstances, especially those with HIV/AIDS, who are most often stigmatized.
In 1998, after completing a master’s degree in religious studies at Providence College, Rev. Msgr. Benson returned to Koforidua to found Matthew 25 House, a ministry dedicated to helping people diagnosed with HIV/AIDS. The non-governmental organization began with nine HIV/AIDS patients and now serves upward of 1,000 people, including orphans and vulnerable children. It provides food and shelter, medical screenings, counseling, training in income-generating ventures, and interest-free loans to start businesses. Children receive help with school needs, including books, fees, transportation, clothes, food, medicine, and shoes.
A leading supporter of the United Nations Sustainable Goals agenda, Rev. Msgr. Benson worked collaboratively with the late PC physics professor Stephen J. Mecca, Ph.D. ’64, ’66G, ’19Hon. on sanitation initiatives to improve health in Ghana. He has been a valued partner in PC’s Maymester program, welcoming students, faculty, and staff on service and learning trips to his country. He visited PC in 2018 to discuss his charitable work.
With the help of students, he distributes packed food and drinks each Christmas to the inmates of the Koforidua Prisons, those in cells at the Koforidua Central Police Station, and to patients at three hospitals, and has fed the hungry in the streets on Christmas Day for the past 10 years.
Rev. Msgr. Benson was born in Mampong Ashanti, Ghana, studied for the priesthood at St. Peter’s Regional Seminary in Cape Coast, and was ordained in 1981. He is a consultor for the diocesan curia. As a young priest, he pursued studies in Clinical Pastoral Education in Ireland and the United States and now is a renowned CPE educator in Ghana. In 2004, he began construction of a 24-room Palliative Care Center to care for terminally ill patients. He still needs support to finish the project and run it by 2024.
In 2017, he won the MTN Heroes of Change Award for his work in Ghana, including his efforts to feed 1,000 needy people each month. He also received the Exclusive Men of the Year Africa Humanitarian Award in 2021.