Posted on: 2015-09-07
Source: Comms Dept, Oyo Diocese

On Friday, 4th of September, 2015, the Bishop, Priests, Religious and lay faithful of the Catholic Diocese of Oyo gathered at St. Anthony Catholic Church, Awe for the Diaconate ordination of the Alade Joachim and Ogunsola Francis as well as the priestly ordination of Revs. Ijuo Mathew and Oguntoye Stephen. The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass began around 10.01 A.M. The Catholic Bishop of Oyo, Most Rev. Dr. Emmanuel Adetoyese Badejo was the Chief celebrant, co-celebrated with His Grace, Most Rev. Dr. Gabriel Leke Abegunrin (The Metropolitan Archbishop of Ibadan), Most Rev. Dr. Julius Adelakun (The Emeritus Bishop of Oyo), and all the Priests present within and outside the diocese of Oyo. The chief celebrant was flanked by Very Rev. Frs. Francis Adesina (the Rector, SS. Peter and Paul Major Seminary, Ibadan) and John Opoola (the Cathedral Administrator of Oyo Diocese).

The Bishop welcome all to this great occasion; “the two deacons shall be ordained to the priesthood of Christ to make sacrifices on behalf of the people and preach the word of God while the two brothers will be ordained to the diaconate to serve on the altar of God” he said. He prayed God to bless them and bless us all. The First Reading was taken from Jer. 1:4-9 by Miss Anne Alade, the responsorial Psalm from Ps 96 by Miss Dorothy Oguntoye and Miss Regina Oguntoye, the Second Reading from The Acts of Apostles 6:1-7 by Mr. Isaac Ijuo and the proclamation of the Holy Gospel from Matthew 20:25-28 by Rev. Emmanuel Eyeowa (CMF). The call and election of the candidates followed the Gospel reading. The Vocations Director, Rev. Fr. Samson Ojo called the candidates while the Bishop elected them to the offices of Diaconate and Priesthood respectively.

The homily was given by Rev. Fr. John Oyejola. He congratulated the Bishop of Oyo Diocese, the Archbishop of Ibadan, Bishop Emeritus, the parents of the ordinands for allowing these young men to serve God in the Church and for supporting them. He continued by saying “what you are doing today is like the offering of Anna the mother of Samuel and that of Mary the mother of Jesus Christ as a offering to God without expecting any material gain; but it is very sure that the gain that money cannot buy, salvation, is yours.” He congratulated all the ordinands for accepting to serve God and he greeted all the Priests, Religious, Catechist and Prayer Leaders for their endless service.

He thanked the Almighty God for where Oyo Diocese was 20 years ago, where we are now and where the Lord is leading us. He recalled that 20th April, 1995 when new Oyo diocese was created from old Oyo, there were 11 priests in the new Oyo diocese with 2 in the seminary and 9 in the diocese including the bishop. No money but the people of God were there with their good will and have worked very well. With the help of God and the will of the people, Oyo diocese now has been blessed with 55 priests and Osogbo with over 60 priests. After the retirement of Bishop Julius Adelakun in 2009, God gave us another courageous Bishop and his collaborators, the priests.

The new Diocese was carved out for the main purpose of evangelization he explained but this work of saving souls and bringing people closer to God and to each other is not just the work of the priests but the work of all of us. A survey was carried out some years ago on the expectation of the people of their priests he said and the following were some of the outcome. 1. Someone said priests are human too and not ghost. 2. They are kind and social. 3. Some were selfish with what they have. 4. Some don’t take their responsibility seriously etc. And he continues by stressing the fact that the priesthood is not a personal gift but the gist that must be used in the service of others. It is the grace that we receive and not that we are worthy. And we shouldn’t forget the fact that the Catholic Priesthood is a vocation, a way of life and a call to service and not a profession. He reminded the ordinands of what their goals and expectations should be. In the field of psychology, meditation is a tool in healing people. God is a friend of silence, we too find God but we cannot find Him in the noise. Mother Theresa said “see how nature grows in silence ... we need the silence in order to touch souls”. We must learn to pray and meditate and be in touch with God constantly for that is what Jesus Himself did and taught us.

He further encouraged the ordinands to learn to do away with phones when not necessary and try always to be in fellowship with their brothers. “Believe in the “hood” that binds us together as brothers and do not let it be torn aside by your personal differences”. You must live a simple life and mingle with your brothers and you will be very happy. Let your homily be simple, short and straight to the point. Live what you preach and let people see and learn from you.

In the issue of the family, marriage is not just a human institution. It was created by God and Jesus gave that example too. He came from a family, attended a wedding ceremony and so on. There are two institutions which the devil wants to destroy: marriage and priesthood. God’s design is that every human person must be part of a family and the reason why no one falls from heaven. Homosexuality is an abnormality. Our job is not to condemn them but to help them and to proclaim the truth. Even though relativism is the order of the day in our world today but the truth must always be said and upheld. He emphasized the health of a priest. “Your health is important” he said; “Eat right, rest well, play games, drink less alcohol as you grow old”. In conclusion, he called on all the faithful to pray for their priests because once the priest is destroy, then the people will be easily destroyed by the devil.

After the homily, the bishop instructed the ordinands on the offices they are taking up after which the rites of diaconate and priestly ordinations took place respectively. There was general thanksgiving after the Communion.

On his part, His Grace, Most Rev. Dr. Gabriel Abegunrin said we should continue to pray for marriage and the priesthood because if the world changes them, the world itself will change for worse. He appreciated the entire faithful of Oyo Diocese for all their effort and those who worked for the success of this ordination and he prayed God to continue to bless us all. In addition, he said that “Oyo Diocese is humble and because of that God is raising you up and that means that you have a good leader. Our newly ordained priests and deacons might be small in age but they are leaders”. He instructed the newly ordained never to go back to the evil of the world and that they should always see themselves as leaders and live with good examples.

The Catholic Bishop of Oyo, Most Rev. Dr. Emmanuel Badejo thanked God for everything and especially for given us good and favourable weather. He thanked the Archbishop of Ibadan and pray God to console the Archbishop, the entire faithful of Osogbo Diocese and the family of late Rev. Fr. Gabriel Oderinde. He also prayed for the peaceful repose of the soul of Mrs. Felicia Abegunde.

To the families of the ordinands the bishop said, “you have done well for releasing your sons and we thank you but don’t mislead them. The family should also help them and give them but never asking them for money”. More so, he appreciated the formators from our Seminaries, all the priests present, all the organising committee members, the entire congregation and community of Awe and their priests and he prayed God to continue to bless and reward all in abundance. The final blessing was given and all departed with joy. THANKS BE TO GOD!