Homily delivered by Rev. Fr Jerome ‘Tunde Ogunleye
I want to thank the good Lord for making today a reality. It is the day the Lord has made as the words of the Psalmist says “This is the day which Yahweh has made, a day for us to rejoice and be glad.” May the memory of this goodness of the Lord last longer in our lives. Amen. I want to rejoice with the Bishop, Most Rev Emmanuel Adetoyese Badejo, on the ordination of these three Priests added to our Presbyterium: Oju yin a ma ri ire oo, Alafia ni emi ati ara, Eledumare A ma fi jiikin yin. Amin Ase Edumare.
I felicitate with the three families whose sons are to be ordained Priests today: Irekiigbe, Onifade and Oladosu. May you continue to experience the goodness of God in your lives and may the joy of today grant you the graces to love and serve God to the end of your lives. Amen.
To the Ordinands, I pray God who has chosen you, gives you the needed graces to be good Priests to His people and make you instrument of peace and love. Amen. I have been asked to preach at your ordination and I have to admonish you with the followings:
My Priests to be, you are blessed with good families who have formed you and taught you to be decent persons with spiritual values. You are product of faith and spiritual aspirations of generations. All those of your families who lived in the past have been with you and are here now and will be with you in the years ahead. Always be conscious of two communities – the visible and the invisible. Love the families you come from and as you pray for the living, remember the dead and pray for them.
As you are conscious of two communities, be also conscious of two worlds. You live in two worlds – the materials and the spiritual – like never before. Always seek the spiritual things for all that glitters are not gold. Material things are flashy and attractive but ephemeral while spiritual things might be difficult but lasting and soul enriching. Be spiritual, for Christ has this to say to you: “Set your hearts on his kingdom first, and on God’s saving justice, and all these things will be given you as well.” Also, the Post Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Africae Munus of His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI has this for you: Build up the Christian communities by your example, living in truth and joy your priestly commitments, celibacy in chastity and detachment from material possessions.
YOU BELONG TO CHRIST
As you will be ordained Priests today, the ideal of your life is not the Priesthood, not a nice parish, nor a latest car. The ideal of your life is God – Priesthood is His gift to you. You do not merit it for it is part of His mystery of love, His plan for you. Your life is not your own, you belong to Christ and His people. Unite yourself with Christ for that intimacy with Him in you is the most wonderful experience. It is powerful and humbling, and suddenly you realise you would not want anything else in life. Hold the miracle of the Eucharist in your hands – the greatest miracle in the universe for the Eucharist unites men and women of different origins, cultures, race, languages and ethnic groups and the most effective means for building a reconciled, just, and peaceful society. You are to celebrate the Eucharist with dignity and beauty, in compliance with the established norms. (Africae Munus, no 152 & 153)
LOVE YOUR PEOPLE
You are ordained and charged with the work of evangelization in proclaiming Christ to the people. Love your people. I want you to know that two things turn people off. If you are a drunk the people will forgive you. If you gamble the collection away the people will forgive you. But if you are unkind, they will never forgive you. The second thing is never be proud – they will laugh at your back.
As you love your people, they will love you. Sometimes they will take you for granted and sometimes you will wish they could love you more. But look at Christ, you Master, and see His life. There will also be some of your people who are lost sheep, who will lie to you, try to cheat you, use you. Remember, they are all your people. Don’t be afraid of them. Love them all. The strayed sheep, the wounded, the fat and the healthy must all be kept in view.
Please bear in mind that people don’t need fancy erudite sermons, or lavish exotic liturgies – those are fine – what the people really want is someone to care for them. They need a Priest who is there at the important moments in their lives. My dear brothers, care for your people. I remember a parishioner – a young woman whose husband died tragically. They have four children. She put her arms round me and sobbed. This is what God has called you to, John, Alex and Matthew. This is how God has access to the suffering of His Children – through the priest. They are reaching out to God when they reach out to you. And God comforts them when you comfort them.
My brothers, you have to learn obedience through the example of Christ that you are called to a life of obedience. You have to trust and submit yourselves to the authority of the bishop. Pope Benedict XVI advises you: “Live obedience to your bishop in simplicity, humility and filial love. Out of respect for the One who has loved us, it is proper that we obey without hypocrisy, for it is not the bishop whom we see that we are deceiving, but the One who is unseen. (Africae Munus no. 110)
NEVER BE AFRAID
There are moments when you will fail. Don’t kill yourselves by taking sniper. If God has put you in a place then He has also given you the grace to be there. Remember that it is in difficult stuff that you will find fulfillment – even in your failures. You must always remember the promise of Christ that you are not alone even in your failure for He says “And look, I am with you always, yes to the end of time.” (Matthew 28: 20.)
FOR THE YOUNG PEOPLE
My dearest youths, I want to encourage you with words of Pope Benedict XVI when he addresses you: Dear Young people, enticements of all kinds may tempt you: ideologies, sects, money, drugs, casual sex, violence… Be vigilant: those who propose these things to you want to destroy your future! In spite of difficulties, do not be discouraged and do not give up your ideals, your hard work and your commitment to human, intellectual and spiritual formation! In order to grow in discernment, along with the strength and the freedom needed to resist these pressures, I encourage you to place Jesus Christ at the centre of your lives through prayer, but also through the study of sacred Scripture, frequent recourse to the Sacraments, formation in the Church’s social teaching, and your active and enthusiastic participation in ecclesiastical groups and movements. (Africae Munus no. 63.)
My beloved lay men and women and all people of God, you have been called to life of holiness, a holiness which is to be lived in the world. I beg you to cultivate your interior life and your relationship with God, so that the Holy Spirit may enlighten you in all circumstances. Allow yourselves to be enlightened and instructed by God and by his word. Live the life of prayer and pray for the Church, pray your priests and pray for the world for us to continue to live in peace with one another.
Once again, my dear brothers, may God grant you the spirit of wisdom as you carry out your duties in this Holy Office. Amen. Long life the Catholic Church, long life Oyo Diocese, long live the Bishop and all of us through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Communication Seminar on News writing & Photography as Oyo Diocese marks 53rd World Communications Day Celebration
Oyo Diocese Celebrates Communications Day
The Catholic diocese of Oyo joined the rest of the world in marking the 53rd World Communications Day with the theme “We are members of one another. (Eph. 4:25). From Network Community to Human Community”. The day which was observed with seminar topics “Uses of Church’s Gadgets and Announcement; News Writing Practical, And Photography” was organized by the Social Communications Department of Oyo Diocese at Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church, Maryland, Ogbomosho between 30th May and June 1st, 2019.
In his welcoming address the Dean of Ogbomoso deanery, Rev. Fr Francis Femi Oladiipo asserted that communication has been in existence since the creation of the world as it constitutes a way of sharing ideas between people in the church and society. He maintained that one of the best gifts of God to mankind is internet which the Catholic Church has been using to promote positive human relations that would lead to building real communities with human faces not totally replacing face-to-face human interactions.
Welcoming participants to the event, the Chairman, Church Pastoral Council (CPC), Our Lady of Lourdes, Maryland, Ogbomoso, Mr Basil Ekwelechi appreciated their presence. He charged them to be good ambassadors of the church, adding that advent of the internet and social media should not alter human interactions in the church and secular world, instead it should complement one another.
In his lecture, “Use of Church Gadgets and Announcement”, Rev Fr Benjamin Jolasun, opinned that as communicators in the church, every information must be thoroughly assessed and fully prepared for before reading it to the congregation. He added that church’s gadgets are vital keys to good worship in the celebration of Holy Mass. Church announcer is a Manager of Crisis (MC), he added. He or she must be well composed and prepared in order to be able to manage others well.
In the word of Mr Faseyiro, photography is not just about snapping pictures or taking shots to distract people during Mass or other Church programmes, but it is about right positioning, calculative bearing and maintenance of balance. He took participants through a practical session where everyone was directed to take shots with a professional camera and smartphones.
Delivering her lecture on “News writing practical and video streaming”, the Director, Social Communications Commission, Oyo Diocese, Sr Eunice Ikufisile (OSF), noted that news writing is a must skill for all communicators in the society and Church. In spite of the technology advancements available at our disposal, good writing is not easy to come by in our world of today. Sr Eunice encouraged that information sharing from different Parishes requires proactive smartness and painstaking reportage without distorting the real message. More so, news writing requires constant practice just like other activities. As for ‘live streaming’ of events on social media, you need to get a good network signal with sufficient data and more importantly, you must be very attentive to avoid recording wrong side attractions because ‘live streaming’ speaks a lot about the Church’s program. As Parish communicators, we must learn to write well and follow the basic elements of good writing; which means your writing must be simple, direct, clear, brief and must have life. Create good image for the Church by our way of life, she added.
The highlight of the seminar was the distribution of participants to groups for brainstorming on different topical issues as it concerns communication days, internet and news writing practical while a group photograph was taken at the end of the event.
The thanksgiving Mass which marked the final activities marking this year’s celebration was celebrated on Sunday, 2nd June at Our Lady of the Assumption Cathedral, Asogo, Oyo by the Cathedral Administrator, Very Rev. Fr John Oyekunle who represented the Catholic Bishop of Oyo Diocese, Most Rev. Emmanuel Ade Badejo.
By Alaba Damilare Samuel
A SUMMARY OF THE POPE’S MESSAGE FOR THE 53RD WOLRD COMMUNICATIONS DAY
Theme: We are Members of One Another (Eph 4:25): From Social Network Communities to the Human Community.
The Church has always, since the advent of the social networks, been promoting a positive use of the internet in such a way that it becomes a tool that leads to the building of a real community with the human face. Thus, despite the fact that the internet has become a community where people meet more frequently, it is not to replace the one on one human encounter, which will make it to serve the tool of isolation instead of connection. Therefore, every user of the internet must be conscious of the following facts:
1. The Metaphor of the Net and Community
The existence of the internet has made readily available information that in the past was considered unreachable. It has made easy the exchange of ideas and the sharing of knowledge. However, we cannot underestimate the danger in this wonderful gift of the Creator, since if not properly controlled, it can become the channel of sharing false, fake, deceptive and misleading information, aimed at offering those who converge at it a distorted fact. While the internet provides us with a community where new discoveries can be made and new friendships established, it can also lead to the manipulation of the real human community wherein the other is used to one’s advantage without any respect for his or her dignity.
2. We are Members of One Body.
The idea of the one body is one of the profound ways by which St Paul describes the relatedness of the members of the Church with one another, and their union with Christ, the Head of that body (read Eph 4). The internet offers us the opportunity to see this in operation as it provides the opportunity of intermingling of people from different races, faith systems and socio-political interests. Still, a real community is based on truth where each member, without violating the dignity of another member, can speak the truth to him or to her. This fact is less true about the internet. On the contrary, as a free world, it is sometimes filled with falsehood and lies. This arises from the false perception of other members of the internet community as competitors instead of children of one community built on love and others. This can be overturned by the realisation of the truth of our belonging to one another which helps to consider our enemies as co-members of the same community. This will consequently lead to the promotion of love which, most times, is not seen radiated in the internet.
3. The Image of the Trinity.
The inner life of God, the Trinity, is a perfect example of the community we are called to build on the internet, which should be a reflection of the true human community. The bond that exists among the three Divine Persons: Father, Son and the Holy Spirit, is love. The only virtue that makes interpersonal relationships possible is love. The absence of love promotes the building of a community ruled by self love and selfishness. God is a community of Persons. Hence, it is the wish of God that we, made in his image and likeness, should appreciate the gift of community. The internet can help in achieving this if its users recognise their need of others not for a selfish motive, but for the purpose of travelling together for a common purpose: building a true community of loving and caring people.
4. From a “Like” to an “Amen.”
The image of the body which we spoke about earlier reminds us of the capacity to use the internet to build a fraternal community of mutual support for each other. The internet can be of help in fostering unity among the members of the same families or faith communities. It can bring the people together. A family, for instance, can employ the use of the internet to remind its members of the time they must come together for meals and meetings. The same way, a faith community can make use of the internet to call its members together for prayers and other pious activities. Members of the same families or communities can employ the internet to get in touch with each other, sharing their ideas and feelings. Hence, it helps to go beyond the level of diagnosis to the level of treatment which opens the way for true dialogue and encounter. We can then see how the Church, through the celebration of the Holy Eucharist, in which the many members, share in one bread, offers us the model of the true human community that the internet is called to promote.
In all, the internet is not to serve a purpose of replacement of human encounter. Instead, it should help to facilitate the rate of our human inter-personal relationships. It is only by so doing does it truly stand as a gift in our hands from the Creator.
THE FOUNDATION-LAYING OF ST IGNATIUS OF LOYOLA CATHOLIC CHAPLAINCY, NYSC CAMP ISEYIN
The foundation of St Ignatius of Loyola Catholic Chaplaincy of the National Association of Catholic Corpers (Oyo State Chapter) has been laid by the Catholic Bishop of Oyo diocese, Most Rev. Dr. Emmanuel Adetoyese Badejo, which he did on behalf of His Grace, Most. Rev. Gabriel 'Leke Abegunrin (the Archbishop of Ibadan Archdiocese). This historic event took place on Wednesday 3rd April, 2019 at the NYSC Permanent Orientation Camp, Iseyin, Oyo state.
The prelate called on Christians all over the state, as well as all Corps members to donate generously for the propagation of God's work and as well appealed to everyone to emulate the spirit of giving in order to soon bring to completion the project. He promised that on the part of the two dioceses in Oyo State, that is, Ibadan Archdiocese and Oyo diocese, they will put in their best with the help of God to see that this house of God is brought to a quick completion. He thanked the Governor of Oyo State, His Excellency, Isiaka Ajimobi for the allocation of the land for religious working in the camp. He also registered a sincere appreciation to the federal government for the NYSC initiative which brings youths of different cultures and backgrounds together in a place to learn from each other, which has brought about peaceful coexistence and unity of the nation. He went further to remind everyone present of the words of the Psalmist: "if the Lord does not build the house, in vain do the labourers build". He admonished everyone to continue to pray for the successful completion of the project.
The Bishop blessed the foundation and prayed that this house will continue to be house of prayer.
Among those present were Rev. Fr. Benedict Joshua (Oyo State NACC Chaplain), Sr. Bridget Monehin SSL (Assistant state chaplain), Rev. Fr. Paul Oshin (the Dean of Iseyin Denary). Others are: Frs. John Opoola, Joseph Adejumo, Anthony Adepoju, Joachim Alade, David Ayodeji, Mrs. Bona Fasakin, Mr. Emmanuel Mbazu (NACC state president), representatives of CMO, CWO, CYON and serving corps members in Iseyin land.
To God be all glory!
By Rev. Fr. Benedict Joshua
OYO DIOCESE UNVEILS AMMIL BRANCH OFFICE IN IWERE ILE
It was a special day at Iwere-Ile, Iwajowa Local government area of Oyo State as the Catholic Diocese of Oyo unveiled and commissioned a branch of Ave Maria Multipurpose Investment Limited (AMMIL). Recalled that the Microfinance institution was established and commissioned by His Grace,Most Rev.Dr Gabriel Leke' Abegunrin and the founder bishop, Most Rev.Dr. Emmanuel Adetoyese Badejo on September 18, 2018 in Oyo town.
The institution has since been waxing stronger, gaining public trust in Oyo and environs. AMMIL is a Micro-Credit institution aimed at empowering and supporting the active poor, acting as a go between the rich and the poor who want to do small business and help them avoid complex bottleneck requirements in normal banks.
In his keynote address, the Coordinator, Justice Development and Peace Movement (JDPM) Oyo who also doubles as the Director of the Microfinance institution, Rev Fr Adeleke Gabriel, on behalf of the Bishop, Most Rev, Emmanuel Adetoyese Badejo, welcomed all the guests and appreciated their cooperation, more importantly the cordial relationship between the institution and the people who have been patronizing the institution since it began operation in Oyo last year. He noted that AMMIL has come to stay for the betterment of the people in the area and beyond, adding that the institution evolve around one of the aims of the Catholic Church which believed in an egalitarian society.
Rev Fr Gabriel said the people of Iwere Ile and other neighboring towns should utilize the opportunity to improve their businesses. According to him, the diversity of businesses in recent time calls for a creative ideas and funding in order to enable people realize their full potentials. He maintained that AMMIL aimed at ensuring a comfortable life for all people irrespective of religions or ethnic affiliation through financial inclusion system.
Speaking further, the Managing Director, Ave Maria Multipurpose Investment Limited (AMMIL), Mrs Lara Oluwayemi, congratulated the people of Iwere for the achievement, stressing that the institution came at the right time when many small business owners are lacking financial capacity to expend their businesses. She pointed out that AMMIL collects money from Catholic and non-Catholic investors who have a little more, and who generously entrust some of their money to the Catholic Church for a period of time for helping the poor in form of loans and credit facilities.
“AMMIL is not a commercial bank trying to make profit at all cost by crushing all and sundry. But a sustainable empowerment program,hence, whoever obtain loans in any form must pay back or be made to pay”.
She assured the residents of Iwere Ile and neighboring towns that AMMIL is totally different from the previous financial institutions experienced in Iwajowa Local Government adding that the Microfinance Institution is a reliable one that has come to make life better for traders, artisans, farmers, teachers among others. The MD further stated that AMMIL came with a modern financial transaction package through the use of POS, EPOSS, ATM Card, BVN registration and lot more.
Present at the event were: Oniwere of Iwere ile, Onitasa of Itasa, Trade Associations, religious leaders, youths, Rev Fathers from different Parishes among others were present. They appreciated the gesture and hoped the Microfinance institution will improve the economic status of people in the area.
A COMMUNIQUE ISSUED BY THE CATHOLIC BISHOPS OF IBADAN ECCLESIASTICAL PROVINCE AT THE END OF THEIR FIRST MEETING FOR 2019 HELD AT THE JUBILEE CONFERENCE CENTRE, OKE ADO, IBADAN ON TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 5, 2019
A COMMUNIQUE ISSUED BY THE CATHOLIC BISHOPS OF IBADAN ECCLESIASTICAL PROVINCE AT THE END OF THEIR FIRST MEETING FOR 2019 HELD AT THE JUBILEE CONFERENCE CENTRE, OKE ADO, IBADAN ON TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 5, 2019
Nigeria General Elections: Time To Walk In The Right Path
We, the Catholic Bishops of Ibadan Ecclesiastical Province, comprising Ibadan Archdiocese, Ilorin, Ondo, Ekiti, Oyo and Osogbo Dioceses, after our first meeting for the year 2019, having prayerfully deliberated on matters of importance to the Church in Ibadan Province and our country, Nigeria, issue the following Communique:
1. New Year, New Praises
We welcome the New Year with thanksgiving to God, the Giver of all life and all good things, who has kept us going as a Church and as a country. We acknowledge that in spite of the troubles and trials which we may see all around us, the mercy of God continues to be manifested in the affairs of our Church and country. Our Province in particular has been spared most of the gruesome violence and mayhem seen in other parts of Nigeria. For all his graces and blessing which have brought us into the New Year we thank God. We therefore call on all God’s children to live a life of sincere gratitude and praise, worthy of true children of God at all times. When we live as God-fearing people our life finds a new direction and our fears and anxieties diminish. May the New Year 2019 bring to us and to our country new blessings that will enhance our unity and all-round development as God’s people.
2. The National General Elections and Nigeria’s Future
National elections at various levels in Nigeria are here again. Given the high expectations of Nigerians and the not-so-positive experience during past elections, having a better performance at the forthcoming exercise assumes monumental importance for Nigeria. Most countries of the world improve from election to election and are reaping tangible benefits and dividends in economic growth and integral human development. Our country must not be different but aim at taking its rightful place in the comity of nations. We must therefore learn from and improve on our past mistakes and hold elections that are not only truly free and fair, but also that are seen to be so. The current administration of President Muhammadu Buhari must deliver on its promise not to unduly influence the work of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, which must also improve upon its good effort so far by according all contestants at all levels, equal importance and equal opportunities. The security agencies must do their duty without fear or favour, to prevent and curb every act of thuggery and violence which can intimidate the electorate or compromise the elections. Since their performance can affect the credibility of the elections, they must not be partisan but carry out all their activities in the overall national interest of the country.
3. Educating The Electorate
Information, they say, is power! We urge all our churches, communities and institutions to provide platforms and resources for our people to be informed and to inform one another about their civic rights and duties towards the forthcoming elections. Politicians seeking elective office must be encouraged to use such platforms and opportunities to correctly and clearly inform the people of their intentions and programmes so as to enable them carry out conscientiously, their civic duties. It is also important to note that there is life after elections. To this end, we must strive to equip our people with skills and strategies for holding our politicians to their word, even after they have been elected.
4. The Role of the Electorate
We urge all eligible Nigerian voters to collect their Permanent Voters Cards and vote conscientiously. It is the clearest sign of patriotism and our rights as Nigerian citizens also come with those sacred duties. We must reject and oppose any form of vote buying and selling and manipulation for the sake of our country and for generations yet unborn. Thankfully, most Nigerians believe in God and this must be even more evident during these elections if our prayers will be answered. We must all respect the sanctity of human life and work for the triumph of the truth. We must never forget that God will judge and reward every one of us for every choice and action we make in life.
5. Christian Witness During Elections
We hasten to remind all Christians in Nigeria that they have a huge responsibility to carry out during this period. Every Christian is called, especially at baptism, to witness to the truth and to be the light of the world. Christians must therefore make a positive difference in Nigeria as a fulfilment of their divine mandate. According to the apostle Paul: “People must know us as ambassadors of Christ….and what is expected of an ambassador is to be found trustworthy” (1 Cor. 4:1-2). We therefore enjoin all Christians, whether as candidates canvassing for votes or as individual voters, Christians of all walks of life like journalists, artists, poets, artistes and others to remember their Christian duty and vigorously and actively oppose injustice, falsehood and evil in all its forms, especially during the forthcoming elections. By doing this, they do nothing more than build a good legacy for generations to come and bring about God’s kingdom of love.
6.The World Youth Day and Catechesis
We congratulate all our youth on the successful celebration of the 34th World Youth Day programme held in Panama, Central America, from January 17 to 27, 2019. It is a programme initiated by St. Pope John Paul II to inspire, unify and educate young people in the Church. It is a call to them to be evangelizers to one another while making Jesus their best friend. The youth are challenged to seek knowledge of the faith through ongoing catechesis and study. Our country and the entire world have much to gain from such noble endeavours. “Who will ascend to the mountain of the Lord and who will stand in his holy place, the innocent of hand and the clean of heart”(Ps. 24:3)
6. A New Bishop For Ijebu-ode Diocese
We congratulate Msgr. Francis Obafemi Adesina, formerly a Priest of Osogbo Diocese, Ibadan Ecclesiastical Province and Rector of our Regional Major Seminary of Ss. Peter and Paul, Bodija, Ibadan who has recently been appointed Bishop of Ijebu-Ode Diocese by the Holy Father, Pope Francis. We greet the retired Bishop of Ijebu-ode, Most Rev. Albert Ayinde Fasina, and the entire Diocese for this historic event. The Episcopal Ordination of the Bishop-elect has been fixed for Thursday, 25th of April, 2019 at Ijebu-ode. May the good Lord bless the new Bishop, the Diocese and prosper the entire Church in Nigeria.
7. Call To Prayer And Action
We urge Nigerians to continue to pray to the Almighty God for whom all things are possible. However, it is when we are productive that our prayers are blessed by God. Thus, before, during and after the elections, we need to sustain our prayers for inspiration, strength and courage to carry out our thoughts, decisions and actions. In the words of Pope Francis, “good politics is to be at the service of peace” and peace is always the result of deliberate action and work. According to the Bible: “If my people who bear my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my presence and turn from their wicked ways, then I will listen from heaven and forgive their sins and restore their country” (2 Chron. 7:14). Such is our hope for Nigeria through the next elections in our country, by the grace and mercy of God Almighty who lives and reigns forever and ever.
Most Rev. Gabriel Abegunrin Most Rev. John Oyejola
JDPM HOSTS DIALOGUE AND PARTNERSHIP SERVICE (DPS) IN OYO
The Justice Development and Peace Movement (JDPM) Oyo, hosted Mr Andreas Wahler, the Nigeria’s representative of Misereor through the Dialogue and Partnership Service (DPS) on April 5, 2019 at Mabolaje, Oyo. The purpose of his visit was to meet with the staff of the organization and to discuss pertinent issues on the relationship between JDPM and Misereor.
Welcoming the guest, the Coordinator, JDPM Oyo, Rev Fr Gabriel Adeleke, appreciated his visitation and applauded the long time relationship between Misereor and JDPM Oyo in project partnership, stressing that the activities of Misereor in developmental projects across Nigeria, Africa and beyond deserves an accolade.
Responding, Mr. Andreas Wahler from Misereor Nigeria’s Office Abuja, expressed his satisfaction at what JDPM is doing. He said every society need an organization where many developmental activities needs to be carried out for an holistic development because government cannot do everything for the citizens, adding that the relationship between Misereor and JDPM is beyond donor-beneficiaries because it has led to fusion of ideas and unison of direction cum capacity building of staff in project writing and resource mobilization. He assured JDPM of Misereor’s readiness to always partner with the organization on projects.
Each Department represented by the Programme manager/Head of Department (HOD); Rural Development Programme (RUDEP) and Politics and Human Rights (PHR), later presented their project activities on Microsoft Power Point where many key issues were thoroughly analysed and assessed for proper rectification.
In her vote of thank, the Administrative Officer, JDPM Oyo, Sister Victoria Dada (SSMA), appreciated Misereor for their trust and confidence in the organization as well as their cooperation on project funding. She charged Mr Andreas to use his office to explore other programmes by the Deparments especially, the Politics and Human Rights (PHR) who presently runs a project on Child Rights Education in Basic Schools in Oyo State as well as tapping into the activities of Women in Politics (WIP) in the Catholic Diocese of Oyo.
ST ANTHONY’S DEVOTION WITH BISHOP BADEJO AT FRANCCO
Tuesday, 15th January, 2019 was a remarkable day at St. Francis Catholic College, Oyo as the proprietor, Most Rev. Emmanuel Badejo made a special but short visit to the school at the invitation of the members of St Anthony of Padua’s society. This society was established in the school during the course of last academic session as part of the effort of the church to promote spiritual formation and growth among the Catholic students. It was also aimed at encouraging young Catholics to embrace and participate actively in Pious societies as many of these societies in our parishes are now made up of elderly people. The decision to propagate this devotion through our Catholic schools, which really is a return to the old method, according to Mr Yomi Afolabi who led the group at the inception was taken at the annual general of the society during the course of the year. Since the establishment of this society it has been the desire of the group to have the Bishop with them and this desire became a reality on on Tuesday, 15th January, 2019. The Bishop came in at about 2.40 pm and immediately joined the prayer meeting. His presence brought indescribable jot into the heart of the students and others at the meeting and this was really visible in the eyes of everybody.
The Bishop, though did not stay till the end of the prayer because of other engagements, he however, stopped over at the principal’s office where he expressed his happiness over what he saw. He also commended the effort of the students and the commitment of the teachers guiding the students at the prayer meeting. He made further observations and suggestions that will be of great help to the spiritual and moral formation of the students. It is his wish that this kind of opportunity be extended to other Catholic schools so as to help the children learn, know and live their faith.
Addressing the Young Catholic Students who were also having their weekly meeting under the tree in front of the principal’s office, he urged them to continue the good work. In his words, they are having opportunities which many of their colleagues in other schools do not enjoy, hence they must appreciate and value it very well. He further urged the principal to think of better way to organize the programmes so as enable other Catholic students to participate in Young Catholic Students programme without losing the opportunity of being members of other devotional groups in the school.
Present at the St. Anthony’s prayer meeting were Mr. Yomi Afolabi, Mama Clara Sanda, Mrs Olaitan Sade, Mr Sagbo Abiodun, Miss C.A. Adelakun who is the Vice Principal of the school and Mrs Oshin F.A. who is the school librarian. More than 50 students attended the prayer meeting.
Holy Childhood Association of Oyo Diocese Celebrates “A day with the Bishop”
The celebration of the feast of the Holy Innocent by the Holy Childhood Association of the Catholic Diocese of Oyo tagged “A day with the Bishop” on Friday 28th December, 2018 at Our Lady of the Assumption Catholic Cathedral, Asogo, Oyo began with the Mass celebrated by Most Rev Emmanuel Badejo, Very Rev Fr John Oyekunle – the Diocesan Director for Pontifical Missions Societies (PMS) also the Cathedral administrator, Fr Clement Isola – the Bishop’s Secretary, Fr Gabriel Agboola – the Diocesan Vocations Director and Fr John Alayande.
It was indeed a celebration for children by children as the children participated actively as functionaries in the Liturgy as they were the Choir, Altar Servers, Psalmist, Lay readers, leaders of the prayers of the faithful, carrying the offertory and acting as the Masters of Ceremony both in and outside the Mass.
The Homilist of the day Rev Fr Gabriel Agboola urged the children to be of good behavior and obey their parents, guardians and elders. He made them realize the evils associated with behaving like King Herod who sacrificed the innocent children because he wanted to kill the baby Jesus and what the end of such people will be in the future.
After the thanksgiving, Rev Fr John Oyekunle the PMS Director appreciated the Bishop for his love and support and the animators for sacrificing their time and resources in order to take care of the children. He also encouraged the children to be of good behavior so that they can attain greater height in the future.
The Bishop also applauded Fr John Oyekunle, Sr Anastasia Obatolu - the Holy Childhood Association (HCA) Diocesan Coordinator, the animators, parents and guardians for the work they were doing with the children. He also praised the children themselves for getting involved in activities in their various parishes which was evident in the fact that they participated well in the Mass of the day. He however urged them to learn to listen more to their parents, learn how to participate more and better at mass and learn how to play musical instruments.
There was group picture with the Bishop, priests, religious and animators present in the church after the Mass and another one with the children in front of Bishop Adelakun Hall where the reception took place. The reception was so bright, colorful and beautiful as the children were given multicolored masks, cone caps and balloons to put on and use. The children were given food and drinks and they presented Christmas songs. The Holy Childhood Association gave the gift of a large size framed picture to the Bishop as a token of their appreciation.
Oyo Diocese Celebrates Christmas for prisoners
The Justice Development and Peace Movement with some of the members of the Catholic Diocese of Oyo celebrated the joys of Christmas with inmates at the Nigerian Prisons Service, Lagbondoko, Oyo, Oyo State on Wednesday 26th December, 2018.
Msgr Anthony Olawumi who represented the Bishop of Oyo diocese together with Fr Clement Isola – the Bishop’s secretary and Fr Gabriel Adeleke – the Director of JDPM led the delegation that comprised Reverend Sisters, JDPM staffs and members of parishes within Oyo bearing gifts and the Christmas message. Monsignor Olawumi made it known in the Christmas message that Christ brought peace to the world as God’s love is planted among us through his birth but we need to carry our crosses just like Christ did before we can achieve that peace. He continued that there is opportunity for mistakes but we also must accept the corrections and punishments attached to the mistakes.
SP Ige welcoming the entourage on behalf of the prison authority appreciated the Catholic Diocese of Oyo for always associating themselves with the plights and conditions of the inmates and contributing towards their well-being. He used the opportunity to enlighten the visitors that the prisons are no longer places where harsh and cruel punishments are being meted out but places where people are changed for the better. There was a special Christmas carol rendition by the prison choir and the Franciscan Novices after which Fr Clement Isola presented gifts of drugs for the betterment of the prison inmates on behalf of the Bishop.
Mr Ayinde one of the prison officials while giving the vote of thanks applauded how helpful the Catholic church has been through the JDPM and also directly, he lamented how wonderful it would have been if other churches were emulating the Catholic Church. He also used the medium to further ask for the support of the church in getting a megaphone to make communication easier, completing the prison chapel building to enable the Christian inmates to worship God befittingly and repairing the vehicles for the benefit of the prisoners who need to be transported to and from courts.
Pastor David Ilugbusi - the prison chaplain prayed for the Catholic Church and all her dealings, for the inmates and for justice and peace in our country Nigeria and Monsignor Anthony Olawumi gave the final blessings after which the gifts were handed to the prison authority for distribution to the prisoners.
BISHOP ADELAKUN FOUNDATIONS YEARLY CELEBRATION WITH WIDOWS
No one has nothing to offer – Fr Francis Oladiipo tells widows
“No matter how little, we all have something to offer. Be it time, words and strength. We must therefore never hesitate to do so” Rev Fr Dr Francis Oladiipo – the Secretary of Bishop Babatunde Adelakun Foundation (BAF) said this during his homily at the Foundation’s annual Christmas party celebration for widows and widowers on Thursday 27th of December, 2018 at Our Lady of the Assumption Cathedral, Oyo in a mass co-celebrated by Bishop Emeritus Julius Adelakun (the founder) and Fr John Alayande.
He urged them to continually carry their crosses just like the death of their spouses that has made the load of two to be for one person and that no matter the situation, we should believe in the resurrection of Jesus who is the power of Christians. Special prayers were also offered for the widows and widowers who were present at the previous year but during the course of the year and for all the deceased.
The reception took place at Bishop Adelakun Hall after the Holy Mass. There was Health talk by Mr Anthony Adetoro on how to manage one’s health after the death of spouse, coping and adapting with the sudden change, the proper way to exercise and many more. The talk was followed by series of questions and clarifications. Free medical test/check up by medical personnel took place while the talk was going on. The widows and widowers who were almost 200 (Christians and non-Christians) benefitted from free drugs, food items and many others that were distributed to them.
You are examples to your followers – Bishop of Oyo Diocese tells Kings
“You serve as example to your followers and when you respect God, your followers will do the same. If you humble yourself, God will raise you up” – Bishop Emmanuel Badejo said this while addressing the Kings and faithful gathered at the funeral Mass for the late Amunijio of Ijio Land – Oba Gabriel Okunade Adegoke Adeola Arijeteleoye.
Monsignor Emmanuel Yakubu in the homily after rendering a brief history of Ijio Land made mention of how significant the life of the late king was as he made great impact in the growth of the Kingdom developing the towns under it till the number reached 15 towns and also installed 12 High Chiefs. A large amount of considerable development had also been recorded in Ijio during his 20 year reign and despite being the first Royal Highness of Ijio (as the previous ones were all Baales) and a King he humbled himself to the service of God as he was a lay reader in the Church while he was alive. He was also cheerful, jovial and generous to people during his lifetime.
Monsignor Yakubu implored the people that they should let the funeral symbolise the end of mourning as the book of Wisdom says “there is joy over a righteous youth that died young” so the people should not be sad because the late king was privileged to receive the sacrament of the anointing of the sick after the accident that took his life as Frs Peter Akinola and Phillip Onifade who were travelling on the same route arrived at the scene before he died.
Bishop Badejo while speaking to the people after the mass endeavoured them to live good exemplary lives so that great things will be said about us just like is being said of the late king and so that they will be able to receive the heavenly reward.
Present at the funeral to give the last respect to the late Oba Gabriel Adegoke Adeola were people from all works of life, kings from neighbouring towns and villages like Igboho, Iseyin, Iwere, Baasi, Itasa, Ayegun, Ilaji-Ile, Ayetoro, Otu, Okeho, Eruwa, Tede, Owo, Iganna and many others, government officials, clerics, indigenes and non-indigenes from far and near and many others.
HISTORIC VISIT AT FIDITI
It was remarkable and historic today at St. Patrick Catholic Church, Fiditi, as "Simple Visit turned historic".
The Local Ordinary, Most Rev. Emmanuel Adetoyese Badejo at the early hour of this day, 2nd of January, 2019 alerted the Parish Priest - Rev. Fr. Benjamin Jolasun
that he may in the evening time come and say hi to his sheep in Fiditi as the new year begins.
In deed, God is all knowing. God really has his plans for our lives. Usually on a day like this, the youths of the church come together with the Parish priest to say Vespers and Compline. It was in the mood of this spiritual exercise that the Local Ordinary came in in company of the Metropolitan See of Ibadan, Most Rev. Dr. Gabriel 'Leke Abegunrin. Rev. Fr. Dr. Joyzy Pius Eegunjobi - one of the sons of the soil, Rev. Fr. Clement Isola - the Bishop's Secretary, Rev. Sr. Augustina Adeleke and some other young ones were also witnesses.
In his words of admonition, Archbishop Gabriel Abegunrin submitted that since he last stepped into Fiditi Church in 1984, this happened to be another occasion which he said was really destined by God to come this way. As he thanked the faithful for maintaining the Church Structure and keeping it neat even though it is an old edifice, he called on them to keep it up.
On behalf of the Church, the Parish Pastoral Council Chairman, Mr. Peter Oyelami exclaimed that in the history of the Parish, it had never happened having Bishop and Archbishop at the same time in the Parish. He added that it is a sign of prayers answered and signs of so many good things to come in the New Year, 2019.
Bishop Badejo called on the youths of the Parish to keep up with the good work in faith and never grow weary, for rewards are awaiting all.
Present also at the historic event were some elders of the Church both males and females.
In deed, it becomes an unforgettable event especially in the life of the youths of the Parish.
All departed the Church joyfully jubilating having received the blessings of God through our Shepherds.
OYO DIOCESE CELEBRATES CHRIST, THE REASON FOR THE SEASON WITH TRIPLE CAROLS
As part of the annual activities of the Catholic Diocese of Oyo, the Bishop of Oyo Diocese Most Rev Emmanuel Badejo together with priests, religious and lay faithful of the Diocese gathered to rejoice and celebrate the 2018 edition of the yearly triple carols which includes the Oyo Deanery Christmas Carol, the Inter-Diocesan Carol and the Catholic Women Organization (CWO) Carol.
Sunday 16th of December began the carol chain as the Catholic churches in Oyo area gathered on the field of St Bernardine Owode to have the Oyo Deanery Christmas Carol which featured song presentations by the churches in the Deanery, readings and lessons, drama and Christmas messages. The Dean of the Deanery - Very Rev Fr Boniface Wuraola urged all to rejoice and be glad, sing and dance despite the situation.
The choirs from the St Anthony Ashipa in the Archdiocese of Ibadan and St Benedict Cathedral in Oshogbo Diocese praised the Lord and thrilled the audience together with the Choirs of St Anthony Awe and St Patrick Fiditi of Oyo Diocese at the Inter-Diocesan Carol on Tuesday 18th December at Our Lady of the Assumption Catholic Cathedral, Asogo, Oyo. Rev Fr Peter Akinola, the parish priest of St Joseph, Iwere-Ile gave the Christmas message after which Rev Fr Ferdinand Olabode, the parish priest of St Theresa Ijio rendered a traditional Christmas poem (Ewi). The Bishop appreciated both the invited choirs and the host choirs as he gifted drums to them.
The Carol of the Catholic Women Organization (CWO) of Oyo Deanery came up on Wednesday 19th December at the Bishop's House as the women all sang carols parish by parish before presenting gifts to the Bishop who in turn presented gifts to them in return. There were special carol presentations by the Catholic Men Organization (CMO) of Christ the King Catholic Church, Isokun and the Children of the Holy Childhood. In his welcome address, Bishop Badejo used prayer filled hymns to pray for the people and encouraged them to dance and sing well as that will mean praying twice to the new born king. Most Rev Julius Adelakun - the Bishop Emeritus of the Diocese also graced the occasion and gave the final blessings.
OYO DIOCESE HOLDS ANNUAL MARIAN PILGRIMAGE
Thousands of people flocked the town of Tede for annual spiritual pilgrimage to the Oke Maria Pilgrimage and Retreat Centre, Tede in ATISBO Local Government of Oyo State. This year’s pilgrimage with the theme ‘nothing is impossible for God’ came up on Friday 7th and Saturday 8th December, 2018 with both Catholics and non-Catholics coming together to pray through the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary to God who made all things possible for his people.
The Bible Service on Friday 7th at St Mary Magdalene Catholic Church, Tede started by 3pm with Fr Jerome Ogunleye as the preacher while the same Bible Service was being held concurrently on the Marian Hill for the aged and the sick. The Bible Service was followed by the joyful praise-filled procession of the pilgrims to the Pilgrimage Centre. The procession ended around 8pm with the prayer led by the Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Oyo – Most Rev Emmanuel Badejo at the Grotto on the Marian Hill.
The programme continued throughout the night with different segments anchored by different priests. It featured Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, Stations of the Cross, Sacrament of Reconciliation, Healing and Anointing, Divine Mercy, thanksgiving of praise and worship and many others before finally ending with the Holy Mass early morning of Saturday 8th December, 2018.
In his homily, Rev. Fr Francis Olufunmilayo the parish priest of Divine Mercy Catholic Church Saki, enjoined the people to always be like Mary who became what God wanted her to be and not what she wanted to be because a lot of problem we are encountering nowadays is because people are no longer what God wants them to be but what they want to be since they no longer let the will of God be done in their lives.
Oyo Diocese receives Bishop Olawoore of Ilorin Diocese
The Catholic Diocese of Oyo has with an utmost joy formally received the co-adjutor Bishop of Ilorin Diocese who was once a priest in the host Diocese, Most Rev. Paul Adegboyega Olawoore at the Lady of Assumption, Catholic Cathedral, Oyo , Oyo State on the 5th of October, 2018. The Thanksgiving Mass was presided by the celebrant, Bishop Olawoore with the Archbishop of Ibadan, most Rev. Gabriel Leke Abegunrin, the host Bishop, Most Rev . Emmanuel Adetoyese Badejo and the emeritus bishop of Oyo Diocese, Most Rev. Julius Babatunde Adelakun together with priests within and outside the Diocese.
Fr. Michael Falade, the homilist, made it known that man should never betray his sense of gratitude, no matter the situation and so when God calls, it is best to put everything into the hands of he who assigned for he can never fail. God in his wisdom has been preparing Bishop Olawoore for the great task, he said, and now it has come to fulfillment. He described the celebrants as a man of prayer, a true shepherd and pastor, ever ready to serve God in trying times and a special son of Mary, Queen of the Apostle.
Bishop Olawoore was said to have held various positions in the Catholic Diocese of Oyo amongst which are, the Diocesan secretary /chancellor under Bishop Adelakun the emeritus bishop of Oyo Diocese, once parish priest of St. Bernardine’s Oyo, St. Mary Magdalene Tede, St. Andrews Akinmoorin, Our Lady of Lourdes Ogbomosho, principal of St. Francis college, Oyo, chaplain of Federal college of education, Oyo ,Diocesan canonist /judicial vicar, zonal chaplain of Catholic women organization, Oyo and Ogbomosho zone, dean of Oyo and Ogbomosho deanery, principal of Maryland grammar school Ogbomosho up to the time he was appointed as co-adjutor bishop of Ilorin Diocese.
He further described Bishop Olawoore as a man who believes trusting and obeying God is the key to live a life pleasing to God and so he encouraged the celebrants to continue the good work and to put all situations into God’s hands for he knows all.
The celebrant, thanked God for the new Diocese he has been appointed to and from where he is coming from. He said his appointment is that which he can not explain but that it is God’s will and every situation is a preparation for something we are not aware of but clearly known to God. In his words, he thanked specially the Emeritus Bishop of Oyo Diocese, Most Rev. Julius Adelakun who have brought him up in the way of the Lord and for all his wonderful teachings .He then enjoined all to always give ears to the teaching of God and endeavor to follow it for that is where the goodness and mercy of the Lord comes. And to the youths he encouraged, to work for the Lord and not for anything else, especially now that election is at hand, not to act as miscreants, who would sell their birthright but rather listen to him who created them and represent him anywhere they find themselves In preserving the future.
The metropolitan see of Ibadan, Most Rev Gabriel Abegunrin, congratulated the celebrant and described his case as whatever God has planned no one can stop it. He said as individual, we have been assigned one work or the other from God and so when it is revealed, it is best to do it and trust in God. We must never be tired of the Cross, he said, we must bear it till the last day and as priests of God, we must not forget our vows, to know him and serve him to the end. He then encouraged bishop Olawoore not to be afraid, to carry his Cross and lean on him who chose him.
Most. Rev Emmanuel Badejo, the host Bishop, in his words at the reception said God’s will has truly be done and there is no controversy therein. He appreciated the celebrant for honouring the invitation, he then admonished him to see Oyo, Ilorin and other Archdioceses and dioceses under the province as one for that is the beginning of God’s wonderful works.
The chairman, organizing committee, Rev .Fr Dr. Francis Oladiipo thanked all who have come specially to rejoice with Bishop Emmanuel on the formal reception of Bishop Olawoore. He also appreciated the presence of some of the priests from Ilorin Diocese that accompanied the celebrant and prayed for journey mercy for all.
Bishop Badejo commissions a micro finance multi-purpose investment
The Catholic Bishop of Oyo Diocese, Most Rev. Emmanuel Adetoyese Badejo commissioned and unveiled the Ave Maria Multipurpose Investment Limited (AMMIL) at the new building, opposite UBA bank, Owode, Oyo, Oyo state on the 18th of September,2018. The Micro Finance institution which was regarded as a herald of a new dawn in the history of the Diocese is aimed at creating wealth, through advisory service, investment and loan facilities to eligible individual and groups irrespective of gender, age and religion.
The event commenced with the Holy Mass celebrated by the Archbishop of Ibadan, His Grace, Most Rev. Gabriel Abegunrin as the Chief Celebrant, the Catholic bishop of Oyo diocese Most. Rev. Emmanuel Adetoyese Badejo who is also the legal holder of AMMIL (Ave Maria Multipurpose Investment Limited), Monsignors and priests within and outside the diocese as co-celebrants. The homilist of the day, Monsignor Emmanuel Yakubu described the establishment as the essence for which Christ has created the Church, which is re-creating the world, contributing to the development and lifting up of human life. He analyzed the evangelization format into two dimension which are the anthropological and theological dimension and of which the Micro-finance Bank is based on the anthropological dimension, that is the social study of humanity, caring for the needs of others as Christ as rightly said ‘’if you do these to the least of my brothers, you do it to me’’ (Matthew 25:40). He said the aim of the Church towards re-ordering the world has been made manifest in the establishment of the Ave Maria Micro-Finance Institution, which is intended to enable more people have access to common resources and to live a good and happy life; that is reaching out mostly to people at the grass root level. He then enjoined everybody to see this as a great instrument of evangelization, reaching out to people in promoting human dignity and to always put-on the armour of prayer which is the theological dimension of the evangelical format.
After the celebration of the Holy Mass, various remarks were given from those who constitute the board of members and from the various customers of the financial institution which includes the Okada riders, food vendors, Onimaalu in which all commended the effort of Rev.Fr Gabriel Adeleke, the coordinator of JDPM and the staffs for their foresight in creating the remarkable intervention program. They further expressed their assurance that the institution will go a long way in improving the life of the people in the diocese, Catholics and non-Catholics.
AMMIL which was previously known as Entrepreneurship Development Programme (EDP) is an integral part of Justices, Development and Peace Movement (JDPM) and is registered with the corporate affair commission (RC. 158760). Investment opportunities open to customers includes Floating, Gold, Platinum, My kids investment and the likes. Other available services are LOAN PROJECTS such as Kowope, Basiri, Project Financing Scheme and other products.
Bishop Badejo in his words said the Church through the establishment is merely fulfilling her responsibility towards the realization of the will of God and not competing with any business establishment and that is what the Church does all over the world and Oyo will not be an exception. The coordinator of JDPM, Rev.Fr Gabriel Adeleke, also made it known that the Ave Maria Institution is established to collaborate with the government, helping and supporting the people, youths who have ideas but does not have the financial ability, that is promoting human dignity which is the aim of the Church.
The managing director of the financial institution, Mrs Orebiyi Oyekunle Taiwo said the financial institution aim at modernizing those at the grass root level, to enhance local operators by creating various activities for them and helping them financially, providing advisory services which are the sole aim of the institution. The vote of thanks was given by Rev. Sr Victoria Dada SSMA, who on behalf of JDPM of the diocese acknowledged the presence of all who witnessed the program after which the commissioning and unveiling was done by Most Rev. Emmanuel Badejo together with all present.
EXCERPTS FROM THE COMMUNIQUÉ OF THE CATHOLIC BISHOPS’ CONFERENCE OF NIGERIA
THEME: DO NOT BE AFRAID, DO NOT BE DISCOURAGED” (Deut 31:8).
DATE: 6 To 14 SEPTEMBER, 2018.
VENUE: PINNACLE GUEST INN AND RESORT, SOKOTO, SOKOTO STATE.
By: Rev. Fr. Benjamin Jolasun.
In the face of the prevailing crisis, tensions and anxiety, all Nigerians are invited to put their trust in God, while working hard to build a harmonious and peaceful nation. Deu. 31:8 is a message of assurance.
The thousands of our internally displaced compatriots should be helped by the Government to return to their homes and their land restored to them as quickly as possible and the life and property of every Nigerian citizen should be defended.
Governments at all levels should respect the rights of citizens and groups to practise their religions unhindered.
All should avoid acts of religious fanaticism in order to promote peaceful co-existence and harmony. Religion is a matter of conviction, not coercion.
All forms of pursuit of national interest should be guided by the rule of law and respect for human dignity and development. The legislatures are to enact good laws and abrogate bad ones, so as to ensure order, safety, good conduct and safeguard the Common Good and judiciary should not allow itself to be used as an instrument of subjugation, oppression, discrimination, and injustice.
As we look forward to the elections of 2019, all registered voters are encouraged to ensure that they are equipped with their voter’s card, reject and denounce the illegal practices of selling and buying of votes.
Let all be attentive to the aspirations of the young people, especially those among them who are poor, internally displaced, victims of exploitation, orphans, and migrants. The evils of human trafficking, slavery, drug abuse, war, disease, disability, and illiteracy should be shunned and eradicated.
In the face of the trying moment for the Church, Clergy and Religious should be mindful of their obligation to observe perfect and perpetual continence for the sake of the kingdom of Heaven (Matt: 19:12, Can. 277, 1).
It is still possible for all Nigerians to join hands across religious, ethnic and political divides in order to build one, united and robust Nation that all of us would be proud of.
Rev. Fr. Zachariah SAMJUMI of the Catholic Diocese of Yola is the new Secretary General for the Catholic Secretariat of Nigeria.
Church at various levels, parishes and families, should intensify the daily recitation of the Holy Rosary, practice other forms of devotion to save our country and continue say the “Prayer for Nigeria in Distress,” especially as we approach the Election Year. There is power in Prayer.
THE CATHOLIC DIOCESE OF OYO UNVEILS AND COMMISSIONS AVE MARIA MULTIPURPOSE INVESTMENT LIMITED
The Justice, Development and Peace Movement of the Catholic Diocese of Oyo commissions and unveils Ave Maria Multipurpose Investment Limited,a microcredit Institution with three basic objectives: To provide microcredit services to the active poor in our society.To align with and support Government in achieving 2020 financial inclusion target of millions of Nigerians that are financially excluded.Lastly To float a sustainable project that will sustain the good works of JDPM,Oyo and the Diocese of Oyo as a whole. This will be done by the local Ordinary of the Diocese Most Rev. Emmanuel Adetoyese Badejo beginning with the Holy Mass on the 18th of September, 2018 at the Venue. Join us as we evangelize through this means
CATHOLIC PRESENCE AT IGBO OLOGUN, SAKI OYO STATE
The untiring labour of Rev. Frs Michael Eke, Martin Badejo and Benedict Joshua to propagate the Catholic faith near and far Saki axis was given a Diocesan stamp when His Lordship, Most Rev Emmanuel Ade Badejo, (together with Frs Olufunmilayo Francis and Martin Badejo), sets his feet on the ancient land of Igbo-Ologun, a town on the hill-top of about 5 minutes drive from Saki. Based on the ardent faith of the family of Pa & Mrs Joseph Akano who had been in contact with Catholicism in Ikirun since their youthful days and upon returning home has secured a piece of land for the church's uses.
Owing to the proximity of the town to Divine Mercy Catholic Church, Wewe in Saki, St. Lawrence's, Saki handed it over to them for easier pastoral care, this was received with joy.
Tuesday 4 September, 2018 was a memorable day of joy, happiness and fulfilment not only for the family of Akano but the entire town of Igbo-Ologun as the Baale, Ologun of Igbo-Ologun together with the Shehu of the town welcomed the entire members of Divine Mercy Catholic Church, Wewe into the town.
Songs of praise, Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, Rosary and the celebration of the Holy Mass were held right infront of Pa Akano's house which is just a stone throw away from the land given to the Church. Prayers were said for the town, the Baale, the Shehu and the Muslim community as well as every soul in the town. It was a great launch of the Catholic faith in the town and to be continued with intense evangelization.
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