Posted on: 2015-06-26
Source: Comms Dept, Oyo Diocese

We give glory and honour to the almighty God for His goodness and everlasting mercy on our baba, Most Revd Julius Babatunde Adelakun (Emeritus bishop of Oyo Diocese). Bishop Adelakun was ordained a priest alongside his bosom friend, Late Msgr Joseph Adeniji Taiwo on th 27th of June, 1965 at the Church of Our Lady of Assumption, Asogo, Oyo.

The celebration began on the eve that preceded the day we marked the anniversary, Wednesday, 24th of June, 2015, the priests and sisters in Oyo town gathered round baba to pray and felicitate with him and had supper with him.

On the day however, Wednesday 24th of June 2015, all gathered at Our Lady of the Assumption Catholic Cathedral to give thanks to God Almighty for all He has done for our baba. The celebration began with the blessing of the new big generator for the Cathedral church by bishop Adelakun, the bishops and priests present and from there, processed to the church for the celebration of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass with bishop Adelakun as the chief celebrant at about 10.02 am.

At the introductory to the Mass, bishop Adelakun quoting the words of the Scripture says “It was not you who choose me but I chose you to go and bear fruit, fruit that will last” (Jn. 15:16). He then thank and welcome the Metropolitan See of Ibadan Province, His Grace, Most Revd Gabriel Leke Abegunrin, the Catholic bishop of Oyo, Most Revd Emmanuel Adetoyese Badejo, Monsignori, priests, religious and the lay faithful. He thanked God for making him see the 50th year of his priestly ordination and offered the Mass for his intentions and those of his loved ones.

During the homily, the Catholic bishop of Oyo, His Lordship, Most Revd Emmanuel Ade Badejo wished baba Adelakun happy priestly anniversary and prays that the rest of his live will be the best in the Lord’s vineyard. He continued by saying that “every good thing that happens around us begins from Oyo Diocese: The 1st Emeritus bishop, first bishop to reach the age of 80 and now the first bishop to celebrate 50th priestly anniversary”, these for him, are good reason enough to thank the Lord. He thanked all the priests present and especially Archbishop Abegunrin and also the family members of Bishop Adelakun and every other person present.

Baba is 81 years he said and he recalled Archbishop Alaba Job (Emeritus Archbishop of Ibadan Archdiocese) saying as he was preaching at Baba’s 70th birthday, he came down from the pulpit and asked a little girl how old she was and the girl was proud to say “I am four years old!!!!!!” but Baba is 81 years old and 50 years old as a priest. The life of Baba Adelakun should be enough homily for us today. Bishop Badejo continues, because at this age, 81, many could no longer walk or see again but Baba is even stronger and looking fresher than some younger people. All thanks to God for the rare privilege.

He added that the word of God said to us today on the celebration of the solemnity of the birth of John the Baptist that all of us are called to be John the Baptist as we proclaim the coming of Christ. Bishop Adelakun has really been a good “John the Baptist” as his life testifies to that.

He recalled that Baba said at the supper with the priests and religious that he thought of “many priests who didn’t live up to 10 years or even 1 year but he has lived 50 years. It is all by the grace of God and not by his power and might”.

The secret of the success of Baba Adelakun could be seen in his faith in Jesus Christ who is the rock of ages and the belief in the power of intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary who is our example and model of fidelity. If these two pillars could hold Baba firmly, it could work for us also. Relying on the power of God, Baba Adelakun was the first bishop to have two of his priests consecrated bishops by him, and he is a good example of humility for us. Politicians of our time who do little or nothing but goes ahead to publicise it in an exaggerated way should learn from Bishop Julius Adelakun who has done much without making noise about it.

Quoting ten things that priests should have according to Bishop Mathew Hassan Kukah which are:

  1. Priest must be a man of prayer

  2. He must be a man of vision

  3. A man of contentment so that he can be happy

  4. A mark of hope for the people

  5. A man of knowledge

  6. A man of charity

  7. A communicator

  8. A man that seeks holiness and always trying to be better

  9. A priest must be a sacrament (he must be another Christ)

  10. He must be a man of faith.

All these are seen in the live and person of Bishop Adelakun and we all have a lot to learn from him. He concluded his homily that by reiterating the fact that God called Jeremiah not just to preach the word but also to be the light to the nations. Those words of God have been addressed to Baba Adelakun in the last 50 years and we are bearing witness today that Baba has been not just a preacher and a pastor but also a light to many. He then prayed that God should continue to strengthen and bless him in good health of mind and body and may God make his salvation sure after his life on earth. Amen.

After the reception of Holy Communion, the bishops, priests, religious and all the faithful present rally round Baba as they danced to the altar in thanksgiving to God for the gift of life for him.

The chairman of the Indigenous priests of Oyo Diocese, Very Rev. Fr. John Opoola thank God who made the day a reality and he appreciated those present from the Archbishop Leke Abegunrin, Bishop Emmanuel Badejo (who is the chief host), the family of Adelakun home and abroad, all the priests especially Fr. Awowole from Osogbo diocese, the religious, choir, altar Servers, seminarians and all present.

In his own congratulatory message to Baba Adelakun, Archbishop of Ibadan, His Grace, Most Revd Gabriel Leke Abegunrin said he came to represent all other bishops in the province and outside. He added that the celebration of the day was not just about age (because there are some who are old but people are praying for them to die and there are some who are treasure to the community and that is who Baba is). He said that right from the time that Baba Adelakun had been his lecturer at the Seminary in Bodija, he does not just talk but he talks wisdom and among all the bishops in Nigeria, he was highly respected by all. A Nuncio once said about him that “though he was from the rural diocese but among all the bishops, he was a great pastor” and that is what we learn from him today.

Bishop Adelakun himself said all he has to say on a day like this is to give thanks to God who made him human and also called him to priesthood. All glory belongs to Him. He thanked all present from near and far especially his old school mate from Ogun State. He concluded by admonishing all to continue to pray for him and he prays for all.

Consequently, the reception took place in the hall dedicated to Baba Adelakun after the Mass.