Dignity of Labour
According to the Industrial Relations Act 1971, section 167, “a worker is an individual who has entered into or works under a contact of employment and undertakes to do any work or services for another party”. This law and others, carefully spells out rights concerning minimum wage, working time, accompaniment at grievances or disciplinary hearings as should be granted ALL workers.
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Regrettably, especially in this part of the world, despite organizations and laws that tend to champion the cause of workers, there appears to be a dichotomy between politicians, and public servants, which profiles the former as high ranking and the latter as low ranking, which has further worsened the plight of public servants. Also, some local industries, foreign owned and multinational companies, take advantage of the seemingly ineffective laws in the country to under value, under price and short sell the Nigerian worker.
It is absolutely wrong to consider any work as superior or inferior, since in the eyes of the law, NO WORK is high ranking or low ranking, work is work. The work itself is dignity, hence, the mentality whereby politics is considered a high profile job which makes politicians entitled to jumbo pay and preferential treatment while the rest of us continue to wallow in poverty, should be jettisoned, as it can breed inferiority complex which hampers the progress of the individual as well as the Nation.
Therefore, as the global community celebrates workers day, the government should put definite measures in place to ensure equal and fair treatment of all workers irrespective of their job specifications as this will go a long way in fostering growth and development of the society, as all legitimate work type contributes and accelerates the wheel of progress in a nation like ours.
Happy workers day
Challenges Of Our Faith In Present Day Situation
A PAPER PRESENTED TO PARISHIONERS OF ST. JUDE CATHOLIC CHURCH IWOGBAN ON THE OCCASION OF YEAR OF FAITH
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This paper highlights faith, profession of faith and the relevance of the sacraments in the light of Catholic Teaching of Salvation to mankind.
Faith is a supernatural gift of God which enables us to believe without doubting whatever God has revealed or “Faith is being sure of what we hope for. It is being certain of what we do not see”. That is what people of long ago were praised for (Heb. 11:1-2.).
God has revealed to man in the Bible, reconciliation and salvation after the fall of Adam and Eve through the patriarchs, Prophets and the Apostles. The Church teaches in the twelve articles of our faith in the “I believe in God and I look forward to the resurrection of the dead and the life of the world to come Amen”.
God, who creates and conserves all things by his word, provides men with constant evidence of himself in created realities. Furthermore, wishing to open up the way to heavenly salvation, he manifested himself to our first parents from the very beginning. He invited them to intimate communion with himself and clothed them with resplendent grace and justice. This revelation was not broken off by our first parents' sin. After the fall, God supported them with the hope of salvation, by promising redemption and he has never ceased to Show his eagerness to care for the human race. For he wishes to give eternal life to all those who seek salvation by patience in well-doing. (CCC54 55, John 1.3, Rom. 1:19-20, Gen. 3.15, Rom. 2:6-7).
Of all the divine attributes, only God's omnipotence is named in the creed: to confess this power has great bearing on our lives. We believe that His might (power) is universal, for God who created everything also rules everything and can do everything. God's power is loving, for He is our father, and mysterious for only faith can discern it when it is made perfect in weakness. Nothing is impossible with God. If God is almighty in heaven and earth, it is because he made them. He is the Lord of the Universe whose order he established and which remains wholly subject to him and at his disposal. He is the master of history, governing hearts and events in keeping with his will. “It is always in your power to show great strength and who can withstand the strength of your arm? (Wis. 11:21) (CCC 268-269).
Faith in God the Father Almighty can be put to the test by the experience of evil and suffering. God can sometimes seem to be absent and incapable of stopping evil. But in the most mysterious way God the Father has revealed His almighty power in the voluntary humiliation and resurrection of his son, by which he conquered evil. (Matt. 27:46-53) Christ crucified is thus “the power of God and the wisdom of God. For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength (cf Cor. 1:24-25) it is in Christ's Resurrection and exaltation that the father has shown forth “the immeasurable greatness of his power in us who believe.” (Eph. 1:19-22).
Only faith can embrace the mysterious ways of God's almighty power. This faith glories in its weaknesses in order to draw to itself Christ power as exemplified in the Virgin Mary who is the supreme model of this faith. Nothing is more apt to confirm our faith and hope than holding it fixed in our minds that nothing is impossible with God, once our reason has grasped the idea of God's almighty power, it will easily and without hesitation admit everything that (the creed) will afterwards propose for us to believe even if they be great and marvelous things far above the ordinary laws of nature. eg Ascension. (CCC 274).
In this visible world, nothing exists that does not owe its existence to God the creator. The world began when God's word drew it out of nothingness; all existent beings, all of nature and all human history are rooted in this primordial event, the very genesis by which the world was constituted and time began.
Basically, challenges of our faith in present day situation manifests itself in discipline and respect for God thrown to the winds in the area of Human values and dignity of human rights; agony of secularism (purposeless life) individualism, anti- cleric and hedonistic behaviour. In other words, degree of attachment or detachment from worldly things determines the challenge of our faith. The goal of reason and faith is to aspire towards the creators-likeness-love and holiness. Holiness itself is not a destination but a process which St. Paul points out in Col. 3:110.
THE CHRISTIAN AND THE SACRAMENTS
By being baptized, we were buried with Christ into his death; Christ has been raised from the dead by the father's glory. And like Christ) we also can live a new life (Rom. 6:14). New life in Christ includes reflection, prayer, honesty, compassion, charity, fasting, humility, forgiveness and so on. The other sacraments associated with this initiation into the Church, the body of Christ is confirmation and the Holy Eucharist. Holy Order and Matrimony are for service while penance and anointing of the sick are for healing.
In the sacraments, the Christian encounters Christ in a unique way for just as branch united to its main stem is nourished by that union so is the Christian properly disposed that is, approaches the sacrament in question with a lively faith, intense love, humility, a desire to enhance his relationship with God, derive supernatural life from God.
Thus, the sacraments are signs of God's love. Thy instill life in the person who in faith receives them. This role of faith is essential to maintain this union. The sacraments are the life blood of living out Christian vocation. The sacraments give power by their very nature. But they are not magical, for the person who receives them must have faith response. For just as when a patient has no confidence in his doctor, there can be no healing, so the recipient of the sacraments cannot derive the fruits from them except he believes in the power and effect of the sacraments received. For example “No one can please God without faith, for whoever comes to God must have faith that God exists and rewards those who seek him” (Heb. 11:6). As a further proof, Christ says; “He who believers and is baptized shall be saved” (Mark16:16).
The Christian is a spiritual person who possesses the light of faith and of grace; he lives and is guided by the Holy Spirit. For this reason, the Christian can see, consider and judge everything in the light of his eternal salvation. He will often habitually ask himself before any action; WHAT USE IS THIS TO ME IN RELATION TO ETERNITY? WILL IT NOT STRENGHTHEN MY UNION WITH CHRIST HERE BELOW AS A PREPARATION FOR AND A PLEDGE OF ETERNAL GLORY IN HEAVEN?”
The difference between Christian and the rest of mankind is not a matter of nationality or language or customs. Christians do not live apart in separate cities of their own, speak any special dialect, nor practice any eccentric way of life. The doctrine they profess is not the invention of busy human minds and brains, nor are they, like some, adherent of this or that school of human thought.
They pass their lives in whatever township heaven has determined; and conform to ordinary local usage in their clothing, diet and other habits. Nevertheless, the organization of their community does exhibit some features that are remarkable, and even surprising. For instance, though they are resident at home in their own countries, their behaviour there is more like that of transients; they take their full part as citizen, but they also submit to anything and everything as if they were aliens. For them, any foreign country is a motherland and any motherland is a foreign country. Like other men, they marry and beget children, though they do not expose their infants.
Though destiny has placed them here in the flesh, they do not live after the flesh; their days are passed on the earth, but their citizenship is above in Heaven. They obey the prescribed laws, but in their own private lives they transcend the laws. They show love to all men and men persecute them. They are misunderstood and condemned; yet by suffering death they are quicken into life. They are poor, yet making many rich; lacking all things, yet having all things in abundance. They are dishonored yet made glorious in their very dishonored, slandered yet vindicated. They repay calumny with blessings, and abuse with courtesy. For the good they do they suffer stripes as evildoers; and under the strokes they rejoice like men given new life, of all their ill-wishers there is not one who can provide good grounds for his hostility.
To put it briefly, the relation of Christians to the world is that of a soul to the body. As the soul is diffused through every part of the body, so are Christians through all the cities of the world. The soul, invisible herself, is immured within a visible body, so Christians can be recognized in the world, but their Christianity itself remains hidden from the, eye. The flesh hates the soul, wars against her without provocation, because she is an obstacle to its own self-indulgence; and the world similarly hates the Christians without provocation because they are opposed to its pleasures.
Finally, just as to be stinted of food and drinks makes for the soul's improvement, so when Christians are everyday subjected to ill-treatment, they increase the more in numbers, such is the high post of duty in which God has placed them, and it is their moral duty not to shrink from it.
The Healing Power Of Novena
» By Rev. Fr. Thomas Anavhe
Novena is from the Latin word 'Novena' which means Nine. Traditionally, it is a devotion in the Roman Catholic Church; when different prayers are said over an extended period of nine days for the purpose of specific intention for oneself or on behalf of someone else. One can say this prayer to a specific saint or to one of the persons in the Blessed Trinity. More so, these prayers are found in devotional prayer books of the Church. It can be said at home or in the Church. But then, some Novena are said in public, by which the whole of Christ faithful pray together under the direction of a Priest or a leader. The idea of nine days period of Novena prayer has its root in the Act of the Apostles. When the Apostles gathered together in the upper room for nine days prayer until the Holy Spirit descended on them like a flame of fire on Pentecost day (Acts 1:14). Though the most popular days for Novena is nine days; it can also be said for two days, three days, seven days, twenty one days and forty days for the purpose of waiting on God.
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So, Novena can be considered as a conscious art of entering into God's presence and patiently waiting for God's intervention for a specific intention. For God's intervention in our lives is something we must be prepared for and entered into. For Isaiah 64:4 says, “No eye has seen a God beside thee, who works for those who wait on him”. There is always a dramatic change in the lives of those who engage in this process. For it is a period of experiencing the true Glory of God which one has been saturated with, during the process of waiting on God in the Novena prayer. This spiritual exercise produces in us, spiritual energy that enables us to overcome our bad situations and habits. As in the story of Elijah, he was fearless in the face of king Ahab and eight hundred and fifty (850) prophets of Baal and Asherah because he knew he had been fortified with power by God when he climbed to the top of the Mount Carmel, where he bowed down to the ground with his head between his knees waiting on the Lord in prayers (1 kings 18:42) It is on this note that the scripture says, “those who wait on the Lord, shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint (Isaiah 40:3 1)”.
In prayer, we communicate to God; but the effectiveness of our communication is determined by how we are rooted in God. Hence, our communication with God must go beyond mere communication and be fully rooted into the person of Christ, through having a personal union with God in prayer; for the more we consciously wait on God in prayer, the more we are saturated with the grace to overcome problems. This spiritual saturation in prayer actually melts away all forms of ill health within us and brings a complete healing to God's people; thereby enabling them to become victorious in their situations. Jesus said to his disciples whose prayers could not bring any change in the lives of the possessed persons that were brought before them. This kind, “Jesus remarked can come about, only with prayer and fasting (Matt 17:21)”.
To achieve some fundamental success in life, we need to be rooted in prayer especially by going into a novena prayer for our intentions. In fact, a novena prayer is mostly necessary when our situation is so bad and one easily thinks that his or her situation cannot be resolved or solved. This encounter turns every instances of suffering in our lives into an opportunity for a deeper happiness of life in God. When Jesus was troubled by the nature of His suffering and death that was ahead of Him by which, He will be glorified, He took Peter, John and James with Him and went up a hill to pray. While he was praying, His face changed, His appearance, and His clothes became dazzling white. Suddenly two men were there talking with Him. They were Moses and Elijah (Luke 9:28-30). Thereafter, Jesus was more fortified and empowered to subject Himself to the will of his father.
So, time spent with God in novena prayer, can never be in vain for God has time to be with those who have time to seek his face in novena prayer in other to heal their broken hearts.
Amongst many traditional novenas we have in the Church, below is the selection of ten traditional novenas: Novena to Sacred Heart of Jesus, Novena to the Divine Mercy of Jesus Christ, Novena to the Holy Spirit, Novena to our Lady of Perpetual Help, Novena to Saint Jude Thaddeus, Novena to Precious Blood of Jesus, Novena to the Immaculate Conception, Novena to our Lady of Good Success, Novena to Saint Joseph, Novena to Saint Rita of Cascia.
The inability of not being able to read novena prayer books is not a sufficient reason for not going into novena prayer. There are some novena prayers we can carry out without using novena prayer books. One may recite the Holy Rosary for a specific period of time for the purpose of waiting on God.
I have personally recommended novena prayer to some persons who may not be able to use the novena prayer books. In novena, one may pay visit to the Blessed Sacrament for seven days or more for a specific intention, by pouring one's heart to God.
Waiting on God in novena prayer can also be a process whereby one sets days apart for fasting and prayer for God's intervention for one's situation. Fasting is not merely abstaining from food only; but abstaining from anything that will have negative influence on the body, for the purpose of awakening the Holy Spirit in us to become more sensitive to God.
Dear friends in Christ, let us pick up any novena prayer book, for they are source of healing to those who faithfully recite those inspired prayers by the Church. Below is an example of one of those prayers, from the Sacred Heart of Jesus and Immaculate Heart of Mary Society;
“O most Holy Heart of Jesus, fountain of every blessing, I adore thee, I love thee and with a lovely sorrow for my sins, I offer thee this poor Heart of mine. Make me humble, patient, pure and wholly obedient to thy will. Grant, good Jesus, that I may leave in thee and for thee. Protect me in the mist of danger; comfort me in my afflictions; give me health of body, assistance in my temporal needs, thy blessing on all that I do, and the grace of a holy death. Within thy heart I place my every care. In every need let me come to thee with humble trust saying, “Heart of Jesus help me.”
The Lord is seriously concern about the health and well being of those who carry out novena prayer. Our Lady who is the Queen of the most Holy Rosary will not refuse the favour of our petition. For those who wait on God in novena prayer through recitation of the Holy Rosary, Saying of the composed prayer of the church as well as pouring one's heart to God through visitation to the Blessed Sacrament are both precious and dear to Jesus, who grants their petition and restore them to health.
Conclusively, for effective novena prayer, we must ensure to confess our sins and live a Holy life. Since our God is Holy, there is a barrier that exists between God and His people when they come before Him in prayer with sins in them. Isaiah 59:2 says 'But your iniquities have separated you from your God; your sins have hidden God's face from you so that He will not hear. It is on this note that David said, 'if I have cherished sin in my heart, the Lord would not have listened. (Psalm 66:18). So it's not enough to carry out a novena prayer. We must also ensure to live a Holy life. With this, we can joyfully enter into any novena prayer and our prayers will be granted.
WHERE CAN WE FIND THE SEVEN SACRAMENTS IN THE BIBLE?
» By Rev. Fr. Stan-William Ede
Salvation comes from Christ the Head, through the Church which is his Body (cf. Rom. 12:4-5; 1 Cor. 12:12-27; Eph. 5:23). In the sacraments, the Church receives a foretaste of eternal life, while “awaiting in blessed hope, the appearing in glory of our great God and Saviour Christ Jesus” (Titus. 2:13).
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At different times in previous editions, we have talked about some of the Sacraments including the question whether there can be salvation without the sacraments. As we also stated, the Sacraments of the New Covenant which are also the Sacraments of the Church are seven in number: Baptism, Confirmation, Holy Eucharist, Penance, Anointing of the Sick, Holy Orders and Matrimony. All of them have biblical foundations mostly in the New Testament, and they can be derived from a brief outlook that follows.
Baptism is the basis of the whole Christian life, as we are born of the water and the Spirit. Baptism is necessary for salvation (John 3:5), and conveys a permanent sign that the new Christian is a child of God. Jesus himself was baptized in the Jordan River by John the Baptist (Mark 1:9-11). The martyr St. Ignatius of Antioch, in his Letter to the Ephesians written about 100 AD, stated that Jesus “Christ was baptized, that by himself submitting he might purify the water.” Baptism is prefigured in the Old Testament through the saving of Noah and his family during the Flood (Genesis 7:12-23, 1 Peter 3:20-21), and Moses crossing of the Red Sea during the Exodus, leaving captivity for the Promised Land (Exodus 14:1-22).
The essential rite of Baptism consists of the minister immersing the baby or person in water or pouring water on his head, while pronouncing “I baptize you in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.” The infant or candidate is then anointed with sacred chrism.
What has taken place in Baptism is indicated by the rites that follow it, the clothing in the white garment and giving of the lighted candle: the baptized person has “put on Christ” and has now become light. The following are some Scriptural sources in the New Testament on Baptism: Matthew 3:13-17, Matthew 28:19-20; Mark 1:9-11; John 3:5; Luke 3:21-22; Acts 1:21-22; Romans 6:3-4; Ephesians 4:5; Colossians 2:11-13, I Peter 3:21).
Confirmation is a Catholic Sacrament of mature Christian commitment and a deepening of baptismal gifts. It is one of the three Sacraments of Initiation for Catholics. It is most often associated with the gifts of the Holy Spirit.
Confirmation (or Chrismation) is the sacrament of the Holy Spirit, the Holy Spirit whom Christ Jesus sent (John 7:37-39, 16:7). Jesus instructed his Apostles that they “will receive the power of the Holy Spirit” and called upon the Apostles to be his “witnesses to the ends of the earth” (Acts 1:8). At the Pentecost, the Apostles were filled with the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:1-4), and began to spread the Word of God. The Acts of the Apostles is often called the Gospel of the Holy Spirit. St. Cyril of Jerusalem wrote of the Mysteries of Baptism, Eucharist, and Chrism in the mid-fourth century AD.
The rite of Confirmation is anointing the forehead with chrism, together with the laying on of the minister's hands and the words, “Be sealed with the Gift of the Holy Spirit.” The recipient receives the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit: wisdom, understanding, counsel, fortitude, knowledge, piety, and fear of the Lord (Isaiah 11:2-3). On occasion one may receive one or more of the charismatic gifts of the Spirit (1 Cor. 12:7-11).
The ecclesial effect and sacramental grace of the sacrament give the recipient the strength and character to witness for Jesus Christ. The East continues the tradition of the early Christian Church by administering the sacrament with Baptism. Confirmation in the West is administered by the Bishop to children from age 7 to 18, but generally to adolescents, for example, to a graduating class of grade school children. Key Scriptural sources for Confirmation are the following: John 16:7; Acts 1:4-5, 2:1-4, 2:38; 8:14-17; 10:44-48; 19:1-6.
3. THE EUCHARIST
Eucharistia means thanksgiving, and the Eucharist is the “source and summit of the Christian life.” The Paschal mystery of Christ is celebrated in the liturgy of the Mass. The Mass is the Eucharist or principal sacramental celebration of the Church, established by Jesus at the Last Supper, in which the mystery of our salvation through participation in the sacrificial death and glorious resurrection of Christ is renewed and accomplished.
The essential signs of this sacrament are wheat bread and grape wine, on which the blessing of the Holy Spirit is invoked during the Sacrifice of the Mass, and the priest pronounces the words of consecration spoken by Jesus at the Last Supper: “This is my body...This is the cup of my blood … “ (Matt. 26:26-28; Mark 14:22-24; 1 Cor. 11:23-26).
Jesus died once on the cross in sacrifice for our sins (Hebrews 9:25-28). But Jesus is present for all time, as he is the eternal Son of God. What he did once in history also then exists for all eternity. What happened in time goes beyond time. In the heart of Jesus he is always giving himself to the Father for us, as he did on the Cross. When we celebrate the Mass, the sacrifice of the cross, that happened once in history but is present for all eternity, that same reality is made present in mystery.
The bread and wine through Transubstantiation become the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ, and we receive the Real Presence of Jesus when we receive Holy Communion. Our soul is nourished, helping us to become like Christ. The Eucharist is the heart and source of community within the Church. Receiving Holy Communion with others during the Mass brings unity of the Church, the Body of Christ (Luke 22:19-20; John 6:51; 1 Cor. 11:23-26; 10:16-17).
Jesus Christ gave his Apostles the power to forgive sins. The Sacrament is also known as the Sacrament of Conversion, Forgiveness, Penance, or Reconciliation
During the persecution of the Roman Emperor Decius (249-251), many Christians left the Church rather than suffer martyrdom. The martyr St. Cyprian, Bishop of Carthage, allowed apostates the Sacrament of Confession, as recorded in his Letter De Lapsis (The Lapsed) in 251.
The Catholic Sacrament of Reconciliation (also known as Penance, or Penance and Reconciliation) has three elements: conversion (the penitent's contrition or sorrow for his sins), confession (the actual confession to a priest and absolution), and celebration (penance or restitution for your sins, which leads one to an interior transformation). In it we find God's unconditional forgiveness; as a result we are called to forgive others. Jesus describes the process of conversion and penance in the Parable of the Prodigal Son (Luke 15:11-24).
Confession gives one a wonderful sense of freedom and peace from the burden of sin. Sorrow, affliction, and a desire for conversion follow the remorse of sin in those with a contrite heart. Some believe we can confess our sins privately to God. But man is a social being. The humbling experience of unburdening your soul to someone, of exposing your weak nature, and then being accepted for who you are and what you have done by having your sins forgiven brings one an incredible sense of relief! The experience brings a sense of gratitude to our generous Lord for his love, compassion and mercy.
As one is to be in the state of grace before receiving Holy Communion, the child makes his first Confession before his first Communion, generally at the age of reason. For more on Penance, we can also refer to the following Scriptural verses: Matt. 16:18-19; Mark 2:1-10 Luke 24:46-47; John 20:21-23; Acts 2:38; 2 Cor. 5:18, 1 Peter 4:8.
5. THE ANOINTING OF THE SICK
The Catholic Sacrament of Anointing of the Sick, formerly known as Last Rites or Extreme Unction, is a ritual of healing appropriate not only for physical but also for mental and spiritual sickness.
The Anointing of the Sick is the Sacrament given to seriously ill Christians, and the special graces received unite the sick person to the passion of Christ. The Sacrament consists of the anointing of the forehand and hands of the person with blessed oil, with the minister saying, “Through this holy anointing may the Lord in his love and mercy help you with the grace of the Holy Spirit; and may the Lord who frees you from sin save you and raise you up.”
St. Thomas Aquinas stated that Extreme Unction, as the Anointing of the Sick was once called, is “a spiritual remedy, since it avails for the remission of sins, and therefore is a sacrament” (James 5:15). The ecclesial effect of this sacrament is incorporation into the healing Body of Christ, with a spiritual healing of the soul, and at times healing of the body. The sacramental grace helps us to accept sickness as a purifying cross sent by God, and the grace even to accept death if that is God's will.
Jesus healed the blind and the sick, as well as commissioned his Apostles to do so, such as we find in Mark 6:12-13 and James 5:14-15.
6. HOLY ORDERS
The Sacrament of Holy Orders began with the Last Supper, when Christ Jesus commissioned his Apostles to continue the Eucharistic celebration. He also commissioned his Apostles following the Resurrection to be his witnesses to the ends of the earth (Matthew 28:19-20, Acts 1:8). Thomas Aquinas makes the point that only Christ is the true priest, the others serving as his ministers (Hebrews 8:4). Men are ordained to the priesthood in the Catholic Church, as the sacrament confers upon the priest the character to act in the person of Christ - in persona Christi.
Holy Orders is the sacrament of Apostolic ministry. As in the Pastoral Epistles, the rite consists of the Bishop's laying on of hands on the head of the priest-candidate with the consecrating prayer asking God for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit for the gifts of the ministry. There are three dimensions to ministry, that of Bishop, Priesthood, and the Diaconate. Other Scriptural references for this include: Matt. 16:18-19, Luke 22:19; John 21:15-17; Acts 20:28; Romans 10:14-15; 1 Tim. 4:14; 2 Tim. 1:6; Tit. 1:5; 1 Pet. 2:4-5.
The union of a man and a woman is natural. The bond of marriage between a man and a woman lasts all the days of their lives, and the form of the rite consists of the mutual exchange of vows by a couple, both of whom have been baptized. The minister serves as a witness to the couple in the West, but serves as the actual minister of the rite in the East. The matter follows later through consummation of the marriage act.
Sacred Scripture begins with the creation of man and woman in the image and likeness of God, and concludes with a vision of the “wedding-feast of the Lamb” (Revelation 19:7, 9). The bond of marriage is compared to God's undying love for Israel in the Old Testament, and Christ's love for his Church in the New Testament of the Bible.
Jesus stresses the significance of the marriage bond in his Ministry (Matthew 19:6, 8). The importance of marriage is substantiated by the presence of Christ at the wedding feast of Cana, where he began his public ministry at the request of his mother Mary by performing his first miracle (John 2:1-11). It is the Apostle Paul who calls matrimony a great sacrament or mystery, and who identifies the marriage of man and woman with the unity of Christ and his Church. The theologian Tertullian, the first Latin Father of the Church at the beginning of the third century AD, wrote on the Sacrament of Matrimony. One can also read about matrimony in Genesis 2:24; Matthew 19:4; and Ephesians 5:25, 32-33.
NIGERIA: RICH COUNTRY, POOR PEOPLE
» By Rev. Fr. Leonard O. Anetekhai
Being a Nigerian has become tough and heart breaking. There is nothing to foster patriotism, nothing to smile about when one reflects on the hard times. How does a country that is wealthy in natural resources still rank high in corruption and poverty? Our case can be summed up as that of a servant riding on horse as the prince going on foot. Nigerians with dreams for Nigeria have either been aborted or had their ideas drowned, because of selfish interest.
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In the past, there was such a time when the Naira was equivalent or more than the American dollar in value. There was a time one could just walk into the Embassy of any nation without waiting in line for hours and will not be denied a visa because your bank statement looked “suspicious”. There was a time you could get into a higher institution by merit. There was a time, it was a grave sin not to iron your cloth before leaving your home, at least before one walks a few meters, those who care will dare to ask him or her, 'Ah, una no get light for house', definitely with shame, such a fellow will make a u-turn and return home to change and put on something decent. There was a time Nigeria glittered. There was a time to wake up and be told “come and go to school”, it was very interesting, but today our educational system is crumbling to say the obvious. We are witnessing the death of the human dignity and the birth of every man for himself, the death of a community spirit and the birth of individualism.
Interestingly, we are like a people without vision, for it is said that when a nation has no vision, the people perish. No jobs in the mist of plenty, electricity is as constant as water in the desert. Worse is the increase in prices of goods and services by as much as 50 per cent or more, leaving Nigerians to pay more while their earnings remained largely the same, and making it insanely difficult to hold on to the attitude of “suffering and smiling”.
These has taught us never to forget the invasion and brutality of our colonial masters; how they bound our forefathers in chains and carted them off to cotton fields and plantations. Forget not the gold and silver, the artwork of bronze and copper they stole from us and continue to exhibit them in foreign lands. Of course, the gods are not to be blamed, neither can we blame the British forever. Badluck befell us when our forefathers sold their brothers, their own people off as slaves just for a few glittery objects. This GREED haunts us till this very day. Our so called leaders have without fail, carted away our hard earned life saving and even Nigerians off to the outside world. They have sold us to POVERTY. They have sold us to SHAMEFUL GREED for the glory of corruption.
Corruption in Nigeria remains the most important obstacle, if not pain, to economic and social development It has been the threat to achieving the MDGs (Millennium Development Goals), our vision 20:2020 and the existence of the Nigerian state itself.
It is a pity that, so far, all attempts to tackle corruption have failed for many reasons. First, our style of politics is the fastest and best way to become rich overnight. Secondly, and as a consequence of the formal, there is no true political will to fight corruption. On the contrary, this would affect politicians' businesses of looting. Thirdly the great ethnic diversity in Nigeria contributes to the lack of national unity and opposition to the problem of corruption.
What is frustrating is that Nigeria does have the financial resources to fight corruption and develop proper law enforcement agencies. But GREED will not allow. If waste and corruption are overcome, money can be used to better the nation's infrastructure: hospitals, roads, good drinking water, education system, etc. Corruption remains the main cause of systematic waste of our nation's resources and it remains the main cause of poverty in Nigeria.
From my youth, I have prayed for Nigeria in distress and for God to save us from bribery and corruption. I have lived with people who still believe that Nigeria, one day, will get better. But my fears will not allow me to sustain this belief any more. As a people, our problem is our MINDSET. Everyone wants to get into office and fatten their pockets; no one cares for Nigeria as a motherland anymore.
Then in time past, we were taught that according to Abraham Lincoln, “Democracy is a government of the people, by the people and for the people”. Now, it has become a government by few people for certain people. The majority have become voiceless citizens hoping that the darkness will someday wash over us. We are desperately digging through our walls of despair with our spoons of “one day it will get better” but the walls that separates the rich and poor is by the day becoming thicker and thicker.
Even, Family life is a nightmare for those who cannot afford daily meals, the head of a family who fails to provide for the family faces not just the risk of losing self-esteem but the threat of family dislocation and disorientation, which in turn wears down loyalty, community influence and equal access to institutions of social expression. Beyond these basic challenges, vis-à-vis the unpronounced declaration that man must perform, good weather or not, there are now so much complexity of the socio-political environment that man may have faced the severest of pressures, not necessarily for his failure of response or intervention, but because of the reality of the polity and the activities of other factors of modern life.
It is shameful to see that Poverty has increased within us, and has given birth to religious and ethnic tensions in different parts of Nigeria, erupting into outbreaks of violence and leading in turn to a situation of escalating malnutrition among citizens both in ideals and physic. The move towards political liberalization has allowed militants from religious and ethnic groups to express their frustrations more freely, and with increasing violence. Thousands have died over the past years in clashes between different ethnic and religious groups because of the failure of those in government to share the common and national cake amongst her citizens. We pray God to help us overcome this some day. Amen.
AVOIDING TOP MARRIAGE WRECKERS
» By Rev. Fr. Francis Ikhianosime
Relationship is about an inevitable part of life we all get involved with. Everyone is continually either entering a relationship, leaving one, or nurturing one. Just like there are no hard and fast rules on how to guide a relationship but there are just some unwritten constitution which must be observed if a relationship must stand or survive. There are many people they are cut-short of the relationship of their hearts. They find a person they are so fond of, yet they seem not to get along and they blame the hell on some unfounded myth that 'we are just not 'compatible'. There are some, nonetheless, who have entered the relationship in a life time union of Marriage, yet, what appeared to be 'Beauty' from the beginning is sadly turning into a 'Beast'. The whole story is just simply because we have not observed those unwritten codes that could strengthen a relationship and one has continually screwed on the top relationship wreckers knobs. The secret of a happy relationship and marriage remains a secret. But for the most, we can scratch on the surface and view its depth. Hence, this article would focus on some of those things that topmost corrode a relationship and leads it like a sheep to its slaughter house; the rocks. Here is a list of what is commonly referred to the fastest mistakes that could wreck a marriage:
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Lack of Respect: This is a situation when a partner fails to respect the sensibility of his spouse. Spouses need to know they are respected and appreciated. Once a spouse is not doing well or has started acting eccentric, it is not a sign of respect to badmouth your spouse to your friends or associates. This abuses the love of the relationship. In common instances, rather than this help strengthen the friendship, it weakens it and sometimes make the spouse develop an inferiority complex. This brings a third party in the relationship and sooner, there is a strong thinking that there is nothing exclusive in the friendship, since the dirty linens have been washed in public.
Lack of Sexual intimacy: It is not the best in situations of conflict to withhold sex from one's spouse. Sex is a marital debt that spouses owe each other. There are situations too, that a partner just grows frigid or shows great disinterestedness in sexual intimacy to his spouse for no good reason. Once a spouse starts feeling cold to sexual advances by his partner, he needs to seek medical attention or therapeutic counselling, least, it wrecks the marriage.
Sense of Self-Justification: This is a feeling of always having to be right. The first law that must not be forgotten in a marriage relationship is relational equality: both the man and the woman have a stake in the relationship. Once, a man starts being too domineering, seeking to always have the last word in every argument or decision, then, sooner or later that relationship should be heeding for the rocks. Sometimes, you allow the spouse a decision even if it is unpopular as long as it does not wreck any serious damage. Again, it is important to know that in the art of communication, maturity is not only saying what should be said at the right time, but also be silent when it best suites to do so. It is a strong marriage corrosive to start lecturing your mate over a little squabble. Very few people can love a know-it-all forever. Admit when you make mistakes and that you don't have all the answers to all questions possible. And it is not a good art of communication or a mark of strength in a relationship to give a long-winded theory over a simple question.
Not matching action with words: There are times; we fall short of what we plan to do. But once we are known to be consistent with not matching words for action, we sooner or later would be leading the relationship to doom. One could hardly take the words of his partner seriously. Action confirms words. Once you have said you would do something, you should seek to keep to the promise. If you are not sure of a thing, do not commit yourself. It is better you are known for keeping your words than failing beautiful promises: Better promises fulfilled than beautiful words with no substance.
Not listening to your spouse: One big communication mistake is not listening. This corrosive can also be known as deprivation in relationship. Being there physically is not enough but giving your partner a listening ear is very important. A listening ear is not necessarily a solution to the problem, but it is a great reliever. Everyone wants to be listened to, at least. Listening to your partner is giving him/her a chance to make contribution. It involves too, understanding to his/her demands, rather than get glued to some non-emotional stuffs like TV, computer, etc. Little doses of attentiveness would go a long way to strengthen a relationship and salvage it from the claws of wreckage.
Hurtful teasing/ attack: Once a spouse says, your teasing is hurting, consider a put down rather than foster the joke. Thinking that your spouses don't have a sense of humour would be inappropriate or stopping further humorous moments in the future would be similarly unwise. There is one that is a more direct affront on a relationship and that is; physical, emotional or sexual attack. Aggressive communication is unacceptable. Physical or sexual abuses in a relationship are common conclusive marriage breakers. Once one of the partners abuses physically another, he needs professional help to learn skills in anger management, in order to gain consistency in his control of his temper, least, he is likely to go physical over and over again. Verbal abuses and insulting are less extreme forms of destructiveness, but once they are consistent, could help form a foundation for physical abuse someday and/ or culminate in a strong marriage corrosive to wreck the relationship.
Dishonesty: The foundation of every relationship is TRUST. It is very difficult to grow trust in a relationship. But once it has been grown, it takes a lot difficulty to be broken. It is very easy too, to grow dishonesty in a relationship. It is not enough not to be doing something that betrays trust; it is more important and sufficient not to give a wrong impression to that negative effect. If a person is not misbehaving, it is more important not to give a wrong signal to show misbehaviour. Cheating and lying break down the basis of a relationship. Having too many secrets that leaves the other partner in the dark could also weaken the trust in a relationship.
Being selfish and greedy: Marriage is about 'We' or 'us', never 'me' or 'I'. Letting one's self interests take priority is an unbalanced way of partnership. A relationship is better savoured, if it involves both parties most of the time. Once, one is involved with himself always, he may be taking the relationship for granted and sooner or later loose out from the whole show. Again, selfish attitude sometimes could leave the partner with a feeling of unimportance in the marriage or relationship. Selfishness also involves when you invest in yourself alone and not same on your partner, or when your partner wants you invest in him or her alone without trying to do same for the other. This could give a false sense of utilitarianism in the friendship; that is, one having the feeling of exploitation for selfish gains. Selfishness could involve also, when one seeks to do very cheap things when he could actually afford the better ones, trying to have your way always with your kind of programmes, not allowing your spouse have a say. All these, have many shades and could fast wreck a marriage.
Scapegoating: This call also be called anger outburst. Scapegoat is making your partner take responsibility of a hard feeling or hurt earlier created by someone else. One may have had a hard time at work, only to come home and pour the anger on the spouse's actions and duties. This could really be unfair. Every couple needs to be able to handle issues particularly and not allowing one situation of life rob-off on another person or aspect of our life. One person does not need to make the atonement for another person's sin, and worst still, being your spouse. Temper tantrums could just turn one into a werewolf instead of the tender spouse one is meant to be.
Negativism: This involves, nit-picking, nagging, criticizing: Even the Scriptures forewarns about a nagging person. Proverbs 21:9; 25:24 says, it is better to live on a corner of the roof than share a house with a quarrelsome wife. In other to have a good marriage or relationship, the positives should outweigh the negatives. Once there is a thought that looms around only the negative; an attitude of cynicism, it more often corrode the strength of the friendship. A negative spirit often crowds out the positive attitude in a friendship. Negativism could be seen in a partner criticizing every move made as improper and/or wrong. It also involves reading only negative thoughts to decisions made, being suspicious, nagging, and being concerned with unimportant details.
The top ten marriage and relationship wreckers are not sure signs that once they are present in any relationship, such must hit the rocks. Problems abound so they could be solved. Problems can also be used as lessons and noting these wreckers in a friendship or marriage, only offers us, the opportunity for them to be conquered. No relationship can be perfect, but any relationship that strives towards perfection is the ideal by human designation. Every relationship that is determined to survive all hurdles, come what may, must therefore know those pitfalls that must be avoided and areas that must be developed. This is the aim of this write-up; to enunciate areas if care not taken with them would necessarily lead to ruins, but, once adequate caution is taken, could only lead to one road- HAPPINESS IN MARRIAGE.
JESUS AND THE SWORD
» By Rev. Fr. (Dr.) Cornelius Afebu Omonokhua
Sometime ago, I was thrilled with a caption in CNN that “he who angers you conquers you”. No one thinks correctly in anger. Most actions executed in anger are regrettable at the dawn of calm. It is true that “action begets reaction” but what makes human beings different from other animals is their ability to moderate action and passion with reason. It appears that some people are trying to proffer biblical arguments in favour of violence in the face of provocations. Somebody once told me that the Bible prescribed reprisal in the following New Testament passages: “Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth, but a sword. For I have come to turn a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law (Matthew 10, 32-34; Luke 12, 49-53) . Jesus said to the disciples, the one who has no sword must sell his cloak and buy one.” “The disciples said, see, Lord here are two swords.” Jesus replied, it is enough “(Luke 23, 35-38).
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Literal interpretation of the Bible can be very dangerous. Every passage in the bible should be interpreted within a context. Sometime ago, a man who claimed to have been “born again” and have received “anointing” from God to begin his own church read in Matthew 5, 30 that “if your right hand causes you to sin cut it off”. The “man of God” cuts off his “John Thomas”. When he was dying in the hospital, he said he only obeyed the Bible by cutting off the part of his body that is making him to commit adultery. Poor man, he forgot that the same passage said that “if you look at a woman lustfully, you have committed adultery with her in your heart” (Matthew 5, 28). Anyway, the man died for his misinterpretation of the scriptures.
Since it is not everybody who has the privilege to study hermeneutics and biblical exegesis, there is need for humility to ask people who are properly trained in scriptures to explain some difficult passages of the Bible. This is why the Church takes a long time to train priests who would be ministers of the Word and Sacraments. The sword in the gospel according to some scripture scholars is a metaphor in the context of ideological conflict and not a physical violence. Luke used the word sword to explain talks about division in the sense that not everybody will accept the gospel message. From a historical context Jesus sent his disciples on a mission to the “lost sheep of Israel”. The disciples had to be well prepared before he would commission them to the gentile nations. Jesus could imagine the resistance the apostles and disciples would encounter on this mission where some people would not receive them. This prediction was confirmed when some of his disciples were flogged and killed as martyrs after the resurrection. It is instructing to know that of all the apostles, only John died a natural death, the others were killed. The persecution of Christians led Tertullian to say that “the blood of martyrs is the seed of Christianity.” In the early Church martyrdom did not stop the Church from proclaiming the gospel message to all parts of the world. Jesus did not instruct the disciples to kill those who would not accept the message of the gospel. Rather he told them to shake the dust off their feet, pray for them and flee to another city.
Jesus did not call for a holy war with a military force against his fellow Jews, Gentiles or those who would not believe and accept His word. The Crusades was a misinterpretation of scriptures. Saint Francis of Assisi misunderstood the message to rebuild the Church to mean the physical Church until he got the spiritual meaning. He then appreciated the words of Jesus that “Whoever acknowledges me before men; I will also acknowledge him before my Father in heaven” (Matthew 10, 32).
Jesus did not overlook the sensitivity of religion. He referred to the prophet Micah (Matthew 10, 36) that “a man's enemies will be the members of his own household” (Micah 7, 6). Even in this civilized age, many children have been killed or disowned by their parents for becoming Christians. However, Jesus demands total commitment from his followers: “Anyone who loves his father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves his son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me; and anyone who does not take up his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it” (Matthew 10, 37-39). The word “sword” in the original Jewish context suggests that the implication of following Jesus in the Jewish society would be heroic in the sense of self discipline, fortitude, and faith in total surrender to the will of God. In doing this even the peace in the family will be affected because those who do not share the Christian faith would fight and persecute the Christian who is schooled in the attitude of turning the other cheek as commanded by Jesus: “But I say to you do not resist an evil person but whoever slaps you on your right cheek turn the other cheek to him to slap” (Matthew 5, 39).
If Jesus proclaimed the message of violence, and vengeance, he should have resisted his persecutors. A critical study of the use of the word “sword” in the passion narrative is apt for our discussion. In the Garden of Gethsemane, when the soldiers came to arrest Jesus, one of the disciples asked “Lord, should we strike with the sword (Luke 22, 49)? Before Jesus gave an answer, Peter acted in defence of Jesus by cutting off the ear of the servant of the high priest. Jesus stopped him saying “put your sword back in its place, for all who draw the sword will die by the sword. Do you think I cannot call on my Father, and he will at once put at my disposal more than twelve legions of angels” (Matthew 26:52-53). You can imagine how many soldiers that would be available to Jesus if he needed human protection and defence. Jesus did not come to fight those who handed him over, and the soldiers who executed him. Instead, he laid down his life and dies for the sins of the whole world. John reported Jesus mission in a very catching and precise statement: “I have come, so that they may have life and have it abundantly” (John 10:10)
Jesus did not command us to defend him but to proclaim him as the word that gives life and not the sword that destroys life. Whenever Jesus is insulted in any way, a good Christian should use the occasion to teach the true meaning of "jihad," which for Muslims means “restraint from anger and violence." According to Archbishop Fulton Sheen “we are fools for Christ's sake”. This does not mean that Christians should stretch out there heads for slaughter, neither does it mean that Jesus did not know what to do to those who insulted his person. Jesus questioned those who assaulted him but did not defend himself with the sword. Jesus answered him, "If what I said is wrong, bear witness about the wrong; but if what I said is right, why do you strike me" (John 18, 23)? Jesus used Faith and reason to accomplish his mission of saving the world and restoring peace. Therefore, a Christian must be a peace maker and not a sword swinger.
» By Pharm. Nzewi
The kidney is a bean shaped organ. In the human, a pair of kidney is situated at the lower part of the abdominal cavity and towards the back. The left kidney is slightly higher placed than the right. The commonly known function of the kidney is the making and passing out of urine from the body. Man cannot exist without the two kidneys. The kidney is structurally and functionally a complex organ. Its function include excretion of the waste products of metabolism, regulation of body water and salt, maintenance of appropriate acid balance, and secretion of a variety of hormones and antacoids. These activities are in progress irrespective of the physical activities of the individual. Deviation from normal activities of the kidney can be effected by bad life style. Some of such deviations can cause death. It is good to know the possible health problems and the dangers to which the kidneys are exposed following bad life style. It is also important to have the knowledge of those things that keep the kidney healthy. Ignorance of certain facts has led many to their untimely death.
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DISEASES OF THE KIDNEY.
Disease of the kidney can be divided into four. They include the diseases that affect the components of the kidney which are the Glomerular, the tubules, the interstitial and the associated blood vessels. The glomerular disease tends to be immunologically mediated, while tubular and interstitial disorders are more likely to be caused by toxic substances and infectious agents. However damage to one component inevitably affects the others due to anatomically interdependence of these structures. This is to say that wherever the damage begins, be it at glomeruli, tubules, interstitial, or blood vessel, the tendency is damage of all the four components of the kidney cumulating in chronic kidney (Renal) failure also called 'end stage kidney disease'. When the kidney thus fails, there will be retention of fluid and toxins by the body. This thus calls for the procedure known as dialysis. The most commonly found health problem of the kidney are the kidney failure and the urinary tract infection. Urinary tract is made up of the kidney, two tubes (the ureters), each opening from the kidney and enters a muscular bag (the Bladder). These tubes lead urine from the kidney into this collecting bag called the bladder. When the bladder is full, the urine leaves it through a single tube (the urethra) to be voided via the genital. The filtered fluid in the capsule of the kidney is called the glomerular filtrate (GF) it has a chemical composition of glucose, amino acids, vitamins, irons, nitrogenous wastes (mainly urea, uric acid, creatinine,) some hormones and water.
Kidney disease can destroy the functioning nephrons of the kidney and this will in turn reduce the filtration capacity of the glomerular thereby leading to kidney failure. Such a person now develops proteinurea (the presence of protein in the urine), and the kidney show wide spread of glomeruloscierosis (This refers to the hardening of the glomerulose)
NEPHROTIC SYNDROME; This is a situation where there is much protein in the urine. As much as 3.5gm or more of protein may be found daily in the urine.
HYPOALBUMINEMIA; Following the body loss of protein via the urine, the plasma albumin level drops to less than 3gm/dl. The normal range is 3.5 to 5.5gm/dl. The lower than normal levels of serum albumin is a sign of kidney disease or liver disease (HEPATITIS).
HYPERLIPIDEMIA (high blood lipid) and LIPIDURIA (presence of lipid in urine). Kidney failure is also usually marked with generalized edema, characterized by swelling of the different parts of the body, the face, arms, and legs. The beginning of Nephritic syndrome is the derangement in the capillary walls of the glomeruli resulting in increased permeability in plasma protein. Thus when protein is filtered out into the urine (protein urea), there is consequently lose of protein in the blood (hypoalbuminia). The generalized edema is as result of the drop in the plasma colloid osmotic pressure following hypoalbuminemia and also due to retention of salt and water by the kidneys.
With all what we have learnt so far about the kidney, the need to pay attention to our bodies and adherence to healthy life style becomes very significant. Ignorance has cost many people lose of money, ill health and in some cases death.
The Sacrament Of Apostolic Ministry (Part 1)
» By Rev. Fr. Ferdinand Okafor
The Sacrament of Holy Orders otherwise known as the sacrament of Apostolic ministry, is the sacrament through which the mission entrusted to the apostles by Jesus Christ is being exercised in the Church till the end of the world. According to the Penny Catechism, it is the sacrament by which bishops, priests and other ministers of the Church are ordained, and receive power and grace to perform their sacred duties. The three degrees of this Sacrament are: Episcopate, Presbyterate and Diaconate. These three degrees require ordination without which one cannot carry out the functions due to those in these Orders. The laying on of hands, with the consecratory prayer constitutes the visible sign of ordination.
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This sacrament confers grace and the gift of the Holy Spirit which permits the exercise of a sacred power.
The grace of the Holy Spirit proper to this sacrament for a Deacon is the grace to be dedicated to the people of God in conjunction with the bishop and his body of priests, in the service of the liturgy, of the Gospel and of works of charity (CCC 1588). For a priest, it is the grace of configuration to Christ as Priest, Teacher and Pastor, of who is made a minister. For the Bishop it is the grace of strength “governing spirit, “the grace to guide and defend his Church, with strength and prudence as a father and pastor, with gratuitous love for all and preferential love for the poor, the sick and the needy. This grace impels him to proclaim the Gospel to all, to be the model for his flock, to go before it on the way of sanctification by identifying himself in the Eucharist with Christ the priest and victim, not fearing to give his life for his sheep (CCC 1585-1586).
The Bishop is the duly consecrated successor of the apostles; by his ordination as a bishop he possesses the fullness of the priesthood or Sacrament of orders. When a bishop is appointed for a higher office such as the office of an Archbishop, a Papal Legate, Nuncio, Cardinal etc, he does not need to be ordained or consecrated again for any of these functions, because he already possesses the fullness of the Sacrament of Holy Orders. This is the reason when a Cardinal is elected to the office of Pope he does not need to be ordained before he takes Canonical possession of the Papacy; he is only installed to begin his pontificate. Similarly, when a bishop is appointed Archbishop of an Archdiocese, he is installed not ordained.
The priests are ordained as assistants, collaborators or co-workers of the bishops, while the deacons are the consecrated assistants to the priests; that is ordained for service. No one can be ordained priest or bishop without first being ordained a deacon. Hence the Sacrament of l-loiy Orders has the character of service essential to it. The Bishops, priests and deacons are ordained for service. The Sacrament of Orders entails mission and authority. The mission here is the proclamation of the gospel and the administration of the Sacraments (Mt 28:18-20; Jn 15: 15- 16; 20:21-23). No one can mandate himself and give himself the mission of proclaiming the Good News. Whoever is sent is sent by the Lord and speaks. in the name of the Lord. He does not do it in his own name (CCC n. 875, Heb 5:1-4; Acts 3:5-6).
The sacrament of baptism establishes the recipient as a common priest, becoming a member of the holy nation set apart to proclaim the wonders of God. However, it does not give one the right to offer Eucharistic sacrifice. It is only a validly ordained priest that can offer the Eucharistic sacrifice. Many Christians tend to reject the idea of apostolic succession and hierarchy in the Church, whereas, there are biblical foundations for apostolic succession and hierarchy in the Church. Jesus established the Priestly Order and commanded that the Eucharistic sacrifice be celebrated in his memory (Lk 22:19; 1 Cor 11:24). The Function of a bishop is to offer sacrifices and govern the local Church. The primary function of a priest is to offer sacrifice, while the function of a deacon is to serve by attending to the poor, assisting the bishop and the priests in the pastoral ministry. In this we see the division of labor.
Sacramental ministry in the Church is a service exercised in the name of Christ (CCC n. 879) not in the name of the minister. For this reason, every minister must be in union with the one who called and chose him, the Lord Jesus.
The Pope, who is the Bishop of Rome as well as the successor of Peter is the perpetual and visible source and foundation of the unity both of the bishops and of the whole Church (CCC 882). Just as the Pope is the successor of St. Peter, so too, the bishops are the successors of the Apostles. The bishop as well as the college or body of bishops have no power to function unless in union with Pope. Thus, if a bishop who is no longer in communion with the Pope ordains, the ordination is invalid, and whoever he ordains does not possess any sacramental power and grace and as such is not recognized as a priest.
Those in the sacred order have three offices or functions. They are:
• Teaching office. This entails preaching the Gospel and witnessing.
• Sanctifying office. This entails prayer and work, celebration of the sacraments and example of life.
• Governing office. It is done in the spirit of service (Jn 15:15-16).
The Pope governs the universal Church, the bishops govern the local Churches entrusted to them, and the priests govern the Parishes, institutions or people entrusted to them as well as
administer the resources at their disposal on behalf of the bishop. They do this in union with the Bishop the Priest has no power to function unless he is in union with the bishop.
The bishops govern the local Church in union with the Pope, they are however not vicars of the Pope but of Christ. The exercise of power over the whole Church by the Pope does not annul that of the bishops but confirms and defends the power and governing authority of the bishops (CCC n. 895).
The faithful are therefore to be so close and attached to the bishop and co-operate with him just as the Church is close to Christ, and Christ to the Father (CCC 896). To disobey the bishop is to disobey the Lord Jesus Christ, whose vicar he is. For the faithful to disobey a legitimate instruction from a priest is to disobey Christ who sent him.
Social Networks Can Reinforce The Bond Of Unity – Pope
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The Holy Father has reiterated that social networks can help to foster forms of dialogue and debate which if conducted respectfully and with concern for privacy, responsibility and truthfulness, can reinforce the bond of unity between individuals and effectively promote the harmony of the human family, stressing that exchange of information can become true communication, links ripen into friendships and connections facilitate communion.
This was contained in the 47th world communication day message titled “Social Network: portal of truth and faith, new spaces for evangelization” reflections on an increasingly important reality regarding the way in which people today communicate among themselves. I wish to consider the development of digital social networks which are helping to create new “agora”, an open public square in which people share ideals, information and opinions and in which new relationships and forms of community can come into being”.
Continuing, the Bishop of Rome who pointed out that “ if the networks are called to realize this great potential, the people involved in them must make an effort to be authentic since, in these spaces, it is not only ideals and information that are shared, but ultimately our very selves”, asserting that “ the development of social networks calls for commitment: people are engaged in building relationships and making friends”, adding that the networks are increasingly becoming part of the very fabric of society, in as much as they bring people together on the basis of these fundamental needs. Social networks are thus nourished by aspirations rooted in the human heart”
The Pope who noted that the culture of social networks and the changes in the mean and styles' of communication pose demanding challenges to those who want to speak about truth and values, affirmed that “ often, as is also the case with other means of social communication, the significance and effectiveness of the various forms of expression appear to be determined more by their popularity than by their intrinsic importance and values”, stressing that “… the social media thus need the commitment of all who are conscious of the dialogue, reasoned debate and logical argumentation; of people who strive to cultivate forms of discourse and expression which appeal to the noblest aspirations of those engaged in the communication process.
Further, the Prelate hinted that “the challenge facing social networks is how to be truly inclusive: thus they will benefit from the full participation of believers who desire to share the message of Jesus and values of human dignity which His teaching promote”, affirming that “believers are increasingly aware that, unless the Good News is made known also in the digital world, it may be absent in the experience of many people for whom this essential space is important”.
The Shepherd of Souls explained that “ the ability to employ the new languages is required, as not just to keep up with the times, but precisely in order to enable the infinite richness of the Gospel to find forms of expression capable of reaching the minds and hearts of all, stressing that “ in the digital environment, the written word is often accompanied by images and Sounds “. Adding that in social networks, believers show their authenticity by sharing the profound source of their hope and Joy: faith in the merciful and loving God revealed in Christ Jesus. This sharing consists not only in the explicit expression of their faith, but also in the witness, in way in which they communicate choices, preferences and judgment that are fully consistent with the Gospel, even when it is not spoken of specifically”, he revealed.
Speaking of those who have accepted the gift of faith with open hearts, the Holy Father pointed out that “ it is natural for those who have faith to desire to share it, respectfully and tactfully, with those they meet in the digital forum”,… “if our efforts to share the Gospel bring forth good fruit, it is always because of the power of the word of God itself to touch hearts, prior to any of our own efforts. Trust in the any confidence we place in human means”.
Commenting on the need for using social networks for evangelization, the Pontiff noted that the “networks can facilitate the sharing of spiritual and Liturgical resource, helping people to pray with a greater sense of closeness to those who share the same faith”, and stressed that: in the digital world there are social networks which offer our contemporaries opportunities for prayer, meditation and sharing the word of God. But these networks can also open the door other dimensions of faith, while praying God's Spirit to accompany and enlighten them and enjoined all to go into the world and preach the Gospel to the whole creation.
Auchi Diocesan CYON Marks Youth Day At Igarra
… As Igarra Marks Laity Harvest
The Catholic Youth Organization of Nigeria (CYON), Catholic Diocese of Auchi, has recently celebrated Youths at St. John the Apostle Catholic Church, Igarra.
Delivering the homily at the Eucharistic celebration, Rev. Fr. Reginald Adogamhe who welcomed all Youths present, enjoined them to continue to remain and be committed to God, stressing that as children of God, they should continue to solicit for God continuous assistance in whatever situation they might be, while urging them to always show good examples to others to emulate.
Continuing, Fr. Adogamhe noted that anyone who has personal content with the Lord can never fail no matter the turbulent period tasked all the Youths to shun any act capable of affecting them negatively.
Addressing the Youth on the need for them to continue to be good ambassador of their fatherland, the chaplain of the Diocesan CYON Rev. Fr. Francis Emodogo, admonished all Youths present to always set good examples for others to follow and enjoined them to shun corruption, violent and other negative activities that would affect their future negatively.
Further, the chaplain urged the Youths presents not to allow themselves to be used by the devil to execute his negative plans and prayed God to give them the grace to follow His way.
Welcoming them to Igarra, the Parish Priest St. John the Apostle, Igarra Very Rev. Fr. Isaac Bossey, who thanked them for coming to Igarra to organize the event, stressing that Youths as the future leaders of tomorrow must be obedient to the will of God and, charged them to endeavour to obey the teachings of the Church and their Parish Priest as well as other constituted authorities.
Appreciating all present, the Diocese CYON president, Monday Okhikhena who thanked the Parish Priest of St. John the Apostle, Igarra Very Rev. Fr. Isaac Bossey and the parishioners for hosting them, praised all present for honouring their invitation and wished them journey mercy back home.
Highpoints of the celebration were a thanksgiving procession by all Youths present accompanied with families, friends and well wishers, a cultural display, benediction among others.
In another development, the Parish Laity Council of St. John the Apostle, Igarra has celebrated Laity harvest.
Giving the homily at the thanksgiving Mass, the Parish Priest Very Rev. Fr. Isaac Bossey who congratulated the Parish Laity Council for their successful harvest, stressed that it is good to organize Laity harvest to enable the body run her affairs and enjoined parishioners to take their activities seriously.
Continuing, Fr. Bossey charged faithful of the Parish to continue to contribute towards the growth of the Council and tasked the Council members to remain dedicated to the service of God who is the owner of their lives and wished them fruitful celebration.
Addressing all present at the reception, the Parish Laity Chairman, Sir D. A. Adumaza appreciated the Parish Priest for his support and co-operation towards the Laity harvest, encouraging all present to continue to contribute to the Laity Council to enable them realize their set goal.
Giving the vote of thanks, Sir Austin Adebayo who commended the Parish Priest and all present, for attending the celebration, prayed God to continue to reward them for their support towards the Council, while assuring them that the Council would continue to co-operate with the Parish Priest for the growth and development of the Parish.
Sisters Of Notre Dame Marks Golden Jubile In Jattu
The congregation of Sisters of Notre Dame, has recently marked their golden jubilee in Nigeria, at their centre house in Jattu.
In his remarks at the celebration, the Bishop of the Diocese Most Rev. (Dr.) Gabriel G. Dunia who noted that the Catholic Diocese of Auchi has benefited from the services of the Sisters, congratulated them on their 50th anniversary in Nigeria and commended all present for attending the event.
Continuing, the Shepherd of Souls enjoined the Sisters to continue to contribute to the growth and development of the Diocese and wished them a fruitful celebration.
Delivering the homily earlier, Rev. Fr. Chrysogomus Okolie who noted that the 50th anniversary of the congregation in Nigeria is an opportunity for them to renew their lives and be committed to their services, enjoined them to continue to be instrument of God in bringing back God’s children to Christ who have lost faith and thanked them for their impact in the lives of young ones in Auchi Diocese and Nigeria in general.
The homilist pointed out that the impact of the congregation in Catholic Schools in Nigeria, cannot be overemphasized, while urging them to continue to work towards the growth of education in Nigeria and congratulated them on their celebration.
Appreciating all present Rev. Sr. Priscillia Aliu who commended all present for celebrating with them, noted that Sisters of Notre Dame in Auchi Diocese will continue to render their support to the growth and development of the Diocese and solicit support for the congregation to enable them discharged their duties effectively.
Giving a brief background of Sisters of Notre Dame, Rev. Sr. Rita Ezekwem noted that the congregation is an international religious congregation with about one thousand five hundred Sisters living and working in seventeen countries in five continents, adding that the main focus of the congregation is on strengthening the quality of education and training teachers at all levels, affirming that they will not also relent in serving the poor in most abandoned places.
Further, Sr. Ezekwem pointed out that the congregation which was founded in France in 1804 by St. Julie Billiant and Francoise Blin De Bourdon, came to Nigeria through Bishop William Mahony SMA in 1963 and arrive in Edo State in 1966 through the request of Bishop Kelly, SMA, adding that presently, the Nigeria province of Sisters of Notre Dame De Namur consist of eighty eight professed Sisters, four expatiate and eighteen young Women in initial training.
Highpoint of the celebration was the cutting of the anniversary cake, drama presentation, among others.
Uromi Diocese Host Girl Child Education Programme
The Catholic Diocese of Uromi has hosted the 4th edition of Girl Child Education Programme at Sacred Heart College Ubiaja, tagged “The Girl Child Education and her Challenges in the Contemporary Nigeria”.
The three day programme which was attended by Dioceses in Benin Ecclesiastical Province, Arch Diocese of Benin, Dioceses of Auchi, Uromi, Iselle- uku, Warri and Bamadi Vicarate, was aimed at empowering the girl child.
Delivering the homily at the Mass preceding the programme, Rev. Fr. Samson who welcomed participants to the occasion, stressed that Christ's Resurrection gave hope to all Christians, affirming that Christ has empowered them to be fishers of men as they must be available at all time for God to use and appreciated the organizer of the event for making the event possible, as it will help in impacting positively to Youths in the province.
Continuing, the homilist enjoined all present to utilize the knowledge gained from the programme to improve and enhance their wellbeing, while urging them to endeavor to teach others to make the purpose of the event realizable and prayed God to bless them.
In her welcome address, the provincial president Mrs. J.O. Enahoro who noted that the theme of the programme was apt and timely, praised all present for attending the event, while urging them to utilize the lessons learnt from the programme to improve their lives effectively and thanked God for journey mercy.
Delivering a talk titled “Good study habit”, Sir Idoni charged participants never to procrastinate when studying, stressing that being focus, proper planning of their activities among others, would enable them to improve on their study ability and frowned at the attitude of some students who often take stimulants to keep them awake, describing it as dangerous to health.
On his part, Rev. Fr. Emmanuel Umanhonlen who spoke on “The Importance of Girl Child Education”, noted that the importance of the training of girl child cannot be overemphasized, stressing that Women are the first teachers and nation builders, adding that as Mothers of tomorrow, they need proper education to enable them impact positively on the society.
The resource person further enjoined all parents to encourage the education of girl -child and frowned at the attitude of some parents who often deprive their children from becoming what they want to be in future through wrong counsel and inadequate education of their children.
Delivering another lecture titled “The challenges of growing up as a girl -child in the contemporary Nigeria”, Dr. (Mrs.) Omeregie who noted unemployment among other thing are some of the challenges facing the Nigeria Child, stressed that the problems of Nigeria youths can be solved if government can address the unemployment issue, while urging the youths to shun any act capable of affecting their future.
The programme also featured interactive session, gala night, cultural display among others.
Ihievhe Celebrate Mother's Day, Mark Patron Saint Feast
The Catholic Women Organization (CWO), St. Laserian Mass Centre, Ihievhe has recently celebrated Mother's day.
Delivering the homily at the Mass, the Rector of the Mass Center, Rev. Fr. Ferdinard Okafor charged Mothers to train their children by directing them to God and give them the basic Christian principles to enable them to be close to God and become useful to themselves and their community and enjoined husbands and children to always endeavor to give gift items to their Mothers in appreciation of their love.
Continuing, Fr. Ferdinard urged Mothers to continue to remain close to God at all time, while reminding them on the need to take their marital vow seriously and prayed God to give them the grace to serve Him all the days of their lives.
The event also featured thanksgiving procession to the altar by all Women present, presentation of gift items to the Rector of the Mass Centre, Rev. Fr. Ferdinard Okafor, distribution of writing materials to pupils of St. Laserian Nursery and Primary school among others.
In a similar vain, the Catholic Community of St. Laserian Catholic Church, Ihievhe has marked the feast of their Patron Saint.
Giving the homily at the Eucharistic celebration, Rev. Fr. Ferdinard Okafor who explored the life of their Patron Saint as a good and devoted Catholic, stressed that the celebration was an opportunity to remind faithful in the Mass Center on the need to foster love and unity among themselves and also to encourage them to have firm faith in God the owner of their lives.
Further, the homilist enjoined all present to continue to emulate the good virtue of their Patron Saint, adding that he was faithful to the Church and gave his life to God in totality.
Highlight of the reception were a match past by the Mass Centre Block Rosary Crusade, cultural display, drama presentation by CWO, quiz competition as well as the recognition of some outstanding parishioners, they were Mrs. C. E Momoh, Mr. Fidelis Oikerhe, Roseline Akharamhe, Augustine Airende, Charity Inusa, Vivian Afegba, Fabian Agboare, Christian Sunday.
God's Mercy Is Abundant For The Children Of God - Bishop Dunia
The Catholic Bishop of Auchi Diocese, Most Rev. (Dr.) Gabriel G. Dunia, has affirmed that God's mercy is abundant for the children of God, stressing that all through the ages, the love of God which is the same as His mercy, has been manifested to save man.
He gave this assertion at Immaculate Conception Cathedral, Auchi on the occasion of Divine Mercy Sunday.
Continuing, the Chief Shepherd of the diocese who tasked all present to hold on to the mercy of God, noting that inspite of man's misdeeds, the mercy of God overshadows all their sins, enjoined all present to think and re-examine themselves, adding that according to a philosopher, an unexamined life is not worth living.
The prelate hinted that to examine where one is coming from will enable him determine where he is going to and appreciated God for the gift of life and all that He has done for mankind, while urging all present to have absolute faith in God and they should not be weighed down by any challenge, while charging them not to allow the problems of the world to make them deviate from the community of believers.
Further, the Bishop harped that Divine Mercy Sunday was set aside by Pope John Paul 11 to enable faithful sacrifice all their ingratitude and sanitize their life and turn to God who is ever merciful and prayed God to give them the grace to receive His Divine Mercy and forgive them their sins.
Madam Inofomoh Is Laid To Rest At Jattu
The Mother of Mr. Gabriel Inofomoh, THE PROMISE NEWSPAPER correspondent, Jattu Parish, Madam Patricia Adizetu Inofomoh, has been laid to rest at St. Philip-Neri Catholic Church Cemetery, Jattu.
Delivering the homily at the funeral mass, Rev. Fr. Emmanuel Gimah noted that nothing can be compared to God's love for humanity, as He is the owner of all life and He knows when to take it, stressing that the deceased has lived a worthy life and has set examples for her children and others to follow.
Continuing, the homilist who explored some of the virtues of the deceased, described her as a devout Catholic, caring and God fearing, stressing that in life or in death, all humans belong to God, as during their baptism, they acknowledged Jesus Christ as their Lord and Saviour, noting that all power belong to God.
More, the homilist added that the funeral Mass was to honour the deceased and prayed God to receive her soul and the souls of all the faithful departed.
Further, Fr. Gimah who equally praised the efforts of the deceased for raising her children in the fear of God, hinted that she has done her home work while on earth, charged the children to be close to God at all times to enable them attain God's heavenly glory on the last day and enjoined all present to examine themselves, as the world is not their own, hence, they should be careful in whatever they do to others and prayed God to continue to unite the children in His love.
Appreciating the Priests present on behalf of the children, Mr. Gabriel Inofomoh commended all present for attending the funeral Mass affirmed that their mother was a wonderful, lovely and devout Catholic who gave her best to God, assuring that they will continue to emulate the good legacy left by their mother and prayed God to receive the soul of their departed mother and all the faithful departed.
The final commendation was done by Rev. Fr. Leonard Anetekhai, Editor-in-chief of THE PROMISE NEWSPAPER, while the body of the deceased was interred at the Church cemetery, Jattu.
Other Priests present at the Mass were, The Parish administrator St. Philip-Neri Catholic Church, Rev. Fr. Ignatius Omunagbe and Rev. Fr. John Awaebe, Parish administrator St. Matthew Ayogwiri.
St. Benedict Okpella Celebrate Mother's Day, Gets Pastoral Council Executive
The Catholic Women Organization (CWO) of St. Benedict Iddo-11, Okpella has celebrated her 2013 Mother's day with spiritual and physical activities.
Delivering the homily at the Mass, the Parish Administrator Rev. Fr. Isaac Oshomah who congratulated the Women for the celebrations charged Mothers to be good Mothers and remain dedicated to their marital vow and enjoined them to always care for their children by bringing them closer to God.
Fr. Oshomah, tasked parents to continue to live up to their responsibilities, affirming that the role of a Mother cannot be overemphasized in the family, while praying God to continue to bless and protect them as they continue their marital commitment.
The celebration also featured thanksgiving by all Women present accompanied to the altar by their families friends and well wishers.
Meanwhile, the celebration which lasted for one week, also featured talk by the Parish Administrator, Rev. Fr. Isaac Oshomah titled “ The Role of Mothers in the Church, home and society”, novelty football match between CWO of Afokpella Station and Iddo Station, cutting of Mother's day cake, visitation to convent among others.
In another development, the Parish Pastoral Council of St. Benedict Catholic Church, Iddo 11, Okpella has appointed a new executive to run their affairs.
Member of the new executives were, Rev. Fr. Isaac Oshomah, Chairman, Hon .L.Obalo, Vice Chairman, Mr. Michael Itakpe, Secretary and Miss Bose Sule, Treasurer.
Others are, Miss Josephine Adele, Financial Secretary, Mr. Emmanuel Matthew, PRO 1 and Mr. Philip Oriri.
Ogbona Mark Mother’s Day With Thanksgiving
The Catholic Women Organization (CWO), St. John the Baptist, Ogbona has recently marked Mother's day with thanksgiving.
Delivering the homily at the Holy Mass, Rev. Fr. Pius Obasanmi who enjoined all Mothers present to be good to all children around them and not only their biological children, stressed that Women are Mothers of every home, as they should teach and work in collaboration with their husbands to raise their children in a God fearing way.
Continuing, the homilist charged Mothers to teach their children proper way of dressing decently and be of good behavior in wherever they may be, while adding that promoting and encouraging decent dressing at the family level would foster a better society.
Highpoint of the Mass was thanksgiving procession to the altar by all Women present accompanied by all present.
Welcoming all present to the reception shortly after the Mass, the parish CWO President Mrs. Patience Amhanesi, thanked the Priests for attending the occasion and prayed God to bless everyone who had made the occasion a success.
On his part, the Chairman of the event, Chief Mathias Akpaibor who appreciated the Women for organizing the event, noted that the event was important, as it was to further celebrate and appreciate the efforts of Women in human and family life, while praying God to bless them.
Giving the vote of thanks, Mrs. Caroline Ozagha commended the Priests present for attending the event, while praising the Women for making the celebration possible.
The celebration also featured cultural dance, Agbi dance, drama presentation, decoration of Rev. Fr. Francis Ikhanosimhe for his good work in the parish among others.
Fr. Oshomah Task Youth On Spiritual Activities
The Parish Administrator, St. Benedict Catholic church, Iddo 11, Okpella Rev. Fr. Isaac Oshomah, has reiterated the need for youths to take their spiritual activities seriously rather than pursuing material possession.
This was contained in a homily delivered at the Mass preceding the Parish Youths annual Picnic.
Fr. Oshomah who enjoined the Youths to be serious minded in their daily activities in line with the faith the Church teaches, pointed out that there is the need for them to shun any act capable of affecting them negatively and prayed God to grant them a fruitful Picnic.
Speaking on the importance of the event shortly after the Mass, Bro. Afemikhe Bartholomew who noted that the programme was organized by the Parish CYON to enable the Youths become acquainted with places in the area, stressed that understanding the historical background of their Community was necessary. He further noted that the Picnic was to enable them visit some historical sites in their Community and thanked all the participants for attending the tour.
In his vote of thanks, the Parish CYON President Mr. Paul Imeme who equally thanked the Parish Administrator for his support, commended all the youths present for making the tour possible and prayed God to bless them.
The Picnic also featured a visit to Ititerun hill, quiz competition, dance competition, drama presentation among others.
Diocesan CWO Celebrate Mother's Day With Bishop's Mother
…. As St. Theresa Fugar Mark Mother's Day
With Joy and thanksgiving to God, the Catholic Women Organization (CWO), Catholic Diocese of Auchi, has recently celebrated Mother's day with the Mother of the Bishop of Auchi Diocese, Mama Anna Dunia at St. Anthony Parish, Imiebga.
Giving the homily at the Eucharistic celebration, the Parish Administrator Rev. Fr. Amos Paul who welcomed the Women to the Parish, appreciated them for coming to celebrate with the Mother of the Bishop and congratulated all Women present for the celebration.
Continuing, Fr. Amos who hinted that mother's day started in 1822 in America, noted that the day was worthy of celebration, as Mothers are important in the society and the world in general, while urging children to continue to celebrate their Mothers and enjoined Mothers to emulate the exemplary life of Blessed Mother Mary who despite all the odds gave birth to Jesus Christ who is the Saviour of the world.
Further, Fr. Amos enjoined Mothers present to continue to take good care of their homes and give quality education to their children, stressing that children should be raised in a God fearing way at the family level, adding that the first teacher of any child is the mother.
Highpoint of the Mass was a thanksgiving procession to the altar, led by the Mother of the Bishop, accompanied by all Women present.
In her vote of thanks, the Diocesan Social Secretary of CWO, Mrs. Catherine Izuagie, who praised Mama Anna for hosting them, appreciated the Parish Administrator for celebrating with them and prayed God to bless all present.
Meanwhile a reception was later held at the residence of Mama Anna Dunia to make the event worthwhile.
In a similar vain, St. Theresa Catholic Church, Fugar has celebrated the gift of Motherhood with thanksgiving.
Delivering the homily at the Mass, the assistant Parish Administrator Rev. Fr. Simeon Osikwemhe, congratulated all mothers for God's protection over their lives and thanked God for the gift of Mother Mary who God used to bring forth Jesus Christ to save the world.
Fr. Osikwemhe who noted that after the death of Jesus Christ, His disciples resumed fishing as their occupation, stressed that Jesus Christ located them and redeemed from fear and urged all not to be afraid, but should believe and trust in God.
The homilist further affirmed that Mothers have contributed meaningfully towards humanity, adding that as Catholic Mothers, they should be prayerful at all times, while charging all Women to always take care of their children to enable them become better citizens, and urged children to endeavour to always buy gift items for their Mothers in appreciation of their love and care for them.
Highpoints of the celebration was a thankingsgiving procession by all Mothers present, accompanied by their husbands, children and well wishers.
Holy Angels' Holds Laity Retreat At Uneme-Erhunrhun
…As Fr. Afokhume Lays Foundation For Dagbala Social Centre
The Laity of Holy Angels' Catholic Church, Dagbala has recently held their Laity retreat and all night revival programme in one of their outstations, St. Patrick Catholic Church, Uneme- Erhunrhun.
Delivering the homily at the Mass concelebrated with Rev. Fr. Moses Afokhume, Rev. Fr. Kingsley Okodugha noted that demonic attacks on people comes from ancestral curses, as some parents usually dedicate their children to shrines during and after birth, stressing that dedicating children to false gods by some parents have placed curses on children which could go a long way in affecting them, and enjoined parents to make it their daily task to pray for their children.
Continuing, Fr. Okodugha tasked parents to always bless their children, as children are blessing from God, adding that it will enable them attain much success in life, while praying God to continue to bless all present for attending the event.
Speaking on the topic, “Demonic influence associated with traditional relics,” Rev. Fr. Moses Afokhume who noted that there are several ways by which people can be influenced to do evil, stressed that any faithful who trust in the power and resurrection of Jesus Christ can overcome any demonic attack or influence, adding that Satan does not have any authority on sons and daughters of God and prayed God to grant them the grace to overcome any demonic influence in their lives.
Earlier, in his welcome address, the parish Laity Council Chairman Prof. U. S. U Aashikpelokhai who noted that the event was organized in response to the call of His Lordship Most Rev. (Dr.) Gabriel G. Dunia on the Laity to collaborate with their priests to bring faithful back in full communion with the Church and the Blessed Sacrament, stressed that the event offers great opportunity for faithful to interact with their priests and urged all present to take advantage of it to enhance their life positively.
Further, he pointed out that many people are daily living under demonic influences and commended the parish administrator for making the event possible, while thanking the parishioners for attending the occasion.
Highpoints of the occasion were choir ministration, Stations of the Cross, Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, Rosary recitation, talks, intercessory prayers, counseling among others.
In another development, the Parish administrator of Holy Angels Parish Dagbala, Rev. Fr. Moses Afokume, has laid the foundation stone of the community social center.
Commenting on the importance of the project which is an initiative of the National Union of Dagbala Indigenes and been facilitated by the community council of elders, Fr. Afokhume commended the community for embarking on the project and enjoined community members to see it as a rally point that would serve as a center of unity for all the people.
while calling on sons and daughters of the community both at home and in Diaspora to always endeavor to support development projects in their community, Fr. Afokume stressed that the Catholic Church would not relent in its effort in promoting peace and unity in any community and prayed God to continue to bless the people of the area to enable them bring the project to conclusion.
Cathedral Celebrate Mother's Day
The joy of Motherhood was recently celebrated by Catholic Women Organization (CWO), of Immaculate Conception Cathedral, Auchi.
Delivering the homily at the thanksgiving mass, the Cathedral Administrator Rev. Fr. Valentine Anaweokhai who commended the Women on the role they played in making the event a success, charged parents with the responsibility of raising their children in the fear of God to enable them impact on their society positively and make the world a better place for all to live in, adding that Mothers are better placed to take care of homes
Continuing, the homilist pointed out that the word matrimony means the office of the woman and urged Women to take good care of their family, stressing that taking care of family is their primary responsibility which they cannot afford to shy away from, enjoining the Women to make their homes comfortable for their husbands, noting that the behavioral patterns of most Mother are some of the factors why some of their husbands may not have interest in staying at home, asserting that some Women have neglected their matrimonial duties to their house maids especially in the area of domestic duties.
Further, Fr. Anaweokhai tasked Mothers to have a rethink on their roles in their homes, stressing that parents should take adequate care of their children as gifts from God, while urging them to always seek the face of God in all their family problems even as they continue to discharge their matrimonial duties and advised them to teach their children to live and respect God, as it will enable them develop positive mindset that will promote peace and foster unity in the world.
Highpoint of the Mass was a thanksgiving procession to the altar by all Women present, accompanied by their husbands, friends and well wishers.
The weeklong event also featured a debate between CMO and CWO on the topic “the bad behavior of children, who is to blame: Father or Mother”, as the CWO defeated CMO with 16points - 11points, a novelty football match between CMO and CWO, as well as the investiture of seven parishioners of the Cathedral, among others.
JDPC Holds Town Hall Meeting At Afuze, Agenebode
As part of efforts to promote good governance and encourage grassroot participation in the political process in Edo State, the Justice, Development and Peace Commission (JDPC), has recently held a town hall meeting at Afuze and Agenebode.
Addressing participants separately at Afuze and Agenebode, drawn from major political parties in the area, the Diocesan Director of the Organization Rev. Fr. Paul Inanoremhe who noted that the project was been carried by JDPC in collaboration with MISEREOR, Germany, affirmed that the programme was to sensitize the electorate and politician alike on the need to promote good governance and be accountable to the electorate, stressing that there is the need for aspirants to be accountable to the people who voted them into their various offices.
Continuing, Fr. Inanoremhe who hinted that grassroot sensitization is important expressed the Church determination in promoting peace and ensuring good governance in Edo State, while urging the electorate to vote wisely, noting that government should promote more development in the area and be responsive to the people's welfare who voted them into office.
Further, the Director reiterated that the programme will remain a continous process during and after elections to enable the electorate access if the manifestos and other electioneering promise were fulfilled, while urging all present to participate in the voting process to enable them vote in credible leaders who will pilot the affairs of their local government areas and wards.
Commending the JDPC Auchi for organizing the programme, Chief Monday Afekhide from Otuo, praised the organization for the event and prayed God to continue to strengthen them
On his part, Sir Peter Odiaka at Agenebode, thanked the organization for coming to hold the organization programme at their Local government area, noted that it was the first of its kind, while urging the organization to continue to bring such programmes to the people of the area in order to encourage them to participating in the voting process
Also, some of the politicians present at the event who bore their minds on the development, described it as a step in the right direction to further checkmate their activities and be accountable to their people who voted them into various offices.
The event featured interactive sessions between the electorate and some of the politician's present, presentation of political parties manifestos by various political candidates present among others.
Holy Name Honours Mothers
The Joy of Holy Name Church, Ikpeshi CWO (Catholic Women Organization) members, knew no bounds recently, as they joined their counterparts nations wide to celebrate the gift of Motherhood.
In the homily to mark the occasion, the Rector of the Mass Center Rev. Fr. Leonard Anetekhai, spoke on the need for all to love and cherish their Mothers and wives, pointing out that Women endure hardship and other unfavourable circumstances because of love for their husbands and children.
Further, the Rector noted that it is through the efforts of mothers that good homes are made, as Mothers perform multifunctions in the home. He also added that a home without a Mother, lacks the love and warmth which a woman provides in the home and charged all not to take their wives and Mothers for granted, but should love and cherish them.
Enumerating some of the ways to express love to Mothers and wives, Fr. Anetekhai tasked the men to be more caring and endeavour to spend more time with their wives, as it will help to strengthen their love for each other and help them to get to know themselves better, noting that it is lack of communication between spouses that cause quarrels and break down of marriages.
He also charged children to learn to respect their Mothers and always follow their instructions, so that they will not derail from their life's goal, stressing that a Mother's advice is priceless and helps to build up good homes and societies as well.
While commending Mothers for their efforts and sacrifices to ensure that the home is well kept, Rev. Fr. Anetekhai frowned at the attitude of some Mothers who don't care for their homes and urged them to turn a new leave and live up to their calling, stressing that it is a Woman who takes the credit for a good home and is also to be blamed for its failures.
He further prayed God to grant the Women the grace to live up to their responsibilities to be good Mothers and wives in all circumstances.
Highpoints of the Mass were presentation of gifts to all Mothers and wives by their husbands and children, active participation of Women in the Liturgy as well as a Joyful thanksgiving procession to the altar, accompanied by their husbands and children in appreciation of the gift of Motherhood.
St. James CWO Mark Mother's Day
The Catholic Women Organization (CWO), of St. James Catholic Church, Water Board, Auchi has recently celebrated Mother's Day, to thank God for the gift of motherhood.
Giving the homily at the Mass, the Rector of the Mass Center, Rev. Fr. Francis Emodogo, noted that no matter the challenges or how many times women fail in their daily endeavours, they should not lose hope, stressing that the only way to attain success in life is for them to always call on Jesus Christ in any situation or challenges, putting hope and faith in God and urged all present not to lose hope in any circumstance, but rather, call on Jesus, obey and listen to him with outmost humility.
Continuing, Fr. Emodogo who appreciated mothers, pointed out that their importance in pro-creation and family cannot be overemphasized, urging all present to make it a duty to respect and love their mothers. While frowning at the high level of decadence in the world he tasked mothers to take up the role of molding and training their children in the fear of God and wished them a fruitful celebration.
Highpoint of the Mass was a thanksgiving procession to the altar by all mothers present accompanied by their families, friends and well wishers.
Speaking at the reception shortly after the Holy mass, the Chairman of the occasion Mr. Patrick Oseghale commended the women for organizing the event and congratulated them on the success of the occasion.
In her welcome address, the mass center CWO President Mrs. M.A. Isado who expressed Joy and thanks to God for protecting them and their families, called on children and youths to always appreciate their mothers who strive daily to bring them up in the way of the Lord, while thanking all the women present for the goodwill messages from their husbands, friends and well wisher, noting that it was their co-operation and support that led to the success of the celebration.
Giving the vote of thanks, the CWO Vice President Lady R.Oghemhe, commended the Rector of the mass center for his support and co-operation while thanking all present for attending the celebration and prayed God to bless them.
The event also featured match past competition by the women according to their various BCCs, cultural dance among others.