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