SAFE GUARDING THE FUTURE OF THE GIRL CHILD
The recent inability of the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to expunge the controversial section 29 part 4b of our Constitution in the ongoing Constitution amendment process in the Country, has again put the sincerity of our leaders to protect its citizenry irrespective of age or sex, to the test. This clause on a closer look, tactically gives a nod to underage marriage of our girls, as it agrees that at whatever age a girl child gets married, even at thirteen, she is termed to be of full age, which is an aberration and an outright slap on the face of Child Rights Act which subscribe that “No person under the age of 18 years is capable of contracting a valid marriage and accordingly, a marriage so contracted is null and void and of no effect whatsoever”.
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With the scenario of the voting in favour of the clause still playing in our minds as well as the strong worded support by a Senator advocating underage marriage, the question that begs for answer is, “since the constitution and leaders of the nation has failed in protecting the girl child, to whom does the Nigeria girl child run to for protection?. Though a school of thought that may argue the constitution did not intend or advocate for anything relating to marriage or marriage age, however, the constitution has failed to stipulate a minimum age of marriage, will on the long run, encourage the scourge of pedophilias in the country which will jeopardize the future of the girl child.
Common sense should show to advocates of this clause that no matter the size of an under 18 years old girl, she is in no way prepared for the challenges and responsibilities of marriage psychologically and otherwise. The huge rise of Vesico Virginal Fistula (VVF) in our Northern States is a pointer that such acts should be jettisoned even if some religions permit. The rise of material deaths and uneducated females is a huge setback for the Nation's economy and the bane of national underdevelopment, as a properly educated girl child on maturity, is the best and first teacher of her home. If our nation is filled with sick and uneducated under aged mothers, then, the nation's future is bleak.
This calls for action by every right thinking Nigerian, especially the women folk to fight for the right to proper education and suitable marriageable age for every girl child across the country, irrespective of tribe and religion. Silence in this regard is not golden, but a strong support to cut short the destines of our daughters. We must all press it on our individual state houses of assembly to adopt the Child Rights Acts especially in states where it has been rejected, to make it effective so as to curb the rise of potential pedophilias and create better future for the girl child.
Also, intense pressure should be mounted on the federal government to sign up to the United Nation's Convention on consent to marriage, minimum age for marriage and registration of marriages which compels signatories to “take legislative action to specify a minimum age for marriages and empowers such a legislation to suspend all customs, ancient laws and practices inconsistent with it.
It is high time we take a stand not only for the right to attain full and proper maturity before marriage, but also the right to proper education, health and all other rights which will enhance the overall development of our future leaders, so that posterity will speak well of our generation.
What And Where Is Your Treasure?
Teaching on the acquisition and storage of wealth, Jesus warned against the occupation of the heart with wealth which cannot be stored in heaven. The reason is that wealth which cannot be stored in heaven is a useless possession and occupying one's heart with such possession amounts to an exercise in futility, after all: “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth where moth and decay destroy, and thieves break in and steal. But store up treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor decay destroys, nor thieves break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there also will your heart be.” (Matt 6: 19-21; Lk 12: 33 and 34).
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Now, treasure can simply be defined as wealth of great value which either has already been possessed or will be possessed, stored and utilized as and when due for the wellbeing of the possessor and others. Wealth can either be corporeal or incorporeal, that is either in material form or be in no material form, for example gold and friendship respectively. It can either be natural or supernatural, for example, Reason and Faith.
In material parlance, wealth usually comprises substances such as gold, (money), silver, precious stones, jewels, clothings and other such like valuables.
However, in spiritual parlance, wealth comprises mainly the SPIRIT of God (Cf. 1 Corinthians 2: 14). This spirit of God is to be sought for with persistent right disposition of the soul: “offer yourselves as a living sacrifice to God, dedicated to his service and pleasing to him. This is the true worship you should offer” (Romans 12: 1). This is what children of God should always work very hard to acquire, sustain, retain and store as the right wealth that is qualified to be stored in heaven. (Cf Romans 12: 6-13). Once it is stored in the right place, the heart cannot but be occupied with it and where it is stored.
Now, working hard to acquire the right possession demands praying and seeking for the theological virtues of Faith, Hope and Charity. Yes, faith first because it is the supernatural gift which enables us to believe in God and believe all that he has decreed and revealed to us. With faith establishing in the soul an unwavering belief in God through and through the soul should then seek and strive after Hope with which we admire and desire the kingdom of heaven and eternal life as our happiness. The intense desire of Hope should move the soul into seeking and pursuing the possession of God as the highest good. Hence, the need to pray for the possession of Charity which is the virtue by which we love God above all things for his own sake and our neighbour as ourselves for the love of God.
The possession of the three theological virtues qualifies the soul to being imbued with the Beatitudes: being poor in spirit which makes us possess the kingdom of God; acceptance of sorrows patiently which leads to being comforted by God; being meek that entitles the soul to inheritance of the earth; acceptance of hunger and thirst for righteousness' sake which gives divine satisfaction; being merciful which entitles the soul's being granted mercy in turn; the possession of the purity of heart which rewards the soul with beatific vision; the spirit of peace and reconciliation by which the believers are entitled to the sonship of God; and submission to persecution for righteousness' sake which qualifies the soul for the possession of the kingdom of God (Cf Matt 5: 3-10).
With the Beatitudes constituting the wealth of the Christian Soul, the Christian cannot but trust and obey the teaching of Christ as enunciated by his Apostle: “Do not be proud, but accept humble duties. Do not think of yourselves as wise” (Romans 12: 16). This is a holy teaching which has been both licit and valid for all Christians of all ages including our twenty-first century.
Accepting duties humbly also means making friends with the humble, living, staying and working with the humble, the forgotten, the poor, the abandoned, the unloved, the ignorant and the innocent in society which should constitute the treasure of the Christian and as such with which his heart should always be preoccupied by a divine longing to guide and guard. That being the case, any outright refusal or grudging acceptance of a pastoral duty by any priest or religious to live, stay and work with people who live in rural and remote communities of his or her constituency can be quite revealing as hypocritical assumption of his or her state of life. It will also amount to sacrificing the people, who are supposed to be the treasure where the heart must be at the altar of executive material comforts such as flashy cars, housing and furnishings.
What is more, it will equally be hypocritical assumption of his or her state of life for either a man or woman to intentionally marry to his or her husband's or wife's material wealth, bodily beauty and comforts, instead of the real human person in sincere love irrespective of any available executive material accidents. All we are saying is that the attitude of every true believer in Jesus Christ to material possessions here on earth, should be: “I have learnt to manage with whatever I have. I know how to live modestly and I know how to live luxuriously too; in every way I have mastered the secret of all conditions: full stomach and empty stomach, plenty and poverty. There is nothing I cannot do in the one who strengthens me” (Philippians 4: 12-13). Let us be wise and store our treasures in heaven.
THE BLESSED VIRGIN MARY'S ABSOLUTE PURITY AND SINLESSNESS
» By Prof. Michael Ogunu
On the 8th December, 1854, the Immaculate Conception of the Virgin Mary was solemnly defined and proclaimed by Pope Pius IX as follows:
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“The most Blessed Virgin Mary was, from the first moment of her conception, by a singular grace and privilege of almighty God and by virtue of the merits of Jesus Christ, Saviour of the human race, preserved immune from all stain of original sin”.
The Immaculate Conception is the Virgin Mary's glorious privilege of being preserved by a special grace of God from Original Sin through the future merits of Jesus Christ.
Protestants and other non-Catholic Christians (Pentecostals, etc.) assert that the Virgin Mary could not have been immaculately conceived and that if She were conceived without sin, She would not have needed redemption as She herself acknowledged that She needed in Her own words in the Magnificat when She said “my spirit rejoices in God my Saviour” (Luke 1, 47). They also maintain that St. John clearly states that “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us” (1 John 1, 8). They therefore wonder how Catholics can claim that the Virgin Mary was sinless. Another Biblical text which protestants and other non-Catholic Christians often cite as being negated by the Catholic Church's teaching on the Immaculate Conception of the Mother of God is found in St. Paul's Letter to the Romans: “Sin entered the world through one man, and through sin, death and this death has spread through the whole human race because everyone has sinned” (Rom. 5:12). These texts raise a question: Does the Catholic teaching on the Immaculate Conception indicate that Mary was not in need of salvation?
The Church believes that God's Son who was to come into the world through Mary's consent was Himself her saviour. Mary as a member of the human race was in need of salvation. However, her salvation was “singular” (unique). In order to help us understand Mary's need for salvation, theologians distinguish between a “liberative salvation” and a “preservative salvation”. Every member of the human race with the exception of Mary, was liberated from sin and eternal damnation by the Cross of Jesus. In virtue of the Cross of Jesus, Mary was preserved from sin and eternal damnation.
Two illustrations might be helpful in coming to understand the significance of this distinction: If you are wounded by a bullet and I remove it and help you to heal the wound, you might correctly call me your “saviour”. However, would I not be more properly your “saviour” if I had preserved you from being shot in the first place? Again, I might save you from being burned to death in a fire. I could liberate you from the flames and save your life. Would I be any less your “saviour” if I preserved you from even falling into the destructive flames? Every member of the human race, except Mary, is wounded by the sin of Adam. We are liberated from Adam's sin by the grace of Jesus Christ. Mary, also by Christ's grace, was preserved from being wounded by the sin of the race in her conception. In this way, Jesus saved her from sin and the effects of sin. You and I and all mankind are liberated from the “fire” of sin and eternal death in hell through the saving grace of Our Lord Jesus. We receive this grace in baptism and if we fall into mortal sin, through sacramental confession. Baptism, so to speak, “pulls us out of the fire”. When we deliberately fall into the fire again through our deliberate mortal sins, the Lord rescues us through Confession (Sacrament of Reconciliation). Mary by Jesus' grace, was preserved from ever falling into that fire.
The Catholic Church does not deny that the Virgin Mary needed redemption, for She was a child of Adam together with the rest of humanity. However, Her redemption was effected in another, “more sublime manner”, namely, “redemption by pre-emption”.
Consequently, in reference to Mary, the Church strongly affirms these Scriptural truths: Mary is indeed saved from sin and Jesus is her saviour!
The Immaculate Conception has always been the belief of the Church, being implicitly contained in the Church's teaching of the Virgin Mary's absolute purity and sinlessness. Just as Our Lord “grew in grace and wisdom”, that is, manifested increasing signs of wisdom as He increased in age, so the Church, which possesses the wisdom of God from Her origin, manifests it only according to the order of Providence and Her children's needs. In the centuries before 1854, the Popes and Councils made continuous and explicit references to the Immaculate Conception in their pronouncements:
(i) Pope St. Martin I, Lateran Council (649), Canon 3 on the Trinity;
(ii) Pope Sixtus IV, Constitutions Cum Praeexcelsa (1476); Grave Nimis (1483);
(iii) Pope Paul III, Council of Trent (1546), Decree on Original Sin;
(iv) Pope St. Pius V, Bull Ex Omnibus Afflictionibus, (1567);
(v) Pope Alexander VII, Bull Sollicitudo Omnium Eccl. (1661).
The Church finds support for the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception in the words of the Angel Gabriel to the Virgin Mary: “Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with thee; blessed art thou amongst women” (Luke 1, 28 [Douai]). She, who was to conceive the Son of God, the Holy of holies, must Herself be supremely holy, and therefore be preserved, not only from actual sin, but also from all stain of Original Sin. The Angel's words would not have been entirely truthful had the Virgin Mary, for even one instant, been deprived of grace.
The Church, furthermore, asserts that God, immediately after Adam's fall, cursed Satan and said, “I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed; he shall bruise your head” (Gen. 3, 15). It was by the Virgin Mary's seed, that is, Jesus Christ, that the kingdom of Satan was demolished. It was not fitting that She, who was to co-operate in the defeat of Satan, should ever be infected by his breath or a slave to his kingdom of sin. The enmity between the Virgin Mary and the serpent placed by God was Her triumph over sin, Her Immaculate Conception.
The writings of the Fathers of the Church on Mary's purity abound.
•The Fathers call Mary the tabernacle exempt from defilement and corruption (Hippolytus, “Ontt. in illud, Dominus pascit me”);
•Origen calls her worthy of God, immaculate of the immaculate, most complete sanctity, perfect justice, neither deceived by the persuasion of the serpent, nor infected with his poisonous breathings (“Horn. i in diversa”);
•Ambrose says she is incorrupt, a virgin immune through grace from every stain of sin (“Sermo xxii in Ps. cxviii”);
•Maximus of Turin calls her a dwelling fit for Christ, not because of her habit of body, but because of original grace (“Nom. viii de Natali Domini”);
•Theodotus of Ancyra terms her a virgin innocent, without spot, void of culpability, holy in body and in soul, a lily springing among thorns, untaught the ills of Eve, nor was there any communion in her of light with darkness, and, when not yet born, she was consecrated to God (“Oral, in S. Dei Genitr”)
•In refuting Pelagius, St. Augustine declares that all the just have truly known of sin “except the Holy Virgin Mary, of whom, for the honour of the Lord, I will have no question whatever where sin is concerned” (On Nature and Grace 36).
•It is evident that Mary was pure from eternity, exempt from every defect (Typicon S. Sabae);
•She was formed without any stain (St. Proclus, “Laudatio in S. Dei Gen. ort”, I, 3);
•She was created in a condition more sublime and glorious than all other natures
(Theodoras of Jerusalem in Mansi, XII, 1140);
•When the Virgin Mother of God was to be born of Anne, nature did not dare to anticipate the germ of grace, but remained devoid of fruit (John Damascene, “Hom, i in B. V. Nativ.”, ii).
•The Syrian Fathers never tire of extolling the sinlessness of Mary. St. Ephraem considers no terms of eulogy too high to describe the excellence of Mary's grace and sanctity: “Most holy Lady, Mother of God, alone most pure in soul and body, alone exceeding all perfection of purity ...., alone made in thy entirety the home of all the graces of the Most Holy Spirit, and hence exceeding beyond all compare even the angelic virtues in purity and sanctity of soul and body .... my Lady most holy, all-pure, all-immaculate, all-stainless, all-undefiled, all-incorrupt, all-inviolate spotless robe of Him Who clothes Himself with light as with a garment... flower unfading, purple woven by God, alone most immaculate” (“Precationes ad Deiparam” in Opp. Grace. Lat., III, 524-37).
•To St. Ephraem, Mary was as innocent as Eve before her fall, a virgin most estranged from every stain of sin, more holy than the Seraphim, the sealed fountain of the Holy Spirit, the pure seed of God, ever in body and in mind intact and immaculate (“Carmina Nisibena”).
Jacob of Sarug says that “the very fact that God has elected her proves that none was ever holier than Mary; if any stain had disfigured her soul, if any other virgin had been purer and holier, God would have selected her and rejected Mary”. It seems, however, that Jacob of Sarua, if he had any clear idea of the doctrine of sin, held that Mary was perfectly pure from original sin (“the sentence against Adam and Eve”) at the Annunciation.
St. John Damascene (Or. i Nativ. Deip., n. 2) esteems the supernatural influence of God at the generation of Mary to be so comprehensive that he extends it also to her parents. He says of them that, during the generation, they were filled and purified by the Holy Spirit, and freed from sexual concupiscence. Consequently according to the Damascene, even the human element of her origin, the material of which she was formed, was pure and holy. This opinion of an immaculate active generation and the sanctity of the “conceptio carnis” was taken up by some Western authors; it was put forward by Petrus Comestor in his treatise against St. Bernard and by others. Some writers even taught that Mary was born of a virgin and that she was conceived in a miraculous manner when Joachim and Anne met at the golden gate of the temple (Trombelli, “Mari SS. Vita”, Sect. V, ii, 8; Summa aurea, II, 948. Cf also the “Revelations” of Catherine Emmerich which contain the entire apocryphal legend of the miraculous conception of Mary.
From this summary it appears that the belief in Mary's immunity from sin in her conception was prevalent amongst the Fathers, especially those of the Greek Church.
In clear terms, the Church teaches that Our Lady had no sin whatsoever in her life. She was not just remarkably “saintly” or “upright.” Referring to someone who is upright and holy, Scripture says that the “righteous man falls seven times” (Prov. 24:16). Even the saints, St. Thomas tells us, in momentary weakness occasionally fall into “indeliberate” venial sins in situations that they would normally be able to handle (cf. II-II, 184, 2). The sole exception to this, other than our Blessed Lord, was His Virgin Mother, who like her Son, was totally free from the slightest sin while here on earth.
The sinlessness of Mary, the Church holds, is total and without exception. Beginning with her conception - by the foreseen merits of Christ - she was preserved free from the stain and effects of original sin, so that never for a moment of her earthly existence did she come under the dominion of the devil. All other human beings inherit the consequences of the sin of Adam and Eve, and come into this world separated from God until restored to His friendship through the sacrament of baptism. Hence, as the poet Wordsworth so beautifully puts it, Mary is “our tainted nature's solitary boast”….
Blessed Sacrament And Healing Experience
» By Rev. Fr. Thomas Anavhe
The Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC I33O) simply defines the Blessed Sacrament as the Eucharistic Species reserved in the tabernacle. While the simple catechism defines this Eucharistic Species as the true body and blood of Jesus Christ, together with his soul and divinity under the appearances of the Bread and Wine. These physical elements (Bread and Wine) changes completely to the body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ and without affecting the substance of the physical elements of the bread and wine. This transformation process, the Holy Mother Church calls transubstantiation and it takes place after the pronunciation of the words of consecration by an ordained Catholic priest. So, the Holy Eucharist is the real body and blood of Christ Jesus not a mere symbol. For Christ is fully present in the Holy Eucharist.
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Relationship with Christ Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament is full of healing. Many who had this experience share their testimony with others. As such, Catholics, other Christian denominations and non Christians now pay visit to Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament as never before. We do not need to work in the peripheral in our search for God's healing. Jesus does not want us to labour day and night in our relationship with him, without experiencing his healing power. If you want to experience the healing power of God, you must necessarily learn how to stay with Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament.
Two of Jesus' followers were going to Ernrnanaus. As they were sharing the story of the resurrection of Jesus to each other, Jesus appeared among them but they could not recognize him even when He explained the scripture to them, how the Messiah must suffer and rise from the dead three days later. But when they stayed with him because the day was dark, and through the breaking of bread, their eyes were opened and they recognized Him (Luke 24:13-31). I do not know the situation that have tired you down and perhaps you do not see any meaning to spiritual activities any longer. Jesus wants you to come to him just as you are and spend some time with Him in the Blessed Sacrament. You will definitely receive God's healing in your life. “Come to me, all of you who are tired of carrying heavy loads and I will give you rest. Take my yoke and put it on you, and learn from me, because I am gentle and humble in spirit, and you will find rest. For the yoke I will give you is easy, and the load I will put on you is light (Mathew 11:28-30). To heal the wounds in our lives, let us develop Eucharistic spirituality especially creating a chance in meeting Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament. For Jesus wants us to come to Him and have a direct contact with Him in the Blessed Sacrarnent.
HAVE A DIRECT TOUCH WITH JESUS
The consecrated hosts are reserved in the tabernacle after the celebration of the Holy Mass that the people of God can always have a direct touch with Jesus at anytime by paying visit to the tabernacle where the Blessed Sacrament is reserved. The tabernacle where the Blessed Sacrament is reserved, is dedicated and consecrated to God as a sacred place. Hence, millions of angels are actually watching over the tabernacle and adoring Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament. The fullest of God's glory is revealed to those who reverence, adore and bring their petitions to God in the Blessed Sacrament. Christ faithful had found this devotion (spiritual exercise) to be very fulfilling in their lives. As such many Catholics, usually have quiet time with Jesus in the tabernacle immediately after mass before they go for their daily activities, some will drive into the church compound after their office hours to spend some quality time with Jesus before they retire home for the day, while some retired, old people and some other persons often come to adore and present their intentions to God in the Blessed sacrament during the day.
Friends in Christ, if we want to experience the fullest and the purest joy and glory of God in our lives, we must learn how to spend time with Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament. This is the easiest way to have a direct experience with God. St. Augustine of Hippo, had experienced this direct touch with Jesus, he said: “Our souls are restless until they rest in God”. 1 do not know where you need rest in your life and you have not experienced it. Is it your family, in the life of your husband, wife, children, job, ill-health and so on, come and have a feast of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament.
Pius Agyemang (2011) says “Jesus want us to take time out during the week to come and spend time in the Eucharistic presence”, for He says to us: “Where your treasure is, there is your heart” (Luke 12:34). “I myself, am the living Bread that come down from Heaven” (John 6:51) “Could you not watch one hour with me? “ (Markl4:37). So, let noting prevent you from having a direct contact with Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament. Do not. deny yourself or allow something else to deny you the benefits of being with Jesus in the Eucharist. For St. Paul says, “who can separate us from the love of Christ? Can trouble do it, or hardship or persecution or hunger or poverty or danger or death? For nothing can separate us from his love: neither death nor life, neither angels nor the future, neither the world above nor the world- below, there is nothing in all creation that will ever be able to separate us from the love of God which is ours through Christ Jesus our Lord (cf. Romans 8:35,38-39).
We must continuously be grateful to the church for creating an opportunity or a room for God's people to have a direct relationship with Him in the Blessed Sacrament. This effort of ensuring that the Blessed Sacrament is exposed in most of our parishes every morning before the Eucharistic celebration, is to nourish us and this is the same with the Sunday mass and evening benediction. The healing we experience in having a dialogue with Jesus before the blessed Sacrament every morning actually prevent us from running into unnecessary errors that will bring us shame. In fact, it helps to put us into perspective in carrying out our plans by uniting our souls, spirit and body together through divine illumination that takes place in our fellowship with Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament.
In this process of illumination, the people of God necessarily share from the heavenly glory, joy, peace, health and a complete well being. And so, when we adore Jesus in the most Blessed Sacrament, our natural and spiritual challenges will give way, for they cannot withstand the spiritual energy that flow from the Blessed Sacrament to God's people. Adoring Jesus before the Blessed Sacrament has a great healing dimension. For Jesus pours his healing power upon those who adore him in the Eucharist. When we adore him in the Eucharist, He draws us to Himself. And this spiritual union between us and God contain healing powers that help to purge away all forms of ill-health within us. For Jesus has given us his body to feed on, and when we kneel before Jesus in the Eucharist, He heals us from all forms of infirmities and diseases.
In Jesus' earthly ministry, He healed all who came to Him for healing. For the scripture says: “After the sun had set and evening had come, people brought to Jesus all the sick and those who have demons. All the people gathered in front of the house. Jesus healed many who were sick with all kinds of diseases and drove out many demons. He would not let the demons say anything because they know who He was (Mark 1: 32-34). Jesus being a compassionate Saviour chooses to leave for us eternal memorial of the Holy Eucharist so that His house will always be an instrument of healing for the sick and the demon afflicted. If we can come to meet Jesus in the Tabernacle, wherever He is exposed for adoration or benediction, as well as Chapels Perpetual Adoration, your healing- experience will be sure.
For those who had direct contact with Jesus and asked for His healing during His earthly ministry, experienced the healing power of God. For large crowds came to him, bringing with them the lame, the blind, the crippled, the dumb and many other sick people whom they placed at Jesus' feet; and he healed them (Mathew 15:30). If we can come and touch Jesus in Blessed Sacrament, we will definitely experience the joy and the healing power of God through having a direct contact with Jesus in the Eucharist. Wherever the Blessed Sacrament is reserved, either in the tabernacle or exposed for God's people, the place becomes a channel for God's people to receive healing. So, those who come to this healing room can never go without experiencing God's healing which flows from the Eucharist.
However, we must not give room for any familiarity in our relationship with Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament. This may make us not to experience this healing that flows from being in touch with Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament. By kneeling down before Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament and allowing Him to touch our inner being, has an effect of healing in us. We therefore need the touch of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament in our lives co that, our broken lives will be renewed.
Jude O. Mbukannma (1992) says: of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament: “As I am exposed, I will pour the treasures of my infinite mercy into human souls. We must learn how to watch with Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament for it is Divine mercy and healing flows to all souls who make devotion to Him in the consecrated Host. Devotion to the Blessed Sacrament actually purges away all forms of ill-health within us. The light of salvation flow from the exposed consecrated Host to every afflicted souls that come to adore him. The more we visit Jesus in the exposed consecrated Host, the more this light of salvation that flows from Jesus in the consecrated Host takes full control of our being. This light of salvation we experience in our direct touch with Jesus in the Eucharist melt down completely all forms of pains, worries, anxiety and ill- health within us.
More so, we feel renewed and strengthened to carryout our daily activities. The most current experience after having prayed before the consecrated Host is that, there is a supernatural confidence, an inner energy that overwhelms us. Charles Dollen (1994). St. Francis Xavier, that seemingly indefatigable missionary said “that he refreshed himself and drew strength for his labours from his frequent visits to the Blessed Sacrament. He spent his toiling for souls and his nights efforts are in prayers”. Our efforts are meaningless if we do not have direct touch with Jesus. Being in touch with Jesus in the consecrated Host can help to brighten up every hidden potentials in us. For the time spent with Jesus in the healing room makes us the carrier of God's glory. You cannot be a carrier of God's glory and your situation still remains the same.
Beloved, to experience God's glory in the Blessed Sacrament is to step out of the life of meaninglessness to a life of success, fulfillment and complete healing of body and soul. For if the Lord does not build the house, in vain do the labourers labour. (Psalm 127:10).
THE ASSUMPTION: WHERE IS IT IN THE BIBLE THAT MARY WAS ASSUMED BODY AND SOUL INTO HEAVEN?
» By Rev. Fr. Stan-William Ede
Mary, the Mother of Jesus, who brought forth into the world the Life that renews all things, was enriched by God with gifts appropriate to such a role. It is no wonder then that the Virgin Mary is hailed by the heralding angel, by divine command, as “full of grace” (cf. Lk. 1:28), thus revealing further that, from the very first instant of conception, Mary was enriched with the splendour of an entirely unique holiness.
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Devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary has been a long-standing tradition in the Catholic Church, and it has rightly become more intense these times when Marian devotees are counting in millions around the world. At the same time, some people have continued to ask so many questions regarding the magnitude of honour Mary is accorded. It is pertinent to note from the onset that the honour we give unto Mary is a divine dictate made so by God, who Himself was the first to do so by putting her so uniquely in the plan of salvation. Likewise, God expects us to honour her.
God willed that all men may be saved and He sent His own Son into the world to reconcile all men to Himself. “…When the appointed time came, God sent His Son, born of a woman … to enable us to be adopted …” (Gal. 4: 4-5). The woman with the Saviour will crush the cobra's head (Gen. 3:15; cf. Col. 2:15; Rom. 16:20; Heb. 2:14; 1Jn. 3:8). Mary's acceptance and graceful participation in this Divine work of redemption is described by Pope John Paul II as “an exceptional pilgrimage of faith which should be a constant point of reference for the Church, for individuals and for communities” (Redemptoris Mater, 18).
Among the many questions that that have continued to pour in with regards to the veneration of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the question of the Assumption of Mary has been paramount, along with where and how this doctrine is reflected in the Bible. Indeed, we know that according to the faith and teaching of the Church, “Mary was taken up body and soul into heavenly glory … and exalted by the Lord as Queen over all” (Lumen Genium, 59), that she might be more fully conformed to her Son, the Lord of lords (cf. Rev. 19:16).
At this point it is fitting and proper that we read and interpret our major Bible point of reference to the Assumption Rev. 11:19; 12:1-6:“Then God's temple in heaven was opened, and the ark of his covenant was seen within his temple …. And a great portent appeared in heaven, a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head, a crown of twelve stars: she was with child and she cried out in her pangs of birth, in anguish for delivery…. She brought forth a male child, one who is to rule all the nations with a golden sceptre.” As we proceed now to expatiate on this text, we must not fail to note that apart from the message of this text, our faith depends on the Church, which the Holy Spirit leads into the entire truth (Jn. 16:13); and the Church has gradually penetrated more deeply into the mystery of Mary, the woman full of Grace, the all holy and worthy Mother of the Lord Jesus Christ, the King of Glory; by whose merits she is crowned Queen of heaven and earth.
Everyone who reads the Bible is aware that the Book of Revelations is a difficult book because it is full of mysteries. It is written for Christians who are very familiar with the texts of the Old Testament and with the teachings of the apostles, especially as recorded in the Gospel of St. John. It is only in the light of the Bible as a whole that we can see what the Book of Revelations is telling us about Mary.
It is of Mary's glory the Bible speaks when the Book of Revelation speaks to us of the “woman” who appeared as “a great portent (sign) in heaven”, a woman clothed in radiant glory, mistress and captor of the moon which is the symbol of the world's vicissitudes and constant changes, and with a victorious crown of twelve stars that already foretell, as it were, the glory of the Church. Is this not the woman who brought the messianic king into the world?
As far as allusions to the other parts of the Bible are concerned, we are drawn quite naturally to the 7th chapter of Isaiah where God speaks through the prophet to King Ahaz of Jerusalem that was under siege: “Ask a sign of the Lord your God; let it be as deep as Sheol or as high as heaven”. But Ahaz said, “I will not ask”. Isaiah said, “Hear then, O house of David!… The Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold a young woman shall conceive and bear a son … he shall rule over all the nations” (Is. 7:11-14). In allusion to the birth of the Messiah, the book of Revelations likewise gives us a sign in heaven, a pregnant woman who is going to bear a son that will rule over all the nations. Thus in heaven, the conception and birth of the Messiah is replicated as a sign to indicate the fullest presence, body and soul, of the Virgin Mary in the abode of her God and Son.
The woman is “clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet”. These expressions recall Chapter 60 of Isaiah, in which we read: “Arise and shine, for your light has come, the glory of the Lord has risen upon you (Is. 60:1). The woman also had on her head a crown of twelve stars (cf. Gen. 37:9). In Revelations, a “crown” is always a sign of victory. The “twelve stars” symbolize “the twelve tribes of the sons of Israel” (Rev. 21:12), that is, the entire people of God, which is also the Church “of the twelve apostles of the Lamb” (Rev. 21:14). The woman then is first of all an image of Sion, the Jerusalem of the prophets that has given birth to the new people of God which we are.
Worthy of note too is the fact that Rev. 12:1-6 bears a lot of relationship with Jn. 19:25-27 and this too, bears amplitude of significance for our Christian faith as the people of God whom Christ has sanctified.
In John 19:25-27, three traits characterized the Mother of Jesus: (i) The insistence with which the Mother of Jesus is called “woman”. The coincidence in this regard between the two scenes of Cana (Jn 2: 1-11) and of Calvary (Jn. 19:25-27), expresses an intention which is of great spiritual and doctrinal import. In particular, it is the fact that Mary is the “Woman” par excellence who is able to intercede on our behalf and succeed, that she is given as Mother to all Christians represented at the foot of the Cross by St. John; (ii) Thus, besides Jesus, Mary has all Christians, men and women as sons and daughters, for the Saviour himself gave his beloved Mother, a woman most blessed most blessed amongst women (cf. Lk. 1:42), to us as our Mother also; (iii) This universal and spiritual maternity is united to Golgotha in which Mary played a very noble role in the mystery of our salvation.
There are so many other biblical references regarding the exaltation of Mary by God which makes her most deserving of being with her Son, body and soul, in his kingdom, where she has to continue her intercession for the world and all human beings.
Mary's choice for this exalted role in the history of salvation was neither accidental nor coincidental. Selection by an infinitely wise God is not a haphazard proceeding. God greatly prepared her for this mission, making her to be conceived without sin, and bestowing holiness and fitness upon her above all others for the immense dignity.
Yes, Mary was conceived immaculately, i.e., without sin, a privilege that no other human person has had. In other words, even though Mary was a human being, she was not just an ordinary woman. Among human beings, there are degrees of dignity, and she occupied the highest degree. God made a woman who will separate Grace and sin, for He said there would be “great enmity” between the woman and the serpent (Gen. 3: 15). So from the first moment of her conception, the woman (conceived without sin) was preserved by the grace of God from falling into Satan's grasp.
At the incarnation, God Almighty took flesh in the womb of the Blessed Virgin Mary. God who is most holy could not have afforded to dwell in a sinful body for as long as nine months (period of conception). “It is fitting that we should have an ideal high priest; holy, innocent, uncontaminated, and separated from sinners” (Heb. 7:26), hence the woman Mary was preserved from sin. This is made evident at the annunciation where she was introduced into the mystery of Christ by the message of the angel Gabriel; “Hail, Most Highly Favoured One (Full of Grace), The Lord is with you” (Luke 1:28).
To be full of grace means to be spotless, and that explains why God is with her in fullness and majesty. In these few words, heaven itself announced how great the realm of grace was that came to Mary. She herself is “full of grace”. The kingdom of God came to Mary in the fullest possible means; hence, God is with her. He dwelt in her womb and thus made her the first tabernacle of God's presence here on earth, a living sanctuary of holiness and love. Because she had no sin, her body was not subjected to the corruptibility of our perishable bodies which is a result of our sins. God, who chose her for this special salvific mission, who dwells in her, and who raised Jesus Christ from the dead, gave life to Mary's body too (cf. Rom. 8:11) along with her soul, for which reason, she was assumed body and soul into heaven to be crowned Queen of heaven and earth.
Thus, on 1st November, 1950, the Church defined the Dogma of the Assumption. Pope Pius XII under the guidance and direction of the Holy Spirit, and with the authority bequeathed to him by Christ (cf. Matt. 16:18,19; 18:18; Jn 21:15-17), pronounced the definition, part of which we have: “Finally, at the end of her earthly life, the Immaculate Virgin preserved from all stain of original sin, was taken up body and soul into heavenly glory, and exalted by the Lord as Queen over all things, that she might be more fully conformed to her Son, the Lord of lords (cf. Rev. 19:16) and Conqueror of sin and death”.
We know that Christ is the King of kings, and Lord of Lords. We must then know also that his Mother is in Heaven, and that the mother of the king rejoices in Queenly Majesty. That is why Christ revealed it to his beloved disciple, John, from which background we have firmly espoused this truth: “A great sign appeared in the sky, a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars” (Rev. 12: 1).
Having known this, we should know also that the relationship between the believer and Mary is more than that of a pilgrim and a guide. The relationship is maternal. She is our Queen and our Mother, and, as it were, the locus, sign and “living icon” of the Holy Spirit. Since the Spirit is her life (cf. Lk.1:35; Gal. 5:25), she disposes us in a concrete way to live according to the Spirit of Jesus, the Spirit of the love between God the Father and God the Son, and at the same time, the Spirit causes Christ to be born and to grow in us. Taken up to Heaven, she did not lay aside this saving office but by her manifold intercession, continues to bring us the gifts of eternal salvation.
» By Rev. Fr. Leonard Anetekhai
The term Poverty is not a strange word in the dictionary and practical life of many Nigerians. According to records, at least 75% of Nigerians have this reality called poverty to battle with in different stages and shapes. For the so called rich people, the word 'poverty' is in the mind and not a concrete fact. This is because for them, they can afford the basic human needs of life, like eating good food and drinking clean water, wearing the best of clothes, having the best of medical care when and where ever they desire, some even fly in planes for daily business. But for those who struggle daily with lack of clean water, malnutrition, deficiency in health care, lack of clothing and shelter, poverty is like a surname.
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Past governments have occupied themselves in the past by glorifying poverty alleviation on the pages of newspapers and news conferences but have failed to deliver.The earliest poverty alleviation programme were the 1972 Gen. Yakubu Gowon's National Accelerated Food Production Programme and the Nigerian Agricultural and Co-operative Bank, entirely devoted to funding agriculture. The NAFPP turned out to be a colossal waste and nothing was achieved. Later came the much publicised Operation Feed the Nation in 1976 by the then military president, Gen. Olusegun Obasanjo, which expended much money and effort in getting ill-prepared university undergraduates to teach peasants farmers in rural areas on how to farm. A theoretical farming graduate teaching a farmer, who makes his/her living out of farming, how to farm. The scheme's only success was in creating awareness of food scarcity and the need to tackle the problem.
In 1979 Shehu Shagari came on board with Green Revolution Programme, which had the twin objectives of curtailing food importation while boosting crop and fibre production. The overall objective was big (mechanised) farming, but its aims were not achieved because of some greedy Nigerians, who were only interested in what they would get rather than in what will benefit the masses.
Buhari's government introduced the Go Back to Land programme. This failed as believed by many Nigerians because of the far - fetched objectives of making farmers out of all Nigerians, and that no country attains self - sufficiency in food by seeking to turn all its citizens in to farmers, and that farming should be left for those whose business it is to farm.
In 1986, Gen. Babangida established the Directorate of Food, Roads and Rural Infrastructure (DFRRI) for rural development. This was meant to make available feeder roads, electricity, and portable water and toilet facilities for the rural dwellers. The projects swallowed so much money without Nigerians benefiting from them. Thus, seeing the lucrative nature of the business, Maryam Babangida also went into it, in the guise of caring for the poor Nigerians. She set up Better Life Programme and ended up making millionaires out of the BLP officials and friends. The better life for rural women became the better life for rich women. The poor Nigerians whose hopes were raised by the attempt of Maradona's wife were left gapping and hungry as usual.
In 1993 Abacha and his wife found a gold - mine in the business of pretending to care for the poor. The Family Support Programme and the Family Economic Advancement Programme were set up. But as usual, they ended up like their fellow betrayals.
In 1999 came the all powerful initiative of president Obasanjo to improve the living standard of Nigerians. The so called 'penultimate' of these programmes is the National Poverty Eradication Programme that is geared towards wiping out poverty from Nigeria by the year 2010. 2010 has come and gone, and we are few years to 2020. What a shame. Before I forget, let us put our hands together for our leaders who have for the past years of administration allocated and injected poverty into the life of many Nigerians, all in the name of poverty alleviation. Every year, we hear of budget allocation to fight poverty in the country, but each year runs out with our tears multiplying amid plenty.
Despite these programmes by various governments, many Nigerians are still trapped in poverty; there has really been no improvement and concrete plan by the government in the fight against poverty. Take for instance the major aim of the National Poverty Eradication Programme (NAPEP), the restoration of hope in the mass of poor people in Nigeria; this involves providing basic necessities to hitherto neglected people particularly in the rural areas. For the past ten years, how many rural areas have seen the light of this hope? How many rural areas can boast of good health care facilities in Nigeria, where individual can be taken care of without any difficult, even if they are as we see in TV? How many Nigerians are professional health workers there? How many of our schools in the rural areas are equipped for basic primary and secondary education? It is sad to see that with the vast number of schools around, the level of illiteracy is still very high, and how you may ask? And I will tell you, if we are well educated and our schools are well funded, then our level of thinking and achievement of projects and programmes would be near perfection. But with the level of things, it only shows that our actions are the products of our thoughts, and except our thoughts are well schooled our actions definitely cannot change. How many poor people have good shelter to live in courtesy 'good governance' in Nigeria? All we see in some rural areas are estates built by the government that even middle class Nigerians afford with pains not to consider the poor ones.
If these are not meant, how can we restore our economy and improve on our wealth creation with the calibre of Big - Men who are a considerable distance from the ordinary people they represent. How can persons without accountability, transparency and responsibility care for the needs of humans? All we see them do is to conspire against one another and involve in corruption. In this type of persons there is little or no time for the governed. When the governed, the ordinary people, are eventually remembered, a not - well - thought of scheme is put in place to alleviate their sufferings. They do this as a mark to show their commitment towards providing a better life for the people. But it appears to me that many Nigerian leaders do not understand what it takes to alleviate the suffering of the poor masses of the country. Their programmes for poverty alleviation can hardly build people's lives and provide them with better living conditions. Little wonder despite government's poverty alleviation programmes across the country, we still struggle with hardship.
I believe it is time for our leaders to take a cue from the western world where they travel to all the time for leisure on measures to reduce the suffering of Nigerians. These countries have been able to achieve the desired results through the provision of sincere welfare programmes, provision of jobs for jobless citizens, affordable healthcare and counselling, investment in public schools and building affordable houses, where the poor can stay and have peace of mind. Nigerian government can only alleviate and not allocate poverty by adopting this approach to eradicate the poor conditions of many Nigerians. Any government that is sincere about alleviating the suffering of the people be it at the Federal, State or Local Government levels, should begin to work in line with these in order to achieve a fruitful and lasting results.
Dealing With Resentment In Relationship And Marriage
» By Rev. Fr. Francis Ikhianosime
“Resentment is like drinking poison and then hoping it will kill your enemies”
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The reality of vicissitudes is common to every sphere of life. Just the way we find good things, so too we find bad things. In relationship too, we find pleasant moments as well as displeasing moments. Nevertheless, there is one that kills relationship amidst these twists and turns, and that is resentment. Many relationships that are crumbling are products of pent anger and an unwillingness to forgive, which is called resentment. Resentment is not just a case of someone who has wronged us, it tells us more too about the person who finds it difficult to forgive; his weaknesses and hypocrisy.
Resentment is the mental process of repetitively replaying a feeling and the events leading up to it, which goad or anger us. Resentment is the conscious groaning or emotionally regurgitating hurtful feeling. It is often a very personal and private emotion which does not necessarily has a grip on the person it is directed towards. It is a feeling that is self-directed and does harm to the grudger. It is geared to cause only pain and the more the pain, the more there is a less likelihood to forgive and the hate is more fostered. There is a negative power in resentment, which eats up the complainant and only generates negative thoughts and feelings, except it is stopped. Resentment is an ever-growing anger that weakens our virtues. It helps to strengthen our fears and even in expressing ourselves. It ends to be a limiter; a self-imposed limiter. It would create a thought that is so fierce that you only groan over the hurt and negative experiences than on what is possible for a resolution. The danger of backward looking is one that overtime has been a root cause for inauthenticity and growth. One does not get to be an achiever if he is steeped and stuck in his past with regret and disappointment. In human emotions too, once one does not try to overcome a negative feeling in the past, it does not allow both for full actualization of oneself and even a realization that the other person can be helped.
In resentment, we place demands on one who has angered us and such expectations may sometimes be a product of what we expect as an obligation. Sometimes, we stretch the power of an individual beyond their capacities. People's actions are based on their background, circumstance and understanding. Once we make expectations on people without cognizance of their background, circumstance, peculiarity and understanding, we may just be making an uncharitable demand on them. Resentment simply places demand and so, we recall the fact that the person's consistent weakness is more disturbing and so have reached a point of unforgiveness. The hypocrisy in resentment is that, which we are unable to bear with the failing of another makes us much culpable as the one who is wronging us, for our inability to bear is exactly what we have condemned the supposed offender for. It is therefore a case of kettle calling pot black.
Complex or chronic resentment is a sign of a bloated ego. It shows a person who has a wrong impression of himself. The more fragile the ego is, the more resentment that is required for its defence. Steven Stonsy in an article titled: “Anger in the Age of Entitlement”, remarked thus, “For those most in need, ego-defence is more important than learning, truth, and reason. Hence, resentment greatly distorts thinking- through oversimplification, confirmation bias, inability to grasp other perspectives, and impaired reality testing. Over time, resentment becomes a world view or way of life. Because the resentful have to devalue others to protect their fragile egos, chronic resentment in intimate relationships inevitably leads to some form of verbal or emotional abuse and, eventually- to contempt and disgust”. Chronic resentment is often marked with high reactivity, power struggle- trying to win in what is seen as cold war between both parties, there is again an automatic defence system. More commonly too, there is criticism of all the other party does, stonewalling, contempt, acting on presumption, etc. Chronic resentment leads to depression, with little emotional experience in between.
Although, resentment may be provoked by a number of factors, but the inability to forgive constitute essential bedrock that foils reconciliation of an otherwise, a once beautiful relationship. Although resentment may be provoked by a recent conflict, it usually goes back to enmity of the past. The inability to forgive is not spontaneous but a reflection of the thought that, one has been hurt quite deeply and repeatedly. For instance, when a spouse flares up at the fact of forgetting to send pleasant wishes on a birthday and resentment sets in, it may be because, overtime, the erring partner may have shown a slapdash attitude to his/her welfare in a consistent past. Thus, it is a product of a long history of mean treatment. Again, common gripes for women's resentment is the show of lack of attention or insensitive to the woman's feelings, concerns or needs. Women are often too reluctant to tell their spouse what injustice or twinge they feel. They often expect their spouse to read into their situations and act accordingly. Their reluctance is borne sometimes by the fact that they should not been seen as over demanding or a nagging wife and this is the root of a simmering anger that would in time escalate to a rage or chronic resentment. Truly, women don't feel comfortable expressing anger but that often appears to be the negative way they find release from a pent-up emotion and stress. There is on the other hand a fatigue from physical labour and mental overload which can span to resentment. A woman or one's spouse can be overburdened by the repeated fact that he is not assisted in works; yet, there are higher pressures to get the task done. This can similarly be frustrating in a relationship, when a partner wants the other have a rota for all the appointments, all communications and even all the items in the house. And the more the frustration, the more it collapses to resentment.
The fallout of resentment is often a crackdown in the relationship. It can gradually lead to dislike, infidelity and even withdrawal. Resentment outburst could lead women to avoid sex with their husbands. Psychologists have asserted that women have little interest in sex with someone they don't feel emotionally connected to. A woman's anger can be very frightening to men. They may lose caution and take to an extreme, knowing that they may attract the sympathy of other people more. They can even divulge the great treasures or secrets of the relationship, all in a bid to pay back what they have conceived as a long history of injustice. Once, you are feeling unloved and you are beginning to conceive some harm to your partner, then, you may just be a product of resentment.
But resentment does nothing than harm a relationship and the one that harbours it. It only creates a monster out of an angel. It succeeds in changing a good person to a bad one. It end up limiting one's abilities and one thinks nothing more than revenge or hatred. Hatred, says, Maya Angelou, has caused a lot of problems in the world, but has not solved one yet. Hatred is a sign of weakness and fear and the opposite of love. Hatred is like the proverbial land that swallows its own inhabitants. Bernard Shaw says, “Hatred is the coward's revenge of being intimidated”. It does more harm than good to the one resentful partner. Thus, overcoming it is the best antidote of living a free and having a refreshing relationship.
There are a number of ways to approach resentment, knowing it is more a healing for the grudging one, than the one grudged. It would involve a number of positive resolutions that should be done. It is about the will to let go and have a happy relationship again. It is about the will to be well and the choice to be healed. Healing resentment must begin with the self. First, ask yourself what payoff you are getting being resentful. Resentment systemically fosters a wedge between two loving persons. If you drive around the house ranting and raving and afterwards, you are calm, the payoff may be the display of a monstrous self and the devaluation of your esteem. Rather, since the payoff is not on the credit but on the debit of one's esteem account or payroll, then, it may be needless to foster the rift.
Next however, resentment is a feeling that eats us off and certainly there is need for a release or a breath of fresh air for the resentful partner. The next important step would be trying renegotiating with your partner. You can choose to sit down and talking over the issues that have mounted up this resentment with your partner. It could even be the exchanging of roles or seeking the root cause of such consistent behaviour from your spouse or partner. There may just be something that is deeply rooted that has not been addressed which is the root cause of this problem. It may even be that your spouse needs more help than you imagine. Again, there is something that may be adopted not as a threat but as an opportunity therapy for complex resentful situations. Partners could practice withdrawal from each other temporarily and reuniting after the agreed period of tiem. This could be like giving each other a holiday. They could create an artificial distance for proper recollection. Distance sometimes, it is said, makes the heart fonder in a love relationship. This should however be done in a dialogue least it may lose its meaning. Both should therefore agree on a temporal retreat to allow a proper rethink of the situation of the relationship and advancing ways of improving it afterwards.
There is a way of saving the relationship after all. Decide to stay in the relationship or marriage no matter what. In this way, you look at every crisis situation as an opportunity to deepen your love for each other rather than another crack and bump in the relationship that further and faster draws the relationship to its knees. Quitting a relationship is not a cure to the problem, just as avoiding a pothole on the road does not cover up the hole. It only helps to reshuffle resentment in a different folder, namely; “For Future Reference” or “Keep in View”. In the future, you are sure to revisit your resentment in your new relationship, invoking that as the reason you quitted your first. You may just end up suffering, yet accepting more troubles in a new relationship, what you were not ready to endure in the previous. In any case, quitting a relationship wears a negative tag on you: “A Divorcee” or it leaves you with a trail of relationships you are unable to manage.
Resentment gives one an opportunity to express how forgiving one can be. Anger, resentment, rife and all in the neighbourhood are options one explores. In the opposite direction are the options of love, forgiveness, sympathy, understanding, tolerating, etc. The latter is more viable than the former if one wishes to save his/her relationship. Forgiveness is one's personal honour. It reveals the strength in a man and an expression of one's greatest gift one can give to oneself. Forgiveness sets one free, while resentment confines us; forgiveness beautifies us, while resentment defaces and deforms us. Letting go of resentment doesn't necessarily lead to forgiveness, but when you embrace forgiveness, resentment ceases to exist. When we are committed to forgiveness, we are more confident of ourselves. Also, we see too, ahead of us in the friendship and the great things there are to come.
We need to put some time in the relationship too. The more time we invest in our relationships, the more it is destined to survive. Giving time to a relationship means seeking to increase the opportunities of togetherness and giving a listening ear. There are many ways a person cries in a friendship of foul and giving attention gives the opportunity to discern those moments as well as attending to them more sensitively. Insensitivity is a common root for unbridled anger.
There is a side that cannot be overlooked in dealing with resentment as an emotion and that is prayer. St. Paul admonishes: “Do not let resentment lead you to sin; the sunset must not find you still angry. Do not give the Devil his opportunity” (Eph 4:26-28). The point here is, uncontrolled resentment is the vestibule of sin. Once a person cannot control his resentment, then, he would be sin-bound. This point here only calls for a duty for Christians- Prayer. Once one gets more resentful, it is a rare opportunity to pray about that weakness or better still, pray for the one you are resentful towards. The strong reason to pray for the one we hate is, the more we pray for the individual, the less likely we would fall into sin or do harm to him/her. This could give one an emotional self-mastery and being responsible. Being responsible means one can move to a new situation of peace and acceptance of your own actions that may have added to the blight of the situations. Choosing the way of peace and tolerance pays off at the long run and with the aforementioned are the sure leeway to end the circle of hate and resentment.
Federal Republic Of Opinion
» By Rev. Fr. Cornelius Omonokhua
In our primary school days, one of our teachers, Mr. Matthias Eboetse Elogie” was popularly called: “Opinion Varies” because he had the inscription written on his brand new “Suzuki bike”. Human beings naturally have varied opinions on certain issues but some people sometimes believe so much in their opinions to the extent of allowing anger to take over their minds if some other person contradicts their opinion with a superior argument. According to Pope Francis, we must protect ourselves against our own anger. We need a high level of maturity and the discipline of the mind, heart, intellect and will to accept or reject an opinion. We need not force an opinion on others if we are credible and competent. Today the print and electronic media have created a kind of academy for different views on various issues. Freedom of the press can be liken to a “federal republic of opinion” to report issues, events and various forms of opinions.
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There are statements that are official and accepted by a particular religion as official teaching (dogma). The Church for instance, gives room to personal opinion even in theological expositions. In expressing opinions, it is expected that issues and ideas should form a primary focus rather than the person. People who are intellectually poor leave the matters of debate to attacking the personality of a partner in the “republic of opinion”. If somebody expresses an opinion on national issues that may not be acceptable to some other person, maturity demands that with due respect, the person who has a superior argument may put his ideas and thoughts forward for further conversation.
This space that is provided by the media for public debates can be compared to “the republic” in the academy of Plato and Aristotle. I thank all the media houses that provide opinion columns, issues, sermon and opportunities for people to express their views! The reactions to various articles have convince me that many Nigerians read and participate in intellectual conversations. However, more maturity is still expected in this dialogue. The radio and television have gone extra mile to create space for discussions and expression of opinion even in pidgin and local languages. This indeed is one of the dividends of democracy. As early as about 424/423 BC-348/347 BC Plato founded an Academy in Athens where sages where trained to express their opinions through logical arguments and rational debates. Aristotle (384 BC-322 BC) studied in this academy for twenty five years (367 BC 347 BC) before founding his own academy called the Lyceum. In the platonic and Neo-Platonist era, the academy was treated as sacred because discussions about the transcendence were part of the subject of the sages. Plato started the academy at the age of thirty with his inherited wealth. This academy was free for those who were interested in learning the science of wisdom. This school did not discriminate between the rich, poor, men and women. Two women, Axiothea of Phlius and Lasthenia of Mantinea are remembered as scholars who graduated from this academy.
Opinion is an expression of a personal emotion. In the academy, this feeling is expressed in a logical argument. Sometimes an opinion may be logical yet not true while at other times the logic of the opinion may be a fallacy and illogical if put in a syllogism. Sometimes efficient lawyers convict innocent people for lack of logical reasoning and arguments. Some reporters in our media misrepresent, misinterpret and confuse issues with fantastic headlines without the laws of logic. The main concern is sometimes to sell their papers at the expense of the confusion and damage caused to the people they have reported wrongly. This is one of the ways the freedom of the press can be abused whereas truth and reason should take priority above any financial interest in the media that controls the heart beat of a nation.
Public opinion is subject to public debate and analysis given that a general opinion may not be correct at all times. There are some opinions that a group of people may hold as a dogma yet this view may not be substantiated. There are some opinions that can be compared to the belief of a monkey. Once upon a time, it was raining heavily and a monkey decided to take shelter in a forest. After the rain, the monkey did not know that the rain had stopped since the water from the leaves was still drizzling. After spending a long time in the forest, the monkey decided to go out only to discover that it was bright and dry outside. The monkey told the children that it is forbidden to go into the forest when it is raining. The children did not ask the mother why. All they did was to believe because in their tradition children do not question their parents. Till today, there are some groups that do not allow questions about their faith. Rational enquiry for some people is a sign that a person has lost faith and about to fall out of the group. Once the leader has spoken, or written, everybody must follow even though what is prescribed may be unreasonable. We cannot remain in the age of our ancestors without analyzing their laws and mode of operation in the present context except we want to begin to dress with leaves and animal skin like they did in their time. Moreover, we should have the courage to ride on camels and donkeys instead of cars and aircrafts if we must maintain the ancestral standards.
In Social sciences and Philosophy, there is an opinion that is normative. There is what ought to be and there is what is positive but only after a logical analysis and scientific observation. For an opinion to be popular and acceptable by everybody, it must be reasonable and empirically demonstrable. In some religions, the scriptures have been subjected to literal, historical and textual criticism. An upright person and a healthy society do not fear criticism given that a clear conscience fears no accusation. Plato's analogy of the divided line makes a distinction between knowledge and opinion. In this sense, opinion is qualified beyond dreams and visions. Another distinction is between knowledge and belief. According to Plato, “Opinions can be persuasive, but only the assertions they are based on can be said to be true or false”. Group opinion is the views of some decision making bodies like members of a jury, legislature, committee, or a religious body in the areas of social justice and political issues. What we sometimes witness is that instead of collectively addressing issues, groups have used these discussions and conversations on national issues to express inter-group conflicts. Instead of selling ideas on issues, preconceptions and prejudices take over the stage. In these conversations some groups have betrayed their level of awareness, maturity and intelligence. Let us be ready at any time to support our opinions with reason. Let us fight issues and not persons so that we can make our society healthy enough for human habitation instead of a brute jungle.
» By Pharm. Nnzewi
The prostate tests include,
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1. Inserting a lubricated glove finger into the anus by the medical doctor.
2. Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) detection: This employs blood analysis. The prostate produces a protein called Prostate Specific Antigen.
3. Prostate Ultrasound: An ultra sound device is used to make probe very close to the prostate. In this procedure, an insertion is made into the rectum and directed close to the prostate. This is medically called Transrectal Ultrasound.
4. Prostate Biopsy: In biopsy, a tissue is taken from the organ in question and subjected to appropriate tests. Here, a tissue is taken from the prostate and this is achieved by inserting a needle through the rectum to the prostate.
Ultrasound and Biopsy are used in questioning prostate cancer.
TREATMENT : The work of research is yielding a good result in the management of Prostate problems. The Prostate Ezee Flow Tea is such remedy that has benefited a lot of users. Let us have a look at the various ways this problem had been managed.
Use alpha-Blockers. They tend to relax the muscles around the Prostate urethra and thus allow free flow of urine.
Use of 5-alpha reductase Inhibitors: These medications allow low level of certain form of testosterone (DHT). The prostate shrinks when there is a low level of DHT. This thereby allows free flow of urine.
Use of Surgery: Some men with enlarged prostate require surgery to improve their health. However, it is on record, and reports continue to flow in from people who are on Prostate Ezeé Flow Tea.
PROSTATE CANCER TREATMENT
> PROSTATECTOMY: The cancerous prostate is removed by surgery, the aim of which is to get rid of the cancer when the attacked organ is completely removed.
> RADIATION THERAPY: Radiation aims at killing the cancer cells while causing little or no harm to the normal cells.
> CRYOTHERAPY: Here the cancer cells are frozen to kill them.
> HORMON THERAPY: Appropriate hormone is employed to retard and stop the growth of the prostate cancerous cells.
> CHEMOTHERAPY: It helps to reduce the spread (metastasis) of cancerous cells.
MANGEMENT: Management of prostate cancer is guided by the severity of the disease. If the cancer present is a low risk cancer, monitoring procedure is necessary and backed up by active surveillance. Prostate cancer grows slowly. Thus radical measures such as radiation or surgery are often reasonably postponed alongside careful monitoring.
Diet and supplements offer good results in the management of the disease. Consumption of fresh vegetables, juice, raw foods and multivitamin supplement give good result. The genistein and isoflavinoids found in soyabean fight cancer cells.
Prostate Care: There are known measures that militate against prostate cancer. These include adequate nutrition that strengthens the body's immune system. There are good and effective immune boosters as natural products. Vitamin C and Zinc are known to offer very good prostate health.
Researches have it that, Prostrate Cancer is more imminent in men who daily eat red meat than those that eat red meat once a week. The usefulness of fresh vegetable in the establishment of healthy prostate and good health generally cannot be over emphasized. Consumption of a lot of fresh tomatoes rich in lycopene is known to hinder the risk of developing prostate cancer.
It is possible to live a healthy long life by being more careful with what you eat. Zinc offers good improvement in prostate cancer and it is good for the prostate. A natural source of Zinc is the seed of pumpkin. Studies have shown that 50 to 100mg daily for two to four weeks showed prompt marked improvement.
Unholy Behaviours During Holy Mass
» By Rev. Fr. Ferdinard Okafor
It is not uncommon these days to notice so many aberrations and abuses in the celebration of the Holy Mass. There are various reasons why people do what they do. Some people act or choose to behave the
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way they do as a result of ignorance, while for some it has become a habit they cannot overcome. Some people go to Church or attend Mass in order to fulfill all righteousness, not because they are convinced that it is a wholesome duty to go to Mass. Many are ample in folly and lacking in understanding. They see the Mass as a social celebration; hence during the celebration of Holy Mass they display unholy behaviors such as noise making, stealing, immodest dressing, malice, random movement, making of phone calls, sending messages, browsing and many more.
Many do not participate at Mass, they do not sing, they rather remain as spectators and accuser of the brethren, judging every action of others. During liturgical celebration, everyone is expected to sing when it is time to sing and in this way we join our voices with the Choirs of Heaven. It is our duty to praise and adore God. Singing at Mass is mostly left for the Choir who is often regarded by many as orchestra whose duty is to entertain the congregation. The role of the Choir is to lead songs during liturgical celebration. In the liturgy God speaks to his people, and Christ is still proclaiming his Gospel; and the people reply to God both by song and prayer (Sacrosanctum Concilium n. 33).
Another unholy behavior at Mass is incessant movement. This is one of the strategies of the devil. Altar servers and Church Wardens are often seen moving even during homily. This often becomes a source of distraction to the congregation during Mass. Anyone who has a liturgical function to perform needs to prepare adequately and should discharge such function with sincere piety and decorum. Such a person must be imbued with the spirit of the Liturgy and perform or discharge his duty in a correct and orderly manner (Sacrosanctum Concilium n.29). No one should be a source of distraction during Mass or liturgical celebration. Irreverent behaviours seriously offend God. If Jesus vented anger at those who traded in the temple, he will most certainly not be happy at the manner people abuse the Church and the display of irreverence in Liturgical celebrations today (Mk 11:15-17; Mt 21:12-13; Lk 19:45-47).
There are liturgical postures and decorum. Many people no longer observe liturgical decorum and postures. During the reception of Holy Communion the hands should be folded. It is sad to note that this posture is no longer maintained by many. It is a sign that the faith is seriously deteriorating. Many come with their problems and go home with greater problems; they come to the Mass and go away worse than they came because of unholy behaviours. The devil is deeply seated in the hearts of so many people. Many are agents of the devil; their intention is to distract God's children from participating actively and deprive them of the graces God offers through the Sacrifice of the Mass. The Mass has no transforming effect on some people because they are stubborn at heart and are not opened to the transforming power of the sacrifice of the Holy Mass. What a pity!
The nonchalant and irreverent attitude people display at Mass these days are mostly as a result of ignorance of what the Mass is. According to the Penny Catechism, The Holy Mass is the sacrifice of the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ, really present on the altar under the appearances of bread and wine, and offered to God for the living and the dead.
The Mass is a re-enactment of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. When we participate well at the Mass we are also participating in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. It is a moment of grace that entails dying and rising. Unless we die to ourselves we cannot experience the life of God. Unless a grain of wheat dies, it will not yield (Jn 12:24). If we at the Mass close our eyes and concentrate on that mystery, we are in effect with Mary, and Magdalene, and John at the foot of the cross.
It requires Sacrifice, Commitment and Discipline for one to get something out of the Mass. Many people do not get anything out of the Mass because they do not bring anything into it. Your input determines your output. Bring Sacrifice, Commitment and Discipline into the Mass. When you give up some of your time, some of your drink and calls, you will be able to bring something tangible, that is, your entire self (heart, soul, mind and body) to offer to God. According to Fulton J. Sheen, Begin to bring your Self. Many come to the Mass without intention; they are there just to fulfill all righteousness. Many people have their petitions unanswered because of their attitude at Mass and other liturgical celebrations. This people draws near with words only and honours me with lip service alone, but their hearts are far from me. Therefore, I will deal with this people in surprising and wondrous fashion (Isa 29:13-14; Mt 15:8-9).
We need to prepare for the Holy Mass first and foremost through our internal preparation. We can begin by praying the prayer before Mass: “I have come today Lord to celebrate the mystery of our salvation. Help me to realize more fully the importance of the Holy Mass in my life. I have so often fallen away from your love that I am not worthy to take part in this holy celebration. In your mercy then, help me to be better prepared, for I trust entirely in your love. I offer this Mass for (mention your special intention) and for the grace to live a life of deeper faith, hope and charity. Amen”.
We need an act of reparation to appease God's anger. Let us stop offending God so as to avoid incurring his wrath.
Faith Does Not Separate Us From Reality Says Pope
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The Holy Father Pope Francis has reiterated that the incarnation of Jesus ensures that faith does not separate faithful from reality, but rather, helps all to grasp its deepest meaning, as it helps man save himself, when he opens himself to a love that precedes and transforms him from within.This was contained in the first Encyclical released by the Holy See titled “Lumen Fidei” (The light of faith).
The Holy Father who referred to the document as the work of four hands, noted that the Encyclical represents the work of both himself and his predecessor, adding that the encyclical on faith was begun by Pope Benedict XVI before his resignation and completed by himself.
Continuing, the Bishop of Rome hinted that the “Lumen Fidei” is able to illuminate all man's existence to assist him in distinguishing good from evil especially in this modern age in which faith is regarded as an “illusion, a leap into the void that impedes man's freedom”. He also noted that faith is not a condition to be taken for granted, but rather a gift from God
Further, the Bishop of Rome pointed out that “faith is trust in God's merciful love, which always welcomes and forgives and which strengthens the crooked lines of our history…,” asserting that “in contemplating Jesus' death, faith grows stronger, as in this He reveals unshakable love for mankind”. The Pope further described Christ's resurrection as “trustworthy witness deserving of faith, through whom God works truly throughout history determining its final destiny” and added that “faith is not a private matter, a completely individualistic notion or a personal opinion, but rather, it comes from hearing and is meant to find expression in words and to be proclaimed.”
On the close link between faith and truth, the pontiff explained that “faith without truth does not save….faith is linked to truth and love, then love and truth are inseparable because only true love withstands the test of time and becomes the source of knowledge. Since the knowledge of faith is born of God's faithful love, truth and fidelity go together”, pointing out that “the truth that discloses faith is a truth centered on the encounter with Christ' incarnate, who, coming among us, has touched us and granted us his grace, transforming our hearts.”
Reflecting on the dialogue between faith and reason, the Holy Father pointed out that “the truth in today's world is often reduced to a subjective authenticity, as common truth inspires fear and is often identified with the intransigent demands of totalitarianism”. He asserted that “if the truth is that of God's love, then it is not imposed violently and does not crush the individual, therefore, faith is not intransigent and the believer is not arrogant, but rather, faith renders the believer humble and leads to coexistence with respect for others, from this, it follows that faith leads to dialogue in all fields: in that of science, as it awakens the critical sense and broadens the horizon of reason, inviting us to behold creation with wonder…”
On the baptism of children and adults, the Shepherd of souls pointed out that “since the baptized child cannot confess the faith himself but must instead be supported by parents and god parents, the cooperation between Church and family is important” and referred to the “Eucharist as a precious nourishment for faith, an act of remembrance, a making present of the mystery, which leads from the visible world to the invisible, teaching us to experience the depth of reality.”
Affirming that there is one faith alone, the Pope pointed out that “oneness of the God who is known and confessed, is directed towards the one Lord who is shared by the whole Church, which is one body and one spirit,” noting that “given that there is one faith alone, it follows that it must be confessed in all its purity and integrity: the unity of faith is the unity of the Church, to subtract something from faith is to subtract something from the reality of the church,” and stressed that “since the unity of the faith is that of a living organism, it is able to assimilate all its encounters, demonstrating itself to be universal Catholic, illuminating and able to lead all the cosmos and all history to its finest expression. This unity is guaranteed by the apostolic succession”.
Emphasizing between faith and common good, the Holy Father averred that “faith grasps the deepest foundation of human relationships, their definitive destiny in God, and places them at the service of common good,” reiterating that “faith is for all, it is a common good, its purpose is not merely to be built hereafter, but to help in edifying our societies in order that they may proceed together towards a future of hope.”
Highlighting the areas illuminated by faith, the Bishop of Rome reiterated that the family and youth, social life are essential, as faith can also illuminate life both in suffering and death, while inviting all to look to Mary the perfect Icon of faith who, as the Mother of Jesus, conceived faith and Joy.
Bishop Dunia Ordains Nine Deacons in Auchi
The Catholic Bishop of Auchi Diocese, Most Rev. (Dr.) Gabriel Ghieakhomo Dunia, has recently ordained nine Deacons at Immaculate Conception Cathedral, Auchi. They were Amune Jude, Egwakhide Christian, Ekweli Philip, Bashir Emmanuel, Etsenamhe Timothy, Ezebele Anthony, Ogbonaya Henry, Okpara Peter and Ugo Gerald.
Delivering the homily at the Mass with the theme “the authentic servant of the ministry of word and sacrament”, the Chief Shepherd of the Diocese, Most Rev. (Dr.) Gabriel G. Dunia who noted that a Priest is selected from among the lay faithful to preach the authentic word and administer sacrament to all creation of God, affirmed that the Priestly vocation is not for the proud but for the humble who are commissioned to emulate Christ as commended to the apostles.
Continuing, the Shepherd of Souls hinted that attaining the grace to be ordained as deacon is an act of God's goodness and affirmed that a Priest is expected to acquire knowledge, study the scriptures and serve as a wise man to enable him impact on the faithful the authentic Gospel of Christ. He stressed that Deaconate ordination is to enable them officially administer Sacraments of the Church to the faithful which includes, to baptize and administer Holy Communion, added that the clerical stage in the Church begins with Deaconate Ordination, Priestly Ordination, and the Episcopal Ordination.
The Prelate who noted that no one can take such honour unto himself, affirmed that the Catholic Church is committed towards impacting on the people the authentic good news of Christ as handed down by the apostles, pointing out that a Priest is ordained not because of his social status, rascality or pride, but is selected among men for the authentic interpretation of the word of God.
Further, Bishop Dunia averred that the Churches law cannot be interpreted without the Spirit of God and stressed that the Spirit of God is what is needed by a Priest to interpret the law of the Church for the Salvation of Souls, as the word of God cannot be interpreted on the surface. He urged them to always remain focus and listen to the Church who the Holy Spirit has given the authority to carefully select from among men to teach the people and serve in His vineyard.
The Chief Shepherd of the Diocese who enjoined all present not to look down on the newly ordained Deacons as their action may not be perfect because they are humans, urged all faithful to continue to support them in prayers to enable them discharge their duties effectively in God's vineyards. While pointing out that it was not all who enrolled as seminarians that will attain the order of Priesthood. Bishop Dunia charged all present to always give such person the needed respect, should not be termed as counterfeit or failure and enjoined them to always give their best to the service of the Lord even as lay faithful, adding that God does not place priority on any man, but on all men who serve God in truth and Spirit.
In addition, the homilist tasked all present to always endeavour to contribute to the training of a Priest, pointing out that a Priest is ordained to deliver the good news to the people. While urging the Deacons not to use the word of God to enrich themselves by supporting it with fallacious quotations from the bible he prayed God to give them the grace to attain their goals in His vineyard.
Giving the vote of thanks, the assistant Cathedral administrator, Rev. Fr. Romanus Akpejioi, appreciated the Bishop for ordaining the Deacons and commended the family of the Deacons for giving their children to serve in the vineyard of God, while also appreciating the Priests, Religious, Choir, Dignitaries and all faithful present for attending the celebration.
The celebration also featured thanksgiving by the newly ordained Deacons accompanied by families, friends and well wishers, while the reception was later held at the Church premises.
Ikpeshi Host Diocesan Laity Council
The Catholic Community of Holy Name Mass Center Ikpseshi, has hosted the 106th edition of the Catholic Diocese of Auchi Laity Council meeting.
Delivering the homily at the Mass preceding the meeting, the Rector of the Mass Centre, Rev. Fr. Leonard Anetekhai who welcomed the Council members to the Mass Centre, noted that the theme of his homily was “Blessed are the peacemaker, for they shall never be unemployed”, stressed that anyone who makes peace would make the society a better place for all to live in.
Continuing, Fr. Anetekhai affirmed that Christ is the Prince of Peace, as such; all faithful should endeavour to preach the message of peace to those around them. He pointed out that anyone who is willing to bring peace to his neigbour will be blessed by God and assured that they shall never be left unemployed, as God will bless them with opportunities. He prayed God to continue to grant peace to all present and Nigeria in general.
Appreciating the Rector of the Mass Centre for hosting the Council, the Diocesan Laity Chairman Sir George Umoru who lauded the effort of the Priest in the developmental projects taking place in the Mass Centre, also commended the Parishioners for their contributions towards the growth and development of the Mass Centre.
Welcoming Council members to the Mass Centre shortly after, the Chairman, Mr. M. O. Aliu, noted that the Mass Centre was created in 2010 by the Bishop of the Diocese, Most Rev. (Dr.) Gabriel G. Dunia and highlighted some of the achievements recorded in the Church to include fencing of the Church premises, reconstruction and renovation of old Priest house, beautification of the Church building among others.
Mr. Aliu commended the effort of the Rector of the mass Centre for his physical and spiritual growth and prayed God to continue to bless him.
Addressing members of the Council, the Chaplain Diocesan Laity Council, Very Rev. Fr. Mark Akhibi who thanked Ikpeshi for hosing the Council, urged the Council members to continue to remain dedicated to the growth of the Council and enjoined them to continue to spread the message of peace in their society and Nigeria in general.
Some of the issues deliberated on were deanery elections, the 2013 Laity week, book launch, Sobe Parish election, National Father's day activities.
Highlight of the meeting was the presentation of gift items to the Council by the Mass Centre Catholic Women Organization (CWO), led by the President Mrs. Christiana Aliu among others.
Knights and Ladies of St. John Celebrates Feast at Uzairue
Members of the Knights and Ladies of St. John International, Edo North sub-council which consist of Owan, Akoko-Edo and Etsako, have recently marked the feast of their Patron Saint at Holy Rosary Catholic Church, Afashio/Afowa, Uzairue.
Giving the homily at the mass, the Parish administrator Rev. Fr. Mark Akhibi noted that being a Catholic Christian is a divine call to the service of God and mankind as every Christian is called to a special service in the body of Christ. He stressed that when God called Prophet Elisha, he abandoned all that he had and followed the part of God and enjoined all present to continue to follow the part of Salvation which he affirmed is the only way to success.
Continuing, Fr. Akhibi who pointed out that anyone who follows Jesus Christ in sincerity cannot be led astray, tasked all faithful to continue to defend their faith like John the Baptist who died for his faith and enjoined members of the Knighthood to always serve as soldiers of Christ who will give their best to His ministry.
The homilist tasked all present to seek first the kingdom of God and prayed God to give them His wisdom to enable them seek the right part that would lead them to God.
Speaking at the reception organized by the group at the Church premises, the Chief Warden Sir Bona Adogamhe, who on behalf of the members appreciated the Parish administrator for celebrating with them, praised his efforts in the developmental strides in the Parish and prayed God to bless his work.
Sir Adogamhe commended all present for attending the celebration, and enumerated the benefits of the Knighthood and appealed to interested qualified Parishioners to join the group of St. John International in their Parish. He also urged members to remain committed to their activities to enable them realize their goals.
Highpoint of the celebration was a thanksgiving procession by all members present, welcome dance by CWO members of Holy Rosary, Parish Afashio/Afowa among other activities.
Fr. Inobeme Thanks God at Iyora
One of the Priests recently ordained in the Catholic Archdiocese of Abuja, Rev. Fr. Eugene Inobeme, has marked his ordination thanksgiving at St. Paul Catholic Church, Iyora, an out Station of Holy Rosary Catholic Church, Afashio/ Afowa, Uzairue.
Delivering the homily at the Eucharistic Celebration, Rev. Fr.Innocent Elogie who spoke in Etsako, congratulated the Priest on his ordination ceremony, noting that Priest are chosen from lay faithful to serve in the vineyard of the Lord and pray for the faithful.
Continuing, Fr. Elogie who tasked the newly ordained Priest to remain steadfast and committed to the service of the Lord, hinted that although many trials may come his way, but he should be prayerful to enable him succeed. He further affirmed that holding on to God is a sure way to success.
Fr. Elogie urged all present to continue to pray for all Priests in their ministry, enjoined all faithful to always support their Priests, adding that Priest are to serve and bring faithful closer to God and prayed God to help and bless the newly ordained in his ministry.
The mass also featured thanksgiving procession by the newly ordained Priest accompanied by his family, friends and well wishers.
Speaking at the reception held in honour of the celebrant, the Chairman of the occasion, Chief Tom Uloko who appreciated all present for attending the ceremony, noted that the event was to enable them celebrate with the new Priest and prayed God to give the Priest the grace to succeed in His vineyard.
Highpoints of the celebration were cultural display, presentation of gift items to the newly ordained Priest among others.
Some of the Priest present were Very. Rev. Fr. Mark Akhibi and Polycarp Imoagene.
Saboggida-Ora CMO Elects Executive
Members of Catholic Men Organization (CMO), of St. Theresa Catholic Church, Saboggida-Ora, an Out Station of St. Joseph Parish, Eme-Ora has elected a new executive to manage their affairs for the next three years.
At the end of the election, the following members emerged successful; Sir C. O. Ekanu; Chairman, Chief A. I Erukpe; Vice Chairman, Mr. C. O. Akhigbe; General Secretary, Sir V. Evborokhai; Treasurer, and Mr. Tochukwu Nneji; Assistant Secretary. Others were Okharu Victor; Financial Secretary, Mr. Adolphus Unchendu; Assistant Financial Secretary, Sir Henry Imorgan; PRO and Sir Trafford Okugbe emerged as the Provost.
In his acceptance speech, the newly elected Chairman, Sir C. O. Ekanu who on behalf of other executive members appreciated all present for the opportunity given them to serve, expressed their determination in moving the Out Station forward.
Continuing, Sir. Ekunu solicited the co-operation of faithful of the station, noting that the co-operation and the support of all would enable them succeed, while praying God to give them the strength to enable them realize their set goals.
Congratulating the newly elected executive on the successful election, Rev. Fr. Isaac Agabi who enjoined members of the executive council to uphold the confidence repose on them by their members, tasked them to work co-operatively to enable them move the station forward.
While soliciting for the co-operation of all Parishioners to enable them work for the growth of the group and the station in general, the Priest urge them to remain dedicated to the assignment given them in the Out Station, which he noted includes to carry all men along in the part of Christ Jesus.
Brother Roman Catechetical Centre Commission Six Catechists
Six new Catechists have recently being commissioned at the Brother Roman Catechetical and renewal Centre Ekpoma. They were Moses M. Olorunda (Auchi Diocese), Emmanuel Orerhievwie (Warri Diocese), Esther Ashava (Auchi Diocese), Pauline Onojiasike (Uromi Diocese), Bartholomew Banya (Auchi Diocese) and Benedict U. O. Ighadalo (Uromi Diocese).
Giving the homily at the Eucharistic celebration, Rev. Fr. Christopher Ehidamhe who noted that the importance of Catechist in the Catholic Church cannot be overemphasized charged them to be good ambassadors of Christ and work co-operatively with the Priest and the lay faithful for the growth and development of the Church.
Fr. Ehidiamhe who tasked them to continue to teach the tradition of Catholic faith which they are expected to do, noted that they must be trusted and represent the Church at all time, noting that though the task may not be easy, but with Christ on their side, they would succeed.
Continuing, the homilist hinted that learning to act with passion, love and sense of balance judgment is vital in their duties, urged them to be a light to others by setting good examples for others to follow, while praying God to continue to bless them as they work in His vineyard.
Appreciating all present, the Director of the Brother Roman Catechetical and Renewal Centre, Ekpoma Sr. Marine O. Halloran, praised all Priests present for attending the event and urged the newly Commissioned Catechists to remain committed to the service of God.
St.Vincent Okpella Celebrates Fathers Day
…As Otuo celebrates Feast Day
The gift of fatherhood has been celebrated by the Catholic Men Organization (CMO), of St. Vincent Catholic Church, Okpella.
Giving the homily at the mass concelebrated with his assistant Rev. Fr. Patrick Anyawu (CSSP), the Parish administrator, Rev.Fr. Lawrence Nwaneri (CSSP) charged them to be good fathers in their homes and their society in general, enjoined them to remain committed to the work of God and be good to their neighbors to make the world a better place for all to live.
Continuing, Fr. Nwaneri who stressed on the importance of contentment, enjoined parents to be contended with what they have be it material or otherwise, while tasking them to refrain from injustice, covetousness and greed, as it would serve as a blockade for them to receive the abundant blessings of God.
Fr. Nwaneri who also advocated that fathers should continue to live up to their responsibilities both in the church and in their homes, prayed God to continue to bless all men present and congratulated them as they mark their day.
Highpoint of the celebration was a thanksgiving procession to the altar by all men present accompanied by their families, friends and well-wishers.
Earlier in a talk held during the week to mark the celebration titled “the role of fathers in the church, home and general society”, catechist Christopher Agbane noted that fathers are very essential in the development of society, hence they should set quality examples for others to follow, stressing that for the society to become a better place, fathers must continue to live up to their responsibilities.
More, catechist Agbane urged fathers to always take church activities seriously as their role in the church is vital and charged all mothers to continue to support their husbands in the development and growth of the parish.
The event also featured a novelty football match between the CMO of Okhanshie station and Okugbe station, among others.
In a similar vein, The Catholic faithful of St. Joseph Catholic church Otuo, has celebrated their patron saint feast day.
Delivering the homily at the thanksgiving mass, the Rector of the mass centre who admonished the parishioners to value and take the feast of patron saint seriously, thanked God for making the celebration a reality and commended the efforts of all present at the occasion to celebrate with them.
Continuing, Fr. Sylvester Gominah stressed that God reveals himself to those who diligently seek him with their whole heart, noting that God never forgets his children but blesses them. He further affirmed that St. Joseph was a man of dignity, honor, loving and a role model in his country and enjoined all present to emulate their patron saint who showed care to his country, home, and family.
Further, Fr. Gominah advised all present to always work hard in whatever they do as there is dignity in labour, and it is also an avenue to receive blessings from God, as he blesses the labour of the deligent. More, the Priest pointed out that God is a hardworking father who created the world in six days.
The week long event featured both physical and social activities, the administration of the sacrament of baptism, first Holy Communion, Agape love feast, and a novelty, football match between CMO and CWO of the parish.
Sobe Marks Patron Saint Feast Day
The Catholic Community of St. Thomas Moore Catholic Church, Sobe has recently marked their Patron Saint Feast Day with thanksgiving.
Delivering the homily at the Mass, the Parish administrator very Rev. Fr. Peter Ayala who gave a brief history of the Patron Saint, noted that the Saint was born in London, where he studied law and later became a member of the English parliament in 1478, stressing that St. Thomas Moore was a devoted Christian who gave up his life for Christianity.
Continuing, the homilist pointed that the Saint was a great scholar who wrote many books among them were “Utopia” which teaches on an ideal community living, the way of life of a good Christian.
He also hinted that the Saint was friendly with the Church and his community and urged all present to emulate his exemplary quality and eschew any act that would deprive them from doing the will of God.
Fr. Ayala who affirmed that the Saint was executed in defense of the Church, stressed he was a dedicated and committed faithful of God, urged faithful to always stand in defense of their Catholic faith. Further he added that as Christians, they should endeavour to serve God with all their heart, body and soul, while urging them to continue to stand firm even during their difficult moments.
Highpoints of the celebration was a drama presentation, cultural display, thanksgiving procession, among others.
Diocesan CYON Holds Workshop At Uzairue
As part of efforts to empower the youths to be self employed and enhance self sustenance, the Catholic Youth of Nigerian (CYON), Catholic Diocese of Auchi, has held a one day workshop on how to make bleach, disinfectant and liquid soap at Holy Rosary Catholic Church, Afashio|Afowa Uzaiure.
Welcoming participants to the workshop, the assistant Diocesan CYON Chaplain, Rev. Fr. Simon Osikwemhe who tasked the youths to take the training seriously, noted that it is to empower them and make them to be industrious in their daily living, adding that the programme was timely and important in the lives of the youths since white collar jobs are not readily available for graduates.
Fr. Osikwemhe who bemoaned the high level of unemployment in Nigeria, enjoined the youths to utilize the knowledge gained from the workshop to create jobs for themselves and prayed God to grant them the wisdom to enable them utilize the skills acquired judiciously.
Addressing all present, the programme facilitator Mrs. Linda Igbonazobi who harped on the need for the youths to always take skill acquisition seriously, affirmed that with little capital, they can become entrepreneurs and are able to become employers of labour.
Continuing, Mrs. Igbonozobi lamented the high level of unemployed youths in Nigeria and assured the youths present that the training was organized to educate them on better ways of creating jobs and make them become boss of their own, while tasking them to see the workshop as an opportunity for them to acquire knowledge that will change their situation for better.
Commending the organizers for the event at participant from Immaculate Conception Cathedral, Auchi, Cynthia Imoedemhe, noted that the training was a welcome development in the diocese and stressed that the lessons learnt from the workshop wound go a long way in enhancing her life. She urged other participants to utilize the knowledge gained effectively.
On her part, another participant from Christ the King parish, Fugar Faith Abu who described the programme as educative, urged the organizers to make such workshop a regular feature in the CYON calendar, as it will reduce the problem of unemployment among Nigerian youths.
Giving the vote of thanks, the Diocesan CYON president Mr. Monday Oikhena, commended the assistant chaplain Rev. Fr. Simon Osikwemhe for attending the programme, thanked the facilitator for the educative and thought provoking lectures given to them and praised the efforts of all the parishes and mass centres present.
More, Oikhena who described the turn out as encouraging, urged participants to endeavour to impart the knowledge on other members, adding that the workshop is to enable the youths to be self employed and appreciated all youths present for making the workshop possible.
Highpoint of the workshop was the distribution of the products produce during the workshop to all the parishes|Mass Centres present among others.
Deanery Four Elects Executive at Eme-Ora
...As Afuze Gets New Laity Executive
Following the creation of new Deaneries by the Catholic Bishop of Auchi Diocese, Most Rev. (Dr.) Gabriel G. Dunia earlier this year, the members of laity council Deanery four has elected an executive to run their affairs.
Addressing members of the council which consists of three Parishes and three Mass Centres; St. Joseph, Parish (Eme-Ora), St. Jude, Parish, (Afuze), St. Thomas Moore Parish, (Sobe), St. Lazerian Mass Centre (Ihievehe), St. Joseph Mass Centre, (Otuo) and St. Patrick Mass Centre (Ozalla), the Dean of the Deanery Very Rev. Fr. Peter Ayala who welcomed members to the meeting, enjoined them to elect an executive that will be able to transform the Deanery to make it the pride of the Diocese. He also urged members to always endeavour to hold their meetings regularly to enable them deliberate on some of the issues affecting the Deanery and also to suggest possible ways of moving the Deanery forward.
At the end of the election, the following members were elected; Mr. John Imohiosen, Chairman (Eme-Ora), Mr. A. O Irerua; Vice Chairman (Afuze), Mr. Robert Agbogun; Secretary (Ozalla), Mr. Okukuh Abel; Assistant Secretary (Sobe), Mrs. Egbe A. C; Treasurer (Ozalla), Mr. Fidelis Oikhere; Financial Secretary ( Ihievhe) and Mr. Casimi Ndukwu; PRO, (Otuo).
In a related development, the Parish laity council of St. Jude Afuze, has elected a new executive council to pilot their affairs for the next three years at St. John Catholic Church, Okpokhumi-Emai an Out Station of St. Jude Afuze.
The following emerged as members of the as new executive teams, Mr. Ambrose Ekperi; Chairman, Mr. Peter Aigbeivbole; Vice Chairman, Mr. James Mary Paul; Secretary and Miss Jessica; Assistant Secretary. Other were Mr. Samuel Ukhuede; Treasurer, Mr. Livinus Nwadinigwe; Financial Secretary and Mr. Odion Imonikhe; Provost.
St. Thomas Moore Society Marks Feast Day
The members of St. Thomas Moore Society have recently celebrated their patron feast day at Immaculate Conception Cathedral, Auchi.
Delivering a talk titled “the life and time of St. Thomas Moore”, the assistant Cathedral administrator Rev. Fr. Kingsley Okodugha who noted that St. Thomas Moore was not a Priest, but was a political officer holder, was incorruptible, honest and always committed to prayers. He stressed that the Patron Saint was a devoted Christian who worked so hard for his family and for the poor.
Continuing, Fr. Okodugha who charged all the members of the Society to remain committed to the service of humanity, pointed out that though the Patron Saint's father was a rich man in England it did does not affect him in working for the poor. The Priest also hinted that the Patron Saint was honest, peace full, a man of integrity and justice, adding that he gave himself to totally the service of humanity.
Fr. Okodugha enjoined all present not to be deterred by life's situation, noting that with humility and faith in God, they can overcome, stressing that as Catholics, they should continue to hold on to their faith as Saint Thomas was able to balance his social, political and spiritual life to the glory of God. More, he enjoined members to endeavour to read books on Saints in the Catholic Church to enable them know more about them, while urging them to endeavour to emulate the good virtues of their Patron Saint and remain committed to their Church activities.
Appreciating all present for attending the celebration, the Society Chairman Mr. G.C. Nwoko who thanked the Cathedral Administrator Fr. Valentine Anaweokhai for his wisdom for putting in place various societies in the Cathedral, noted that it will go a long way in strengthening the faith of Lay faithful and praised the resource person for his educative and inspiring talk despite the short notice given him.
More, Mr. Nwoko urged members to emulate the virtue of their patron saint and contribute to the development of the society to enable it succeed, while tasking members to always attend meeting and other activities regularly.
Ibillo Celebrates 10th Anniversary As Parish
… As Fourteen Couples Receive Sacrament Of Holy Matrimony
It was a beehive of activities at St. Peter Catholic Church, Ibillo, as they celebrated their 10th anniversary as a Parish.
In a homily delivered at the thanksgiving Mass concelebrated with the Parish administrator Rev. Fr. Godrick Shaba, the assistant administrator Rev. Fr. Sylvester Attashie who congratulated faithful on their anniversary, noted that freedom is important in the life of anyone, as it gives an opportunity to do things that are vital in life, stressing that making wrong use of freedom will amount to failure.
Continuing, Fr. Attashie noted that putting much interest in worldly materials on account of freedom is detrimental to one's life and tasked all present to emulate the exemplary qualities set before them by Jesus Christ, while charging them to eschew any act that will prevent them from attaining the kingdom of God where the seal of freedom abound.
Giving his remarks, the Parish administrator Rev. Fr. Godrick Shaba who appreciated God for keeping them together for a decade, commended all present for the growth and development in the Parish, while urging them to continue to remain united in Christ who is their Saviour.
In his vote of thanks, the Parish Laity Chairman, Mr. J. A Asemota, appreciated all faithful for attending the celebration, and praised the Parish administrator and his assistant for making the event possible.
The weeklong event also featured thanksgiving procession by all the Out Stations, cultural display, talk, drama presentation among other activities.
In another development, fourteen couples have received the Sacrament of Holy Matrimony at St. Thomas Catholic Church, Lampese, an Out Station of St. Peter Parish, Ibillo.
Giving the homily, Rev. Fr. Sylvester Attashie charged the couples to always resolve their matrimonial issues amicably pointing out that bearing the word of God in their hearts would make them a happy family, as no marriage can succeed without the intervention of God. He also urged them to always show love to one another.
Continuing, the homilist who stressed on the need for them to be contented with one another, noted that it is the rule of the Church that marriage should last and be worthy of emulation by young ones,, stressing that marriage is for good or bad, hence the couple should endure even in difficult and bitter times and prayed God to bless them.
Giving the vote of thanks on behalf of other couples, Mr. Thomas Ayeni commended the Parish administrator Rev. Fr. Godrick Shaba and his assistant Rev. Fr. Sylvester Attashie for making the marriage to hold and appreciated all present for attending the wedding ceremony.
Highpoint of the celebration was the exchange of marriage consent by the couples, thanksgiving procession by the newly wed couples accompanied to the altar by their sponsors, families, friends and well wishers.
PLETEFEGA Celebrates With the Aged At Uzaiure
In a bid to identify with the aged in Uzairue community, the Praying, Learning and Teaching Family of God Association, (PLETEFEGA), Catholic Diocese of Auchi, has celebrated with the aged in their community.
Delivering the homily at the mass, the parish Administrator, Holy Rosary Parish, Afashio/Afowa, Uzairue, Rev. Fr. Mark Akhibi, noted that old age is a blessing from God for those who live to witness it, stressing that those who are able to receive such gift should always thank God for the blessing bestowed on them.
Fr. Akhibi noted that the objective of the celebration was to identify with the old people in their community and appreciate their contribution towards the growth and development of Catholic Church in the community. He further assured them that the church has not forgotten them, adding that the poor and the elderly in the parish are important and commanded their faith in propagating the Catholic faith in their community and the diocese in general.
Continuing, Fr. Akhibi who pointed out that old age comes with its characteristics such as sickness, weakness of the body and more, urged them to always embrace Jesus Christ in their life no matter the situation they might find themselves and reiterated the need for them to always pray the Rosary whenever they are dejected and lonely, as it will serve as source of strength for them.
Appreciating all present, the coordinator of the group Mrs. Christiana Ikhalumhe, commended the parish Administrator for attending the celebration, praised the efforts of all present for coming to celebrate with the aged in the community.
More, Mrs. Ikhalumhe noted that the purpose of the event was to identify with the aged in Uzaiure community, unite them with Christ and strengthen their faith and prayed God to continue to protect them.
Speaking shortly at the reception at the CWO Hall of the parish, the chaplain of the society, Rev. Fr. Amos Paul, commended all present for attending the event and enjoined them to always endeavor to thank God for the blessing of age bestowed on them and urged them to always guide their utterances as it will go a long way in adding positive values to their lives.
Fr. Amos who tasked aged people to endeavor to bless those around them and their children like Isaac in the Bible who blessed his off springs rather than placing a curse on them, urged them to continue to live a life of prayer.
Highpoint of the celebration was the distribution of gift items to the aged and renditions of catholic songs in traditional language to entertain guests.
The event featured old people from Afashio, Afowa, Iyora, Ayaoghena, Ikabigbo, and Ayogwiri.
Diocesan Sacred Heart Of Jesus Mark Feast Day At Auchi
Members of the Association of Sacred Heart of Jesus and immaculate Heart of Mary have celebrated their 2013 sacred Heart feast day at the Immaculate Conception Cathedral, Auchi.
Delivering his homily at the Eucharist celebration, the assistant Cathedral Administrator Rev. Fr. Kingsley Okodugha, appreciated the presence of the members of the association who came from different parishes and mass centers to celebrate the feast.
Continuing, Fr. Okodugha who noted that Jesus interrupted a funeral procession when coming into the city to bring a young man back to life, stressed that the shows that God was with his people.
Further, Fr. Okodugha pointed out that God who cares for the widows and the orphans He can save all faithful in any difficult situation and advised them to always allow God to take care of situations which they cannot handle by themselves.
Speaking at the reception, the president of Auchi centre of Sacred Heart of Jesus and Immaculate Heart of Mary, Mr. S.E Aghughu who noted that the celebration of the feast day was a privilege for the new executive to meet with members of the group and thanked God for journey mercies granted to all the members.
In his welcome address, the Diocesan president of the association, Mr. Donatus Arewah urged members to be devoted to the Sacred Heart activities as it is directed to the Divine Heart, as an overflow to Jesus, noting that praying devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary is important as it is for all to love Jesus and God.
More, Mr. Arewah appealed to officers at all levels to endeavour to visit various Parishes/Mass Centres encourage recruitment of members, as it is the wish of the Diocesan council to hold solemn admission ceremony in the year 2014, pointing out that to be active at the Diocesan or provincial levels is not enough but to encourage their children to join the society and pray together always.
Highpoint of the celebration was thanksgiving procession during the mass, welcome songs and drama presentations.
Mother of Good Counsel Holds Graduation Ceremony
It was a convivial atmosphere for the management, staff and pupils of Mother of Good Counsel Nursery/Primary School Fugar, as they marked their 2013 graduation Ceremony.
Delivering the homily at the Mass preceding the Celebration, Rev. Fr. Simon Osikwemhe who congratulated the Management, Staff and Pupils of the school on the graduation ceremony and the successful conclusion of another academic session, urged the teachers to continue to impact on the children quality education to make them better citizens and good future leaders of the nation.
Continuing, Fr. Osikwemhe who noted that the teachers in the school are hardworking as proven by the pupils result and performance, urged parents to always co-operate with the management of the school to enable the school become the best in the State, while tasking the children to remain focus in their education and prayed God to bless them.
In her welcome address, the mistress of the school Rev. Sr. Gloria Amusi, appreciated all present for honouring their invitation, as it was for them to celebrate with the children who have successfully completed their primary and nursery education and solicited for the Co-operation of the Parents Teachers Association (PTA) of the school, Catholic faithful of the community and the entire Fugar community and beyond to enable the school succeed.
More, Sr. Amusi commended Rev. Fr. Richard Enegbuma, Rev. Fr. (Dr.) Gregory Ogbenika, Rev. Frs. Godstime Irabor and Simon Osikwemhe, the Board Chairman PTA, Staff and others for the support towards the growth and development of the school.
Giving the vote of thanks on behalf of the PTA of the school, Mr. Emmanuel Imoedemhe who commended all present for attending the celebration, and urged them to continue to support in the growth and development of the school.
Highpoints of the Celebration were match past, cultural display, presentation of certificate/prizes to deserving pupils. The best overall pupils were from primary three; Agbi Victor and Emokhor Jude (1st), Oboh Christabel (2nd),and Izuagbe Christabel (3rd).
Holy Rosary Mark Father's Day
The Catholic Men Organization (CMO), Holy Rosary Parish, Afashio/Afowa, Uzairue has marked their 2013 father's Day.
Delivering the homily at the Eucharistic Celebration, the assistant Parish administrator Rev. Fr. Charles Dania who congratulated all Men present on the occasion of their day, harped on the need for all men to take the celebration seriously, stressing that as the head of their families, they should set good examples for their children to follow.
Fr. Dania who charged Men to continue to live up to their responsibilities both in their families and in their Church, frowned at the attitude of some men who are not members of CMO and urged them to endeavour to join the group, while urging women to always give the necessary respect to their husbands to enable them remain united as the Holy family of Jesus, Joseph and Mary and prayed God to bless their daily endeavours.
Highlights of the celebration were thanksgiving procession by all men present accompanied with their families, friends and well wishers, a novelty football match between CMO and CWO among other.
Fr. Adomokhai Dedegu Thanks God At Fugar
The Catholic Community of St. Theresa's Catholic Church Fugar, recently gathered together to joyfully celebrate the first ordination thanksgiving mass of Rev. Fr. Ignatius Adomokhai Dedegu.
Delivering his homily, Fr. Gods time Irabor congratulated Fr. Dedegu, his Parents, the Parish administrator and the entire lay faithful of St. Theresa for the gift of the Priesthood.
Continuing, Fr. Irabor pointed to the day's Gospel of the goSod Samaritan which he titled the “inner-keeper,” stressing that the man who was attracted by robbers represents humanity. He also noted that everyone is on a pilgrimage on earth, that the armed robbers represent the troubles and things of the world that would want to drag Christians away from their faith, the Priest and Levite represents those who are waiting for Christians to fall so that they will laugh, while the good Samaritan represents the Priest who takes care of the flock entrusted to him by Jesus.
Further, Fr. Irabor advised the celebrant to be focused and passionate as he carries out his duties of perching God's word, should be sincere and honest, should not lack courage, but have a good listening ear and be a Good Samaritan and not go after material things and maintain the dignity of the Priesthood.
At the reception organized by the Parishioners of St. Theresa, the opening prayer was led by Fr. Simeon Osikwemhe.In his welcome address, the Chairman of the occasion, Mr. Anthony Ipigbhe, thanked God for the gift of Priesthood in the community and also wished the newly Ordained Priest a peaceful service in the Lord's Vineyard, while enjoining all to pray for him always.
The event also featured some dignitaries in attendance, the Eluemosi of Ughiogwa traditional dance, parish CWO Agbi and CYON dancers.
Highpoints of the mass were a joyful the thanksgiving by the priest, his parents, accompanied by all present, thereafter, the newly ordained prayed for the aged and gave them gifts of Rosary.