Ensuring A Better Church In 2014
Like a whirlwind, we are today standing on the threshold of year 2014, which some months ago seemed like it may never come. Therefore, in consonance with the season, in great joy and appreciation to God for His unending mercies and faithfulness, we welcome you all to the year of endless possibilities.
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At the beginning of every year, it is a tradition for people to make New Year's resolutions to become better persons in our jobs, marriages, live a holy life as well as make a long list of what we expect from God. Sadly, some of us fail to take a quiet moment and reflect on God's expectation's from us; how He wants us to pursue His beat for the church which is evangelization through actions and deeds, whose dividends are evident in growth and rapid development in the church.
We all have roles to play in ensuring that God's desire for the church does not go unfulfilled in our life time, and it can be fulfilled or the process ignited in 2014. The growth and development and outmost functioning of the church viz-viz functional lay apostolate groups should take priority in our list of resolutions this New Year.
As priests, there is the urgent need to help build up Faithfull's spiritually through exposure to doctrines of the doctrines of the faith which makes us unique. It is pertinent to note that special attention should be given to faithful welfare, which translate to creating a bond of unity between the laity and faithful, which is the needed oil for the wheels of spiritual and physical growth of the church.
For the faithful, it behooves on us to make more efforts in taking active parts in church activities, contribute generously to the various development projects taking place in the church as well as compliment priests effort of looking out for our fellow brothers, lending and helping hand to a brothers and sisters in need will be a right direction instead of seeing them as a burden. Also, our priests welfare should be taken seriously if the church must grow.
Again, we should endeavour to register in the various lay apostolate groups made available to us by the church to improve our spiritual well being and promote co-operation among faithful thereby, fostering love, unity and peace.
Explicitly, we implore all faithful to take church activities in 2014 seriously and step up our faith in Christ Jesus to enable us receive His abundant blessings.
As government officers and businessmen and women, we should equally endeavour to shun practices that will not speak well of our faith. Building up of our faith should be devoid of “cut corners” and “get rich quick syndrome” which is the order of the day of the ignorant. Our lives should shine the light of salvation for others to see just as the bible tells us that we are the salt and light of the earth.
In a nutshell, it is therefore expedient for us to shun sin, as it will pose as an obstacle to us in participating actively in the activity that will enhance the development of the church and hamper our blessing and expectations in this New Year.
Wishing you all a fruitful 2014.
Celebrating Faith In Jesus Christ
It is my honour charge to welcome and salute you on behalf of his Lordship, Most Rev. Gabriel G. Dunia, Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Auchi, Auchi, Edo State, on the occasion of the 2013 Christmas Festival of Lessons and Carols having as its theme: Celebrating Faith in Jesus
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Indeed, this is the season we celebrate our faith in the Son of God who took flesh and dwelt among us on Christmas day. His Annunciation (Birth of Christ) underlines clearly that Jesus is of divine human origin, thus fulfilling the ancient promises where the Messiah entered into our history, thanks to the total adhesion of Mary to God's plan.
In this season, we can only stop in joyful adoration at the threshold of this incomprehensible and ineffable mystery: God in His boundless mercy has called us to contemplate the glory of the only begotten son who is in the bosom of the Father. Coming to our midst, the son has revealed the God whom no one has ever seen, and fulfilled the desire, the hope, the expectation and the prayer of ages. The God of glory and holiness, who had revealed Himself partially to the holy persons of old, has now become one of us and come to live among us. The eternal Word through whom God created the world has come to be part of our history. This is the incredible paradox of the great and merciful God; this is the greatest gift of God: His only Son. To see him is to see the Father.
My brothers and sisters, the theme for this year's Festival of Lessons and Carols -admonishes us to celebrate our faith in Jesus Christ. A faith that entails not just content, but primarily the act of faith. This, Pope Benedict XVI (Emeritus Pope) in his Wednesday Audience, October 18, 2012 said:
Faith in the Lord is not something that affects only our minds, the realm of intellectual knowledge; rather, it is a change involving the whole of our existence: our feelings, heart, mind, will, body, emotions and human relationship. With faith, everything changes in us, and it reveals clearly our future destiny, the truth of our vocation in history, the meaning of lives, the joy of being pilgrims en route to our heavenly homeland.
Our faith in Jesus involves our whole being, our entire participation and commitment in affirming our belief in the son of God, who was born of the Virgin Mary, suffered and died for us in order for all of us to attain salvation.
Celebrating our faith in Jesus Christ
Faith as we know is a gift from God, a supernatural virtue infused by Him. This faith in Jesus Christ is not just a belief in abstract reality. It is a personal encounter with Jesus Christ, the encounter that makes us disciples of his. Pope Benedict CVI will teach us that “Faith does not just mean accepting a certain number of abstract truths about the mystery of God, of man and death, of future realities. Faith consists in an intimate relationship with Christ, a relationship based on love of him who loved us first” (cf. 1 John 4:11(. By this relationship with Jesus, we feel a refreshing joy of sharing our faith which is essence of this season of Christmas.
Benedict XVI reminds us that 'anyone who has come across something true, beautiful and good hastens to share it everywhere'. Our faith is indeed true, beautiful and good since it is rooted in Jesus Christ the Saviour of the world and we cannot but let the whole world know about it by our witnessing’.
My dear friends, our world today is plagued with a crisis of faith. A time of tremendous scientific advancement that has made us humans to adopt scientific solution to different obstacles that confront us rather than God. A time of great disregard of religious beliefs. Challenges of a culture of non-commitment, indifference and relativism, a growing scale of secularism, nihilism and religious fundamentalism, insincerity and exploitive manipulation of religion among believers. A time of religion exhibitionism masquerading as living faith. Even with the proliferation of Christian denominations, we are in the world where a thorough evangelization is being misconstrued and a dangerous ignorance of the knowledge of the faith is being paraded by quacks. Thus ignorance and lack of a fundamental understanding of the basis of the Christian faith is the cause of nomadic search for miracles, wealth and power as we see today.
In this season of Christmas, our faith in Jesus calls us to be His “witnesses”. When some Christians hear this word, they worry that they need exceptional skill or Charisma in order to share the good news with others. Yet, to witness is not merely to speak of the plan of salvation to someone. The word literally means to see, to hear, or know by personal presence and perception; to testify, bear witness to hence St. John said “I am full of joy because of the experience of knowing Jesus, and I want to invite you to share in the joy”
When we truly love Jesus, we are excited to share the joy of knowing Him. Witnessing will not be mere eloquence but sharing our faith with the poor, the rich, the rejected, the sick, the have-nots and all, so that they too can experience who Jesus is
IN DEFENCE OF TRUTH: RESPONSE TO PASTOR CHRIS OKOTIE
» By Fr. Ograh John
“After having repeatedly examined my conscience before God, I have come to the certainty that my Christianity must be separated from myths or sentiments.
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FROM WHERE I STAND,
I write to sincerely offer my candid opinion, standing on the Teaching of the Church and imbued with reasoned faith, as answer to the various questions that now occupy the minds of many- Catholics and Non-Catholics alike: Is not the Pope Christ's greatest rival? Why does the Catholic Church worship Mary? What a hell is the Eucharist? And as Michael Mphiri puts it: A Catholic? You must be crazy! While I would want to say that many are yet to come to terms with what the Catholic Church is and its place in authentic Christian life, the majority of anti-Catholic agitations border on the appropriateness of words used in describing religious sentiments whether in the form of belief, heaven, hell, worship or final destruction.
The Pastor of the Household of God Church, Chris Okotie purportedly standing on the Bible, released the bullet that is yet to penetrate the hearts of many specifically because, the human conscience seeks for rational ground before it can settle for mere unbelief. The Pastor said vehemently: “All Catholics in the world will go to Hell”. How true is this? Here lies my case against him, not so much on his personality but very much on his seemingly convinced religious claims which include:
1. All Catholic will go to hell because they worship Satan and are led by an Anti-Christ Pope
2. The Catholic Church is a counterfeit church set up by Satan
3. That Catholic bow to idols and crucify Jesus every Sunday when they eat bread claiming they eat Jesus' body
4. Catholics are not Christians and have never been after all they worship Mary
No doubt, for those who have always held their sledge hammer ever-ready to see the final end of the Catholic Church, this was great news. But interestingly enough, this supposed good news of the twice divorced Pastor has since aroused threatening, conscious and curious debate about faith in a world adorned by the ugly civilization of sentiments, idolatry of self and death of the culture of truth - the three dangers that continue to threaten the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ in whichever denomination you find yourself.
BUT WILL ALL CATHOLICS GO TO HELL?
What is Hell? And what are the criteria for going to hell? I think this claim of the Pastor begs itself! As we know and as purported in various Christian sects, Hell is a place of damnation; where sorrow abounds and a total negation of heaven- the place of total peace! If this definition of hell is accepted by all, then the Catholic Church is right anyway. We condemn sin and define Hell as the destiny of the unrepentant sinful! So how can the Catholic Church who teaches the same universal notion of hell and rightly accepted by all (of course including Pastor Chris and his followers) be living a lie and threading the part of hell? We must never forget that this argument rests strongly on the natural law principle where for example the law of karma is the gospel of nature, while the consequence of faulty conscience is the law of morality. I think, we are all in the same boat! Hell cannot be the destiny of Catholics - a truth made crystal clear based on reason and the law of faith.
BUT IS NOT THE POPE ANTI-CHRIST?
To be anti-Christ is to be against Christ in the totality of one's being whether in thought, purpose, aspirations and general outlook of life and the world. Interestingly, Pastor Chris Okotie based his argument on the fact that the Pope is led by Satan and for this reason he is against Christ! How is one led by Satan? Of course, when such person's entire outlook is in support of the law of Satan - Evil! But what evil has the Pope done? If the argument rests on his personality and sin is looked upon as sin, then all of us are anti-Christ including Pastor Chris Okotie for having entertained sin in our hearts. What does Jesus teach about divorce? (Mt. 19:2- 6) Oh what a play of God!
Again, the claim that the Pope is anti-Christ is unfounded! This is the analogy! To be anti-Christ is to be against Christ; to be against Christ is to be for the devil; to be for the devil is to be for evil; to be for evil is to be against good; and to be against good is to be against love and to be against love is to be for evil- for love is a total contradiction of the being of Satan but a clear affirmation of the Being of God (1Jn. 4:6) But wait a minute! How come the Pastor did not make reference to the many acts of love expressed by the Pope and- hailed by the world as a true expression of the sympathy of God? Or is it the case that to wash the feet of the imprisoned, to eat with the destitute, to fight for the oppressed, to heal wounds with smile, or to give warm embrace to those whose illness defies medicines and many more is to be antichrist? Are all these not practically demanded by the exercise of the gospel? Truly, acclaim such holy acts as antichrist is to be antichrist itself! And to ignore the kingdom ideal in such acts is also to be the anti-Christ? To prophesy political doom in the name of God that did not eventually happen and eventually portrayed God as a liar is also be the real authentic anti-Christ! Now who is the anti-Christ?
BUT IS THE CATHOLIC CHURCH SETS UP BY SATAN? ARE CATHOLICS CHRISTIANS?
How can Satan set up the Catholic Church and yet, still prefers to disguise himself as god? Will this not even be a contradiction to the nature of Satan who will openly declare himself as Satan in church religion as illuminati, church of Satan and mammon without any fear of being ridiculed? Or if it is the Catholic Church that is afraid to declare itself as satanic why would that same Satan Who will prefer to declare his kingdom against the Church not still come out and declare that forcefully that the Catholic Church belongs to him?
To all this, I will say, like other churches, the Catholic Church is a Church with the spark of the divine and therefore Christ founded it on Peter as the Rock! Any doubt to this by any Christian sect is the freedom to venture into the Scripture and see for themselves where their own history belongs! That the Catholic Church does not condemn against church or sect is proof enough of the presence of Christ in it that came to call all men to love (Jn l3:35). In this way, hatred and antagonism belongs to the spirit of Satan. Therefore, if there is any sect that prefers to be offensive and destructive, that sector church belongs to Satan and not the Catholic Church- the Church of love!
Of course, to the other part of the question, I say, Catholic are Christians in so far as they have within them the mind of Christ (Phil. 2:1-5). Interestingly, the mind of Christ is nothing other than the heart of love- for God so love the world (Jn.3:16). Therefore, any Christian sect with such outlook to one another is Christian. Of course, Pastor Chris must not forget the many acts of goodness that abound in other religions! Where will be their destiny? Are they not Christians in practice? And if yes, will heaven not be their goal? What then is the attitude and goal of a Christian if not all these?
Is Divorce Better Than A Bad Marriage? (Pt. 2)
» By Rev. Fr. Francis Ikhanosime
Divorce is most difficult for children, sometime they are the worst hit by the catastrophe. Instead of one home, they may be shunted back and forth or they may end up with limited contact with one of their parents. Even if divorcing parents put aside their negative feelings for the other partner for the sake of the children, the social effects for the children can be extremely distressing. They may feel unloved, isolated, and that they caused the break-up. Social activities that include both parents may make children not wish to participate, further isolating them at a time they most need their friends and social setting. Holidays, special events, even birthdays can become sources of contention, and scheduling nightmares, leaving children even further traumatized. Children of divorce may find it difficult to trust or form long-term, loving relationships.
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The circumstances that lead to the divorce also determine how this harrowing experience affects the children. Divorce could be hatched from a high-conflict marriage to a low-conflict marriage. In the former, there is yelling, screaming and throwing things; sometimes there is even violence and abuse. But in a low-conflict marriage in which one or both spouses are unhappy, the problems are usually not so public and noticeable; marital problems are more private and children are unlikely to know that anything is seriously wrong. In high-conflict marriages, researchers on marriages opine that children are better off when there is a divorce as it saves them the horror dramatized by their parents but they are not completely oblivious of the fights. They are often witnesses of a bad marriage and this experience would affect them not immediately but deeply in the future. Some children from high-conflict marriages grow to abuse their spouse when married- children learn by observation.
Children suffer psychological and emotional trauma not observing their parents together and this they often could not speak up. Emotionally, they could suffer loneliness. The child's emotional security becomes low. The child sometimes becomes fearful that soon both parents may soon desert him/her to move on with his/her life. This fear sometimes can grow to affect how the child approaches life. Children of divorced parents often give in to large amount of anger to others, frequent breaking of rules, sleeping problems, defying parents or teachers, frequent guilt, increased isolation or withdrawal from friends and family, drug and/or alcohol abuse, early sexual activity, thoughts of suicide or violence, etc. Once spouses embark on a divorce, there should be an emotional coaching for the children as they become very vulnerable to many behavioural problems.
That is not all; these children also tend to become more aggressive and even have poorer relationships. Divorce has too a way of cracking on the child's academic activities. They could become less attentive to curriculum activities and some do not just have goals for themselves because of the uncertainty of the future. The reverse may be the case for some children nonetheless. There is also the danger to health (prone to be sick) to children of divorce than children of intact family. Religiously and spiritually, children of divorce are less likely to think that they can arrive at truth with the aid of religion. They are more dependent on themselves, than God and even find it sometimes boring engaging in religious activities. Some of these effects differ according to individual child to the kind of emotional backup parents offer children after divorce. Most likely too, children raised from a single parent make premature transition into adulthood. They are often forced to embark in adult-practices early enough with all naivety that comes with a premature growth, they become prone to many mistakes which if not properly handled are irreversible.
Divorce seems to strip children of their innocence. Often, the parent raising the children in a divorce marriage, for fear of losing the attention of the children in the future, ram the children with many false ideas of the other partner that they gradually develop aversion for the other parent. But somehow, if they come to have a contrary view in the future, it even makes them abhor the parent who had raised them and this would be a telling experience for that parent.
The aftermath of divorce on the spouses, family members and children are manifold. The effects just keep rippling and often on the rise. Divorce seems just a bad bargain. The effect of aftereffect of divorce is so pervasively disastrous to body, mind and spirit that in an overwhelming number of cases, the “cure” that divorce intends to bring is surely worse than the marriage's “disease”. Very candidly of course, marriage situations and conflicts marred with physical and mental abuse and when emotional cruelty or neglect becomes intolerable, divorce may be thought to be considered, but, I think it is still not an option. When a relationship is so marred with this kind of unbearable tension, it only calls for a retreat, wherein the partners need some counselling and help from spiritual directors and psychologists. There could be a temporal break or a separation of bed temporarily if a marriage tribunal of competent jurisdiction so rule to allow some fresh air and to make alright those wrong things and give opportunity for help in that marriage. There is indeed a great wisdom in the lifelong commitment entered into in marriage with the traditional wedding vows that reads: “for better for worse; for richer, for poorer; in sickness and in health, till death do us part”. This vow has sadly being intoned differently, “through good times and bad…as long as our love shall last”. To enter marriage with this new structure of vow, gives a deep impression that there is a hidden intention of divorcing when things go rough.
I would end this paper by proffering some techniques that could be adopted to save a marriage on the brink of divorce, winning back your spouse and saving one from the life-time dose of pains that come with divorce. There are many things that snowball and could lead to divorce. These things usually start as something little, but once they are not properly handled on time, they grow and since man is a product of habit, they just continue. In every relationship, we must understand that our expectations and attitude change with time and we only need to adjust to such demands, not necessarily because the love has changed. First, spouses should learn to talk about many small issues together which have the potency of a snowballing effect to divorce.
Most couples don't even know what they are fighting about or whey they are angry in the first place. Over time, it just becomes a habit. But if couples wish to adopt a principle in marriage to avert divorce, they must learn to choose battles they enter into and the relevance of those battles for the long and short term. This is what is called the Relative Weight in Importance and Duration (RWID) technique according to Dr.Ellen Kreidman; a relationship expert. The goal is to look at every single argument you are having and think about whether the issue is worth getting into a big fight about or worth bringing up, over and over again. It may just make sense to walk away from it right now, because in the long run, it will have no significant impact. Couples may fight over many very frivolous matters. But the point is some of them could be avoided as they would have no significant impact on the marriage.
Couples must review their patience-meter and reaction- pattern from time to time and must just try to understand partner by the day. Trying to change a spouse may just be a bad venture to enter, but, understanding him would make some difference. It makes a wise decision for couples to engage in issues discursively rather than violently. Sometimes, we just need to stoop to conquer. We approve of some decisions, not just because we share in them but because they make the partner have a sense of belongingness. Such decisions could be adapted when the implications are not grave for the marriage. Couples who do not take time out in periodic counselling or retreat could fall into the risk of high-conflict in a marriage.
There is a lot of work to do to save a marriage and it should be the preoccupying thought in both partners rather than how to emphasize on very small shallow matters that could turn big snowballs and destroy your marriage. Both from experience and research, obviously, saving a marriage is a better deal and a lot more cheaply in price than divorce. Divorce is not a negotiable commodity in marriage.
The Renaissance We Need in Nigeria Today
» By Rev. Fr. Cornelius Omonokhua
Along the road in many places in Abuja and some cities in Nigeria, book-selling has become a lucrative business. Among the “catalogue” of books on the street, I bought a copy written by Lee Kuan Yew titled, “From third world to first world.” Reading this book. I think of a renaissance in Nigeria akin to Singapore, a third world country that has become a first world country today through the leadership of LEE KUAN YEW who was able to unite his intellectual and political vision to raise Singapore from grass to grace. Much of this was accomplished through a unique mix of economic freedom and social control. Lee encouraged entrepreneurship, but also cracked down on liberties that most people in the West take for granted”. According to Lee, “We would have been a grosser, ruder, c-ruder society had we not made these efforts to persuade people to change their ways”. Lee focussed more on material prosperity, anticommunism, and international politics. His vision of stewardship especially in a multiethnic society is a lesson to developing nations.
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Going through the second half of the book that explores Lee's personal courage in dealing with international leaders to situate Singapore in an independence context, I wondered if the railways, refineries, iron and steel industries in Nigeria could not have made Nigeria a first world (developed) country by now if the governments that put them in place had a better knowledge of international politics along with a proper method of monitoring and evaluation. Perhaps Nigeria did not have enough qualified engineers then hence the recourse to foreign technicians who perhaps turned the Nigerian engineers into glorified apprentice. I pray that the present leadership of Nigeria will be allowed to build on the efforts of our past leaders and heroes. We can if we are collectively determined since nothing is difficult for a willing heart.
To explore this determination, I think of a national Renaissance in Nigeria that must begin with a change of personal attitude. Perhaps we can study how it happened in Europe that has become a refuge to many today. The word “Renaissance” is derived from a French word “renaitre” meaning “rebirth” or “revive”. The word refers to the rebirth of learning in Europe from the 14th century to the 17th century. In many parts of Europe, the Renaissance was an age of new discoveries in arts and science. Renaissance thinkers identify with the present and see how to invent new ideas towards transformation. They thought of what they would be known for by inventing something positively new. They thought of how to transform even the “classical antiquity” that could bring about significant changes in politics given that the political class needs the intellectual class to design the vision of a nation. “Renaissance” is akin to a great mind that beams hope on the future from the ugly past.
The Renaissance was a cultural movement that encompassed innovative flowering of vernacular literatures, painting, and educational reform. In artistic development, the names Leonardo da Vinci and Michael Angelo are fondly remembered. The Renaissance started with the development of the vernacular literatures to express the new spirit. Today the European languages have become international. Many of us make strenuous efforts to speak English, Italian, French, German, Spanish, and Portuguese whereas some of us cannot s-peak any of the local languages in Nigeria. A lot can be achieved even in times of crisis and suffering. Dante was born at Florence in 1265. He was exiled by the Florentines in 1302. Before his death at Ravenna in 1321, his book,” the Divina Commedia, or the “Divine Comedy”, became the “Epic of Medievalism”. His theology became the theology of the Mediaeval Church; his philosophy that of the Schoolmen and his science was called the science of his time. His suffering made him a prophet of the new age and a forerunner of the Renaissance.
The Crusades was one of the factors of the Renaissance. Many nations of Western Europe discovered that the energy they were expending on killing human beings could be used to produce peace and a culture -of development that they could bequeath to the future generation. So many questions are brewing in my mind in the thoughts of the crusades. For instance, what can Nigeria gain from the multitude that keep dying in the various terrorists' attacks? Very often, the question still looms loud: “What has culture, ethnicity and religion contributed to world development?” If Nigerians are rated to be very religious, has our religious awareness and consciousness enabled us to shift attention from religious jingoism to dialogue of social engagement? Can't we channel our resources towards a sincere amalgamation of religious truth to promote human dignity and value? Can we not come together as a people of God to assist the political leadership attain a clearer vision of integral national development?
The leadership of Nigeria believes that the different religions in the country can contribute to the transformation agenda of the nation. This faith is confirmed in the existence of the “Nigeria Inter-religious Council (NIREC)” that is a symbol of religious coexistence. The council believes that there is no conflict between Christianity and Islam in Nigeria The council therefore needs the maximum support of the government and the cooperation of the delegates who represent both sides. I really wonder if another committee outside NIREC is necessary to “negotiate a price” with any group for peace and security in Nigeria. The blueprint and terms of reference of NIREC provide the space and capacity that can give Nigeria a national Renaissance and peaceful coexistence. May God guide the leaders of NIREC with a united mission and a sincerity of purpose to attain the vision and the objective of the Council! If the government has entrusted the deliverance of Nigeria into the hands of Christians and Muslims, then it has become imperative that failing to provide peace for the nation is akin to failing God! Our politicians are Christians, Muslims or Traditional worshippers. They are therefore included in this mission.
Consequently, everybody has a role in Nigeria Renaissance (transformation agenda). For instance, what can the intellectual class add to the Renaissance of Nigeria? What is happening to the research of-our graduates in the universities'? How will the findings in this research be executed if it is true that employment today in Nigeria is only reserved for those who can provide a written note from a person who has a political position? Has merit that is based on efficiency, excellence and aptitude gone on vacation? Can it be true that some-of-our graduates are not really employable? Then what happened to their years of training and formation in the Universities? Could this not mean that even the educational system needs a total Renaissance? Do we still think of professional pride and professional fulfillment in a situation where qualified graduates in arts and sciences are truck drivers and “gate men”? Who will provide a space and enabling environment for various talents in a country where even some medical experts have abandoned their practise for “political laboratories”? Maybe we can still use -our cultural values to evangelize the structural selfishness and greed that has retarded us for so long. May God send us his Spirit to renew the face of our country Nigeria!
» By Pharm. Nnzewi
Stress as related to health is a nervous outcome of too many activities physically and mentally. The condition is usually characterized by physical and mental overload of a person without accompanying adequate rest. The net effect of this is that there is challenge to health. Stress is inevitably part of life but must be parallel with rest. It can undermine our mental and physical health and cause personality changes. In the world today, many people live under much stress. It is also notable that people's reaction to stressful situations differs. By this we mean that that which is taken insignificant by one person may cause another person so much worry that can lead to insanity. I will here emphasize an important tonic to the distress of life which is the WORD OF GOD. Causes of stress are various and multifarious and their effect also vary from person to person. People who persistently have negative effects will on the long run have a negative effect on their health. Mad people, foolish and stupid people tend to be stress free. It follows that it will be wise to control our senses, thoughts and imaginations.
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STRESSORS: Stressors are those things that precipitate stress. Among stressors are, work force, noise, unfriendly people, uncertainties, threat, challenging situations, non, preparedness for an important event such as examination or wedding, debt, a speeding car, financial constraint, bereavement, loss of cherished job, divorce, conflicts at work, and difficult situations. I want to remark again that these things will have their tolls on us only if we refuse to heed that we should trust God and set our minds not on the things that are on earth but on the things that are in heaven. Stress could be self induced and environmentally induced.
EFFECTS; Stress can lead to the following influence such as affecting the way we think and feel, our behavior, and our health (Hypertension). Restlessness, anger, irritability, sadness, forgetfulness, sense of insecurity, fatigue, depression, anxiety, confusion, and the tendency to sweat can be found in a state of stress. Stress can also give rise to abuse of drugs, alcohol, and tobacco like cigarette. In other words, stress can lead an individual into addiction, eating too much or too little, loss of integrity, unnecessary high tempo when talking, or reacting to issues, and out bursts of anger. The worst effect of stress is on a person's health. It can cause increased heart rate, high blood pressure, poor memory, poor mental and physical health, loss of libido, lowered immunity, and subjection to infections, confusion, sleeplessness, rapid breathing, chest pain and others.
MANAGEMENT OF STRESS: Relaxation involvements such as amusement parks, riddles and jokes, holiday outside your usual environment etc can all burst stress. Note that resorting to alcohol is not a good approach to fighting stress because the one may be thrown into depression when the effect of alcohol wears out.
EXERCISE: Exercise is known to alleviate stress. It helps mentally and physically and therefore is a good stress buster. To avoid stress, learn to share work and don't feel that you alone can do all the work. Avoid uptake of too many commitments. Avoid alcohol and hard drugs like Indian hemp, cocaine and their like. Stop or cut down your intake of cigarette, kola nut, and coffee.
Take to a healthy and balanced diet and also avoid over feeding. Take a lot of fruits and vegetables.
Relaxation is important tonic to stress. It must not be all work, it is necessary to create intervals of rest. Avoid worrying too much over any situation beyond you. Learn to believe and trust God believing that He is always there for you. The God with whom all things are possible told us not to be afraid and also not to be anxious over ANYTHING. Learn how to Praise and Praise when the odds add up against you. I hereby assure you just as you already know that God is GOOD.
Thanks to research work and information technology. The drug is called 'Calming Chronic Stress Capsule'. Dr. C. Hammoud M. H. PhD recommends it for chronic stress, anxiety, depression, chronic fatigue, lack of motivation, inadequate feelings, seasonal affective disorders, compulsive disorders, eating disorders, restoration of adrenal balance, and mental well being. If you are trying to take anti depressants, try this natural health product first for its calming effect without side effects. Many people have confirmed the effectiveness of this NATURAL PRODUCT.
Sacramentals And Their Abuse
» By Rev. Fr. Ferdinand Okafor
Ignorance of what a things is and how it should be used can deny the user of the benefits inherent in it. It is not rare to notice some abuses on the proper use of Sacramentals. Some people regard them as charms that can protect them from afflictions or dangers. These days we see people with Rosary, Scapular and Medals dangling on their necks without a corresponding behavior or reverence which the sacred objects they wear demand. Some people fight or commit atrocities with these sacred articles or objects worn. Even today some Muslims and African traditional worshipers put on these sacred articles without knowing what they are used for. Some make the sign of the cross, drink holy water, receive ashes on Ash Wednesday without a corresponding faith and work that these Sacramentals invoke.
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Besides, some now fashion sacramentals of their own order than what the Church has approved. These include perfumes and oils like “back to sender,” handkerchief for successful wed luck etc. Nobody has the power to establish sacramentals. Only the Apostolic See can establish new sacramentals, or authentically interpret, suppress or change existing one (Can1167 § 1).
What are sacramentals?
Sacramentals are neither Sacraments nor are they charms and magic to protect us by being worn or performed. Rather, they are liturgical actions, prayers, sacred signs and objects introduced by the Church (Sacrosanctum Concilium, n. 60). They are instruments of God's grace, and they signify certain effects, especially spiritual ones; and these effects are achieved through the intercession of the Church (Canon 1166).
Technically, sacramentals are things or actions initiated by the Church as an extension of the Sacraments, to sanctify the various occasions of Christian life, stimulate faith and to dispose the faithful to regular and generous service of God, and to bring about spiritual effects upon the faithful. Any religious object or practice order than the Sacraments, which is meant to foster piety or grace, and whose efficacy depends on the disposition of the user and the Church's intercession, is a Sacramental. Examples are: the Rosary, scapular, medal, crucifix, candle, pictures of Jesus, the Blessed Virgin Mary and of the saints, liturgy of the hours, blessed ashes, holy water, chrism oils, the sign of the cross, the Church building etc.
The term “Sacramental” came into Catholic parlance in the early Middle Ages. It had its origin in Jewish culture. For instance, the Liturgy of the hours, which is a Sacramental to sanctify sacred times, has the Jewish fasting and abstinence as its foundation. Fast and abstinence was a serious practice in Judaism, and Jesus Christ himself practiced fasting and abstinence. He practiced the Sacramental act (washing of feet at the last supper).
Sacramentals form part of the sign language of the liturgy, and they extend the reality of the sacred into the various occasions of Christian life. This is why liturgical seasons, feasts, and fast also qualify as sacramentals to sanctify various times in Christian life. Liturgy entails the celebration of Sacraments, Sacrifice and Sacramentals. Sacramental principle is the reality of our relationship with God. Sacramentals are meaningful in relation to the divine. They are meant to increase the devotion and piety of the user or recipient by disposing him to the effects of the Sacraments.
Sacramentals resemble the sacraments, but they are not automatic in their effects. They require a willing effort and faith in God from the user or doer for its intended purpose to be achieved. Their effectiveness is also dependent on their proper usage and on the intercession of the Church (Ex operantis Ecclesiae). When approved sacramentals are blessed by the Church's minister and are properly used by the recipient, that is, with faith, and devotion, they produce sanctification through the merits of Christ's Passion, Death and Resurrection, bring about Actual graces, forgiveness of venial sins, remission of temporal punishment due to sin, protection from evil spirits, health of body and material blessing, and above all, the glory of God. The amount of grace or effect produced by sacramentals is dependent on the acts and disposition of the doer or recipient of the sacramental (Ex- Opere Operantis).
Sacramentals are not to be abused; they should be treated or handled with reverence. Sacred objects which are set aside for divine worship by dedication or blessing are to be treated with reverence. They are not to be used for secular or inappropriate use, even if they belong to private persons (Canon 1171). Private individuals can acquire sacred objects through prescription, but it is not permitted to employ them for profane uses unless they have lost their dedication or blessing (Canon 1269). When sacred objects or articles such as the rosary, scapular, crucifix, etc are no longer in use they are to be destroyed without profanation. Profanation of sacred articles is a sacrilege. One of the ways we display our reverence for God is by treating anything that pertains to him with profound reverence.
In conclusion, the abuses of sacramentals centre on their misuse. This can arise when one goes to the extremes. The first extreme is to regard sacramentals as charms such that one's mind does not transcend the sacred object or action performed to God who is the source of grace. In this case, the Church's aim for initiating the Sacramental is defeated. The second extreme is handling or performing the sacramental object or action in an irreverent manner, in which case one also display a disregard for God. Therefore, wearing the rosary without praying with it devoutly or wearing the scapular and medal without faith in God is useless; it will lead to no grace.
Mary And The Catholic Church (Pt. 2)
» By Rev. Fr. Mario Agbeifo
What Does The Bible Say About The Immaculate Conception Of Mary?
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…From the very beginning, and before time began, the eternal Father chose and prepared for his only-begotten Son a Mother in whom the Son of God would become incarnate and from whom, in the blessed fullness of time, he would be born into this world. Above all creatures did God so loved her that truly in her was the Father well pleased with singular delight. Therefore, far above all the angels and all the saints so wondrously did God endow her with the abundance of all heavenly gifts poured from the treasury of his divinity that this mother, ever absolutely free of all stain of sin, all fair and perfect, would possess that fullness of holy innocence and sanctity than which, under God, one cannot even imagine anything greater, and which, outside of God, no mind can succeed in comprehending fully.
Original sin is that guilt and stain of sin which we inherit from Adam, who was the origin and head of mankind. (2) In the book of Romans 5:12 and 18, the Bible tells us that through Adam sin entered the world and as a consequence of this sin, death came to all people because all sinned. And that the sin of Adam brought condemnation to all mankind. 1 Corinthians 15:22 confirms this statement by saying that in Adam all die. Now what do these statements imply? They imply that by the Federal representative act of Adam, all his posterity acted when he acted in sin: Mankind therefore sinned in Adam. This is the root of the Catholic teaching on Original Sin.
However, the Catholic Church teaches that Mary the mother of Jesus did not partake of the sin of Adam; that by the merits of Jesus Christ, Mary was kept sinless from the moment of her conception. But how is this teaching correct since Mary was a human being like us? Is there any biblical foundation for it? Yes! Let us now discover it in the Bible.
A Research into the Bible
Against evil personified by the Devil in the form of the serpent in Genesis 3:15. God made a promise when He said: I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will strike your head, and you will strike his heel. A succinct explanation of this prophecy is one done by Clarke's Commentary on the Bible which states thus: But there is a deeper meaning in the text than even this, especially in these words, it shall bruise thy head, or rather, He; who? The seed [Offspring] of the woman; the person is to come by the woman, and by her alone, without the concurrence of man. Therefore the address is not to Adam and Eve, but to Eve alone; and it was in consequence of this purpose of God that Jesus Christ was born of a virgin (Mary); this, and this alone, is what is implied in the promise of the seed (offspring) of the woman bruising the head of the serpent. Jesus Christ died to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself and to destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the devil.
Following from the above, you will agree with me that the seed or offspring in question is Jesus Christ because Christ's mission here on earth is actually the fulfilment of this prophecy. As noted by Clarke's Commentary on the Bible, the address of the prophecy was not to Adam and Eve but to Eve alone. But which Eve? As is obvious, the Eve is Mary from whom the seed or offspring - Jesus came without the concurrence of any man.
There is a purpose to this; so that the seed would not have emanated from the corrupt stock of the Old Adam through any of his seeds. Therefore, would not have partaken from the sin that mankind inherited from the Old Adam by virtue of Adam's representative sinful act. And that as a new and different stock, the seed or offspring of the Woman would now be upon which the new creation of redeemed mankind would be founded. And as a consequence, the seed (Jesus) would be the origin and father of the new mankind of God's people - the New Adam (1 Corinthians 15:45). Hence, the virgin [without any man] shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall name him Emmanuel, which means, God is with us.
Carefully studying the Bible, we come to see that Jesus is the New Adam who came into being on earth without sin (1 Peter 1:19). The name Adam implies the father and origin of mankind. When Adam was created by God (Genesis 2:7), he was created without blemish or sin. However, Adam was not created alone. For complementarity, Eve necessarily had to be created; hence Jesus said: Have you not read that the one who made them at the beginning 'made them male and female? (Matthew 19:4).
A thing worthy of note is the fact that Eve was created by virtue of, from and for Adam. For this reason, the Old Eve also was created sinless and unblemished by virtue of the original unblemished status of the Old Adam. In Jesus, God intended to restore the distorted order of creation by making a New Adam out of Jesus so that Jesus had to be one through whom God intended mankind from the beginning, i.e. sinless as just he made the first Adam and Eve before their fall.
Furthermore, Just as Old mankind needed to be complete with the creation of Eve, the new order of creation of mankind needs to be complete with the New Eve in order to restore creation back to its original state of unblemishness and complementarity because from the beginning of creation, God made them male and female (Mark 10:6). And God did actually create the New Eve in Mary. Why? So that as the Old Adam and Eve were the origin - father and mother of the fallen mankind; Jesus and Mary would be the origin - Father and Mother of the new spiritual mankind of God. And just as the first Eve was created sinless and without blemish by virtue of the original sinless and unblemished nature of the first Adam, so was Mary the New Eve by virtue of the unblemished and sinless nature of Jesus conceived without sin so that the new order of creation of mankind can be restored to its original state. This is the Immaculate Conception. And so, that all have sinned in Romans 3:23 does not apply to the situation of Mary.
Do you have any problem with the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary? Now, if it was possible for God to create the first Adam and Eve without sin, why do you think it is not now possible for him to create Mary (the New Eve) without sin, especially that he created the New Adam (Jesus) without sin? And more importantly, that Mary is the mother of God the Son.
Similarly, some people say that Catholics, by the mere fact of the pronouncement of the Immaculate Conception equates Mary with God. This is very incorrect. Like I said before, the first Adam and Eve were created without sin, yet they were not equal with God. In addition, the angels were created without sin; still, they are not equal with God. Most of the angels never sinned, and all souls in heaven are without sin. This does not make them not to share from the glory of God, but manifests it by the work he has done in sanctifying his creation. Sinning does not make one human. On the contrary, it is when man is without sin that he is most fully what God intends him to be.
In continuation, Genesis 3:15 is a prophecy. A prophecy is a revelation of the plan of God that is to materialize sometime in the future. Genesis 3: 15 is actually about a plan of God that is to be fulfilled in Jesus Christ. As illustrated above, the two objects of the plan were Jesus and Mary. The fact that Jesus and Mary were the objects of the prophecy of God in Genesis 3:15, implies that God was to specially prepare them to actualize the plan at the appointed time. If in a place called Ubiaja I say, see you in Abuja tomorrow, and I intend to materialize it, then many things will follow: like which of my cars should I go with? Is it in good order? What time is most appropriate for me to take off? What dress do I put on? How much money should I have on me? And so on. The same thing applied to God after committing himself in the promise of the seed or offspring in the person of Jesus through the woman (Mary), to crush the head of Satan. It was only proper that God should prepare Mary for the special mission of bringing forth the seed. Not just to bring forth the seed, but equally important too, that in order that the seed might befit the status of the nature of God the Son- unblemished and sinless among other things; Mary, in whose body Jesus dwelt had to be made clean by being preserved from sin from the very first moment of her conception so that the seed in turn, which took all physiological features from her would be preserved from sin from the very first moment of his conception in the womb of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
NELSON ROLIHLAHLA MANDELA: A LESSON FOR AGES TO COME
» By Rev. Fr. Gregory Onimhawo
“There is no passion to be found playing small in settling for life that is less than the one you are capable of living and the greatest glory in living lies not in never falling but in rising every time we fall”- Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela
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It a reality that Nelson Mandela's life came to an end on Dec 5, 2013, though he is no longer physically here in this world, his legacy will last a life time. The former President of South Africa, a Nobel Peace Prize Winner, and a leader for equality and human rights, is a modern day champion for using non-violent methods to win over the hearts of the people. Mandela had the ability to inspire and empower countless individuals to better themselves, so that they may better the world in their own unique way. During his demise, people across the world paid tributes to this great man and many of the eulogies show that His words of wisdom can change the perspectives we have in this world. But then, Nelson Mandela- Mandiba as he is fondly called by many all over the world has a history that is quite unique.
Who is Nelson Mandela?
According to Jef Mile and the likes, Mandela is an iconic South African, who successfully protested against the separation of race driven Apartheid system. Born in 1918 as a Xhosa in the Thembu royal family, his ancestral home is called Qunu in South Africa. He studied law and became part of the African National Congress (ANC) in 1943. He progressed through the ranks to become part of the group's executive. The Sharpeville Massacre in 1960 made Nelson and the ANC deciding that non-violent demonstration against the segregation of race needed to change. It was after these activities that Mandela was arrested in 1962 resulting in being sentenced to life imprisonment in 1964. He spent the next 27 years in prison on Robbin Island, Polls moor Prison and Victor Verster Prison accused and found guilty of treason. It was during this time Mandela sought to remain focused on resisting the Apartheid regime and become president of the changing South African nation in 1994, serving as president for 6 years. While some consider his actions those of terrorism, he was instrumental in the collapse of the Apartheid policy and will be remembered by most as a national/international hero up to the point of death. Spending 27 years in prison did not stop Mandela. This shows that no matter the obstacle he overcame using consistent action and refusing to admit defeat. This kind of determination has a connect with great persons in history even with our Lord Jesus Christ who no matter the oppression from the Jewish leaders then had a sublime priority, that was to save mankind from eternal damnation and so He saw it necessary to bear the shame, passion and sorrows of the cross. In and through Christ, we see a determination that led us from eternal condemnation to eternal salvation. Christ was on track and His business was to bring salvation to the human race. The moral of the story is to never give up despite your circumstances either in a given task or in life situations.
While Mandela gained knowledge about his enemies, their system (Apartheid) and the subject of law by studying at university, the real weapon that is important to combine with education is action. Without action, education is like never going into battle however knowledge is the armour and the sword to help win the battles. This is the kind of zeal that can be connected to that of the ancient philosopher Plato who asserted that “The direction in which education starts a man will determine his future in life”.
In an attempt to address the problem of his time which was the Apartheid scourge, Mandela did not go aggressive rather he use nonviolent actions which were quite constructive. This is a long lasting lesson we must learn from him that whenever we intend to present criticisms on any issue or about someone, there is need to make it reasonable enough and constructive. Mandiba as a father of nation will always be remembered for one unique and wise action, and that is he allowed those who jailed him, their children, his accusers and of course his traitors to both live in a freed South Africa. This is an action that will treasured for ages to come and this may be the reason why Joel Hall puts it clearly that; “The leadership of Nelson Mandela has never wavered in his devotion to democracy, equality and learning. Despite terrible provocation, he has never answered racism with racism. His life has been an inspiration, in South Africa and throughout the world, to all who are oppressed and deprived, to all who are opposed to oppression and deprivation. Mandela personifies struggle and today he is still leading the fight against apartheid with extraordinary resilience and vigor after spending nearly three decades of his life behind bars. He has sacrificed his private life and his youth for his people, and remains South Africa's best known and loved hero. All in all I think Mandela is one of the great moral and political leaders of our time. He is an international hero and is revered everywhere as a vital force in the fight for human rights and racial equality”. It is has become a life that proclaims the human face of our Lord Jesus Christ, that is caring for the needy.
Legacies From Nelson Mandela
Mandela is known for many wise sayings but there is one that could be found very touching and it says that; “No one is born hating another person because of colour of his skin, or his background, or his religion, people must learn to hate and if they learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love come more naturally to the human heart than its opposite. To buttress this point, Mandiba also taught that “As we let our light shine we unconsciously give other people the permission to do the same. Mandela has been adorned since his death with litany of tributes, and they all express a central theme of justice, peace, equality, forgiveness and love. But it is very pertinent to note that of Dr. Konia Kollehlon which holds that “Nelson Mandela is one of my heroes, and I am relieved that he has been able to transition and finally rest in peace. However, I am also sad for the world that we have lost a person who symbolized integrity, love and forgiveness. When I visited South Africa a few years ago, I had the opportunity to take an emotional journey to Robbin Island, and I saw Mandela's jail cell and the quarry where he was sentenced to hard labour and as a result lost some of his eye sight. The fact that he survived his imprisonment and subsequently became President, and at the same time embraced the people, who called him a terrorist and a traitor, is a miracle and speaks to the power of the human spirit. I hope that in these next few days that all of us pause and reflect about the many issues that continue to divide us as human beings. When Mandela became president, one of the first things he did was to commission the writing of a new constitution. The current constitution speaks to his dream and hope that South Africa would become a multicultural society inclusive of all people, regardless of skin colour, first language, religion, sexual orientation and gender. There are many lessons to be learned from Nelson Mandela's life and I hope that especially young people take the time to educate themselves about this wonderful human being.”
As we said at the beginning, Nelson Mandela's life came to an end on Dec 5, 2013. Though he is no longer physically here on this world, his legacy will last a life time. My dear friends if you drop dead right now, what will you be remembered for?
Find Health And Healing In Christain Community
» By Rev. Fr. Thomas Anavhe
‘At all times and in every race, anyone who fears God and does what is right has been acceptable to him. He has, however, willed to make man and woman holy and save them, not as individuals without any bond or link between them, but rather to make them into a people who might acknowledge Him and serve Him in holiness. He therefore chose the Israelite race to be his own people and established a covenant with them. He gradually instructed this people All these things, however, happened as a preparation for and figure of that new and perfect covenant which was to be ratified in Christ The new covenant in His blood, He called together a race made up of Jews and Gentiles which would be one, not according to the flesh, but in the spirit”. (Catechism of the Catholic Church C. C. C., 781)
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Christian Community therefore, is the city of God on earth for our salvation, where God can administer healing to his children until He assembles them again in Heaven for everlasting healing. From the beginning, God chose different Prophets as well as the Israelites as a people to reveal His healing power to the world and save them. It was impossible for them to achieve God's plan for human race, as pointed out by prophet Jeremiah, “yet I had planted you, a red vine of completely sound stock. How is it you have turned into seedlings of a vine that is alien to me” (Jeremiah 2:21). They failed in the role of salvation given to them to exercise by God. God's healing power and salvation must be revealed in the world. As such, this singular responsibility He has given to the Church in which Christ is the head.
Our fellowship in the Christian Community remains a true means for healing and wholeness. God initiates restoration, healing and wholeness after the fall of man in the Garden of Eden through his son Jesus Christ. The institution of the Christian Community (Church) is a symbol of God's love and affection for us. He wants us to return to Him by responding to His love and be a part of His body “the Church”. God will do everything He has promised; His love is eternal. He will complete the work that He began (Psalm 138:8). God, who performs great miracles and healing among the Israelites when they serve him as a community, will not fail to restore His healing power to the new Israel the member of his body. Today, God seeks for people to heal through His Church: He has chosen her as an instrument of healing to His people.
The Church is the channel of God's healing power among His people. She encourages and gives hope to her members when they are discouraged. She satisfies her children with her healing power through public and private liturgical worship. Our physical, mental, emotional, social and spiritual healing cannot be achieved by individuals working alone without being in communion with God's people. God wants us to be fully incorporated into His body “the Church”. So, it is not enough to be Sunday worshippers. He wants us to share a daily communion with Him by eating His body and drinking his blood in daily Masses. Unless you eat my body and drink my blood, your life will not be complete (John 6:53). Our prayers in our different units in the Church like Catholic Charismatic Renewal, Legion of Mary, Sacred Heart of Jesus and Immaculate Heart of Mary, St Jude, Block Rosary etc, help to give us holistic healing that we need.
Healing is the foundation of the Christian Community, wherever God's people gather, the healing power of God is fully present. For God is in the midst of His people when they gather in His name to make them whole again. Jesus' presence among the assembly of His people is to restore His people to good health of body and mind. Jesus, as the Head of the Church will not allow His children to unnecessarily pass through pains and sorrow. God's healing is possible in our lives if we are ready to live in Christian Community. Our healing is not complete, if we do not constantly fellowship with the Christian Community. God has designed and ordained the Church as an instrument of healing to his people. The actions of the Church are source of healing to those who actively participate in them. The celebration of the liturgy and the sacraments are to minister physical, emotional, social, religious and spiritual healing. Our disappointment therefore, is as a result of not keeping a true fellowship with God and his people.
In the Christian Community, there is wholeness. To separate from the Christian community is to be denied of the very materials that keep us whole. God wants to keep a communion with humans from the beginning. He created Eden for Adam and Eve, where He can keep a communion with them. Adam and Eve enjoyed the physical beauty and nourishment from the fruits of the garden. The fellowship which they kept with God in the garden kept them from pains and sorrow. When they lost their communion with God through disobedience, they were deprived of the food in the garden that kept them whole. Neglecting our fellowship with God and his people, deprives us from sharing in God's abundant healing power. Then the Lord God said, since they have sinned against me, they must not be allowed to take fruit from the tree that gives life, eat it, and live forever (Genesis 3:22). God wants to have a very close relationship with us just as He did with Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. He wants us to gather together as one family, so that He can feed us in His word and Sacraments. For in Him we live and move and have our being (Acts 17:28).
The gathering of Christian Community attracts God's healing in our lives. The Prophet declares God's word, and the manifestation of our faith attracts the healing of God, we may however fail as an individual because of spiritual deficiency in our Christian faith. This does not presuppose that individual's prophetical utterances and exercise of faith is not being efficacious. Our individual faith is also determined by how one has allowed himself to be nourished by the fellowship of the community of believers. But when God's people gather as community, His healing power cannot fail us. For the Church is complete in her spiritual richness where Christ is the Head. The Church is the symbol of God's healing power among his people. Jesus Christ our compassionate Saviour has entrusted to the Church the continuity of His healing ministry until He comes again to unite the saint together for a perfect and everlasting healing in the kingdom of His father. How wonderful it is, how pleasant for God's people to live together in harmony. It is like the precious ointment running down from Aaron's head and beard, down to the collar of his robes. It is like the morning dew on Mount Harmon, falling on the hills of Zion. That is where the Lord has promised His blessings, “life” that never ends (Psalm 133:1-3)
We should not deny ourselves from the healing wholeness flowing from the community of believers both now and the world to come. Let us come together as God's people to worship God in truth and in spirit. So I now say to you: You are Peter and on this rock I will build my church (the Christian community). And the gates of the underworld can never over power it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of Heaven: whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven; whatever you lose on earth will be loosed in heaven (Mathew 16:18-19). This we can successfully achieve when we are in union with the Mystical body of Jesus Christ - “the Church”.
“Son Of The Soil” Is Not A Factor For Appointment - Cardinal Onaiyekan
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The Metropolitan of Abuja Archdiocese, John Cardinal Onaiyekan, has reiterated that the son of the soil syndrome is not a primary factor for appointment in the Catholic Church, stressing that In the church of God, the son of the soil syndrome has no place in the appointment of bishops.
This formed the crux of his homily delivered at a thanksgiving mass to celebrate the advent of the Catholic religion in Ekiti land at St. Patrick Cathedral, Ado Ekiti.
According to cardinal Onaiyekan “It is significant to note here that when Bishop Fagun was appointed Bishop of Ekiti Diocese, he was not an Ekiti man, but he has since become one today,” Stressing that “… A bishop can function well wherever he has been assigned by the grace of God and the goodwill of the Holy see,” He Further and traced the growth of the church in Ekiti land since its inception in 1813 and commended the missionaries who brought the faith, the early Catholic faithful who accepted the faith and the succeeding generation for the intimation of the faith.
Continuing, the Cardinal commended the first indigenous Priest, the catechists and others who helped in the spread of the goodness of Christ in the land and praised Bishop Michael Fagun the first Indigenous Priest of the Diocese, noting that “with the creation of the diocese of Ekiti, the development of the church took a first turn, as we can see from the great increase in the number of local priests who have been ordained in the past forty years”. He stressed that “we cannot forget either the establishment of an indigenous congregation of Rev. Sisters here in the diocese, the sister of St. Michael the Archangel”, adding that “the Church has grown and has become to a large extent, self-sustaining and self-propagating”.
Further, the prelate hinted that “the coming of Christianity into the country is the handwork of God without any dependence on the advent of the colonialists”, affirming that “what is certainly important to note is that those who claim that the Christian faith rode on the back of colonialism into our country have not read the history accurately and correctly”, pointing out that “we had indeed several instances where the colonial government was a clear obstacle to the work of Christian missionaries especially in the northern part of Nigeria”,. He pointed out that the word of God does not need any colonial master to make its way as it has the power of its own which has continued long after the colonial era is finished and gone”.
The event was also attended by the CBCN president, Archbishop Ignatius Kaigama, the Governor of Ekiti state Kayode Fayemi, traditional rulers, Priests, religious, lay faithful among others.
Auchi Polytechnic Holds Convocation Ceremony
Auchi Polytechnic, Auchi was agog recently, as the institution marked its 21st convocation ceremony at the polytechnic sports complex.
Welcoming guests and graduands to the ceremony, the Rector of the polytechnic Dr. (Mrs.) Philipa O. Idogho who congratulated graduands on the successful completion of their academic activities, urged them to be good ambassadors of the citadel of learning and expressed her determination towards the total transformation of the polytechnic to an enviable standard.
The rector who hinted that a lot of measures have been put in place towards ensuring that the institution commences degree programmes, lauded the efforts of the federal Government in constructing a pedestrian bridge at the polytechnic main gate, as it will reduce difficulty experienced by students in crossing the highway, adding that management and staff of the institution are poised towards promoting development in the school and commended them for their development and co-operation.
Continuing, Dr. Idogho who noted that the polytechnic will be fifty years in existence in 2014, commended all the alumni of the polytechnic and all who has supported her developmental strides in the polytechnic, urged the graduands to always learn how to give back to the institution they were taught and appreciated all present for attending the ceremony.
Congratulating the polytechnic on their 21st convocation ceremony, the Chief of staff to Edo state Governo, Hon. Patrick Obayangbon, who represented the Edo state Governor, Adams Oshiomhole, appreciated the Rector for her developmental strides in the polytechnic, adding that the institution has distinguished itself among other institutions of higher learning and thanked the Rector for her hardwork and dedication towards the development of the institution.
Furner, Hon. Obayangbon enjoined students to always shun any act that will undermine their studies and tasked the federal Government to be more committed in the growth and development of the nation's education system, while tasking the graduands to be good citizens of their country anywhere they find themselves.
The event also featured conferment of honourary fellowship to deserving individuals, presentation of awards to the best graduating students 2012/2013 academic session, among other activities.
Yenagoa Host Benin Ecclesiastical Provincial Laity
The Benin Ecclesiastical provincial Catholic Laity, has held a conference/seminar at Yenagoa, with theme “The Catholic lay person: Discipleship and pursuit of justice”.
Delivering the homily at the opening mass at St .Mary Catholic Church, Okutukutu, the Laity chaplain of Bomadi Vicarate Rev. Fr. Peter Omgbu who welcomed delegates to the Vicarate, noted that the power of prayer cannot be overemphasized, as it can move mountains and tasked all present to always continue to pray and place their hope in God.
The homilist who urged all present to continue to foster unity as it will enable them move the society and the laity forward, admonished them to always hold their Catholic faith firmly and wished them fruitful deliberations for the success of their parishes and Dioceses.
In a lecture titled “The Catholic lay person: Discipleship and the pursuit of justice” Rev. Fr. (Bar.) George Amos who reiterated the need for Catholic Laity to always realize that living a life of difference and emulating Christ is important, stressed that raising God fearing family would enable them inculcate Catholic values on their children. He also charged them to make it a point of duty to teach their children the values of justice and fairness when dealing with others, adding that it will enable them raise quality children who will lead the society in a better way in future.
Further, the resource person pointed out that though Catholic lay faithful live and trade among other people, he pointed out that they can set quality examples for others to emulate, noting that they should be guided by virtue, as they are the light of the world and the salt of the earth.
On his part, Rev. Fr. Joseph Opuowei in a lecture titled “The evangelization: its necessity and nature is the challenge facing the youth and the indispensable role of Christian family,” noted that new evangelization is the commitment to renew their Christian faith, asserting that the primary aim of new evangelization is to bring the Christian faith to those who have not heard the gospel, as it entails teaching of Christian doctrines to others and enable them embrace Christ.
Continuing, Fr. Opuowei who highlighted some of the challenges facing faithful to include, lack of Catholic education, lack of religious formation, influence of social media, challenges of self-identity, improper social integration in the mission of the church, challenges of peer group pressure and get rich quick syndrone, added that Christian family are gift from God, as all should learn how to respect human life and learn how to endure and show love to those around them.
The event also featured presentation of award to deserving individuals among whom are three are from the Diocese of Auchi who includes Sir (Chief) A.B. Tsado, Chief Bruno Oshiokpekhai and Mr. Gabriel Omon Ogbekhumemhem.
Ogbona Marks Solemnity Of Christ The King
…As Jattu Proclaims Christ As King
The Catholic Community of St. John the Baptist Catholic Church Ogbona and St. Anthony Catholic Church, Iraokhor, an Out Station of the Parish, have marked the feast of Christ the King.
In the homily at the Mass, the Acting Parish Administrator Rev. Fr Francis Ikhianosimhe who noted that the feast of Christ the King denotes that Christ is the universal King, pointed out that the Feast was introduced by Pope Pius II as Christ's power is greater than any other powers in the world, hence He should be revered and praised by all.
Continuing, Fr. Ikhianosimhe pointed out that Christ's authority and dominion is everlasting, affirmed that His kingship is not for pride but to die for mankind in humility and love, adding that His kingdom is not of this world, but a kingdom of justice, peace, posterity and love which he extend to all by dying on the cross to save the world and redeem mankind. While urging all present to always strive for things that will enable them attain His kingdom, the Priest urged them to shun any act that will deter them from receiving His peace, love and happiness and prayed that Christ’s peace to continue to reign in their homes.
The event also featured a procession round Major Streets in Ogbona Community.
In a similar vain. St. Philip Neri Catholic Church, Jattu has celebrated the Feast of Christ the King.
In the homily at the Eucharistic Celebration, the assistant Parish Administrator, Rev. Fr. Philip Ebakhaye who reaffirmed that Christ is the universal King, as His kingship is different from other worldly Kings, hinted that the Kingship of Christ is eternal and universal and urged faithful to emulate His humility and follow His leadership qualities.
Further, the homilist pointed out that as Christians and children of God, they should always follow the footsteps of Christ as exemplified in His love, peace and humility, stressing that such vitreous will promote unity and harmony in the society and enjoined them to always believe and put all their worries before Christ who has authority over all the problems in the world.
Highpoint of the celebration was a procession round major streets in Jattu amidst songs of praises, recitation of the Rosary, Benediction and adoration to the blessed Sacrament among others activities.
Agenebode CMO Elects New Executive
…As The Parish C. G. O Get New Executive
The Catholic Men Organization (CMO), Sacred Heart Parish, Agenebode has recently elected a new executive to run their affairs for the next three years.
Addressing the newly elected executive shortly after the election, the Laity Chairman, Mr. Agiomoh Richard who admonished the members to be dedicated towards moving the organization forward, urged them to embark on membership drive to enable them succeed and enjoined them to carry others along in other to realize their set goals.
In his acceptance speech on behalf of the executive, the newly elected Chairman of the organization Mr. Augustine Akiotu who commended members for giving them the opportunity to serve, sued for co-operation, as co-operation among members will enable the new executive to succeed and move the Parish forward. He also urged men in the Parish to identify with the organization in order to get more membership.
The newly elected executive were; Mr. Augustine Akiotu; Chairman, Mr. Tony Ibedeku; Vice Chairman, Mr. Andrew A; Secretary, Mr. Omoaka Clement; Assistant Secretary, Mr. John Atiskeokha; Treasurer and Mr. Godwin Ayasi; Financial Secretary. Others were Mr. Michael Saliu; PRO, Mr. D.I Omondu; Adviser I and Mr. P. A Tenebe; Adviser II.
In a similar development, the Catholic Girls Organization (CGO), Agenebode Parish, has put in place a new executive to run their affairs.
The newly elected executive members were; Ozigagu Angela; President, Kadiri Susan; Vice President, Itoya Martina; General Secretary, Akpeokhai Mary; Assistant General Secretary, Afebor Blessing; Financial Secretary, Ojo Justina; Treasurer, Oshokpekhai Philomina; PRO, Bernard Mercy; Organizing Secretary, Tadi Joy; Assistant Organizing Secretary and Akpeokhai Magdalene; Provost.
In her acceptance speech, the newly elected President Angela Ozigagu who promised to collaborate with the Parish administrator Rev. Fr. Silas Bobokhai and his Assistant Rev. Fr. Odia Christopher, solicited for the co-operation of the members of the organization, to move the group forward.
Cathedral Marks Feast Day
The Catholic Community of Immaculate Conception Cathedral, Auchi has recently marked their Patroness Saint Feast day amidst activities.
While giving the homily at the Eucharist celebration, the chief shepherd of the Diocese Most Rev. (Dr.) Gabriel G. Dunia who congratulated Parishioners on the event, noted that the celebration was to mark the Patroness of the Cathedral Church, stressing that the event was a time for them to rejoice and appreciate God for making the celebration possible.
Continuing, the Shepherd of souls who pointed out that John the Baptist was a fore-runner that prepared the way for Jesus Christ, hinted that the best way for them to prepared for the coming of Christ is to desist from any sinful act, as sins would make them to be far from God, adding that they would be rewarded by the Lord if they are found worthy.
The Prelate who reiterated the need for them to renew their faith in Christ, assured them that those who live and work for God will enjoy the glamour of His kingdom and urged them not to be distracted by any worldly possession eschewe any form of distraction during Mass, as the Mass is the presence of God among His people, adding that to see Jesus on the last day, they should prepare their hearts and make their lives ready for the coming of the Lord who is the saviour of the world and prayed God to grant them the grace to see the coming of the Lord.
Highpoint of the Mass was a thanksgiving procession to the altar by Parishioners for a successful feast day celebration.
Speaking shortly at the reception held at the Church premises, the Parish Laity Chairman Mr. Godwin Akota who congratulated the Parish Administrator Rev. Fr. Valentine Anaweokhai, his Assistants Rev. Frs. Isaac Agabi and Kingsley Okoduga, lauded the Chief Shepherd of the Diocese Most Rev. (Dr.) Gabriel G. Dunia for attending the celebration and praised the Parishioners for attending the event, adding that the celebration was an opportunity for all Parishioners to feast together.
The event also featured presentation of awards to deserving individuals for their contribution towards the development of the Parish, presentation of cultural dance and drama, match past by various societies and organization among others.
Faith, Hope, Love Are Tips To Reign In God Eternally -Fr. Akhibi
The Parish Administrator of Holy Rosary Catholic Church, Afashio/Afowa, Uzaiure, Fr. Mark Akhibi, has reiterated that faith, hope and love are some of the tips needed by Christians to reign in God eternally, stressing that living and dying in Christ should be the major goal of all Catholics.
This formed the Crux of his homily at the funeral Mass for Pa. Patrick Ekhasomhi Egwenomhe, who died on the 12th of August, 2013, aged 82years, at Holy Rosary Parish, Afashio/Afowa, Uzairue.
Continuing, Fr. Akhibi who tasked Christians to always live a life worthy of emulation, urged all present not to be discouraged at the moment of their grieve, noting that it is God who is the owner of the life of a man and He knows when to take it, while describing the deceased as a humble, gentle and hardworking faithful who gave his best to the service of the Lord.
The homilist, who commiserated with the family of the deceased, urged them to take solace in the lord and enjoined them to emulate the exemplary qualities of their father, while praying God to receive his soul in His bosom.
Further, Fr. Akhibi pointed out that death is inevitable, as no one can avoid it and tasked faithful to eschew any act that is contrary to the will of God.
Some of the Priests present at the funeral mass were, Rev. Frs. Charles Dania, Lawrence Adorolo and Polycarp Imoagene.
Srs. Otaru, Azamegbe Takes First Vow At Uromi
Two sisters of the Congregation of Sacred Heart, Srs. Carolyn Otaru and Augustina Azamegbe, have recently taken their first Spiritual Vow at the Catholic Diocese of Uromi.
Delivering the homily at the mass concelebrated with the administrator of Uromi Diocese very Rev. Fr. John Akhidue and the Vicar General of Catholic Diocese of Auchi Very Rev. Fr.Isaac Bossey, Fr. Akhidue who appreciated God for making it possible for the two sisters to be part of the Congregation, congratulated them for obeying the call of God to serve in His vineyard.
Fr. Akhidue who advised that faithful should not always listen to side talk whenever they are embarking on any venture, urged them to seek the face of God, as it is the only source of hope and inspiration required to enable them succeed. He further enjoined them to remain committed to their vows, be obedient to God and tasked them to submit themselves to God while praying God to continue to endow them with His wisdom, understanding and protection to enable them succeed.
Highpoints of the event were renewal of their vows and a thanksgiving procession by the celebrants accompanied to the altar by their sponsors, fellow Sisters, family members, friends and well wishers
Sir Oniavi, Fourteen Others Receive Papal Knight Award In Makurdi
The Director of Onaivi printing press, Igarra, Sir John Onaivi, along with fourteen others, have recently bagged the Papal Knight award at our Lady of perpetual Help Cathedral, Makurdi.
Delivering the homily at the Eucharistic celebration, the Bishop of Makurdi Diocese Most Rev. (Dr.) Athanasius Usuh who welcomed all present to the event, noted that the event was timely, as it was to honour Catholics who are participating actively in the development of the Church and commended the awardees for their positive contribution to the growth and development of the Church.
Continuing, the Local Ordinary of Makurdi, hinted that the award does not make them higher than others, but to make them more dedicated to the service of the Lord and those around them, adding that Knights are defenders of the Catholic faith and soldiers of the church, hence they must endeavor to fight against corruption in the society to make the society a better place, as they should endeavor to always fight for justice for the oppressed and all around them.
The prelate who reiterated the need for political office holders to endeavor to discharge their duties with honesty and accountability, urged them to always contribute to development and provide employment for the youth. He enjoined them to be prayerful at all time, as prayer is the key to every successful Christian life and prayed God to bless them.
You Must Never Forget To Appreciate God's Blessing - Fr. Adogamhe
The Assistant Parish Priest of St. John the Apostle Catholic Church Igarra, Rev. Fr. Reginald Adogamhe, has tasked faithful on the need for them not to forget to appreciate God's blessings, stressing that nothing is too great to appreciate God's goodness.
This was contained in his homily at the 2013 harvest thanksgiving of St. John the Apostle, Igarra tagged “harvest of thanksgiving and love”. Fr. Adogamhe who noted that harvest thanksgiving is an opportunity for faithful to always appreciate God for His abundant blessings, protection and love, hinted that God is always faithful to His children who are devoted in all their dealings, urged all present to always take the annual event seriously.
Reflecting on the Gospel of the day, the homilist stressed that unlike the ten lepers who healed by Jesus Christ but only one came back in appreciation to God for his blessing, he charged all present to endervour to always thank God for His mercies everyday and for making the celebration possible. He further prayed God to bless them all.
Welcoming all present to the celebration, the Chairman Harvest thanksgiving/bazaar, Hon. A.A. Amune appreciated the Parish Priest and his Assistant for their achievement in the Parish, which include spiritual and physical development.
Further, Hon. Amune solicited the continuous support of the Parishioners, friends and well wishers to enable the Parish record more developments, prayed God to bless them as they mark 2013 thanksgiving.
Highpoint of the celebration was a thanksgiving procession to the altar by lay apostolate groups, individuals, friends and well wishers.
Auchi Celebrate Solemnity of Christ the King
…As Cathedral Choir Mark Patroness Saint Day
The Bishop, Priests and lay faithful of Immaculate Conception Cathedral, Auchi has marked the Solemnity of Christ the King.
In the homily at the Eucharistic celebration, the Chief Shepherd of the Diocese, His Lordship Most Rev. (Dr.) Gabriel G. Dunia noted that Christ is the King of the world, hence, He alone should be worshiped and enjoined all to be closer to God through Him, as He cares for them and is always willing to teach them and correct them at all times.
Continuing, the Shepherd of Souls who tasked faithful to always relate with God because without Him they are nothing, hinted that they do not have any reason to go away from His presence. He urged them to seek for God's wisdom that will enable them impact positively on those around them who need their assistance and also tasked them to forgive those who offend them, adding that avoiding negative acts and sin will enable the glory of God to be seen in them.
Reiterating that Jesus Christ is the universal king and the prince of peace who should be revered by all, the Prelate admonished all present to endeavour to spread His message of peace and always support their neigbours who are in need, stressing that as they mark the end of the year of faith, they should re-examine themselves and pray for the grace of God upon them, adding that they should always believe in the teachings of the Church and renew their faith in Christ.
Further, the Bishop noted that Christ is the universal King whom all faithful should continue to proclaim, as the Feast should be taken seriously and urged all present to always rejoice and praise God no matter the situation they may be while praying God to grant them the grace and wisdom to always proclaim Christ as King.
Highpoint of the celebration was a procession round the major streets in Auchi with joy, benediction and prayers.
In another development, St. Cecilia, Choir of Immaculate Conception Cathedral, Auchi has recently marked their patroness Feast Day, St. Cecilia, at the Church premises.
Delivering the homily at the Mass to mark the celebration, Rev. Philip Ekweli who extolled some of the virtues of the Saint, stressed that she was a faithful servant of God and tasked all girls present to always remain focused and be prayerful no matter the temptation and avoid sin. He added that there are greater rewards in dedicating their lives to God, as St. Cecilia was rewarded by been canonized a Saint.
Rev. Ekweli urged youth to shun fornication and keep themselves for God until they get married and prayed God to give them the strength to emulate the exemplary qualities set by St. Cecilia who was a virgin until she got married.
In his remarks, the assistant Cathedral administrator, Rev. Fr. Kingsley Okodugha who commended the Cathedral Choir for their effort in the Parish, urged them to continue in rendering songs to God and prayed God to bless them, while urging youths to register as members.
Highpoint of the celebration was a thanksgiving procession to the altar, accompanied by all present, presentation of talks among other activities
Do Not Embark On Thanksgiving With Ungrateful Heart- Fr. Erin- Ola
The Priest in residence, St. James Mass Centre, water board, Rev. Fr. Anthony Erin-ola, has tasked faithful to endeavour to embark on harvest thanksgiving with grateful hearts and charged them to learn how to appreciate God always with what they have, stressing that harvest thanksgiving is a physical demonstration of appreciating God for what He has done for mankind. He noted that it is usually sad to notice that faithful who are blessed by God usually mark the day with ungrateful behavior.
He stated this while delivering his homily during the adult thanksgiving of St. James Mass Centre, water board tagged “harvest of divine providence” concelebrated with the Rector of the Mass Centre, Rev. Fr. Francis Emodogo.
Continuing, Fr. Erin-Ola who reiterated the need for faithful to endeavour to always contribute generously towards the development of the Church, hinted that shying away from supporting the work of God is like storing treasure where they will be destroyed and urged them to always give that which is commensurate with what God has blessed them with, adding that though no one can pay God for His gift of life and blessings, but they should always give thanks for His goodness and mercies and prayed God to continue to bless them.
Highpoint of the Mass was a thanksgiving procession to the altar by all present with their gift items in appreciation to God for His blessings in 2013.
Welcoming guests, parishioners, friends and well wishers to the bazaar ceremony held at the Church premises, the Central Harvest Planning Committee Chairman, Mr. Duke Oshoke who expressed joy and gratitude to God for His protection on St. James Catholic family, commended the Rector of the Mass Centre and Parishioners for their zeal in contributing towards the development of the Mass Centre and solicited for the co-operation of all towards realizing the ongoing projects in the Parish.
Appreciating the Parishioners for their co-operation, love and support towards the growth and development of the Parish, the Chairman, bazaar sales, Mr. Ogedegbe thanked God for the 2013 harvest thanksgiving and prayed for continuous unity and love among St. James Parishioners, while expressing his continuous support to the development of the Mass centre.
Highlight of the bazaar was the presentation of items for sales.
Cathedral CYON Holds Entrepreneurship Seminar
As part of efforts to promote entrepreneurship skills and encourage self employment among Youths, the Catholic Youth Organization of Nigeria (CYON) Immaculate Conception Cathedral, Auchi has organized a one week seminar for her Youths.
Speaking on the purpose of the event, the Cathedral CYON President Aigbokhabho Ehigie, noted that the programme was geared towards promoting self employment among Youths, stressing that it was necessary for Youths to be self employed in the present economic situation facing the country, hence, the event was packaged with a lot of activities to educate the Youth on various issues affecting them.
Continuing, the Cathedral CYON President who lauded the level of turn out during the programme, pointed out that the one week programme was to teach the Youth on computer appreciation, shoe and bag making, Make up, fishing, and photography , adding that renowned resource persons were on hand to talk on various issues bordering on health, understanding the Bible, among other lectures.
Mr. Aigbokhabho charged the participants to utilize the knowledge gained from the programme to improve their well being and enjoined Youths in other Parishes, Mass Centres and Out Stations to emulate such venture.
Reiterating the benefit of the one week seminar, a member of the Cathedral CYON, Uduapi Heddad, commended the CYON for embarking on such programme, stressing that the event will go a long way in enlightening them on some of their challenges, affirming that the seminar was timely, as it was in line with the call from various quarters that the Youth should be self reliant instead of depending on government for white collar job.
Further, Heddad urged all Parishes, Mass Centres, and Out Stations, as well as different societies in the Church to emulate such initiative, while tasking the Youths present to take the event seriously, as it will go a long way in enhancing them positively.
Highpoint of the weeklong event were practical sessions by experts on makeup, shoe and bag making, computer appreciation, presentation of talks on various issues among other events.
Be Conscious Of Heaven At All Time - Fr. Okhifo Tells Faithful
The Rector of St. Joseph Mass Centre, Anegbette Rev. Fr. Innocent Okhifo has harped on the need for faithful to be conscious of heaven at all times, stressing that it is real and eternal, which no one can afford to miss.
He made this known recently in his homily at Immaculate Conception Cathedral, Auchi.
Fr. Okhifo who enjoined all present to embrace the love of Christ and follow His teachings to enable them attain heaven, noted that the present generation is characterized with wickedness and evil. He noted stressed that in God's Kingdom, there will be justice, peace and eternal happiness.
Further, Fr. Okhifo reiterated the importance of resurrection in Christian faith as Christ is the hope of all faithful, assured all present that He will return on the last day to receive those who are worthy to the father and they will be greatly rewarded. While stressing that those who fail to do the will of the father and obey His commandments will receive eternal condemnation and admonished all faithful to be prepared for Christ's coming which no one knows the day or time.
The homilist who hinted that living orderly and holy life is necessary for all devout Catholics, enjoined them to embark on the daily activities to the glory and honour of God and for the good of their neigbours and urged all present to always love and care for those around them with the fear of God, while praying God to grant them the zeal to be prepared for His coming.
CMO Holds End Of The Year Of Faith Seminar At Fugar
The Catholic Men Organization (CMO), Diocese of Auchi, has held a seminar to mark the end of year of Faith at St. Theresa Catholic Church, Fugar with the theme “the Catholic man and contemporary challenges in the practice of the faith in Nigeria”.
In a communiqué issued at the end of the event, they noted that for the Church to grow steadily physically and spiritually, CMO must take the issue of members welfare seriously. They also identified lack of contentment as one of the main causes of social vices and urged all men to shun greed, be prayerful and be more self confident.
In addition, the communiqué hinted that men should serve as role models, evangelizers and builders not only for their families but in their communities in general, urging members to be more committed in their prayer life and continue to maintain unwavering faith in God. Also, the communiqué tasked Catholics to always distinguish themselves from others by setting quality examples and hold on to the doctrines of the Church, emulating the Blessed virgin Mother Mary, who was a woman of faith.
Further, the organization enjoined CMO members to always try to balance their faith with their moral life, noting that sharing of love among those around them, honesty and hope in Christ is essential for Catholics, while urging members to be prayerful at all time to enable them succeed in all their endeavours.
Always Seek The Face Of God In Difficult Time - Fr. Gimah
The Rector of Immaculate Conception Minor Seminary, Ivianokpodi Rev.Fr. Emmanuel Gimah, has harped the need for faithful to always seek the face of God in difficult times, stressing that their ability to persevere would enable them attain victory over life's challenges.
He stated this while delivering the homily at the Children/Youth thanksgiving at St. Bede Catholic Church, Iviegbepui.
Fr. Gimah who tasked faithful to avoid the state of been separated from God as a result of sins as it will put them in eternal condemnation, stressed that those who are counted worthy by God, will receive His eternal happiness, adding that God is always faithful to His children that are dedicated to His will and abide by His commandments.
More, the homilist pointed out that Jesus is the living bread and anyone who eats from His bread will have eternal life. The Priest pointed out that death is not the end of life, but a gateway to eternal happiness in the Lord, while urging all present to remain united with God, as God will not allow their enemies to triumph over them. He also prayed God to bless them.
Fr. Gimah, who congratulated the Children/Youth on their harvest thanksgiving, noted that thanksgiving is an annual event which gives opportunity to all to appreciate God for His blessings and prayed for a more fruitful harvest in 2013.
Highpoint of the celebration was a thanksgiving procession to the altar by the children/youth accompanied by their families, friends and well wishers.
St. Theresa JDPC Inaugurates Executive
Executive for JDPC, St. Theresa Catholic Church, Fugar has been inaugurated to run their affairs in the next three years.
Addressing the newly elected executive, Rev. Fr. Gregory Ogbenika appreciated all present for the successful inauguration, urged them to endeavor to do their best in making the organization better, and accept responsibility for their calling if the commission must be better. He stressed that if they are lazy without making any effort, the organization will remain stagnant, noting that JDPC helps to bring development and growth to the grassroots. The priest also hinted that if they do not put in their best, there would be no development, why admonishing them to remain committed and dedicated to the activities of the organization.
The following persons were elected into various offices, Mr. Enekomhe Okolo David, Chairman, Mrs. Esther E. Uwaibi, vice Chairman, Jane Onwumuna, secretary, Mr. Abu Nelson, Treasurer, Miss Williams Precious, financial secretary, Mr. Paul Imoedemhe, PRO I and Mr. Peter Azebokhai, PRO II.