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KEEP PROMISING
Promise is a statement that tells somebody that you will definitely do or not to do something. In this part of the world, people make a handful of promises without keeping it.

Indeed, promises are easy to make but fulfilling them becomes a problem. In the political setting, politicians make promises or manifestos, in Churches faithful make pledges and at social gathering people often make promises which may never be brought to fruition.

Sadly, this unfulfilled promises by people has become worrisome, as more people are beginning to lose confidence on those who make unrealistic promises.

We in THE PROMISE Newspaper have always kept our promise which is “Empowered to teach the truth” and to disseminate information within and outside the Diocese of Auchi.

Why don't we emulate Christ who has never failed in keeping promises, let us learn how to redeem our pledges in Churches and Political Manifestos, this will promote truth, confidence and foster better relationship with one another.

May God help us.
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The Provision Of Amenities
The word amenity is etymologically traced to the latin word “amoenus” which means being pleasant or agreeable. From the definitions of amenity by the Chambers 21st Century Dictionary we can simply formulate and define an amenity as any valued facilities which makes life comfortable and pleasant. It is well known that all facilities which create the availability and transmission of admirable and desirable smoothness and pleasantness of social relationships are called social amenities.

SOME BASIC AMENITIES

The following: water, food, shelter, means of communication, especially roads, light/power, education and health facilities are known and regarded as basic social amenities.
Water, for example, is universally known and accepted as an indispensably essential commodity. Without water no living thing, especially can ever come into existence talkless continuing existence. Therefore, the provision for availability and potability of water should be attended to with utmost seriousness. In fact, the provision for the availability and potability of water, first for human consumption, should , be incumbent on everybody and on civil governments paramountly as it should be attended to with consciousness inviolability always and everywhere human habitation and occupation have been established.

Concurrently, food is also as indispensably essential for survival of all living beings. As part and parcel of technological advancement and development, every responsible government should, as a matter of obligation, identify and secure all cultivatable lands and encourage the cultivation of food crops and all other plants that can be processed into food for human consumption. Any government that neglects the provision for the production of food for its citizens prepares to accept the agony of hunger and subsequent extinction of human existence in its state or country.
Equally important is shelter. Adequate and safe shelter is also essentials. The reason is that without adequate and safe shelter, man's life will definitely be endangered also to the point of extinction. For this reason every responsible government must be able to stem all forces or obstacles in order to provide adequate and safe shelter both structurally and environmentally for its citizens.

What is more, the provision for adequate, effective and safe means of communication can not be over-emphasized. The reason is that it is only the availability of adequate, effective and safe means of communication that can make mutual benefits of goods and services of the people of one locality and the other a reality. Without adequate, effective and safe means of communication there will certainly, be stagnation of both inter-relationships and intra-relationships which will inevitably lead to the strangulation of life in it's entirely.
Further, the provision for wholistic and qualitative education is basically and paramountly, inalienable necessity. The reason is that without wholistic and qualitative education the individual human being cannot be properly formed and developed. Without proper formation and development of the mind and body man can neither be useful to himself nor to others. The wholistic and qualitative formation and development of the human person is equally as essential for himself and for God in as much as only normal human being who can be taught to know the existence of God and glorifies the same. So education is so sacrosanctly important that no government should toil with it in any way. It is because of the preceding understanding that the education of the human child cannot and should not be left in the hands of civil governments alone to manage.

Finally, the provision for health services is essential to man's existence, healthy and useful life. It is only a healthy body that produce and house a healthy brain which enables complete human formation and development. This is why we are all duty bound to contribute in one way or the other towards the provision of adequate, effective and efficient health facilities for all and sundry.
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PRAYER III Human Prayers And Divine Will
» By Rev. Fr. Dr. Anselm Jimoh
Through prayers we establish a link with God whom we duly recognize as a Supreme Being capable of doing all things. In prayers we express our desires to God and ask Him to grant our needs. Does God always grant those needs or to put it more openly, does He always answer our prayers? God answers our prayers always, but His answer may not be what we have asked for. The issue most times is whether we always recognize His answers when he answers us?

God always answers our prayers but does not always grant our desires. If our desires conform to the divine will of God, He grants them but when they do not, He does not change His will to grant our desires. In other words, our prayers do not change the will of God. We may ask if it is the case that our prayers do not change the will of God why do we have to pray?

This is a serious theological question that is correspondingly highly sensitive spiritually and pastorally. The theological problem here is the problem of the relationship between divine sovereignty and human freedom. Divine sovereignty refers to the reign of God; the fully independent rule of God over the world; God whose power is beyond and above any other conceivable powers, and human freedom refers to the exercise of free will by humans as granted to them by God. If humans are truly free and have a will of their own, then they should have a right to what they want, which means that God should respect their will and grant their desires. In the absence of that, it would mean that God has no regards for the free will He has granted humans and that humans are not truly free. Perhaps there is a limit to exercise of human freedom.

The issue here can be formulated in the following question; can we change the course of events through prayer? Can we alter God's will and so receive some blessing that otherwise might pass us by? Can we fend off some evil occurrence by specifically imploring God to save us from it?

There are two possible extremes to this issue. For theologians, this is a component of the problems of providence and of evil, since prayer has to do with the interaction between divine sovereignty and human freedom. One extreme will be to conceive prayer as a way of manipulating the mind of God to our human advantage and the other extreme is to see prayer as a completely useless activity. None of these extremes is correct.

God's will is constant and God does not err or make mistakes. God knows us and what is best for us at all times and He will never wish us evil or bad. (Lk. 11:13). When we ask God in prayers for things that are within His divine plan and will for us, He will gracious grant them. Our human purpose is to do the will of God. In the Lord's Prayer, we say; “Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” (Matt.6:1O). Jesus Christ who gave the prayer to his disciples as a model of prayer showed us an example of how to submit ourselves to the will of God. In the garden of Gethsemane, he prayed that his coming passion be averted, which was a candid expression of his desire, but he ended the prayer by saying “not my will but your will be done.” (Matt.26:42). Thus, while he expressed his desire, he made us realize that much more that his desire is the desire of God. This is precisely where the problem lies.

We, more often than not regards our desires as more important than the will of God for us. But God who created us to know Him, love Him, serve Him, in this world and to be happy with Him forever in the next, above all else desires our happiness and joy both in this world and in the world to come. His divine will and plan is that we be happy by remaining with Him. If we start making request for and desiring things that will pull us from Him, He is not obliged to grant such request as it negates the very purpose of our being. Given that God grants such request, it would mean that He is acting against His own agenda, or that He is changing His agenda. For God to change His agenda would mean that there is something wrong in His original plan, if God is wrong, then He is not God for God is infinitely perfect and all knowing. To be wrong would negate these attributes of God.

If our prayer does not change the will of God why do we need to pray at all? First and foremost, prayer is necessary in the Christian life because it follows the example of Christ our leader who by his life style taught us to always pray. According to Lawler, et al, (1976:382), “Jesus himself lived always in a prayerful spirit that blossomed easily into explicit prayer. Such prayerfulness he taught the disciples also. They should 'watch and pray.' The Lord seems even to have commended prayer as a constant activity: “And he told them a parable, to the effect that they ought always to pray and not lose heart. (Lk. 18:1).”

The example and the teaching of Christ makes it abundantly clear that a Christian should be a person of prayer since the physical and spiritual life of a Christian come from God, he/she should always be in communion with God and prayer is the means by which we commune with God. Through prayer, the Christian acknowledges his/her weakness and dependence on God and expresses the filial relationship between himself/herself and God. The Fathers of the second Vatican Council acknowledged that prayer is an identifying mark of the genuine Christian. (LG 10, 12, 40 & 41).

The importance and effects of prayer in the life of a Christian cannot be over emphasized. According to St. Thomas Aquinas, there are three distinctive effects of prayers; (i) it merits the graces of God for the Christian, (ii) it obtains other benefits from God for the Christians, and (iii) it brings a certain spiritual refreshment of the mind to the Christian. (Summa Theological Il-Il, 83, 13). Prayer has the power of transforming the life of the Christian to fit into the divine plan of God, thus, we can only pray well when we are ready to change in our lives those things that hold us back from God.

Every genuine Christian prayer must have the following essential qualities; attention, devotion, confidence, and perseverance. In Matt. 6:5-8, Christ taught us to pray with absolute inner serenity and to avoid the hypocritical externalism of the Pharisees. This means that the good Christians should keep his/her mind on what he/she is doing during prayer; distractions should be avoided with as much efforts as would be required. This now withstanding, we must note that involuntary distraction may come and go because of our human weakness; these do not necessarily destroy the value of prayer.

Prayer should be devotional. It is not just an exercise of the mind; it is a genuflection to the will of God a submission to the will of God. Genuine devotion should never be confused with a feeling of satisfaction or with emotion. Devotion is properly a total dedication to God. The more devoted one is to God, the closer in friendship one is with God and the more likely one's prayer is heard by God.
Matt. 11:24, Lk. 17:5 and James 1:5 tell us to pray with unshakable confidence proceeding from our deep faith in God. We do this by praying through Jesus Christ who is our mediator with the Father. Our confidence is borne out of our faith in his redemptive love and the power of his merits to get for us from the Father what we ask. (Jn 16:23-24). St. James tells us that approaching God with little hope is tantamount to offending God (James 1:6).

The gospels teach us that God will vindicate those He has elected who cry to Him day and night (Lk.18:7, Matt.7:7-l 1). These and other passages in scripture emphasis the quality of perseverance as an essential element of prayer. Christians are not to give up when they prayer, especially when it seems their prayers are not answered.

Christians should learn to submit themselves to the will of God rather than want to bend God to do what they want. Many of us may want to ask how we interpret the passages in the bible that instruct us to ask and we shall receive for whatever we ask of God He will give us (Matt. 7:7-8). Such passages should be interpreted in the context of other passages that tell us that God knows what is best for us. (Matt. 7:11). Thus, it is not just what we want for many a times, we do not know what is really good for us as much as God who knows and sees all.
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What Is Indulgence And Why Must Catholics Effectively Embrace It?
» By Rev. Fr. Stan-William Ede
So many people do not understand what an indulgence is, and even more do not even know about it at all. It is worse compounding to know that many Catholics find themselves on troubled spot when confronted by Protestants and Fundamentalists to explain what indulgences are. Some extremists even falsely claim that “Indulgence” is not part of the Church's teaching today, while a large number of people who know about the teaching on indulgence often mistake it for confession or the forgiveness of sin.

The Church still teaches indulgences and encourages her members to obtain the graces therein. By way of definition, the word “indulgence” says it all: Indulgences are a special heavenly treasure which the Church grants us to repay the debt we owe God for our sins and heal the damage done to our souls by sin. In the words of Pope Paul VI, “An indulgence is a remission before God of the temporal punishment due to sins whose guilt has already been forgiven, which the faithful Christian who is duly disposed gains under certain defined conditions through the Church's help when, as a minister of redemption, she dispenses and applies with authority the treasury of the satisfactions won by Christ and the saints” (Indulgentiarum Doctrina, 1).

According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church (C.C.C.), “An indulgence is obtained through the Church who, by virtue of the power of binding and loosing granted her by Christ Jesus, intervenes in favor of individual Christians and opens for them the treasury of the merits of Christ and the saints to obtain from the Father of mercies the remission of the temporal punishment due for their sins.” The Church does this not just to aid Christians, “but also to spur them to works of devotion, penance, and charity” (C.C.C. 1478).

The word, “indulgence” is from the Latin word indulgeo which means to “be kind or tender” as well as “kindness or favor”, in post-classic Latin it came to mean the remission of a tax or debt. The Online Catholic Encyclopedia (O.C.E.) carefully analyses the etymology and application while tracing it to beliefs and practices in history past. For example, in Roman law and in the Vulgate of the Old Testament (Isaiah 61:1) it was used to express release from captivity or punishment. In theological language also the word is sometimes employed in its primary sense to signify the kindness and mercy of God. But in the special sense in which it is used in Catholic parlance, an indulgence is a remission of the temporal punishment due to sin, the guilt of which has been forgiven.

I stated earlier that a lot of people nurse various levels of misunderstanding and misconceptions regarding the teaching on indulgences, hence to facilitate explanation, the O.C.E. carefully spells out what indulgence is not, before actually defining and explaining indulgence. Accordingly, it states that “Indulgence” is not a permission to commit sin, nor a pardon of future sin; none of these can be granted by any power. It is not the forgiveness of the guilt of sin; it supposes that the sin has already been forgiven. It is not an exemption from any law or duty, and much less from the obligation consequent on certain kinds of sin, e.g., restitution; on the contrary, it means a more complete payment of the debt which the sinner owes to God. It does not confer immunity from temptation or remove the possibility of subsequent lapses into sin. Most of all, an indulgence is not the purchase of a pardon which secures the buyer's salvation or releases the soul of another from Purgatory. The absurdity of such notions must be obvious to anyone who forms a correct idea of what the Catholic Church really teaches on this subject.

From here then, still following the O.C.E. synthesis, we proceed to what indulgence is: An indulgence is the extra-sacramental remission of the temporal punishment due, in God's justice, to sin that has been forgiven, which remission is granted by the Church in the exercise of the power of the keys, through the application of the superabundant merits of Christ and of the saints, and for some just and reasonable motive. Regarding this definition, it must be noted that in the Sacrament of Baptism not only is the guilt of sin remitted, but also all the penalties attached to sin. In the Sacrament of Penance the guilt of sin is removed, and with it the eternal punishment due to mortal sin; but there still remains the temporal punishment required by Divine justice, and this requirement must be fulfilled either in the present life or in the world to come, i.e., in Purgatory. An indulgence offers the penitent sinner the means of discharging this debt during his life on earth.

The forum called the Catholic Answers presents the explanation for indulgences lucidly. It emphatically states that Indulgences are part of the Church's infallible teaching. This means that no Catholic is at liberty to disbelieve in them. The Council of Trent stated that it “condemns with anathema those who say that indulgences are useless or that the Church does not have the power to grant them” (Council of Trent, Session 25, Decree on Indulgences). Trent's anathema places indulgences in the realm of infallibly defined teaching. The pious use of indulgences dates back into the early days of the Church, and the principles underlying indulgences extend back into the Bible itself. Catholics who are uncomfortable with indulgences do not realize how biblical they are. The principles behind indulgences are as clear in Scripture as those behind more familiar doctrines, such as the Trinity.

When a person sins, he acquires certain liabilities: the liability of guilt and the liability of punishment. Scripture speaks of the former when it pictures guilt as clinging to our souls, making them discolored and unclean before God: “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall become like wool” (Is. 1:18). This idea of guilt clinging to our souls appears in texts that picture forgiveness as a cleansing or washing and the state of our forgiven souls as clean and white (cf. Ps. 51:4, 9).

However, we incur not just guilt, but liability for punishment when we sin: “I will punish the world for its evil, and the wicked for their iniquity; I will put an end to the pride of the arrogant and lay low the haughtiness of the ruthless” (Is. 13:11). Judgment pertains even to the smallest sins: “For God will bring every deed into judgment, with every secret thing, whether good or evil” (Eccl. 12:14). The Bible thus indicates some punishments are eternal, lasting forever, but others are temporal. Eternal punishment is mentioned in Daniel 12:2: “And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life and some to shame and everlasting contempt.”

Regarding how temporal penalties may remain when a sin is forgiven, we know that when someone repents, God removes his guilt (Is. 1:18) and any eternal punishment (Rom. 5:9), but temporal penalties may remain. One passage demonstrating this is the 12th Chapter of the Second Book of Samuel, in which Nathan the prophet confronts David over his adultery: “Then David said to Nathan, 'I have sinned against the Lord.' Nathan answered David: 'The Lord on his part has forgiven your sin; you shall not die. But since you have utterly spurned the Lord by this deed, the child born to you must surely die'” (2 Sam. 12:13-14). God forgave David but David still had to suffer the loss of his son as well as other temporal punishments (2 Sam. 12:7-12). For other references, read Numbers 14:13-23; 20:12; 27:12-14).

On the Various Kinds of Indulgences, it is to be noted that there are different distinctions: An indulgence that may be gained in any part of the world is Universal Indulgence, while one that can be gained only in a specified place (Rome, Jerusalem, etc.) is Local Indulgence. A further distinction is that between Perpetual Indulgence which may be gained at any time, and Temporary Indulgence which is available on certain days only, or within certain periods. Real Indulgence is attached to the use of certain objects (crucifix, rosary, medal, etc); Personal Indulgences is that which does not require the use of any such material thing, or which is granted only to a certain class of individuals, e.g. members of an order or confraternity.

The most important distinction, however, is that between Plenary Indulgences and Partial Indulgences. By a Plenary Indulgence is meant the remission of the entire temporal punishment due to sin so that no further expiation is required in Purgatory. A Partial Indulgence commutes only a certain portion of the penalty; and this portion is determined in accordance with the penitential discipline of the early Church. To say that an indulgence of so many days or years is granted means that it cancels an amount of purgatorial punishment equivalent to that which would have been remitted, in the sight of God, by the performance of so many days or years of the ancient canonical penance. Here, evidently, the reckoning makes no claim to absolute exactness; it has only a relative value.

To give a plain and simple summary of this latter group of distinctions termed the most important, we can say that: A Plenary Indulgence means that by the merits of Jesus Christ, the Blessed Virgin Mary and all the saints, the full remission of the temporal punishment due to sacramentally forgiven sins is obtained. The person becomes as if just baptized and would fly immediately to heaven if he died in that instant. A Partial Indulgence means that a portion of the temporal punishment due to forgiven sin is remitted. Partial indulgences are received either by doing some act to which a partial indulgence is attached (e.g. praying a partially indulgenced prayer), or by the incomplete fulfillment of the conditions attached to a plenary indulgence.

God uses the Church when he removes temporal penalties. This is the essence of the doctrine of indulgences. That is why the Forum on the Catholic Answers defined indulgences as “what we receive when the Church lessens the temporal penalties to which we may be subject even though our sins have been forgiven.” The members of the Church became aware of this principle through the sacrament of penance. From the beginning, acts of penance were assigned as part of the sacrament because the Church recognized that Christians must deal with temporal penalties, such as God's discipline and the need to compensate those our sins have injured. The Church also recognized that the duration of temporal punishments could be lessened through the involvement of other persons who had pleased God. Scripture tells us God gave the authority to forgive sins “to men” (Matt. 9:8) and to Christ's ministers in particular. Jesus told them, “As the Father has sent me, even so I send you. . . . Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained” (John 20:21-23).

If Christ gave his ministers the ability to forgive the eternal penalty of sin, how much more would they be able to remit the temporal penalties of sin! Christ also promised his Church the power to bind and loose on earth, saying, “Truly, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven” (Matt. 18:18).

Very importantly, it is to be noted that God blesses dead Christians as a reward to living Christians. From the beginning the Church recognized the validity of praying for the dead so that their transition into heaven (via purgatory) might be swift and smooth. This meant praying for the lessening or removal of temporal penalties holding them back from the full glory of heaven. For this reason the Church teaches that “indulgences can always be applied to the dead by way of prayer” (Pope Paul VI, Indulgentarium Doctrina, 3). The custom of praying for the dead is not restricted to the Catholic faith. When a Jewish person's loved one dies, he prays a prayer known as the Mourner's Kaddish for eleven months after the death for the loved one's purification. An explicit biblical reference to prayers for the dead is to be found in 2 Macc. 12:42-46. Here, Judah Maccabeus not only prayed for the dead, but he provided for them the then-appropriate ecclesial action for lessening temporal penalties: a sin offering. Accordingly, we may take the now-appropriate ecclesial action for lessening temporal penalties indulgences and apply them to the dead by way of prayer.

Finally, it is a matter of faith and joy that the Church has received from Christ the power to grant indulgences, and that the use of indulgences is salutary and eternally rewarding for the faithful. An essential element in indulgences is the application to one person of the satisfaction performed by others. This transfer is based on three things: the Communion of Saints, the principle of vicarious satisfaction, and the Treasury of the Church.
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One Tenure Madness
» By Rev. Fr. Leonard O. Anetekhai
Barely two months after the inauguration of President Goodluck Jonathan, our breath of fresh air with the hope that Nigeria and Nigerians is on the road to regaining her lost glory through infrastructural development, is gradually and without mincing words, eroding away with little or no attention by Jonathan's administration to issues that threatens our safety as individual and physical wellbeing. It is indisputable that one of the greatest challenges within these two months is the growing insecurity trend across the country. Nigerians now live in perpetual fear of falling victim to the spate of bombings, assassinations, kidnappings and other acts of terrorism that have unfortunately assumed an alarming dimension in the country. In the face of all these, Jonathan is conceiving a single tenure of six year for our future presidents and governors in office.

For me, I will say it is a nice idea, good thinking and positive initiative, but not now and not with the kind of “dealers” we have as leaders, certainly not with the premature minds and “legislathieves” in National Assembly. For God's sake, we just started a marathon race and we have not reached a yard, we are discussing on winning. Jonathan should please focus on providing us with energy (power), empower jobless youths and make education our pride as a nation. I smell deadlock in goodluck, because he is trying to bring an ant infected firewood into his house, and the implication, he must be ready to contend with.

Though some have argued for him by saying, the President has the freedom of expression as any individual, yes! Nobody is disputing that, let him express himself, but he must do it with the goal of achieving his set promises for Nigerians. We are still in 2011, and the madness to run or not to run in 2015 is already in the pipeline of our thoughts. If as an individual I contest an election and after my victory, I discover that the process of electing a “servant” for the nation is too cumbersome, then all I need to do is to make INEC, the official electoral body to begin work now rather than wait for six months to elections. Jonathan should please consider his so called right to express himself and think of how INEC will begin the process of election for 2015. For crying out loud, we are yet to feel and see the ENOUGH IS ENOUGH that was promised on the eve of Jonathan's acceptance speech. Let security for now be our watchword.

Borno state is a no go area because some people feel they are in charge and can use Boko Haram as a shield to get what they want, yet nothing is done. If in the name of religion, some persons say, “we do not want Western education, we do not want to wear western clothes nor ride in cars”, then let them not begin to kill innocent citizens all in the name of “Western Education is Forbidden” What is western education without the benefits of what we have today? Nobody is forcing you to go to school, then why kill others who want to go to school?

Mr. President, with what Nigerians are witnessing, the belief of Boko haram, is that “This government is not Islamic. Therefore, all its employees-Muslims and non-Muslims are Infidels”. Thus, “anyone who is not governed by what Allah has revealed is among the sinners”. But with my little understanding of the Qur'an, Sura 1 says, In the Name of God, the Merciful, the Compassionate. Praise belongs to God, the Lord of all Being, the All merciful, the All compassionate, the Master of the Day of Doom. It went further to say, Thee only we serve: to Thee alone we pray for succor. Guide us in the straight path, the path of those whom Thou has blessed, not of those against whom Thou art wrathful, nor of those who are astray. If this is what we believe, GOD BEING MERCIFUL, then let God fight and destroy sinners, and not some Boko Haram promoting a version of Islam which makes it "haram", or forbidden, for Muslims to take part in any political or social activity associated with western civilization. If anyone is committed to the Propagation of his or her faith, let him or her be and not with violence.

The memories of September 7, 2010, when Boko Haram freed over 700 inmates from a prison in Bauchi State, the December 2010, market bombing, the assassination of a gubernatorial candidate along with his brother and four police officers, on January 28, 2011are still fresh in the minds of Nigerians. The different attempt of bomb blast and jailbreaks with and around the North are vivid signs that they do not want peace but chaos.

Boko Haram has announced its Jihad in Nigeria and its intent on causing further mayhem until its goals of setting up a nation under Sharia is met. For many of us Nigerians, this is a serious threat, and must be taken very seriously by this President. Boko Haram has basically declared war on the Federal Government of Nigeria, and it is important to evaluate the situation carefully to avert the growing, impracticable cancer. It is better now to remove the tumor before it spreads.

Yes, we have used the amnesty policy for Niger Delta and it is working, but it does not mean that it will work for the Muslim rebel group that is spreading violence outward from its stronghold in the Northeastern city of Maiduguri, Borno State. This is beyond amnesty, because Nigerians are not seeing the just cause in the fight to entrench the “No Western Education policy”. The Northern leaders should please ask themselves, “of what benefit is education to us and our people? if it has not in any way resolved some basic problems within the northern states, then let it be discarded, but if it has, then why not call these so called “Boko is a Ram” people to order. The real danger is not in the present but what is yet to come; even the so called elite themselves are not safe.

This is a war that cannot be won by confrontation because these people live among us and for anyone that is killed, there will be more to eagerly replace them. So it is important that the authorities attack this problem from the roots so that our beloved nation will not follow other countries like Somalia, Afghanistan and the rest. It certainly does not require just the appointment of a Special Adviser on Terrorism to solve this problem. A good starting point, no doubt, would be to dismantle our so-called "intelligence" system, and build a capable and proactive replacement, that will not just secure their offices and homes, but will show concern for our borders.

Also, the President should provide a forum for the northern leaders to discuss and let the government do its best to address the issue of poverty, unemployment and illiteracy in the North, and not to litter their environment with “keke napep” all in the name of achieving the vision 2020 goal. We have representatives from these states in the National Assembly, let them be involved in this tussle and provide possible solutions, and not just sit and sleep during sessions.

Mr. Jonathan needs to take charge now, rather than conceive a single tenure bill two months after inauguration. Whether he likes it or not there is a "war" on his hands, and a very unconventional one at that. One tenure term of six years is not our priority for now as a developing nation, but security.
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The Scandal Of Domestic Violence On Children
» By Rev. Fr. Francis Ikhianosime
The issue of abuse on minors irrespective of the elaborate debate and time given to it in recent past has still not turned a subject of banal writ. This is so because; time and again, such issues open up new frontiers for analysis and elicit more challenges by the day. In our present contention, violence in societies and issues in social maladjustment find their remote causes to abuses at childhood and the effects have provoked worries in many quarters. The issue of domestic violence as it is technically referred to, stands in contradistinction to the reverence, protection and care children are supposed to enjoy. This is the starting point of our discussion.

Issues which have come to be termed abuse on children now were not the same in the past three decades. They were issues which were morally acceptable. In recent times, some of such issues have become subject of rigorous debate. In the past, some people held that it was morally edifying and a corrective measure to punish a child to the point of physical abuse and as it were, this will make the child dread the crime subsequently. Such ideologies are often backed with the literal interpretation of the biblical maxim, “spare the rod and spoil the child”. More so, children and women were seen as chattels in the house and were to be used as was desired. This accounts why there was an utmost unrestrained birth by many parents. With the liberation movement for women and the charter on child's right enacted, there has been a changing recognition of new roles of children and women in the family. Psychologists and sociologists have repeatedly traced without miss that the bane of many social malfunctioning is because of abuse on children.

“Domestic violence” is a choice designation which connotes an abuse on children in intimate ties with another. Thus, domestic violence refers to such abuses to children by other members of a family relationship. The concept 'family relationship' here should not be understood within the confines of a nuclear family alone but one within the elasticity of cohabitation in their least degree. Child abuse as a subject of ethics traces its pedigree to discipline within the family. In the past two decades, there has been growing recognition of the prevalence of domestic violence in our society. Moreover, it has become apparent that some individuals are at greater risk for victimization than others. Domestic violence has adverse effects on individuals, families, and society in general.

Domestic violence refers to physical, moral, sexual and psychological abuse. The last is more resilient to contain denial of the rights and privileges of children without an explanation. The United States Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act of 1974 (PL93-247) defines abuse and neglect as:
“the physical and mental injury, sexual abuse, negligent treatment or maltreatment of a child under the age of 18 by a person who is responsible for the child's welfare under circumstances which indicate that the child's health and welfare is harmed or threatened thereby…”

Although the definition contains the essentialities of domestic violence, particular and key terms are under weight of rigorous discrepancy. For instance, what should pass as abuse and discipline? I would rather clear this puzzle that abuse can be ascertained in the light of particular effect rather than particular actions. This is similarly ancillary by the intention behind such action. This clarity has become expedient since there may be similar and/or particular actions carried out without producing equal effect. We can hereof conclude that abuse is conceived in the light of the effect it is most likely to produce on the child. This effect must be noted is conceived in the light of short term as well as long term.

In talking about the effects of abuse based on the actions of family members, cognizance must be taken also of cultural realities as well as moral and religious miscellany or proclivities. Definitional problems occur at each but note and honesty must be taken on those which produce adverse effect on the child. For instance: a mother bathing with a child is more likely to produce long term effect on the child; or the tickling of a child's genitals to sleep may produce in the child a penchant for masturbation in the future. Similarly, the Jehovah Witness' preventing blood transfusion to their sick child, or a Native American prohibiting organ transplant to a child ailed with cancer. There is always a strut for the right canon to be observed. This is the difficulty that abuse by analysis contends with. One thing remains clear irrespective of the many particularities and peculiarities of determining what pass for an abuse, there are abuses which are universal. An action that is likely to produce an abuse is more likely to be known based on association of experiences. This is where our discussion shall take a working cue from. Thus, in concord with John Lantos, both physical abuse and sexual abuse of children exist along a spectrum, from obvious cruelty and exploitation to grayer areas of corporal punishment or sexual game playing. These are the very areas that commute sometimes to be psychological abuses on the child.

Pertinent to add here without bias is the point that the cultures of violence on children apart from the fact of being the object of lack of adequate parental whims, society and her laws some times purport a contradiction by what she portrays and uphold. If for instance, the media features issues which extol violence even inadvertently, without the aim of doing so, it may both send wrong signals to viewing parents or on the other hand, if clips of violence abound in movies which are meant to be viewed by pre-adolescents and adolescents it will be the promotion of violence.

There are a couple of reasons, which account for domestic violence on children. Of a more linear account is that many reprimanding parents have not been able to draw a clear divide between discipline and abuse. It is in a bid to correct a child sometimes that lead to the abuse of the child very often. Even when it has become noticed that a physical assault has been done to a child, many parents or guardians feel a kind of pride typical of a traditional African not to acknowledge the excess. They irreverently allow oppression to flow with discipline. Again, physical abuses are carryover of domestic violence by husbands to wives or vice versa. It is recorded that most battered women are more likely to abuse their children than those who have not been abused by their spouse. Domestic violence is more likely to happen in schools too by ill-trained teachers. Issues of domestic violence lamentably bring to fore a coterie of abuse of right; the rights of children. This is the scandal of domestic violence on children. Children are rightly regarded as minors this implies that their vulnerability should be respected and their rights upheld. Be that as it may, the issue at stake here is not so much for the causes of domestic violence but poignantly their effects on the children, families and societies.

IMMEDIATE AND REMOTE EFFFECTS OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE ON CHILDREN

Domestic violence on children has a multiplier effect on the child, the family and the society at large. A child exposed to domestic violence is more likely to have the following behavioral problems: aggression, phobias, insomnia, low self-esteem, and depression. Children exposed to domestic violence may demonstrate poor academic performance and problem-solving skills, and low levels of empathy and even drop out from school. Exposure to chronic or extreme domestic violence may result in symptoms consistent with posttraumatic stress disorder, such as emotional numbing, increased arousal, avoidance of any reminders of the violent event, or obsessive and repeated focus on the event. Retrospective studies indicate that there may also be negative effects in adulthood, including depression, low self-esteem, violent practices in the home, and criminal behavior. Domestic violence could lead to difficult interpersonal relationship. Many children who domestically were abused are more likely to arrange their life around the trauma when they grow old. This sometimes gives birth to eccentric behavior or makes the individual to be withdrawn or to live a recluse life.

Some children may not be abused themselves but their exposure to violence could butt up a negative image in their mind as they grow up. Children may exhibit a wide range of reactions to exposure to violence in their home or in movies. They may not know the meaning of abuse at the time, but when they are scolded, they know and tend to believe that they must have done something wrong. Self-blame can precipitate feelings of guilt, worry, and anxiety. It is important to consider that children, especially younger children, typically do not have the ability to adequately express their feelings verbally. Consequently, the manifestation of these emotions is often behavioral such as sleeping difficulty, headaches, etc. These too if not checked will build up an image of diffidence in them. In addition, children who had a violent past show signs of distress than those who have not been violated. While substance abuse may be an effect of domestic violence on children, it is also the cause of it along poverty, homelessness, etc.

The family is not left in the leashing consequences of domestic violence especially when one of the parents is involved in the violence. The child will develop an almost irreversible disdain for the parent, lost trust in the parent and both sometimes. This will prolong very often and amounts for the neglect of parents at their old age when by their adult children. Also, when parents who have consciously or unconsciously abused their children are unable to care for the basic needs of their battered kids, such kids are likely to find a way of coping with such double difficulty. They are more likely to indulge in stealing, lies, cheating and other whimsical and capricious behaviour. Similarly, these children are more likely to turn to street hooligans and social lout especially of families with weak parenting styles. This is precisely where the society has her share of counter-effects

It must be pointed now that social behaviours are contagious. By this I uphold that the character of people have a fleeting influence on others since it is a product of human acts and man is a product of society where these acts ever abound. Behaviour in a synopsis is easily learned. Once a child who is a product of domestic violence is not well cared for, he is more likely to seek for care in other areas like the society where he gives himself a sense of relevance. This very often is via a wrong means. The situation if not properly managed, transposes them into touts. This translates to be higher crime rate, higher delinquency and the like. It is noted that many of those who find their way to remand homes and prisons were victims of domestic violence at their childhood. Adults who were victims of domestic violence are prone to be more aggressive. They are likely to talk with force and always with the threat of a dangerous undertaken if their request is not granted. For instance, “Give me water or I scatter this place”. The consequences or effects of domestic violence on children are enormous and cannot be gainsaid.

HELPING CHILDREN EXPOSED TO DOMESTIC VIOLENCE
Domestic violence if spotted out on time can help the child to develop a positive self image about himself or herself. The best person to redirect the child is not the parent who has battered the child but a counselor for instance. This is not to mean that the parent cannot do this same task but it will take other measures outside of a counseling option to achieve this goal.
If one observes the signs that are associated with domestic violated children, then it will be easily to help them. The child should be called and if ready to talk, should be made to appreciate himself better. The child can be involved with a psychologists or sociologist or a guidance counselor. If the child is ready to talk, he should be made to recount the experience but if not the experience or near experience could be noted and attention to be drawn to those who abused the child. In listening to the child, the counselor must be attentively listening to create an impression of care and concern. There are many ways of salvaging the problem of domestic violence on children. The most is what has been enunciated above and that such an adventure must be one that is consistent and have an overtone of care and love so as to counter the long term effects created on the child. If we do this, we are just steeped on the plane of crime reduction in our families and society and making more healthier adults.

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Boko Haram ‘Bombing Of Churches Is An Invitation To Chaos’ - CBCN

Chioma Agboh

The recent bombings of Christian place of worship by the Boko Haram religious sect have been strongly condemned by the Catholic Bishops' Conference of Nigeria (CBCN), which unanimously agreed that “it constitute an invitation to chaos and do not augur well for the peaceful co-existence of all Nigerians…”

This stand was revealed in a statement by the Catholic Bishops' Conference of Nigeria (CBCN) on “the persistent attack of the Boko Haram religious sect on innocent Nigerians and the threat to the sovereignty of Nigeria and the peaceful co-existence of all Nigerians in a secular, multi- religious/ethnic Nation”, signed by the group's Deputy Secretary General, Rev. Fr. Peter Okonkwo, CMF.

Reacting to a list of bomb attacks on Christian place of worship which include All Christians Fellowship Church, Suleja, Niger State, leaving three female worshippers dead, several others wounded and parts of the Church badly damaged and some Christian Churches in Maiduguri, Bauchi, Sokoto as well as other major towns in some states of the North, among them, St Patrick Catholic Cathedral, Maiduguri, the CBCN noted that “the attack on a Christian place of worship while the people were communing with God, is not only dastardly, but one too many.”

More, the shepherds of souls who collectively termed the Boko Haram terrorist Islamic fundamentalist group's activities as ungodly and unhealthy for the peaceful co-existence of all Nigerians, irrespective of their religious differences, pointed out that “This stepping up of murderous activities ………. the vicious attack on sacred places of worship and killing of innocent faithful without any justification, is not only an ungodly act, but a disrespect to human life which only God can create and has the ultimate right to take”.

Continuing, the statement which observed that the incidents were an aftermath of reported threats by members of the sect to scale up their terrorist action in the country by shifting their “callous” attention to Christian places of worship, stressed that the persistent “crude” attacks on innocent Nigerians “is not only a security threat, but a callous, calculated attempt to destabilize the country and rubbish her secularity, using religion as prime a factor”.

Further, the Catholic Bishops re-echoed the fears of the speaker of the House of Representatives, Alhaji Aminu Tambuwal who while addressing representatives of the Arewa consultative forum, noted that the country's sovereignty is under “real threat”, warning of dire consequences, if care is not taken. More, the CBCN lamented that it is a truth that has been echoed by all well meaning Nigerians, including the Catholic Bishops and other top government officials, but no competent authority has given the problem the attention it deserves.

In addition, the prelates pointed out that during the swearing in of President Goodluck Jonathan, he promised to uphold the sovereignty of Nigeria, protect lives and properties and make security one of the priority programme of his administration. However, they maintained that “since the emergence of Goodluck's administration, the Boko Haram terrorist group has been having a field day; making majority of Nigerians to live in fear while the government continues to pay lip service to the issue of security and the people are being killed with impunity. Cynically and even more painfully, the nation's security chiefs have continued to assure Nigerians that they are on top of the situation……..”

Drawing the attention of all to a press conference by Rev. Fr. Michael Ekpenyone, the Secretary General of the Catholic Secretariat of Nigeria in Abuja recently, in which he expressed serious concern on the state of insecurity in the country and condemned the spate of bomb blasts in some states of the North and Abuja, also articulated the position of the Church against fanatical religious exclusivism which is against the missionary imperative and the country's constitution which allows freedom of worship and choice of religions in a secular Nigerian Nation.

While stating that the “nefarious actions” of the Boko Haram sect has gotten to a peak that can set the country ablaze, the Bishops warned that “Enough is enough and government should not allow the people to be pushed to the wall to avert violent reprisals… violence, under any guise, is not the exclusive right of any particular group of people…” They maintained.

Further, the CBCN assured the present administration of their committed support to moving the country forward, but reiterated “that they will not fold their arms and watch Nigerian Christians randomly blown to pieces” and tasked the government to take effective and decisive action to stem the Boko Haram menace, while calling on all to rise above fanatical religious exclusivism and also harped on the need for “respect of every other citizen's right to life, right to practice their religion and right to pursue their legitimate aspirations within the Nigerian Nation”…, they added.


Nordic Bishops: Norway Attacks “Senseless” ….. U.S Bishops Offer Condolence

The Nordic Catholic Bishops have recently decried the July 26 bombing and shooting that left seventy six (76) dead in Norway, a pair of terrorist attacks they called “an expression of senseless violence.”

The Bishops said this in a statement signed by Bishop Anders Arborelius of Stockhom, president of the Nordic Bishop's conference, in which they conveyed their “great sadness and dismay upon hearing the news of the bombing and shooting that took place in Oslo and on the Island of Utoya.”

According to reports, the first attack was a bomb explosion in Oslo outside the office of Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg that killed eight (8) people. A few hours later, a gunman dressed as a police officer began shooting at a youth camp on the Island of Utoya, killing sixty-eight (68). Authorities have arrested 32 year old Anders Behring Breivik of Norway in connection with both attacks.

Further in the statement, the Bishops stressed that “these events are an expression of senseless violence and bring untold suffering and despair for many people”. They added that “our sincere condolences to the victims and the families to whom we promise our prayers and to all the people in Norway, with whom we feel especially connected in these days.”

In a show of solidarity, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops have offered condolences in a letter signed by Archbishop Timothy Dolan of New York, President of the U.S. conference to Bishop Arborelius and Beernt Ivar Eidsvig of Oslo.

While expressing their condolence, they urged Norwegians to accept their sympathy “at this moment of terrible sadness in the beautiful nation of Norway”, adding that “the assault on government building in Oslo and a neighboring Youth Camp reminds us again of the fragility of life and the challenge to overcome evil in its many forms”.

Continuing, the U.S. Bishops pointed out that “the almost unfathomable tragedy and the deaths of so many innocent people touch the hearts of people all around the world and call us to special prayer for the victims, their families and the people of Norway especially.”

Further, the Bishops who prayed God to console Norwegians at this moment of intense pain and outrage, stated that, “we join with the Church in Scandinavia in working towards peace in our society, as we see exacerbated social divisions overshadow the fact that we are all brothers and sisters who seek a better world for all. We ask God’s guidance and inspiration and gift of peace at this troubled time” they added.

Pray For The Church In North Sudan - Archbishop Adwok

The auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Khartoun, Bishop Daniel Adwok, has called on the Church in South Sudan to remember to pray for the Church in North Sudan, while exposing some of the challenges they (North Sudan Church) face in their present context.

While urging the Church in South Sudan not to forget them, Bishop Adwok in an exclusive interview, stressed that the decision to leave the North and return to the South is not an easy one to make.

More, the Bishop revealed that the Christians in Sudan are faced with a negative attitude from the general public that seems keen on living by last year's presidential decree stating that after the independence of South Sudan, the republic of North Sudan will be an Islamic nation with Sharia law applied to the full, Arabic as the only language and Arabic culture as the norm.

In addition to the problems they face, the Bishop revealed that South Sudanese in the North who have fixed assets like land, are not been allowed to sell it and that the complainants have neither recourse to justice not offered any explanations while lamenting that identity cards have been withdrawn from some individuals with South Sudanese ancestry.

Also, he spoke about the financial challenges the Catholic Schools are going through, explaining that with funding from Catholic Charities dwindling and many parents not being able to raise the required school fees given their meager earning, the Church in Sudan is considering closing down some of its schools.

Reports have it that Sudan's governing National Congress Party (NCP) has reaffirmed refusal to granting dual- citizenship to South Sudanese. South Sudan on the contrary, has pledged to grant citizenship to North Sudanese.


Ososo Hosts Diocesan Laity Council

Sylvester Aigberua

St Anne Catholic Church, Ososo has recently played host to the 87th regular monthly meeting of the Auchi Diocesan laity council on Sunday, July 3rd , 2011.

At the commencement of the meeting Mr S.A. Akpologun led the opening prayers, while the host chairman, Mr Leo Lawani (JP) gave his welcome address.

He told the delegates that till 2010 before Dagbala was carved out as a mass centre, Ososo parish had eleven (11) stations but now, it can boast of St Anne Catholic Church, Ososo as main station, St Patrick Catholic Church, Egbetua- Ososo, Holy Trinity Catholic Church, Ikpena Ososo, St John the Baptist Catholic Church Oja, St Peters' Catholic Church Makeke, St Mary's Catholic Church Ileteju Makeke and St Dominic's Catholic Church Ojah (newly created).

Further, Mr Lawani stated that almost all the stations in the parish have embarked on projects for physical development. In addition to the renovation and expansion project started by the former parish priest Rev. Fr. Silas Obobokai, the present priest, Rev. Fr. Philip Omokhekhe has added the expansion and renovation of the altar and setting up of the Tabernacle.

More, the host chairman also saluted the efforts of parishioners and the priest who together, have been up and doing in trying to see that the projects are completed and passionately appealed to the council for assistance to his parish, towards the successful completion of the projects.

Other projects in other stations include the building of a rectory at St. John The Baptist Catholic Church, Ojah which is near completion, while St. Patrick, Ososo is also building a new church. Considering the lean financial state of the parish, Mr. Leo Lawani praised the successive parish priests for assisting the station to grow and also added that the relationship between the priest and the lay faithful is that of collaboration, as Fr. Omokhekhe is a father to all.

Also the host chairman reported that St. Annes' Nursery/Primary school, Ososo is currently undergoing a great change with the assistance of the Sisters of Our Mother of Perpetual Help of The Archangel, Auchi. He added that for spiritual growth, the various Lay Apostolate groups are functional in the parish. Also, he informed the delegates that the parish has produced nine (9) Reverend Fathers with another to be ordained at Ibadan on July 4th 2011, three seminarians in the seminary, four (4) Rev. Sisters with more in the various convents and four trained catechists.

On a sad note, he announced the death of the parish laity council chairman of St. John the Apostle Parish, Igarra Prince Jerome Oyedele.

While discussing the burial of Late Prince Jerome Oyedele, the council decided to send a token to assist his children towards the burial, as all were youths and also thanked St. John The Apostle Parish Igarra, for the role they accepted to play, where he was till his death, the laity council chairman.

Other issues deliberated on were the leadership workshop in which each participant is expected to pay the sum of One thousand naira (N1000), the Diocesan laity harvest slated for September 27th, 2011, at Ogbona

The next meeting is slated for August 7th. 2011 at the Immaculate Conception Cathedral, Auchi.

Rev. Fr. Lawrence Ayonote Thanks God At Uzairue

John Idaewor

The Catholic Faithful of Holy Rosary Catholic Church Afashio/Afowa Uzairue, recently had reasons to thank God, as one of their sons, Rev Fr. Lawrence Sunny Ayonote, ordained a catholic priest for Lagos Archdiocese in June, celebrated his ordination thanksgiving mass at the Church

At the Eucharistic celebration for the occasion, Rev. Fr. Polycap Imoagene while giving the homily, stated that the celebrating priest was a prayerful seminarian while in seminary and it was his ability to pray that has enabled him to conquer the trials of life and become a victor, noting that the path to priesthood is not an easy one.

Fr. Imoagene further charged Rev. Fr. Ayonote to continue holding on to God in prayer, which he assured is the key to open doors of blessings and graces from God, which is one of the needed virtues to succeed in the priestly ministry, stressing that without the grace of God on a priest, he will be an empty vessel and a walk over for the devil.

More, the homilist charged all priests to embrace a life of prayer and true worship of God, if they are to succeed in their endeavour and to run the race of life to a successful end, pointing out that without prayer, a Christian will not be able to access all the blessings that God has in store for him, live an unfaithful life and be a dumping ground for all the devices of the devil.

He also enjoined all to endeavour to pray for their priests as they are the constant targets of the enemy, who sees them as obstacles to hatching all their wicked plans on the children of God, adding that the devil will stop at nothing until he brings the priesthood to disrepute, but with prayers, the Church will prevail.

Highlight of the mass was a joyful thanksgiving by the celebrating priest Rev. Fr. Lawrence Ayonote, who in company of family, friends and parishioners, joyfully danced to the altar in thanksgiving to God.

Shortly after the mass, a reception was held in honour of Rev. Fr. Lawrence Ayonote at the Catholic Women Organization (CWO) hall where guests and parishioners were entertained with various traditional dances from Afashio, Ikabigbo and Afowa.

Aviele Marks Patron Saint Day

The Catholic Community of St. Anthony, Aviele has celebrated their patron Saint feast day, St. Anthony of Padua, with joy, thanksgiving and praises to God for the grace to witness the successful occasion.

Delivering the homily at the mass to celebrate the occasion, the priest in charge Rev. Fr. Callistus Ulokoaga urged the faithful to make faith the foundation of their Christian lives, as it is only through faith they can succeed in their race and make heaven, the hope of all true believers.

Rev. Fr. Callistus Ulokoaga, who highlighted the importance of faith in a Christian's life, also said that faith is a gift from God, which enables faithful to experience God even in dark circumstances, increase their joy in the Lord and also performs supernatural miracles for those who trust in Him.

Speaking further, the priest, who noted that some faithful do not know the importance of their Patron Saint (Anthony of Padua), however pointed out that when St Anthony was on earth, he was faithful to his brotherhood, prayerful and also lived in peace with all.

Highpoint of the Eucharistic celebration for the feast day was a thanksgiving procession to the altar by joyful parishioners, thanking God for His Goodness.

During the reception organized at the Church premises to cap the occasion, the invited guest speaker Sir Akaba, spoke about St. Anthony of Padua, how he was honest and truthful while on earth and how he was empowered by the infant Jesus, who gave him power to pray and work miracles.

Sir Akaba also harped on the importance of prayer which he termed as a means by which Christians come in contact with God as well as boost their relationship with Him, While adding that it is also a channel through which God makes His graces available to them.

Activities featured at the occasion included cultural presentations, drama and songs. Thereafter, Chief A. Morgan, gave the vote of thanks.

Rev. Fr. Ajakaiye Thanks God At Ososo

Attah D.S.

The joy of Ososo faithful knew no bonds recently, as one of their own, Rev. Fr. Jerome Eveshotonamhe Ajajaiye, ordained priest for Ibadan Archdiocese by the Archbishop of Ibadan Archdiocese Most Rev. (Dr.) Alaba Job, celebrated his thanksgiving mass at St Anne Parish Ososo, in company of his family, friends and well wishers.

Welcoming all to the Eucharist celebration, the host priest Rev. Fr. Philip Omokhekhe, thanked all present for coming to celebrate with the new priest especially his brother priests- Rev. Frs. Peter Ayala, Silas Bobokhai, Ignatius Omunagbe and two other priests from Ibadan. He also welcomed His Highness and Queen the Olososo of Ososo Ichama II and other important guests present.

Delivering the homily, Rev. Fr. Eugene Egbe (Ibadan Archdiocese), congratulated the newly ordained priest and welcomed him to the ministry of Christ, while reminding him that priesthood is a gift to humanity and is not meant for everybody as a result, it cannot be toiled with. He urged him to tread the journey he has began with caution, as there are challenges and trials on the way.

Enumerating the functions of a priest as being a vessel of God that mediates between God and man, Rev. Fr. Egbe also noted that a priest offers selfless services and sacrifice to God, is given the grace to carryout pastoral works, pointing out that though the road is rough and rugged, it requires courage, perseverance and determination for any priest to maintain a steady journey, as the work of a priest requires absolute dedication and commitment.

The highpoint of the mass was a joyful dance by Rev. Fr. Jerome Ajakaiye and his family to the altar to give thanks to God for the gift of priesthood. He was accompanied by friends, well wishers and the entire parishioners of Ososo.

Shortly after the thanksgiving Rev. Fr. Peter Ayala the Diocesan CWO Chaplain thanked the laity members, Priests and religious present for finding time to grace the occasion. He prayed for God’s blessing and journey mercies for all.

Thereafter at the reception organized in honour of the newly ordained priest, the parish priest Rev. Fr. Philip Omokhekhe declared the occasion open with prayers.

Pa F.O. Itomo the parish pastoral Vice Chairman, read the opening speech on behalf of the chairman of the occasion Hon. M.M. Ogedengbe. In his speech, he welcomed all present to the second segment of the occasion and thanked God for the people of Ososo community, the clergy and Religious present. He thanked God also for the Inspiration generated in their young ones, in aspiring into priesthood.

He further remarked that the ordination of Rev. Fr. Ajakaiye is another step toward increasing labourers in the Lord's vineyard, as well as a fulfillment of his parent's desires to share in the proclamation of the gospel. More, Pa Itomo remarked that Rev. Fr. Ajakaiye is the 9th priest from Ososo town and prayed God to give them long life in his vineyard and also prayed for the repose of the soul of late Rev. Fr. Lawrence Attah.

Prince Oyedele Is Laid To Rest At Uneme-Nekhua

Cecil Olorunda

The remains of the laity chairman of St. John The Apostle Catholic Church, Igarra, Prince Jerry Oyedele Jerome, has been laid to rest in his home town Uneme-nekhua in Akoko-Edo Local Government Area of Edo State.

Giving the homily at the funeral mass concelebrated by Very Rev. Fr. Isaac Bossey and Rev. Fr. Isaac Oshomah at St. John The Apostle Catholic Church, Igarra. Fr Oshomah charged Christians not to see death as the end of life, but as a transformation to glory with Jesus Christ.

According to him, man came into this world naked, so shall he return to God. He said that man should not attach much importance to material life as he cannot maneuver death no matter his influence, riches, race and colour.

Speaking at the mass held at Late Prince Jerome Oyedele's home town of St. Theresa Catholic Church, Uneme-nekhua, Very Rev. Fr. Isaac Bossey described the deceased as a careful and loving man who served God faithfully, stressing that all men should remember that they would be called to rest by God some day, as he urged the faithful to pray for the dead.

More, the priest who also described Late Prince Oyedele as a devout Catholic, said he loved his people and his family. He affirmed that his death would create a vacuum in the parish which cannot be filled.

Continuing, he cautioned faithful to be mindful of the way they live their lives and added that all men are God's property and He alone knows when to call them to eternal rest. He tasked all present to live their lives according to the will of God. Fr. Bossey prayed God to grant the family the fortitude to bear the lose

Thereafter, the remains of Jerry Oyedele Jerome was committed to mother earth at his family compound in Uneme-Nekhua.

Ogbona Sends Forth Rev. Fr. Alokwe

Azoganokhai Johnson

The faithful of St John the Baptist Parish, Ogbona, has organized a send forth for their parish priest, Rev. Fr. Martin Onotina Alokwe, as he proceeds on further studies.

At the occasion which commenced with a benediction, the opening prayer was led by Rev. Fr. Valentine Anaweokhai, who thanked Fr. Alokwe for all the physical and spiritual development he was able to achieve in the parish, which has made it one of the top parishes in the diocese and prayed for success in his future endeavours.

Also, the chairman of the occasion Mr A.I. Enaberua, thanked the outgone parish priest for all the positive development he had introduced to the Church which has contributed to the rapid growth and development of the parish, while also praying for his success as he commences his studies.

Responding, Rev. Fr. Martin Alokwe thanked the parishioners for the care, support and love showered on him during his five (5) year stay as their parish priest, noting that he was like a son and one of their own.

Further, he opined that he couldn't have achieved much without their collaboration, which he said was the propeller of all his achievements and further tasked them to extend same hand of fellowship to their new parish priest, while soliciting for their prayers. He further prayed God to bless them all and increase the work of their hands.

Highlights of the occasion were cultural entertainment by CWO Agbi cultural troupe, drama presentation by the CYON, cultural dance by Ogbona/Iraokhor Sunday School children, as well as gifts presentation to the outgone priest.

Thereafter, Mr Raphael Edogamhe gave the vote of thanks while Rev. Fr. Alokwe led the closing prayers.

New Executive For Order Of St Paul Auchi Council

Oyarebu Philip

A new executive team has been elected by the knighthood order of St Paul Auchi Council in Auchi, to run her affairs for the next two (2) years.

Before the commencement of the election, the outgone council knight Sir P.K. Oghiator, thanked members of the council for the cooperation accorded him throughout his tenure and harped on the need for members to elect leaders of proven integrity, who are ready to work and to take the order to a greater height. To this end, Lady E.K. Habeeb was appointed as the returning Officer to conduct the election.

At the end of the election, the following members were elected to constitute the new executive team which includes Sir (Engr.) P.S. Imonigie; Council Knight (CK), Lady G.O. Bienonwu; 1st Deputy Council Knight (DCK), Lady P.A. Oghiator; 2nd Deputy Council Knight, Sir P.O. Oyarebu; Council Scribe (CS), Sir P.A. Imanogor; Deputy Council Scribe (DCS), Sir J.K. Ayevhe; Council Financial Controller (CFC) and Lady E.E. Imonigie as the Council Financial Scribe (CFS).

Other members successful at the poll were Sir A.A. Aleobua; Council Public Relations Officer (CPRO), Sir I. Onobrakpeya; Council Provost (CP) and Lady R.A. Ogbhemhe; Council Auditor (CA).

Sir (Engr.) P.S. Imonigie the new council knight, thanked members for the confidence reposed in him and promised to improve on the success story of his predecessor, while calling for prayers and cooperation of fellow knights, which he noted will be the propeller to achieving their aims and objectives.

Faithful Will Surely Overcome - Fr. Anaedevha

The Rector of St. Paul's Mass Centre, Iyerekhu Rev. Fr. Clement Anaedevha, recently reiterated the assurance given by Jesus Christ to faithful that He will remain their defender and protector in a world dominated by evil.

Fr. Anaedevha who gave this assurance in a homily at St. Paul Mass Centre Iyerekhu, stressed that as Christ conquered the devil on the Cross, so also Christians can overcome the world with His promise that He will not leave them orphans.

According to him, “true Christians will overcome the world too as Christ did, if they are in Him and Him in them” asserting that they need not be overwhelmed by trials, persecutions and difficulties.

Further, the Rector noted that God's promise will surely be fulfilled if faithful are obedient and remain steadfast in their faith and do not allow themselves to be deceived by the tricks and lies of the devil and his cohorts, who go about causing pains, sickness, disasters and deaths in the world, while calling on all to always seek the undiluted word of God, abide by it, to forge ahead in their spiritual life.

JDPC Afuze Flays Incessant Killings By Boko Haram
Ambrose Ekperi

The incessant killings, violence, destruction of lives and property that have characterized the political climate in the Northern part of the country since after the presidential election in April 2011, have been condemned by the Justice, Development and Peace Commission (JDPC), St Jude Catholic Church Afuze chapter.

In a review of the state of the nation, Mrs F. Igbuan in her contribution, said that the Boko-Haram is taking the country for a ride as they go about killing and maiming citizens in the name of religion with impunity and urged the federal government to take decisive steps to curtail their excesses.

In the same vein, Mr A.O. Irerua stated that the Boko Haram is being sponsored by some politicians in order to destabilize the country and called on the federal government to deploy soldiers and security forces to checkmate them before their activities get out of control.

While making reference to the Niger Delta Militants, Mr Irerua pointed out that the government handled their excesses with kid gloves but when the situation became overwhelming, that was when they (government) rose to their responsibility. He further urged all not to take things for granted, rather, they should be security conscious at all times.

On democracy, members challenged the Diocesan Justice, Development and Peace Commission to organize Town Hall meeting in every town and cities in Edo North Senatorial District, whereby the elected politicians will meet the electorate on a one on one discussion, so that the politicians will know and be able to meet the needs of the electorates, to ensure that the dividends of democracy reaches the grass roots.

Further, they noted that the time has come when politicians who sought their mandate during election would have to give account of their stewardship periodically.

More, the JDPC chapter commended Comrade Governor Adams Oshiomhole for the provision of good roads, electricity, health and Education. They also commended Sir J.S. Emoabino for his excellent performance in SUBEB, as well as the renovation of all schools in Edo State and urged him not to relent.

On internal roads, rehabilitation, they urged the Transition Council Chairman Hon. (Alhaji) Sufianu Igbafe to ensure that streets in Afuze like Onyeobi, Izobo, market road, Upper Ojealaro, Oakhena street (Osugua) are given side drains to channel flood. According to them, other areas that need urgent attention includes the sand filling of Auchi- Sabo road near the Catholic Church gate.

In addition, they congratulated those that won the April 2011 election especially Senator Domingo Obende, Hon. Pally Iriase and Hon. Rolly Ogedengbe for their victories and charged them to represent the people well and also urged them to inform the Comrade Governor that Erah road, Uokha-Ohanmi- Arokho road needs urgent attention.

Ekpoma Catechetical Centre Commissions Okpokpa, 7 Others

Reginald Igechi

The association of Auchi Diocese Catechists, received a boost recently, as catechist Raphael Okpokpa (Ekperi Parish) was commissioned a full time catechist along with seven others at the Brother Roman Catechetical and Renewal Centre, Ekpoma.

Officiating at the Eucharist celebration which took place at the centre's chapel, Rev. Fr. Michael Erohubie in his homily, reminded the faithful present that catechists are chosen by God to nurture fruits that will endure, stressing that the church has commissioned them to assist the priest in the work of building th kingdom of God on earth.

Continuing, Rev. Fr. Erohubie who represented His Grace, Most Rev. (Dr.) Augustine Akubeze, Archbishop of Benin Archdiocese, enjoined the newly commissioned catechists to endure the sufferings and pains they may encounter in the course of carrying out their duties for God, pointing out that they will lead to the manifestation of Christ in their lives, while urging them to be animators of the liturgy and work assiduously in the Church to promote the work of Christ.

Further, the priest charged the catechists to always hold on to God's word, never be discouraged in the course of carrying out their selfless services in the house of God and further stressed that should they stumble and fall, they should rise and continue in their work while praying to God for Grace to be fruitful as they continue to work for Christ.

More, Fr. Erohubie who noted that their calling is honorary, also said that their teaching of the catechism is sharing Christ, whom he described as the greatest teacher. He further advised them to be humble and never claim superior to any catechumen, observing that the challenges of teaching as a catechist has been heightened by the fact that in the process, they may meet those who are learned, elderly and even younger.

While admonishing them not to be discouraged by the lack of financial gains in the job, the homilist who refered to them as the mirror of the world, urged them to be good leaders who must be ready to learn and serve, asserting that the greatest among leaders must be a servant who is willing to sacrifice, as sacrice is the proof of their love towards the flock in their care and stressed that their role in the Church can not be replaced.

Priests present at the mass were Rev. Frs. Lawrence Adorolo, Godswill Ikiebe, Charles Akue, Augustine Ojei and Jacob Ekhator. Also, Revs. Michael Olawumi (Oshogbo Diocese) and Fadale Gregory (Abeokuta Diocese) were present.

Highlights of the occasion included traditional dances from Ekperi which entertained guests with their intricate dance steps.

Catechist Raphael Okpokpa in his thanksgiving at SS Peter and Paul, Azukhala/Ugbekpe, Ekperi accompanied by family, friends and well wishers, appreciated God for His grace and faithfulness.

Sacred Heart Society Ends Week At Igarra

Inobeme Sylvanus

In compliance with the directive from the National Association of Sacred Heart of Jesus and Immaculate Heart of Mary, the Sacred Heart Society Igarra has ended their one week programme of activities in honour of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and Mary.

In a lecture delivered by a major seminarian Brother Augustine Ogene, which he titled “two great hearts that beat together”, he defined the human heart as that part of the body on the left side of the chest that pumps blood around the body and the power house of the body.

He said that it explains the extent to which the Sacred Heart of Jesus and Immaculate Heart of Mary have so much love for mankind, and would stop at nothing to show their love for mankind.

Brother Ogene further said that the great hearts are burning with charity, compassion and are sweet, loving, caring and also merciful.

More, he added that the hearts of Jesus and Mary are so intimate that one can qualify them as beating together. He said biologically, a child shares from his or her mother’s make-up before his or her vital parts are formed.

In relating to Jesus and Mary, Brother Ogene said Jesus and Mary have the same mission, the same focus, the same agony and share the same concern.

He therefore advised the devotees of Sacred Heart of Jesus and Immaculate Heart of Mary and Christians in general to learn to accept the word of God in all ramifications and resign to the will of God just like the great hearts of Jesus and Mary.

Continuing, the resource person, added that obedience to constituted authority should be founded in Christ who stayed under the authority of Mary and Joseph, while urging the devotees to learn to pray for one another, bearing in mind that Mary's intercession and Jesus' response saved a simple Galilean couple from shame and humiliation (Jn 2:1-11).
Further, the Seminarian tasked all Christians to learn from the two great hearts of Jesus and Mary and their intense love for mankind.

Also, as part of the activities to mark the occasion, the Diocesan President Mr Donatus Arewah, paid official visit to the local centre (1) one and advised the members to embrace the prayer life of the association and show love just as Jesus and Mary has shown love to humanity.

The one week programme witnessed enthronement of four families, visitation to the less privilege and the sick in hospitals.

Knights Of St. John International Celebrate Patron Feast Day

Garuba Nicholas

Recently, the Knights and Ladies of St. John International of St Anthony Commandery 553 Auchi, hosted the feast of her patron saint, John the Baptist. The occasion which was co-celebrated with St Jude Commandery 556 Uromi, is an annually rotated affair.

Both commanderies converged at the Holy Rosary Catholic Church, Afashio/Afowa Uzairue. The programme featured the exposition of the Blessed Sacrament, recitation of the rosary and a talk delivered by the resource person, Rev. Fr. Valentine Anaweokhai who is also the Diocesan chaplain of St Anthony Commandery, Auchi.

In his talk titled “The life and Ministry of St John the Baptist”, the chaplain stressed on the life pattern of the saint, whom he said should be their role model. He admonished them not to be lukewarm, but to awaken their spirit to the outmost height of service especially in the area of evangelization/ re-evangelization.

Fr. Anaweokhai urged the Knights/ Ladies to key into the use of modern technologies to impact on the Church positively, as the Church is moving very fast, pointing out that John the Baptist, the forerunner of Jesus Christ, went about preaching baptism of repentance.

He reiterated the fact that knighthood is not meant for everybody or anybody, but a call to service, to be holy and righteous. The chaplain who emphasized that the swords they carry are ceremonial and symbolic, not relevant in today's Church battles and that it is not the uniform that makes the knights/ladies, asserted that rather, it is the individual/ collective character and faith exercised as missionaries in evangelization, their approach to life and their life style.

At the reception thereafter, dignitaries present from St. Anthony Commandery, 553 Auchi were Major Mike Ogerege- worthy President Auchi Commandery, Sergent at arm Lagos grand Commandery Lady Ogerege P., respected President LAUX 462, Lady Oshionebor, Sir Fidelis Omoerah and from St. Jude Commandery 556 Uromi were Sir Dr. Tony Osawe, 1st vice President of Benin grand Commandery, Sir Lawrence Akhimieninhonan worthy president Uromi Commandery, Sir Uabor Ben Respected Secretary and Lady Osagie P. Respected President LAUX 461 Uromi.

Other officers present at the occasion were Major E.D.A. Agiedo, Sir Patrick Odiodio Recording Secretary and Lady Adogame Recording Secretary LAUX 462 among others.

In the course of the reception, funds were raised towards the building project embarked upon by St Anthony Commandery Auchi.

The vote of thanks was delivered by Sir Augustine Adeboye on behalf of the chaplain and the commanderies.

Cathedral Flags Off 2011 Harvest/ Thanksgiving

Ibharayi Wilson/Akpetsi Paulina

As part of activities for the preparation of 2011 harvest/thanksgiving, the Immaculate Conception Cathedral, Auchi has recently flagged off the 2011 harvest/ thanksgiving with the presentation of the banner containing the activities for the celebration.

Delivering the homily at the mass concelebrated with the Cathedral Administrator Rev. Fr. Valentine Anaweokhai, the Bishop of the Diocese Most Rev. (Dr.) G.G. Dunia, charged faithful to be mindful of their duties. He reiterated that all faithful should perform their duties seriously no matter their position or rank, as he challenged parents to be responsible in performing their duties by teaching their children responsible behaviours.

More, the shepherd of souls noted that as children of God, everyone should be mindful of his/her duty in other not to fail God, pointing out that the duty when properly performed, will make everyone to be just in the sight of God.

Making reference to the gospel of the day, Bishop Dunia said that it is the responsibility of faithful to receive the seed which is the word of God and be able to reproduce it productively. He stressed that God is the owner of the soil where the word of God (seed) will be planted (soil) in the faithful, while reminding the faithful on the need to be serious in doing the work of God and be ready to receive the result at the end, noting that it is when they perform their duties, that they will be filled with the glory of the Lord.

Speaking further, the Bishop urged faithful to seek for the wisdom of God so that the seed of God will enable them grow in God. He asserted that the seed of God in the life of the faithful will bring about peace in the country.

In addition His Lordship charged those in position of authority to discharge their individual responsibilities effectively and called on the faithful to pray always for their leaders in various offices in the country.

Highpoint of the mass was the blessing and flagging off of the harvest/thanksgiving banner by the Bishop as well as its launching by the parishioners.


Ojah Honour Initiates To Womanhood

Leo Lawani

The Catholic community of St John the Baptist, Ojah an outstation of St Anne's Parish Ososo were in a joyful mood recently as two of their daughters Miss Christiana Adegboyega and Charity Onobume were initiated into womanhood.

Delivering the homily at the mass officiated by the parish priest of St Anne Catholic Church Ososo Rev. Fr. Philip Omokhekhe, he congratulated the young girls for their devotion in keeping themselves to that moment. More, he told the congregation that the initiation would mark a new beginning in their lives and tasked them to be prepared for the challenges that will come their way and prayed that they should not fail.

Fr. Omokhekhe, who enjoined the initiates to dedicate themselves to God, also admonished them to witness Christ and be the light of the world, as he also advised their parents to take proper care of their children particularly the girl child, so that they will remain good Christians in the future.

Highpoint of the mass was a thanksgiving procession by the two celebrants, accompanied by family and friends.

Thereafter at the reception, a drama piece was presented by the youths of the Church titled “Love your neighbour” as the choir spiced up the event with melodious songs.

The vote of thanks was given by Brother Ezekiel Akinyemi, while the closing prayer was led by Catechist B.S. Josiah.

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