Posted on: 2016-02-24
Source: Comms Dept, Oyo Diocese

We give glory and praise to the Almighty God for making us see the end of the year for the Consecrated persons. The Bishop, Priests, Religious and lay faithful of the Catholic Diocese of Oyo gathered at St. Ferdinand Catholic Church, Ogbomoso on Saturday, 6th of February, 2016 to celebrate the official close of the year for the Religious. The ceremony began with the celebration of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass at about 10.00am with the Most Revd Emmanuel Adetoyese Badejo (The Catholic Bishop of Oyo) as the Chief Celebrant.

In his homily, Rev. Fr. Jude Dominic Igba, CMF gave thanks to God for the gift of the Consecrated persons to the Church. He appreciated the effort of the Bishop Emeritus of Oyo, Most Revd Julius Babatunde Adelakun and the incumbent Bishop, Most Revd E.A. Badejo for their support for the Religious male and female in the diocese. He encouraged the Religious persons to always remember their vows of CHASTITY: the vow that helps us to relate in purity with other men and women; OBEDIENCE: the vow that helps us to be orderly in our work and POVERTY: the vow that makes us relate well with material things and to be self disciplined. He further explained that the aims of forming religious congregations are (1) to seek in all things, the glory of God (2) for the sanctification of members and (3) for the salvation of souls.

At the presentation of gifts, each religious congregation present in the diocese came forward with the emblem of their congregation. The emblem is shown to the people and short history of the congregation is narrated to the people with what they do and where they work in the diocese. The aim of this is to foster vocation to the religious life in Oyo Diocese.

In his remarks, the Bishop, Most Revd Emmanuel Ade Badejo said the synod Fathers began to talk about a year been dedicated to the consecrated life in 1994 but since things are not just done anyhow in the Church and it takes time, a year eventually was dedicated from November 29, 2014 to February 2, 2016. “All through this year, there are so many things that those who are consecrated and those of us who are called to the Holy Priesthood are suppose to reflect upon. In the pope’s exultation that the consecrated persons should WAKE-UP THE WORLD and even in his address on the conclusion of the year on February 2nd, there is so much that I think you consecrated people should have your hands full with, not just in the couple of weeks but for many years to come, in fact, all through your life”, the Bishop said. He continues by saying that the Church takes the Consecrated life very seriously and at the closing of the year for the consecrated life, the Cardinal in charge of the year said that “this year has shown that consecrated life is not just an accident in the Church, and it is not a vocation that is fading away. It is a vocation that is needed, that is necessary and that must go on in many different ways.”

Summarising the words of the Holy Father, Pope Francis at the close of the year for the Consecrated Life, Bishop Badejo said “Consecrated people must resist the temptation to join the rest of the world in things that corrode relationship like gossip, hatred, anger, rancour and the likes. They must come out of their convents and reach out to the world and bring Jesus’ life to the world, especially among the poor.” The bishop laid emphasis on the fact that Pope Francis has identified himself as the pope of the poor; he has been talking about a poor Church for the poor and he has added that in a message for the Consecrated people, to bring the relieve, joy and light of Christ among the poor. The Bishop went further to exclaim that the Pope also talk to bishops and priests too that this is an opportunity for them to re-examine the dimension of the spirituality of communion between the hierarchy of the Church and the charismatic dimension of the Church. The charismatic dimension of the church, he said, is the direction that produces the gift and put the gift to work actively, whether as teacher serving the poor, serving children, serving old people and so on and this is the area where most of our consecrated people are engaged.  So, there has to be a synergy between the hierarchy of the Church and the Religious who are called to a humble service. This is a big task and something we need to reflect upon, something we need to pray about and apply ourselves to.

Finally, Bishop Badejo appreciated the effort of those present, especially the lay faithful because they know the value of the work that consecrated persons are doing in their midst; also the deanery of Ogbomoso and the host parish (St. Ferdinand) for the effort made to make this celebration a success. 

After the Mass, there was presentation of songs, drama and talent show by different groups like children of Mary and Joseph, youth, women, some religious congregations and the Bishop himself. Among those present were Most. Revd Julius Babatunde Adelakun (The Emeritus Bishop of Oyo), the Dean of Ogbomoso Deanery, Very Rev. Fr. Paul Olawoore; Rev. Fr. Martin DeCross Udejiofor, CMF, Rev. Fr. Jude Dominic Igba, CMF (the homilist for the day), other priests in the diocese and religious congregations like St. Louse Sister, Franciscan Sisters of Immaculate Conception, Immaculate Heart of Mary Sisters, University Sisters of Assumption, Daughters of Holy Spirit Sisters, St. Michael the Archangels sisters and others.