The Catholic Diocese of Oyo was carved out of the Catholic Archdiocese of Lagos. Hitherto, Priests had to come all the way from Lagos, Ibadan and even Ijebu-Ode to celebrate the Eucharist in Oyo and its environs. As at the time, only the stations like Oyo, Osogbo, Otan, Inisa, Ilesa etc, were mainly the beneficiaries. Priests were later stationed in these towns.
In April 1949, the old Oyo province-excluding Ibadan was erected as the prefecture of Oyo. The white-fathers (the Missionaries of Africa) were invited to take charge. Fr. Owen McCoy – who later became the first Bishop of Oyo (now deceased), led a group of some White-Fathers to start the work of evangelization in the area.
On 1st March, 1963, the prefecture of Oyo was raised to the status of a Diocese, with the prefect Apostolic, Rt. Rev, Msgr. Owen McCoy, becoming the first Bishop of Oyo till his retirement in 1971.
In 1971, Rev. Fr. Anthony Olubunmi Okogie of Lagos Archdiocese was ordained Auxiliary Bishop of Oyo Diocese, remaining so until the death of Archbishop J.K. Aggey of Lagos Archdiocese, when he was moved to Lagos as Archbishop. The vacancy was thus created in Oyo Diocese which was filled by calling on Rev. Fr. Julius Babatunde Adelakun to take over as Bishop of Oyo Diocese on 11th February, 1973.
On 14th March, 1995, the Diocese of Osogbo was carved out of Oyo Diocese with its headquarters at Osogbo. Thus the new seat of Bishop of Oyo was transferred to Oyo town. The liturgical ceremony marking the canonical installation of the Bishop of Oyo at his new seat was held on 30th April, 1995 at the church of Our Lady of the Assumption, Oyo now raised to the status of a Cathedral.
The Diocese of Oyo made history as she received the good news of appointment on August 20, 2007 of the Co-adjutor Bishop for the Diocese, in the person of Rt. Rev. Msgr. Emmanuel Ade Badejo. The celebration of his Episcopal ordination took place on 20th October, 2007, at St. Francis Catholic College, Oyo. Most Rev. Emmanuel Ade Badejo was born on the 13th July, 1961. He was ordained a Priest on the 4th January, 1986. The Co-adjutor Bishop worked with the Diocesan Bishop in looking after the spiritual welfare of the Diocese.
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Most Rev. Julius Babatunde Adelakun remained the Bishop of Oyo till his retirement on the 4th November, 2009 while the canonical installation of Most Rev. Emmanuel Ade Badejo as Bishop of Oyo took place on 20th November, 2009.
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