SECAM LAUNCHES GOLDEN JUBILEE CELEBRATION IN KAMPALA
The Symposium of Episcopal Conferences of Africa and Madagascar (SECAM) will launch the continental celebration of its Golden Jubilee at the Sacred Heart Cathedral in Kampala (Uganda) on the 29 July, 2018.
SECAM was born out of the desire of African Bishops during and after the Second Vatican Council of 1965 to establish a forum in which they could speak with one voice on matters pertaining to the Church in Africa. As a result, in July 1969 in Kampala-Uganda, during the visit of Pope Paul VI, the first by any pontiff to Africa, SECAM was formally launched.
The year-long Jubilee celebration scheduled for the period, 29th July, 2018 to 28th July, 2019 will have as theme; “Church: Family of God in Africa, Celebrate your Jubilee! Proclaim Jesus Christ your Saviour!”
In celebrating the Golden Jubilee of SECAM, each faithful, and every Christian community in Africa and Madagascar, is invited to let the call to this mission resonate in him/her and respond to it with zeal. It will be a time to celebrate in thanksgiving, God’s wonderous deeds, to reflect on the progress made by the Church so far, to seek repentance and conversion in the Continent, and afford all a time for renewed commitment to witness to Christ in Africa and Madagascar.
The Launch of the Golden Jubilee Year will be led by the President of SECAM, Most Rev. Gabriel Mbilingi, Archbishop of Lubango, Angola, and the SECAM Standing Committee. They will be joined by the Bishop Presidents and Secretaries General, of SECAM’s eight regions, theologians and the Church leaders and lay people from the host country Uganda.
The launch will be replicated in all dioceses, parishes and churches across Africa, Madagascar and the adjacent islands. A comprehensive program contained in the working document (Instrumentum Laboris) on the celebration shall be widely circulated to animate the celebration down to the grassroots of the Church in Africa.
Bishop Emmanuel Adetoyese Badejo, who is the President of SECAM’s Episcopal Committee on Social Communications (CEPACS) will also represent Nigeria at the launching.
ST. MARY MAGDALENE PARISH, TEDE CELEBRATES MARIAN PILGRIMAGE
The entire Tede community in ATISBO Local Government Area of Oyo State sounded the trumpet of joy as the experience of the usual annual Marian Pilgrimage took a new turn. The annual diocesan Marian Pilgrimage comes up every December. But the members of St. Mary Magdalene Parish, Tede inspired by their priests, have now taken the initiative to start celebrating the pilgrimage on parish level once more in the year. They decided to take the opportunity of the end of the first half of the year to thank God, while also putting the second half in the hands of God for his direction, graces and blessing.
This is why all the members of the parish including members from the fifteen outstations gathered between the 29th and 30th of June to celebrate together. The pilgrimage began on the Marian hill where there was Bible service led by the parish priest, Rev. Fr. Martin Badejo. The reflection was given by Rev. Fr. Anthony Abegunde on the theme of the pilgrimage, “The Family: A Credible Gospel for Our Community”. In the reflection Fr. Abegunde focused on the example of the Holy Family of Nazareth, in which everyone played the necessary role and especially the Blessed Virgin Mary who did not ever forget her self-dedication to the cause of human salvation, sacrificing her own human comfort to serve God as she bore and took care of Jesus till the end. He challenged the families in the parish to cultivate the theological virtues of faith, hope and charity for these are the means by which they can become credible gospels to their environment. He emphasised that the each family must be focused on living a life of prayer so that they can have a constant link with God and through which they will not find it hard to bond together as members of the same parish, thereby preaching the good news with all they have and are.
After the bible service at the Marian shrine, there was a procession with candles lit, while prayers. Marian hymns and other songs were sang in honor of the Blesssed Mother and in the praise of God. The procession was terminated in the church of St. Mary Magdalene, Tede where there were prayerful activities all through the night. The programme of activities through the night were rosary prayer led by the member of the Holy Childhood Association, Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament led by Rev. Fr. Benedict Joshua, the Stations of the Cross led by Rev. Fr. Stephen Oguntoye, Penitential and Healing Service led by Rev. Fr. Peter Akinola, and the Divine Mercy prayers led by Anthony Elias. There was also a special session for catechesis during the night, with group discussions on the theme of the pilgrimage and further questions on some other doctrines of the Church. The pilgrimage was concluded in the morning with the Holy Mass in which Fr. Martin Badejo, delivered the homily encouraging everyone present to take the Blessed Virgin Mary home and do to her what the apostle John did to her after they left the foot of the cross. This according to him is a very good way to strengthen the bond within each family, for where the Blessed Mother is present and revered, faith hope and love always grows strong.
--- Report written by Joseph Adetayo, Raymond Ogunkunle and Bridget Adekunle
CYON OYO DIOCESE HOLDS DIOCESAN BEST TEAM SUMMIT
The Catholic Youth Organisation of Nigeria (CYON) of Oyo Diocese organised the 2018 edition of her annual “Your Best Team Summit” a competitive program designed to improve the youths intellectually on Saturday 7th of July, 2018 at Saint Anne Catholic Church, Iganna, Oyo State.
The program had as contestants four representatives each from Awe, Iseyin, Ijio, Ogbomoso, Oyo and Saki Zones. The participants contested in three different segments. The first was the paper presentation on the topic “The Catholic Youth: The way towards co-responsibility for salvation”, the second was the debate question “In the light of contemporary challenges of self-acclaimed pastors, the Catholic Priesthood has become moribund: A fact or fantasy?” and the third was the off-paper presentations on topics picked by the contestants.
The Communications Director, Sr Eunice Olusola Ikufisile, OSF and Rev. Fr Matthew Ijuo the assistant Parish Priest of St Anne Catholic Church, Iganna were the judges of the Summit. Some of the things that were considered and judged included the diction, appearance, comportment, content, grammar etc.
The assistant Youth Chaplain and Zonal Coordinator of Awe, Rev. Fr John’Toye Olayiwola also made additional corrections on some of the errors made during the competition. All youths present were advised to continue training and developing themselves academically, intellectually and spiritually.
At the end of the Summit, Awe Zone came 1st with 85.3 points, followed by Ogbomoso Zone with 79.8 points and Iseyin with 77 points came 3rd. With 74.5 points Saki came 4th while Oyo and Ijio came 5th and 6th respectively with 66.8 points and 66.7 points. Certificates were awarded to the zones that took the first, second and third positions.
- Festus Oyelakin
OYO DIOCESE ORGANISES QUIZ COMPETITION FOR SCHOOLS
“Catholic education is above all a question of communicating, of helping to form Christ in the lives of others.” Pope John Paul II
In view of this, the Directorate of Religious Education of the Catholic Diocese of Oyo organized bible and religious education quiz competition for all Catholic primary and secondary schools within the diocese with the aim of encouraging both students and pupils to develop more interest in the bible and in religious educations matters. Also the program was designed to test students and pupils ability in our various Catholic schools on the knowledge of the bible and religious education matter.
The quiz competition was in two categories for both Primary and Secondary schools. The zonal completion was held in the various zones on the 20th of June, 2018 for both Primary and secondary simultaneously while the grand finale was on 27th June, 2018 at St Francis Atiba catholic Nursery and Primary School, Oyo and on 28th June,2018 at St Francis Catholic College, Oyo for both Primary and Secondary Schools respectively.
Speaking at the beginning of the event, the Director of Religious Education, Sr Mary Assumpta Taiwo, SSMA welcomed everybody and gave a brief introduction of the program and encouraged the participants to be open minded. She also encouraged the participants to always read their bibles constantly and to know more about the catholic doctrines.
The Primary and Secondary grand finale was moderated by the Director of Social Communications, Sr Eunice Ikufisile OSF who implored both the pupils and students to see the competition as healthy one and an avenue to learn about the bible and catholic faith and, also to learn from one another. At the end of the completion, St Joseph Catholic Nursery and Primary School, Iseyin came first, while Maryland Catholic Nursery and Primary School, Ogbomoso came second and St Francis Abiodun Atiba Catholic Nursery and Primary School, Oyo came third at the primary school level.
On the 28th of June at exactly 11:00am prompt, the grand finale competition for secondary schools started among 5 schools. St Mary Catholic Secondary School, Igbeti became first with 16 points while Christ the King Catholic College, Saki and St Francis Catholic College, Oyo came second and third respectively.
The winners were given cash prizes. Trophies were given to the schools who took 1st, 2nd and 3rd while the other contestants got consolation prizes.
In conclusion, Sr Mary-Assumpta Taiwo SSMA, the program coordinator and the Director of Religious Education commended the Bishop, Most Rev. Emmanuel Badejo for his support. She appreciated the efforts and sacrifices of all the schools management and staff; she equally thanked all the pupils and students for their active participations. In the same vein, she thanked the various donors for their financial contributions while also appreciating the presence and support of Social Communications office and the Youth Office.
HOLY FAMILY PARISH AT 10
History was made on Sunday 10th of June, 2018 as Holy Family Catholic Church, Iseyin, Oyo State - the baby which was conceived in 2008 by the then Coadjutor Bishop of Oyo, Most Rev. Emmanuel Badejo in his dream of advancing the land into a befitting house of God while residing in Iseyin held its tenth year anniversary celebration.
While delivering the homily, Bishop Badejo in his appreciation to God for His mercies and benevolence shared the experience of how it all started with a 9-man committee who came together at the first inaugural meeting held on 15th March, 2008 at the Conference room of Corner Motel, Malete, Iseyin and with generous hearts, the members were able to realize about Seven hundred thousand naira (#700,000.00) for the establishment of the new church. The following Sunday, there were contributions from various people including children; I remember two children from the Adesokan family that contributed One hundred and fifty naira each.
The Prelate frankly opined that to set up a Catholic Church and make it survive is not an easy task as it is the work of the Holy Spirit. Although, the Holy Spirit has been given to everyone but not everyone bears the fruits. He praised the efforts and sacrifice of all those who have contributed to the growth and development of the church in the past 10 years.
The Holy Mass was followed by the Reception where the guests and parishioners were entertained by different presentations from the Holy Childhood, Bata dancers, cultural dancers, etc. Donations were made for the continued growth of the church and the cutting of the anniversary cake. Some individuals (priests, religious and lay faithful) who had worked previously and some who were still working in the parish were also given awards.
The activities marking the tenth anniversary celebration began with an opening mass on Wednesday 6th of June while Lecture on the Family: The Hope of Restoration of Peace in Nigeria came up on Thursday and delivered by Rev. Fr. Martin Diipo Badejo followed by Visitation to the Less Privileged on Friday 8th of June that led to the 10th Anniversary Thanksgiving Mass on Sunday 10th of June were some of the activities organized by the Parish to mark the anniversary.
Compiled by Johnpaul Bolaji & Festus Oyesakin