News : Priestly Ordination and Reception to Oyo Diocese of The New Archbishop of Ibadan, Most Rev. Dr. Gabr

Posted on: 2014-05-10
Source: The Comms Department, Oyo Diocese

After his election and installation as the Catholic Archbishop of Ibadan Archdiocese, His Grace, Most Rev. Dr. Gabriel ‘Leke Abegunrin was received in his home Diocese of Oyo as the First and only Archbishop from Oke-Ogun area of Oyo State.
Archbishop Abegunrin, who was the Catholic Bishop of Osogbo Diocese since his Episcopal ordination on the 13th May, 1995 was appointed the Archbishop of Ibadan on the 29th of October, 2013 and Installed the Catholic Archbishop of Ibadan on 24th January, 2014; came to visit his own native people of Oyo Diocese and by the special grace of God ordained five new priests for the Catholic Church in Oyo Diocese. The reception of the Archbishop and the ordination of five priests took place at Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church, Mary Land, Ogbomoso on the 2nd of May, 2014.
The celebration began a day before with a dinner with the Archbishop at the Bishop’s House in Oyo. The Diocese was well represented at the dinner by the Priests of Oyo Deanery, the Religious in Oyo Deanery, the Diocesan Pastoral Council Chairman, the Diocesan Laity Chairman, the Diocesan C. W. O. Chairperson, the Youth President and many other lay faithful.
The night was very solemn with a lot of Pastoral history that was given by the Archbishop and the Host Bishop. Everyone present also participated at the Easter Carols organised by the host choir.
The Chief Shepherd of Catholic Diocese of Oyo, His Lordship, Most Rev. Dr. Emmanuel Adetoyese Badejo, priests, religious and the lay faithful from every part of the diocese and beyond gathered to receive the Archbishop with sounds of trumpet, drums and songs of joy, at some distance away from the church and after receiving him and presented with flowers, they proceeded to the church together and in the Church, the Archbishop prayed over the people and blessed them.
At about 10.02 AM, the Sacrifice of the Holy Mass began with the procession to the Altar. The Chief host, Most Rev. Emmanuel Badejo welcomed the Archbishop of Ibadan, the priests, religious and the people of God in these words “In the name of God Almighty, the Priests of Oyo Diocese and the people of God of Oyo Diocese, I welcome Archbishop Abegunrin to Oyo Diocese and we welcome you to Ogbomoso land. We thank you for accepting to ordain our five deacons: Revs Peter Agboola, Moses Alaba, Clement Isola, Julius Olayinka and John Olayiwola. I also welcome all of you. God has been extremely good to us and we thank Him so much. Last year we ordained six and now we have five. I welcome the families of Agboola, Alaba, Isola, Olayinka and Olayiwola. Archbishop was not like this last year but now; he is the only Archbishop from Oke-Ogun. We thank God for that and for all of you. You were not all also like this last year, at least you are a year older now. May God bless you all.”
After the welcome address by the Chief Shepherd of Oyo Diocese, the Chief celebrant, Archbishop Abegunrin flanked by Bishop Emmanuel Badejo and Msgr. Emmanuel Bolaji Yakubu began the Mass. At the introduction to the Mass, the Archbishop said “My Lord Bishops, the ordinands and their families, my dear brothers and sisters. God promised to always be with us and this is one of the signs. May the name of the Lord be blessed. We are here today to raise our brothers to the level of elders even though they are young people. We thank God for their lives, families and we pray God to bless them and bless all of us as we pray for them.”
The first reading was taken from the prophecy of Isaiah 61:1-3 in Yoruba language; the psalm was led by choir, taken from Ps. 110: 1-4 with the response “You are a priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek”; the Second reading was taken from the First Letter of St. Paul to Timothy 4:12-16 in English language while the Gospel was proclaimed by Rev. Julius Olayinka (one of the ordinands) from the Gospel According to St. Luke 12:22-34 in both English and Yoruba Languages.
After the Gospel, the calling and election of the candidates took place. The Vocations Director, Rev. Fr. Ferdinand Olabode, called the candidates for the priesthood, they responded and were received by the Church through the Archbishop. In his homily, the archbishop said “I congratulate you for today’s celebration; My Lord, Priests, Religious, the Rectors of the Seminaries: Very Rev. Frs. Francis Femi Adesina and Paul Kehinde Oredipe, dignitaries of State and representatives of “Sohun of Ogbomoso” (The King of Ogbomoso); I greet you all. We are all gathered here because of our five Deacons who will be raised to the order of priesthood. The rectors are here because they know that the ordinands are up to the task. We thank God for them for the work they do for the Church.”
To the ordinands, he said quoting the Scripture, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me....”, that the passage of the Scripture refers to them because if there is no Spirit of the Lord upon them, we would not be there. He continued saying: “we always thank God for His goodness. Just a day before, we heard of another bomb blast in a part of Abuja; we pray for those wicked people that God would change their hearts and make them good. We need to ordain more people who have goodwill to teach people the fear of God and to pray for people.
Furthermore, he said to the Ordinands, “do not think you are too young, the task given to you is for elders and God has made you elders”.” Do not worry about your life” he continued, you don’t need to gather wealth for yourself because God will take care of you. What we teach you about priesthood is more than what we just read or heard.... “Emulate Jesus the great teacher” he said. In those days, there was no teacher who does not write note of lesson with teaching aids but many of the teachers today do not write lesson notes. Teachers of those days led with examples. You are now teachers. Can you be bold enough to tell your congregation to do as you do? You must be an example in life, of holiness, in saying the truth, praying, humble, and loving. Do not be proud. You must respect those ahead of you. You will work with elderly priests, be respective. Do not live in isolation. Priesthood is a gift we must jealously guide. Wherever a priest is must be a place of joy, peace, unity harmony and love. Pope St. John Paul II said “a Priest is not a native of a particular place”, you are ordained for the universal Church but your family must be happy hearing good things happening where you work. You have freedom but you must be guided and be prudent. Do not misuse your freedom. You have friends but you must be mindful of what you do with them, be prayerful, be friendly, and never allow any of the sheep in your charge get lost because of you.
For the people of God he prayed; “may you not be tired of doing good”. You have been supportive since the time they were in the seminary, but it is not over; their wellbeing is under your care. As they take care of your spiritual needs, you need to support their temporal needs. Congratulations to those who have contributed but those who are yet to begin should no longer delay in doing good and supporting the growth of the Church.
After the homily, examination of candidates and promise of obedience took place, followed by the Litany of the Saints, laying on of hands and prayer of consecration. The newly ordained priests were vested with stole and chasuble, their hands were anointed with the Oil of Chrism and they were given the instrument of office: pattern with host and chalice; after which the kiss of peace took place.
After the post Communion prayer, there was general thanksgiving led by the Metropolitan Archbishop of the Ibadan and the five newly ordained priests while the Bishops Emmanuel Badejo (Catholic Bishop of Oyo), Julius Babatunde Adelakun (Emeritus Bishop of Oyo), all the priests, religious and the people joined in dancing to the altar. The prayer and blessing were given by Very Rev. Fr. Francis Adesina (The Rector, SS Peter and Paul Major Seminary, Ibadan).
After the Thanksgiving, the newly ordained priests prayed over the bishops and people in this order: Archbishop and Bishops (Fr. Moses Alaba), Priests and Religious (Fr. John Olayiwola), Families of the newly ordained priests (Fr. Julius Olayinka) and the whole congregation (Fr. Peter Agboola).
The Chief Host, Most Rev. Dr. Emmanuel Adetoyese Badejo thanked all present: the Archbishop of Ibadan who agreed to come down home to do this ordination, the Bishop Emeritus, all the priests and religious, the community of Catholics in Ogbomoso and especially the Parish priest and the parishioners of Our Lady of Lourdes for the beautiful and wonderful work done in and around the church building. He prayed that God should continue to bless them and strengthen them. Also, the choir, altar servers, prayer leaders and catechists, knights and ladies in the church, the representatives of the Oba, Sohun of Ogbomoso and present.
The Final Blessing of the Mass was given and the Mass came to an end at about 3pm.
On the 3rd of May, the people of God in Oke-Ogun where the Archbishop hails, gathered at the entrance of his home town, Iwere-Ile, to welcome him with songs and drums. They all proceeded to his compound where he was born and gave him a warm welcome with different cultural displays. He was also specially welcomed by the king and Chiefs of the land. He gave his words of thanksgiving and advice and then prayed for them all.
The grand final of the reception was the celebration of Mass on the 4th of March in his home Parish, St. Joseph Catholic Church, Iwere-Ile, flanked by the host Bishop and the newly ordained priest from his home town, Rev. Fr. Moses Alaba.