OIL SUBSIDY REMOVAL AND THE RIGHTS OF NIGERIANS
The recent stand by the Federal Government to remove fuel subsidy based on the argument that it has not impacted positively on the lives of poor Nigerians for whom it was introduced in the first place, has stirred up heated debates among Nigerians
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Explicitly, subsidy is the money that is paid by a government to reduce the cost of services in order to ensure that their prices are and affordable by the citizens. Therefore, fuel subsidy was introduced to reduce the cost of fuel for Nigerians due to importation rates.
Supporters of the subsidy removal claim that the subsidy is a cover up for a few individuals to enrich themselves at the expense of the poor majority and that the money (N1.2trillion) realized from subsidy removal, will be plowed back to the economy for infrastructure development.
On the other hand, those kicking against it argue that should the subsidy be removed, there will be dire consequences on the poor masses as the prices of goods and food especially will sky rocket beyond the reach of the poor, to further impoverish the average Nigerian. More, they also argue that the money realized from the removal will not be judiciously used as promised, but will be channeled into the pockets of those in government, there by making the present government accomplish what previous administrations could not implement.
Though both arguments seem convincing, but the questions we should ask ourselves is this; should this (Fuel Subsidy Removal) be the topic that should cost Nigerians their sleep when there are pressing issues demanding for our attention? Should this come up now when the average Nigerian child is out of school, most families find it hard to meet their basic necessities, insecurity has become the order of the day and power supply is still epileptic and the economy is on a one step forward and ten steps backward “development”?.
Every Nigerian has a right to good living and this must be the fight and focus of the government both elected and “selected”. A case where some are in abundance while others are in abject poverty should cease to exist. Those in Authority should be occupied with ways and means of making the system work to the benefit of all, instead of further placing more burden on the people.
We therefore appeal to the government of the day to look inwards and devise means of implementing infrastructural developments as God has blessed this country with the were withal to be great and be among the top twenty (20) developed nations even before 2015, if only we are honest, sincere, focused and have the interest of the nation at heart.
Any means of further impoverishing the people God has placed in the care of leaders is a grave sin before God. A word they say is enough for the wise.
May God help us.
The Parent Owns The Child (As the heart of the King is in the hand of God)
Homily delivered on the Twenty-ninth (29) Sunday in Ordinary Time of the year A in the Holy Redeemer Catholic Church, Kanata, Ottawa, Canada by the Most Rev. (Dr) Gabriel G. Dunia, the Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Auchi, Nigeria.
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There is a story about a certain boy in the village of Katakuma. This boy became very wealthy; that is very intelligent, strong, materially rich and therefore so powerful that he no longer had any regard for anybody including his parents. Such disrespectful attitude became so worrisome to his parents that his father decided to call and advise him to respect people even in all his riches and richness. Instead of listening to his father's advice he insulted and challenged his father to appear at the village square or park for the displaying of wealth for people to decide and ascertain who was richer or poorer, the father or his son.
The boy's father agreed that his son was wealthy yet he advised his son to accord him respect as his own father who his son could never actually outdo in riches after all. Yet, the boy went on to laugh at his father and without wasting time brought out all his possessions. When he had assembled his possessions and himself at the village square to prove to his father and the whole assembly of the people that he was richer than his father, his father stood, walked empty-handed only with the aid of his walking stick towards his son and held his son's hand before all the people and said, “this is my son, I own him and all his possessions, please, move everything he owns including himself into my compound”. With that, the ovation for the father of the boy knew no end on that day at the village square of Katakuma.
In the gospel of today, the Pharisees looking for a way to implicate Jesus by all means asked him whether it was not right to pay tax to God only instead of paying to Caesar also. Caesar had claimed to be lord and God. So, if Jesus argued for the payment of tax to Caesar with the coin which had Caesar's image engraved in it, the Pharisees and the Jewish people as a whole would accuse him of being a false prophet who came to promote idol worshipping against the first commandment of God. If he argued against the payment of tax to Caesar the Romans would accuse him of being rebellious against Caesar and the entire authority of the people which Caesar represented. So, Jesus simply said give to Caesar what belongs to Caesar and to God what belongs to God, meaning that the fact that the coin borne the image of Caesar who was the king and ruler of the people in his domain is without prejudice to Caesar's being the image of God who is the creator and the sovereign King and ruler of the whole universe with all that it contains therein including Caesar and all his possessions in his earthly kingdom.
The coin on which the image of Caesar was engraved revealed the splendour of Caesar in his earthly kingdom; just as Caesar who is completely the image of God revealed the divine splendour of God in his heavenly kingdom.
The purpose of the opportunity given to man to exist and govern at all is nothing but to reveal the divine splendour of God in his sovereign majesty. This is what the entire liturgy of today teaches. In the first reading, Cyrus who became the king of Persia was told that God chose and empowered him to be king in order to be God's instrument of liberation and salvation of the people. The psalm and the second reading derive the message to conclusion that when the people are liberated into the salvation of God, they are constituted into praise, hounor, thanksgiving and worship to God in their entire life, in all they are and do from cradle to the grave and beyond.
So, my dear people of God having received this message of God today, once more, we are now duty-bound to invite all the works of the Lord to bless the Lord because to him the highest glory and praise belong forever more (Cf. Canticle of Daniel
God's Loving Presence Among Us
» By Rev. Fr. Dr. Anselm Jimoh
The Holy Eucharist, the sacrament of the body and blood of Christ, together with his soul and divinity, which is really present on the altar under the appearances of bread and wine, (CCC) is a sacrament that has many and varied aspects.
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Man is both material and spiritual; therefore, he is made up of the physical and spiritual substances. The body and blood of man constitute the physical or material aspects of man, while the soul and intellect constitute his spiritual aspects. Theologians opine that man is like God in his soul and intellect. This is because man enjoys immortality in his soul and rationality by virtue of his intellect.
The Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC) describes the Eucharist, following the above exposition on man as entirely Christ in his human and divine nature, that is, the Eucharist is Christ as entirely man and entirely God. Of course, the Holy Mother Church teaches that Christ is one person with two natures; the nature of man and the nature of God. The body and blood of Christ signify his humanity and his soul and divinity signify his nature of God.
The Eucharist, which is the same as the Holy Mass is a memorial sacrifice that is to be tri-dimensionally understood. It is the sacrifice of the new law, the sublime sacrifice of Christ himself and the sacrifice of the people for the people.
As the sacrifice of the new law, it stands out as the termination of the old law and the institution of the new law in the singular event of the Last Supper or properly called, the Lord's Supper. As a unique event, the Lord's Supper took place at the time when the Jewish celebrated the Passover, a ceremonial reminder of their liberation from the bondage in the land of Egypt. The Lord's Supper marked the last of the old law and signifies the first of the new law.
The old law was announced to the Israelites on Mount Sinai with Moses standing as the mediator between God and the people. At the announcement, Moses sprinkled half of the blood of the slaughtered bullocks on the altar and on the people saying; “this is the blood of the covenant which Yahweh has made with you ...” (Lk.24:8). At the Lord's Supper, where and when the sacrifice of the new law was instituted, Christ took bread and said the blessing, broke the bread and gave it to his disciples saying; “take it and eat, this is my body.” He did the same with the wine and said; “drink from this, for this is my blood, the blood of the new covenant, poured out for the forgiveness of sin.” (Lk.22:19-20, Matt.26:26-29, Mk 14:22-25).
Moses as the mediator between God and his people symbolically unites them by sprinkling the blood of the victims on the altar, which represents Yahweh and on the people. Therefore, the covenant of the old law was ratified in blood as that of the new law was ratified with the blood of Christ. (Heb.9:15-26).
As the sublime sacrifice of Christ, we recall that on Calvary Christ offered himself as a great sacrifice to God for the salvation of man. Therefore, the Eucharist is the sublime sacrifice of Christ who freely offered himself on the cross. (Phil.2:8). Christ is the priest offering the sacrifice as well as the victim offered. As the victim, he is the blameless and spotless lamb, (lPet.1:18-19). It is therefore impossible that his sacrifice is unacceptable to the Father. Hence, Heb.10:1-18) explain at length the efficacy of Christ's sacrifice as compared to the ineffective sacrifices of the Old Testament.
The death of Christ on Calvary is not the end of his love for humanity; his life is a continuous sacrificing of himself - both before and after his death. Calvary is the supreme realization of his offering.
The Eucharist as the sacrifice of the people for the people is a collective worship where the priest represents the people, though it is nonetheless an offering of all. It is in this context that Pope Pius X advised that the people should not pray at Mass, but should pray the Mass.
Understood within these various contexts, the Eucharist is truly the real and loving presence of God in our midst. This simple preservation of the sacred species of the Bread and Wine in the tabernacles all over the world is a testimony to this. The Blessed Sacrament, the Eucharist is Jesus Christ in the real sense and Jesus Christ in the real sense is God in the real sense.
God humbly dwells in our midst in the tabernacles of the world but we the sons and daughters of men arrogantly, insultively and contemptuously continue to treat God with disrespect everyday in our Churches. We ignore His presence in the tabernacle and talk (make noise) away inside the Church, neither praying nor allowing those praying to concentrate. We steal in the Church and from the Church as we count collections of different designations, be it offertory, second collections, harvest offerings, launching collections, and feel great and happy thinking we have out-smarted the priest. But do we out-smart God? Some come purposely to Church to sample the girls and the girls dress to attract the male folk in Church.
Remember; God is lovingly present always in the tabernacle and watches all of these in silence!!!
The Church As A Sacrament Of Salvation
» By Rev. Fr. Ferdinand Okafor
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The term Church is derived from the Latin word ecclesia. That is, a convocation or an assembly; which in turn is derived from the Greek word ek-kalein meaning to call out of. The Greek term from which the English word Church takes its root is kyriake which means what belongs to God. Thus, the Church is referred to as the assembly of God's people. It is the body of Christ (Eph 1:22-23; Col 1:18), and she is nourished by Christ who is her head (Eph 5:23, 29-30).
The Church as the sacrament of salvation is necessary for the salvation of all men; because she has the sacraments to facilitate the salvation of all men. All the sacraments have their origin from the scriptures: Baptism (Jn 3:5), Confirmation (Acts 8:14-18), Eucharist (Lk 22:14-20; Mt 26:26-30), Penance (Jn 20:22-23), Anointing of the Sick (Mk 6:13; Jas 5:14-15), Holy Orders (Acts 13:1-4), and Matrimony (Gen 2:18-25; Mt 19:3-6).
CHRIST THE FOUNDER AND HEAD OF THE CHURCH
The Church had its origin in God's plan of salvation when God asked Noah to build the Ark (Gen 6:9-22; 7) and called Abraham to leave his country (Gen 12:1-9). The notion of the Church as the assembly of God's people is fully visible in God's choice of the Israelites out of all the peoples on earth (Ex 19:1-9). Christ came to call people into the kingdom of God (Mk 16:15-16) and to fully realize this plan he established the Church and entrusted it to the care of Peter (Mt 16:13-20), and the Church was made manifest on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2). Christ is both the founder and head of the Church; it is therefore absurd for anyone to claim that he has received a call or mandate to found a Church. The Church founded by Jesus Christ is the Catholic Church, which has the Apostles of Jesus as its foundation (Eph 2:20). No one can lay any foundation other than the one that has been laid; that foundation is Jesus Christ (1 Cor 3:11).
The Church founded by Jesus Christ is One, Holy, Catholic (Mt 28:19-20) and Apostolic. The Church is holy because of Christ her head who is present in her. It is a community of holy people (1 Pet 2:9-10), united with Christ, and sanctified by him.
The Church is Catholic, because and she has been sent by Christ to proclaim the message of salvation to the whole world (Mt 28:19-20). The one people of God are present in all the nations of the earth. All the faithful scattered over the world are in communion with each other in the Holy Spirit, such that he who lives in Rome knows those in most distant part to be his members (Lumen Gentium n. 13).
The Church is Apostolic because she is founded on the apostles: she was and remains built on the foundation of the apostles (Eph 2:20; Rev 21:14). She keeps and continues to hand on the teachings of the apostles “the deposits of faith” (Acts 2:42). She is taught, sanctified and guided by the apostles until Christ's return. These four marks that characterize the Church of Christ are found in the Catholic Church.
Jesus before his ascension prayed for the unity of the Church (Jn 17:11, 21). He wanted the Church to remain united under him, just as he is united with God the Father. One therefore wonders why the incessant proliferation of Churches. The proliferation of Churches had its bearing on the first schism that occurred in the Church. The first schism in the Church otherwise known as the Great Schism which led to the secession of the Eastern Orthodox Church (Greek) from the Western Roman Catholic Church (Latin) occurred in 1054. This secession was as a result of the term filioque that occurred in the Creed. It means that the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father and the Son. The Eastern Church was against the use of this term, the universal jurisdiction of the Pope as well as the use of unleavened bread in the celebration of the Eucharist.
Another incident that that has engineered the proliferation of Churches is the Protestant Reformation of 1516 propelled by Martin Luther, who held that justification is solely the mercy of God, no human effort is required. He further repudiated the Church's teaching on indulgence and posted his ninety-five theses in Latin on the door of the castle Church in Wittenberg. In the light of this therefore, can there be salvation outside of the Catholic Church or Christ?
The salvation wrought by Christ is universal. The death of Jesus Christ has salvific effect. Christ, the Saviour wills that everybody should be saved (1 Tim 2:4). He died for all, both for the righteous and unrighteous, the living and the dead. The plan of salvation therefore, includes those who acknowledge the Creator; for those who do the will of God the Father will be saved (Mt 7:21) even though they do not belong to the Church, for their good deeds is considered by the Church to be a preparation for the Gospel (Lumen Gentium n. 16). We have references in the scriptures that attest to this fact. People will come from east and west, from north and south, and they will eat in the Kingdom of God (Mt 8:11; Lk 13:29). Jesus said he has other sheep that do not belong to this fold. He must bring them also, and they will listen to his voice (Jn 10:16). Those who do not belong to the Church yet strive fervently to do good, will however have their good deeds sanctified by the merits of Christ's death. For all our good deeds are like filthy rags before God (Is 64:6).
Jesus Christ, at the moment of his death, descended into the dead as Saviour to proclaim the Good News of salvation to those who had died before his coming (1 Pet 3:18-20; 1 Pet 4:6). Jesus' descent into hell or the dead was not to deliver the damned, nor to destroy the hell of damnation, but to free the just who had gone before him (CCC n. 633). This means that salvation comes from Christ (Phil 2:10), and all those who pleased God before the coming of Christ and were unable to receive the sacrament of baptism are assured of salvation. Very truly, I tell you, the hour is coming and is now here, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live (Jn 5:25). Everyone in heaven, on earth and under the earth is under the authority of Christ.
Even though there is salvation for those who do not share the Christian faith; it is however easier to achieve salvation in the Church than outside of the Church. If it is hard for the righteous to be saved, what will become of the ungodly and sinners (1 Pet 4:17-18)? In conclusion, it is through Jesus Christ that God reconciles all things to himself (Col 1:20; 2 Cor 5:19). This means that even though there may be salvation outside of the Church, outside of Christ, there is no salvation.
Which Are The Dogmas Of The Church? Part 2
» By Rev. Fr. Stan-William Ede
Last month on this column, as a follow-up of our sharing regarding the difference between Dogma and Doctrine vis-à-vis the place of Discipline in Catholic Beliefs and Practices, we presented the first part of the dogmas of the Church in a chronological order. As we continue from where we stopped, let us earnestly recall that a Dogma is truth revealed by God, and as such is proposed by the Magisterium of the Church as necessary for belief. A person remains a Catholic in good standing only if he accepts in its entirety the full revelation of the Faith in its integrity. Dogmas because they are divinely revealed cannot change. Dogmas are essential to the Faith. They cannot change. If any dogma is denied by an individual or group of individuals the truth is not diminished by their denial, however, they remove themselves from the Body of Christ, the Church. The deliberate denial of a dogma of the Faith is called heresy.
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It is pertinent to recall also that this outline of the dogmas of the Church, following the traditional style of presenting them, is divided into two groups: (1.) Infallibly Defined Dogmas of the Catholic Faith; and (2.) Certain Truths yet to be defined by the Magisterium.
(A.) Infallibly Defined Dogmas of the Catholic Faith
God the Creator
44. God was moved by His Goodness to create the world.
45. The world was created for the Glorification of God.
46. The Three Divine Persons are one single, common Principle of the Creation.
47. God created the world free from exterior compulsion and inner necessity.
48. God has created a good world.
49. The world had a beginning in time.
50. God alone created the World.
51. God keeps all created things in existence.
52. God through His providence protects and guides all that He has created.
53. The first man was created by God.
54. Man consists of two essential parts--a material body and a spiritual soul.
55. The rational soul is per se the essential form of the body.
56. Every human being possesses an individual soul.
57. God has conferred on man a supernatural Destiny.
58. Our first parents, before the Fall, were endowed with sanctifying grace.
59. They were also endowed with donum immortalitatis, i.e., the gift of bodily immortality.
60. Our first parents in paradise sinned grievously through transgression of the Divine probationary commandment.
61. Through the sin our first parents lost sanctifying grace and provoked the anger and the indignation of God.
62. Our first parents became subject to death and to the dominion of the Devil.
63. Adam's sin is transmitted to his posterity, not by imitation, but by descent.
64. Original sin is transmitted by natural generation.
65. In the state of original sin man is deprived of sanctifying grace and all that this implies, as well as of the preternatural gifts of integrity.
66. Souls who depart this life in the state of original sin are excluded from the Beatific Vision of God.
67. In the beginning of time God created spiritual essences (angels) out of nothing.
68. The nature of angels is spiritual.
69. The secondary task of the good angels is the protection of men and care for their salvation.
70. The Devil possesses a certain dominion over mankind by reason of Adam's sin.
God the Redeemer
71. Jesus Christ is the True God and True Son of God.
72. Christ assumed a real body, not an apparent body.
73. Christ assumed not only a body but also a rational soul.
74. Christ was truly generated and born of a daughter of Adam, the Virgin Mary.
75. The Divine and the human natures are united hypostatically in Christ, that is, joined to each other in one Person.
76. Christ Incarnate is a single, that is, a sole Person. He is God and man at the same time.
77. The God-Logos is connected with the flesh by an inner, physical or substantial unification. Christ is not the bearer of God, but is God really.
78. The human and the divine activities predicated of Christ in Holy Writ and in the Fathers may not be divided between two persons or hypostases, the Man-Christ and the God-Logos, but must be attributed to the one Christ, the Logos become Flesh. It is the Divine Logos, who suffered in the flesh, was crucified, died, and rose again.
79. The Holy Virgin is the Mother of God since she truly bore the God-Logos become Flesh.
80. In the Hypostatic Union each of the two natures of Christ continues unimpaired, untransformed and unmixed with the other.
81. Each of the two natures in Christ possesses its own natural will and its own natural mode of operation.
82. The Hypostatic Union of Christ's human nature with the Divine Logos took place at the moment of conception.
83. The Hypostatic Union will never cease.
84. The Hypostatic Union was effected by the Three Divine Persons acting in common.
85. Only the Second Divine Person became Man.
86. Not only as God but also as man Jesus Christ is the natural Son of God.
87. The God-Man Jesus Christ is to be venerated with one single mode of Worship, the absolute Worship of Latria which is due to God alone.
88. Christ's Divine and Human characteristics and activities are to be predicated of the one Word Incarnate.
89. Christ was free from all sin, from original sin as well as from all personal sin.
90. Christ's human nature was passible (capable of sensation & suffering).
91. The Son of God became man in order to redeem men.
92. Fallen man cannot redeem himself.
93. The God-Man Jesus Christ is a High Priest.
94. Christ offered Himself on the Cross as a true and proper sacrifice.
95. Christ by His Sacrifice on the Cross has ransomed us and reconciled us with God.
96. Christ did not die for the predestined only.
97. Christ's Atonement does not extend to the fallen angels.
98. Christ, through His Passion and Death, merited reward from God.
99. After His Death, Christ's soul, which was separated from His Body, descended into the underworld.
100. On the third day after His Death Christ rose gloriously from the dead.
101. Christ ascended Body and Soul into Heaven and sits at the right hand of the Father.
(B.) Certain Truths Not Yet Defined By the Magisterium
God the Creator
13. God was free to create this world or any other.
14. The whole human race stems from one single human pair.
15. Every individual soul was immediately created out of nothing by God.
16. Adam received sanctifying grace not merely for himself, but for all his posterity.
17. God set a supernatural final end for the angels, the immediate vision of God, and endowed them with sanctifying grace in order that they might achieve this end.
18. The angels were subjected to a moral testing.
19. The evil spirits (demons) were created good by God; they became evil through their own fault.
20. The primary task of the good angels is the glorification and the service of God.
21. Every one of the faithful has his own special guardian angel from baptism.
God the Redeemer
22. The Hypostatic Union was never interrupted.
23. The Blood in the Living Body of Jesus Christ is an integral constituent part of human nature, immediately, not merely mediately, united with the Person of the Divine Logos.
24. Just as Latria is due to the whole Human nature of Christ, so is it due to the individual parts of His nature.
25. Christ's soul possessed the immediate vision of God from the first moment of its existence.
26. Christ's human knowledge was free from positive ignorance and from error.
27. By reason of His endowment with the fullness of created habitual grace, Christ's soul is also accidentally holy.
28. Christ's humanity, as instrument of the Logos, possesses the power of producing supernatural effects.
29. Christ's soul was subject to sensual emotions.
30. God was not compelled to redeem mankind by either an internal or an external compulsion.
31. Christ is the Supreme Prophet promised in the Old Covenant and the absolute teacher of humanity.
32. Christ merited for Himself the condition of exaltation (Resurrection, Transfiguration of the body, Ascension into Heaven).
33. Christ merited all supernatural graces received by fallen mankind.
34. The underworld is the place of detention for the souls of the just of the pre-Christian era, the so-called vestibule of hell (limbus Patrum).
Pigheadedness: Gaddafi's Misfortune
» By Rev. Fr. Leonard O. Anetekhai
Months back at the fall of Mubarak of Egypt, I did quote a statement by Gaddafi of Libya which states, 'I prefer to die as a martyr rather than quit as a leader'… No doubt, it is only a dictator, who will utter such words in the face of crisis, even when the nation he is leading is crumbling.
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These words best describes the beginning of the end of Gaddafi. It was a clear indication of greed that necessarily will lead to a shameful end. It is said in our African proverb that “the man whom the gods want to destroy, they first make mad”. Gaddafi became mad with power. He and his children personalized the State and imposed a reign of terror on Libyans. As a man of the people then, Gaddafi did not promote himself like other military rulers in Africa. He drove himself in military vehicles and lived in tents. But he was alleged to have engaged in primitive accumulation of wealth.
In real sense, it is often said, “show me your friend and I will tell you who you are”. Gaddafi was a close supporter of Ugandan former President Idi Amin. Gaddafi was said to have trained and supported Liberian dictator Charles Taylor, who was indicted by the Special Court of Sierra Leone for war crimes and other crimes against humanity committed during the conflict in Sierra Leone and also had a great influence on one of our own, who was killed by eating the forbidding fruit.
No doubt, Gaddafi was a tragic hero who because he could not withstand the anger of his people; made himself into a victim of tyranny and brutality for 42 years. I beg to read out his Curriculum Vitae. Unlike other oil producing countries in Africa, Libya under Gaddafi witnessed tremendous improvement in the welfare of citizens, infrastructural development and investments. Gaddafi aided the liberation movements in Africa in the fight against colonialism and imperialism. More than any of the average African leader, he took good care of the people of Libya. That can never be erased from his record. Here is a man who said he would not have a personal house until all Libyans have houses. Here is a man who addressed a human condition in Libya and provided for average Libyan and under this flamboyant dictator, Libyans enjoyed a quality of life better than many in Western countries. This however does not mean that he was a congenial figure, even though he built his country as evidence suggests to say less; Gaddafi was in no small means an authoritarian. Infact, it was this that aggravated the aggression of his subjects.
What took place in Libya on October 20, 2011 was not just a lesson for Libyans alone, but for everyone especially our Nigerian politicians, who have turned 'second term' to their SURNAMES. It is daily revealing in every part of the world that you can do well like Gaddafi did and mess up your records as Gaddafi did. His misfortune was as a result of not knowing when to quit for 42 years and that was just too much, definitely he was not a traditional ruler, like he thought. This actually tainted his image.
Yes, it is a fact that the most difficult thing to satisfy is the HUMAN NATURE. Be it as it may, GADDAFI had his positive, but no matter how good and sound one is in an office, it is not a license to under estimate or trivialize the populace. Our politician must be aware of the virus that killed Gaddafi underestimating the populace.
Improving the quality of life of the citizenry and allowing them their human rights should not be compromised because leadership is a responsibility and anyone who accepts the office of leadership, must leave to the responsibility Nigerians are watching. If Gaddafi was so foolish thinking that the world and life is his because he had power and wealth, his death definitely is a lesson and if the Roman, Greek, British and great empires that are now history can have an end, then the many injustices done to Nigerians will end one day. May God help us.
Coping With Adolescent Behaviour
» By Rev. Fr. Francis Ikhianosime
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One can arguably say there is no period a parent finds his or her child stranger to understand other than the adolescent stage in their life. The behaviors of these children get so strange to the confusion of what disciplinary action one can adopt. The parent(s) is/are often torn apart, especially the mother who is quick to notice these eccentric traits. They often don't know whether to be silent or to speak, whether to flog or to send them away. If the parent leaves the child to his/her whims, he/she could get bad to a state of not easily corrected, on the other hand, if the parent does not speak up, it may appear that he/she is not moving with the age of the child. Not to recognize that the child is growing up and that at each stage in the child's life, new methods of training and discipline must be adopted would be a sign of poor parenting. This confusion, not many parents are able to overcome. So, how could one cope with this behavior, knowing too well that the adulthood of the child and what he/she would become is built during this period? This is where an understanding of the adolescent period of a child is important and adopting ways of coping is not only important but non-negotiable. But to well develop this topic, we must first look at what adolescent period and the characteristics that mark this period are.
UNDERSTANDING THE ADOLESCENT STAGE IN LIFE
The adolescent period is often the teenage period of the child. This is more generally defined as the period from puberty to adulthood. Puberty is more characteristically known as the beginning of physiological changes and maturation in the individual; that is adult sexual characteristics like breasts, menstrual periods, pubic hair, facial hair, etc start developing. This period usually stems from 8-14 years old. These however, are only the physical signs. There are also internal signs and these are reflected in unusual behaviours. Typical adolescent behavior include many things that seem strange to parents like dyed hair, sagging of trousers by boys, odd piercings, strange music, new fashion and even making new friends. For girls, appearance means so much to them at this time. They care about their looks and want to be trendy. They thus move with many trendy styles even with technology. I must quickly add here, that many teenager get fixated at this stage and even at adulthood, they are still caught up with the fever of adolescent behaviour. These people usually are advanced in age but in behavior they have been trapped in an earlier stage in life. Be that as it may, the adolescent period is basically a time of experimentation for some teenagers. Some experiment with alcohol and drugs and sometimes sex.
Remarkably, the factor informing some of these traits and behavior is the desire for independence and this can sometimes lead teenagers to distance themselves from their families. This trait can be more worrisome as the teenager would appear to find no more solace and happiness with family members but with friends of their 'click'. This sometimes too, draws the child's participation at home backward. This latter development of weaker desire to participate in house chores is a more disturbing tendency that calls for concern.
Closely related with this tendency is increased argumentation. Teenagers who appear to find solace with friends and have more hang-out times are likely to feel that their parents do not love them or they accuse their parents of unfairness. The latter is a common misgiving amongst teenagers. This situation sometimes causes parent-child rift. It needs some understanding and techniques to handle such a teenager. Once this tendency continues for long, then, problem is properly brewing.
Of a close note is the emotional ups and down which sometimes reflect in mental change during this period. Teenagers during this period usually have intervals of moodiness. They sometimes complain of no friends once and the next time, one finds him/her hanging out with many friends. Some of these behavioural undulations are even expressed in friendships. Some friends would experience the inconsistency in reaction of teenage friends which they would time and again come to apologize for. Anxiety and sadness are two emotions that are not likely to go away. One must understand their frequent change in a pattern that may become so annoying and even irritating. But this may indicate an emotional conflict which may be resolved by attention by a close friend, family member or even a counselor.
One common factor that cannot but be mentioned is the fact of rebellion. Adolescent during their developing years are most rebellious. This rebellion is more to constituted authorities. First, there is the rebellion to parents, the school authorities and then to God. In fact, this is the period many adolescent just skip church activities for no good reason. Some who even out of coercion go to church would even not participate in events in the Church or deliberately stop going to confession, receiving communion and sometimes they even cut off their attendance of pious societies they may have hitherto belonged to. They just really seem to go blank with understanding any meaning with church, God and authorities. These authorities appear just like burden to them and they really would want to get over them. But this attitude must not be allowed to play out just like that.
The weird features of the adolescent period enumerated above seem to make this period more frightening than it may have earlier appeared or noticed. But this is not the aim of this write-up. In fact, these characteristic traits are common yet easily managed if well understood. In fact, many adults who successfully passed this stage without being terribly caught up in their own errors and naivety of the adolescent period look back with deep appreciation to those significant others whom they then hated but guided them through this period with pains, understanding and firmness. How this period can be managed is therefore our next concern.
TIPS FOR COPING WITH THE ADOLESCENT YEARS
There are a number of ways to handle this period in the life of the teen. But the foremost step would be staying informed and keeping the teen informed. By this, parents must first understand that this stage in their life has set in and then move to be more tolerant. Again, parents must make their teens good friends by keeping them informed of events in their life. The better the lines of communication are kept, the more open the child would be during this period of his/her life. You must seek to listen to your child. Know when he is beginning to give salacious jokes and beginning to be secretive. This is exactly when you should jump into asking him/her some questions. You must teach him/her the rudiments of this period especially handling things like menstruation and wet dreams. Give your child books to read on adolescence and you could share some of your experiences with your child.
Another way one can ply through this period is by setting expectations for your teen. Once a child knows the expectations he has from his/her parent, he/she would most likely want to fulfill them. Expectations like good grades, set behaviour, etc help to check unruly behaviour. The absence of expectation would make the child feels the parent does not love him/her.
Parents and adult friends must be patient with their adolescent ward. They must put themselves in the shoes of their teen and slow down the hammer. Again, parents and guardians must not been seen speaking on every issue. Not all battles the parent must enter into. Once they are not so harmful, you may choose to overlook. This does not mean not speaking at all, but not exerting any much pressure for change. For instance, if he wants to wear a particular hairstyle, as long as it does not affect the moral outlook of the child, you can choose to be indifferent. Nevertheless, such a parent should speak up with changing friends whom they do not know or if the child starts keeping late nights, experimentation with drugs, tobacco, alcohol or even sex. Closely associated with this is the fact that, parents must learn to know the friends of their children at this stage, where they go and equally set time when they should return. Peer influence is very strong during this time.
Be that as it may, parents must learn to respect the privacy of their teen at this period. By this, parents should not just invade the rooms of their adolescent child. Although, once warning signs are imminent, parents could invade their privacy till they get to the heart of the matter. Otherwise, there should be respect of the fact that they are becoming adults and there should be a respect for privacy. Text messages, e-mails, telephone callers, should be the privacy of the adolescent child. Once these are unduly invaded, the child could cause rebellion and funny reactions. Parents should learn to trust their children. Once confidence is reposed on them, they most likely would respond to the obligation of confidence- good behaviour.
Further, parents must similarly monitor what their adolescent read and see. This is not a violation of their privacy. During this period, there are a handful of information available to the teenage child. Parents should not be afraid to make rules on what they read and not allow too much of screen time and even too much of visit to the internet. While these should be encouraged, preoccupation in them may lead to fallen grades and even corruption of morals. Accessing the internet and viewing of programmes must not be left to the privacy of the adolescent child.
Parents must equally encourage responsibility during this period. Adolescent children should be given tasks. They could be made to handle cooking at particular times, or given other adult responsibilities with supervision. This makes them feel accepted and responsible. Teens could be allowed private time to be alone sometimes during the day. Conversely, parents should learn to spend some time with their adolescent children during this period to discuss their future dreams. During the adolescent period, the teens are likely to lose sight of their dreams for the future. In discussing with them like this, their vision and purposes are refreshed.
Parents must equally loosen the rope tighten on their children at this time. Parents must learn to explain unacceptable behavior on their children at this time. Since this is the period of argumentation, they want to know why they are prevented from doing certain things. Only with an explanation would they have reason why they should not venture into such an act again. Parents must be aware that certain disciplinary actions are not most appropriate for the adolescent child. The way a child of 8-13 years old would be punished may be different from the way one of 15-20 should be punished. Again, the mode and place of correction is important. Once a child is reproved openly, the child would not take to correction.
Lastly, parents must learn to love their children. They must emphasize their strength above their weaknesses. They must let them know what they worth and why they must not afford to lose their value and worth. Parents must find things they love about their adolescent children and always look at it when they feel irritated by the weird adolescent behaviour. They must above all be patient and commend them to God at all times. Coping with adolescent behaviour must be with one motto: we are going through this together and we are coming out of this together. Eventually, the adolescent years wear out, and maturity, understanding, discipline and devotion set in.
Catholics in Politics: Roles and Expectation in Nigeria (II)
» By Rev. Fr. Mike Umoh
The Mind of the Church on Politics and State Engineering.
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Politics may be described as the art of government and public service. In the widest sense, it is the dynamic organization of society for the common good. As such it calls for the responsible active participation of all citizens (cf. Congregation for Religious and Secular Institutes, Religious Life and Human Promotion, 1980, no. 12). The Second Vatican Council however acknowledges that politics is a "difficult and noble art." (Gaudium et Spes, 75).
The purpose of politics is to realize the purpose of the State, which according to Karl H. Pescke, serves to protect and promote the common good through three tasks: (1) legislation and administration of justice, (2) promotion of the socio-economic welfare and health, and (3) care for cultural and moral concerns or the fostering of good morals (see Karl H. Peschke, S.V.D., Christian Ethics: Moral Theology in the light of Vatican II, vol. II, Special Moral Theology, 1987, pp. 267-71).
If the State serves to promote the common good, Vatican II document, Gaudium et Spes, describes the common good as "the sum total of social conditions which allow people, either as groups or as individuals, to reach their fulfillment more fully and easily" (Gaudium et Spes, 26). This consists of three essential elements: (a) it presupposes respect for the fundamental rights of the human person and the natural freedoms necessary for the development of the human vocation; (b) it requires the social well being and development of the group itself, i.e., whatever is needed to lead a truly human life such as food, clothing, health, work, education, and culture should be accessible to each one; (c) it requires peace, that is, the stability and security of a just order (cf. CCC, 1907-09). Apparently, these social conditions cannot be realised unless there is social justice.
What then is social justice?
Social justice is an atmosphere of ensuring proportionate share in the fruits of economic cooperation and the equitable distribution of the wealth of a nation among different social classes. It denounces "excessive economic and social disparity between individuals and peoples" (Gaudium et Spes, 29), the concentration of wealth in the hands of the few, and excessive profits.
Truth is fundamental to all these efforts because we cannot seek to establish a condusive social order without truth which is founded on justice and enlivened by love. The Church teaches that authentic freedom does not exist without the truth. She affirms that “Truth and freedom either go together hand in hand or together they perish in misery.” (John Paul II, Encyclical Letter Fides et ratio, 90) In a society where truth is neither mentioned nor sought, every form of authentic exercise of freedom will be weakened, opening the way to libertine and individualistic distortions and undermining the protection of the good of the human person and of the entire society. To forestall this, the citizen is challenged to grow beyond private morality and embrace social morality which governs the relationship between individual and society. Some examples of the exercise of social morality would be the just payment of taxes, integrity and accountability in public office, rejection of graft and corruption, the care of the environment.
A healthy political order may therefore be described a society where the structures of "participation and shared responsibility" are created and the basic freedoms and aspirations of individuals are given full scope to develop and grow. In such a dispensation, it is simply expected that the electoral processes be truly democratic and fair and politics is not a tool for the advancement of only a privileged few. All these factors will translate into a favorable environment for the integral development of the human person and of all persons in the political community.
To this extent, the Church readily collaborates with any political regime as long as her basic freedom to accomplish her divine mission and to avail of resources for this purpose is not suppressed. But the Church "cannot encourage the formation of narrow ruling groups which usurp the power of the State for individual interests or for ideological ends."
The Political import of the Mission of the Church
The mission of the Church does not call her faithful to depart from the world. Instead, while they are to be in the world, they must struggle not to be of the world. This implies that “the social doctrine of the Church is not an intrusion into the government of individual countries. It is a question of the lay Catholic's duty to be morally coherent, found within one's conscience, which is one and indivisible. There cannot be two parallel lives in their existence: on the one hand, the so-called 'spiritual life', with its values and demands; and on the other, the so-called 'secular' life, that is, life in a family, at work, in social responsibilities, in the responsibilities of public life and in culture.” In fact, to take dominion over the world as commanded in the book of Genesis means to work for a free and just order, using, preserving and managing the resources of the world, the gift of God, for the good of the people. This makes it imperative that the Church must be engaged in politics.
Very recently, in November 2002, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, in union with the Pontifical Council for the Laity, issued a Doctrinal Note on some questions regarding the participation of Catholics in political life. This was directed to the Bishops of the Catholic Church and, in a particular way, to Catholic politicians and all lay members of the faithful called to participate in the political life of democratic societies. In that document, it is stated that: Catholic involvement in political life cannot compromise on this principle, for otherwise the witness of the Christian faith in the world, as well as the unity and interior coherence of the faithful, would be non-existent. Faith in Jesus Christ, who is “the way, the truth, and the life” (Jn 14:6), calls Christians to exert a greater effort in building a culture which, inspired by the Gospel, will reclaim the values and contents of the Catholic Tradition.
Concretely, priests, religious men and women, and lay people, that is, the Church "must be involved in the area of politics when Gospel values are at stake". No matter the role, everyone works towards the same mission of bringing all men and women to know and experience the love of God through repentance and reconciliation.
From foregoing, we can conclude that there are quite a number of reasons why the Church must be engaged in politics. Some of these are:
i. Because politics as a human activity has moral and religious dimensions.
Ii. Because at the center of Jesus' mission is the proclaiming of the Kingdom of God which calls to repentance and renewal.
iii. Since the mission of the Church involves the total person, soul and body, spiritual and temporal, the Church must likewise bring the healing grace of salvation to the temporal, including political sphere.
John Paul II sums up all these reasons when he said that the concrete human being living in history is "the way for the Church" (Redeptoris Hominis, 14; 53-54).
The Bishops of the Philippines in a document to Catholics in Philipines, Catechism on the Church and Politics give flesh to the words of the Holy Father stating that “the temporal and spiritual development of the total human person is the way by which the Church accomplishes the mission to proclaim the Gospel. Thus the human person, his progress and environment, is the center of all political enginnering; that is the center of the Church's mission.”
We can now see how it is in concordance with her mission for the Church to issue guidelines regarding the qualifications of political candidates and denounce political attitudes, behaviour and structures that either run counter to the Gospel principles or militate against the common good and salvation of the human person.
Nigerian Football: Shooting Ourselves In The Foot
» By Thomas A.B. Oyode
As each day rolls by, Nigerians continue to feel dissatisfaction with the state of affairs in the country. The event that took place on the 8th of October 2011, at the National Stadium Abuja, where the super Eagles of Nigeria woefully drew 2 2 with Equatorial Guinea and ignominiously lost the ticket to the prestigious African Nation Cup football fiesta, is not only a sign of general decay of the Nigerian system, it also leaves a serious minded citizen with some worries. Expectedly, the outcome has elicited widespread reactions, a vortex of reactions that one feels overwhelmed to join in.
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First, it must be asserted that what many Nigerians saw in that match is a pointer to a system in confusion, a group of people that have lost their focus, a state that is steeped in fast track of stinking decay. After all, what shall we say of a country whose leaders are overwhelmed by the grandeur and privileges of their offices like “Alice in Wonder Land” and lack in-depth understanding of what is expected of them? A country whose “elected” leaders can neither provide stable power, portable water nor fix refineries and secure the lives and properties of its citizens, is it not in decay? We are referring to a country where public funds (said to be scarce) are raked in jumbo pay to politicians while majority of the citizens wail in abyss of abject poverty and malnutrition. Shall we also make mention of our collapsed value system-social, religious and political where power is exalted above reason; and human dignity and human life is utterly disregarded? In the face of all this, what do we do? Do we sit back, relax and watch all things as they fall apart?
It is therefore, not surprising when we observe rather to our dismay that we cannot fix our football, a micro aspect of our socio-economic life. What goes around comes around! Now, the various reactions trailing the outcome of the Saturday 8th of October match include the call for the sack of Samson Siasia, the Super Eagles coach among other things. On this note, one would rather say without intention of holding brief for Siasia, that the embattled coach should be left alone and given time to do his job. Besides, the man is only a victim of the maladministration that bedevils our football. Again, if the team was good before Siasia took over why did they fail in the world cup? To use Siasia's words, “Why not look at the games we have played and compare them with videos of matches before I joined the team”? How much of support did our football administrators give him to do his job well?
Instead of making Siasia a scape goat of our collective failure, let us appreciate his love for the game and for the team. At least, for once, let Nigerians appreciate patriotism. The coach loves the game and the Super Eagles, a football team that wears our National colours. In fact, it was the pressure to rescue it from the shame of defeat that led him to make some blunders. Why, because he believes that Nigerians have a do or die spirit; win all, loose none. This same spirit of patriotism is crystallized in his public apology to Nigerians after being quizzed by the technical committee. My candid opinion here is that, Siasia is a committed and patriotic Nigerian coach saddled with an onerous responsibility of building a formidable National team but only found a crop of unpatriotic, slow-running and undisciplined footballers. Come to think of it, was it Siasia that made players to approach the match crestfallen and low-spirited because a prophet (T.B. Joshua) predicted the outcome of the match against them? Was it Siasia that cajoled the members of the technical team to call up another prophet to pray the team to victory? What a showcase of superstition and faithlessness.
If we must crucify Siasia which may not be said to be unjustified, at least, going by the terms of his contract, we must encourage him as a young local coach by sending him on scholarship for further studies. There, he can learn and correct his mistakes for the common good of the country. This suggestion is predicted on his achievements so far. It is a household truth that Siasia has improved the level of the players' discipline. This is evident not only in the players' responses to camp and their attitudes towards training. Many fans of the Super Eagles cannot deny this fact. The players’ them selves cannot deny it even though some of them find it too uncomfortable.
Judging from all these, one can rightly submit that firing Siasia is not the best option for our football because it will only take us back to where we are coming from. It would also be a showcase of instability that is fast becoming a part of our socio-cultural and socio-economic life. Rather, it is high time we introspected. Let us see the match as an indication of the failure that stares us in the face whenever we turn to any facet of our national life, an indication that we have shot ourselves in the foot because it is the outcome of our collective complacence towards the overall wellbeing of our country.
Pope Calls Peacemakers To Readiness For Martyrdom
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The Holy Father Pope Benedict XVI has said that extending Christ's kingdom of peace means being ready to suffer and to lose one's life in martyrdom. He gave this reflection recently at a liturgy to prepare for dialogue and prayer for peace and justice in the world, an event that brought leaders of the world's religions as well as non-believers in Assisi to commemorate the 25th Anniversary of the first of such celebration convoked by Blessed John Paul II.
While speaking about the prophecy of a king who would bring peace, the Pontiff explained, that “Jesus is the King, the poor king among the poor, meek among those who desire to be meek … the king of Peace, thanks to the power of God, which is the power of good, the power of love”.
Continuing, the Bishop of Rome asserted that Jesus, “He is a king who causes the chariots and charioteers of battle to disappear, who will shatter the bows of war, he is a king who will bring peace to fulfillment on the cross by joining heaven and earth and by throwing a bridge of brotherhood between all peoples”. The Pope stressed that “the cross is the new bow of peace, the sign and instrument of reconciliation of forgiveness, of understanding, a sign of love that is stronger than all violence and oppression, stronger than death, conquered with good and love”, he added.
Further, the Holy Father reiterated that to participate in extending this kingdom, Christians have to resist the temptation to become “wolves in the midst of wolves” and stressed that “it is not with power, with force or with violence that Christ's kingdom of peace is extended, but that with the gift of self, with love taken to the extreme, even toward our enemies… Jesus does not conquer the world with strength of armies, but with the strength of the cross, which is victory's true guarantee”, he stressed.
More, the Prelate pointed out that the desire to be the Lord's disciple means being ready for suffering and martyrdom, being ready to lose one's life for him so that good, love and peace may triumph in the world.
Also, the Holy Father hinted that St. Paul suffered for the truth, giving his life for it “this same logic holds true also for us if we want to be bearers of the kingdom and peace announced by the prophet Zechariah and fulfilled by Christ” and pointed out that we must be willing to pay personally to suffer in the first person misunderstanding, rejection, prosecution”. While reaffirming that it is not the sword of the conqueror that builds peace, but rather, the sword of the sufferer of he who knows how to give his very life”.
In a reaction from pilgrims of all faith, religion and tradition who gathered at Assisi in Italy on the occasion the reflection which had its motto 'Pilgrims of truth, pilgrims of peace”, some participants to the submit agreed that it was a historic event of great importance.
Further more, participants described the submit as a historic event that repeats the same joy of 25 years ago, when the programme was introduced and pointed out that the speech of the Holy Father moved them especially when he said “to work together for peace is to create a community, this is the hope that religion gives”.
Also, other participants noted that Pope's message of hope and peace amongs the many words they heard, have specially struck them that God is love and love brings all together.
Issue Of National Identity Bane Of Nigeria's Socio-Economic Growth -Bishop Kukah
Bishop Matthew Hassan Kukah of Sokoto has identified the absence of the sense of national identity and a nationally oriented ideology as few of the major causes of Nigeria's present socio-economic and political stagnation stressing that “there is need to sit down and replan Nigeria”.
The Bishop made this submission in a lecture on the Nigeria Nation in Ado-Ekiti, capital of Ekiti State, recently, where he was the Guest speaker at the lecture ceremony which was organized as part of the activities to mark the first year in office of Governor Kayode Fayami of Ekiti State.
Also, the social critic Bishop who spoke extensively on the country's politics of identity and circumstances of governance in Nigeria noted that “nobody is happy because we have not arrived where everybody wants the country to be”. He therefore advocated the need to reappraise the situation to know “why we are where we are and not where we should be”.
Further, Bishop Kukah regretted that parochial and narrow ethnic mindedness which supersede the national identity in all Nigerians, both leaders and followers, have deprived the country of rapid socio-economic development and lamented that after 51 years as an independent nation, “we are still unable to say who we are as our sense of identity still remains narrow”. He contended that in terms of national cohesion, many countries with which the nation obtained independence about the same time and some others who became independent after Nigeria are better than her.
While regretting the poor state of the country's education system, health, social services and security, Bishop Kukah hinted that over 50 Billion Naira of the stolen wealth of the country are sashed away in foreign countries and these countries use same to develop their own economy.
The Bishop decried the narrow nationality mindedness of the country's political leaders, attributing Nigeria's slow socio-economic development on the inability of the government to respond positively to the problems of the country. He added that once a state loses the capacity to contain the above noted constraints, the people lose identity. Going down memory lane, Bishop Kukah noted how military intervention in governance through force has bastardized the country's constitution and thus made it difficult to operate by the rule of law and contended that distortion in the understanding of what is right, adequate moral conviction on the part of most Nigerians, impatience on the part of the people as well as constantly tinkering with what affects the country and continuous call for something new, are other constraints affecting the development of the country.
Bishop Kukah noted that while only those in power are accused of corruption, the cankerworm is in every strata of the country's public and private lives. On the issue of religious crises, the Bishop of Sokoto Diocese pointed out that this has persisted because of the application of wrong doses to address the issue.
While expressing optimism that all hope is not lost for the country, Bishop Kukah stressed the need to address the issue of the country's constitution, the establishment of Think Tanks by all the political parties and a virile opposition in the country's polity, adding that without opposition, the government cannot function to the fullest.
Lack of Focused Leadership Cause of Our Problems Says Onaiyekan
Following the slow pace of development and acute challenges witnessed in the country lately, the Archbishop of Abuja, Archbishop John Onaiyekan has fingered the lack of focused leadership as the major problem militating against the social economic development of the Nation.
Archbishop Onaiyekan made this remark in his response to the welcome address of the Governor of Central Bank (CBN), Alhaji Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, when he paid a courtesy call on the Apex Bank's Governor in Abuja recently, when he visited the CBN Headquarters to celebrate the first anniversary of the St. Matthew's CBN Catholic Chaplaincy with the Catholic faithful working in the bank.
According to the local ordinary, the country has no justification for being in its present economic predicament, if the leaders of the nation have been well focused, have concern for the masses and the interest of the nation in their hearts. He expressed the hope that the present policies being put in place by the Apex Bank will take the country out of her financial and economic mess.
Speaking on the issue of religious crisis in some parts of the country, Archbishop Onaiyekan noted that “there is no need for religious acronym between the faithful of the two major religions as we both worship the same God in different ways”. He further urged religious leaders to live exemplary lives of love for one another as commanded by God and preached by the two religions for their followers to emulate, while advocating that all hands should be on deck to ensure religious harmony in the country and peaceful co-existence of all Nigerians, irrespective of their differences.
Speaking in the same vein, the Governor of the Central Bank, Alhaji Lamido Sanusi stated that those who promote religious crisis are fanatical extremists who have hidden agenda that is not in the interest of the country and the people. He stressed the importance of religious harmony and peaceful co-existence of all Nigerians for the development of the country.
More, the CBN Governor commended the Catholic Church for her contributions to the socio-economic growth of the country, particularly in the areas of education, health, infrastructures and good morals through her social teachings. He also commended Archbishop John Onaiyekan for his exemplary leadership life which has endeared him to many people within and outside the country.
Rev. Fr. Anetekhai Lays Dad To Rest At Ogbona
Ibharayi Wilson / Johnson Azogonokhai
The Rector of Holy Name Mass Centre, Ikpeshi and Director of Social Communications Catholic Diocese of Auchi, Rev. Fr. Leonard Anetekhai, has recently at St. John The Baptist Catholic Church, Ogbona prayed for the repose of the soul of his father, Mr Sunday Andrew Enakhumhe Anetekhai, who passed on on the 6th of September, 2011.
Delivering the homily at the funeral mass, Rev. Fr. Godrick Shaba noted that the funeral mass was an opportunity for all present to re-examine themselves and the kind of life they are living as Christians, stressing that death is a necessary end for all.
He reaffirmed that while alive, there is the need for them to pave way for themselves in heaven by leaving a good legacy that they would be remembered for and stressed that a Christian way of life is to influence others in a positive way.
Continuing, Fr. Shaba extolled some of the virtues of the deceased whom he described as a man who was ready to give his best, time, energy and intellect to the church. He also recalled how he worked with the deceased as the assisting parish priest of Holy Spirit Catholic Church, Benin City and noted that he was a humble catholic faithful who was ready to work and would never complain.
In his remarks, the Bishop of the Diocese, His Lordship Most Rev. (Dr.) Gabriel G. Dunia, conveyed his condolences on behalf of all the priests and the diocese of Auchi to the Anetekhai's family on the demise of their father.
Further, the chief shepherd of the diocese noted that funeral mass is a special prayer to accompany the soul of the departed, as he/she progresses to the creator and said that it creates an opportunity to give solace to the living starting from the family and the laity whom the person departed, while he called on the members of the family to unite, assist one another in life and also tasked them to imitate Christ whom their father had imitated while alive.
The Bishop in his tribute, described Mr. Andrew Anetekhai as a man of great faith, deligent and determined, who would give anything for the sake of God and reminded all present to always give priority to the work of God and shun earthly things which he said could affect the work of God.
In addition, the Bishop appreciated God for the life the deceased had lived and enjoined all the children to always remember their father's steadfastness, who followed the footsteps of Christ Faithfully, so that they can be with him at the end. He prayed God to console all the family members and prayed for the repose of the soul of the deceased and the souls of all the faithful departed.
In his vote of thanks Rev. Fr. Leonard Anetekhai on behalf of his family, appreciated God for His blessing on the family even in grief and thanked Bishop Dunia for his concern, support, prayers and prayed God to grant him the strength to continue to shepherd His people.
Further, Fr. Anetekhai commended the Archbishop of Benin Archdiocese, His Grace; Augustine Akubeze represented at the mass by Rev. Fr. Paul Enow, and also appreciated his formator Rev. Fr. Paul Oredipe, Rector, All Saints Major Seminary, Uhiele, Ekpoma.
More, he praised the efforts of the priests present who were from the Archdiocese of Benin City, Dioceses of Auchi, Uromi and Ondo and prayed God to protect them all, while he also appreciated the efforts of the religious present, Catholic faithful of Holy Name Ikpeshi for their love, the Ogbona Catholic community and all present and prayed God to reward them accordingly and grant them journey mercy.
Thereafter, the body of the deceased was interred at his family compound in Ogbona.
Speaking with THE PROMISE correspondent at the family compound Mr. Christopher Aihebholoria the chairman Catholic Men Organisation (CMO) Holy Spirit Catholic Church, Benin City, described Mr. Andrew Anetekhai as a good man, happy, dedicated and hardworking, who was always ready to carry others along when he was the CMO chairman. Mr. Aihebholoria who expressed sadness over the death of the deceased, noted that he would be highly missed in their parish and prayed God to grant him eternal rest in His bosom.
Auchi Host Provincial Catechists Seminar
The Catholic Diocese of Auchi, has recently hosted the Provincial Catechists seminar at the Catholic Pastoral Centre, Sabo Iyakpi.
Delivering the homily at the opening mass, the Auchi Diocesan catechists chaplain Rev. Fr. Martin Alokwe, said that catechists are the grass root teachers of the Church and charged them to take their office seriously by avoiding pride and jealousy, stressing that in order for them to discharge their roles effectively, they should always pray, as prayer is the only Christian weapon to destroy the devil plans of the devil against their ministry.
Fr. Alokwe reiterated that they should not always wait for seminars before they can get more knowledge, rather, they should endeavour to buy books inorder to know more and to equip themselves with the word of God. He also stressed that they should not think of the material gains when doing the work of God and assured them that their reward is in the hands of God.
Thereafter, at the commencement of the seminar, Rev. Fr. Martin Alokwe welcomed the participants to the Catholic Diocese of Auchi and appreciated all for coming to the seminar.
In his remarks, the Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Auchi Most Rev. Dr. Gabriel G. Dunia, thanked all present for finding time to attend the seminar and urged them to lead the people to the true light which is God. He challenged them to teach the truth always and noted that catechists are very important in spreading the word of God.
Earlier in his welcome address, catechist John Aisekhagbor president of catechists in Auchi Diocese, welcomed all present and prayed God to bless them as they attend the seminar.
In a lecture delivered by Mr Augustine Imhodu Umogbai titled “Family planning and Christian’s Challenges”, he explored some of the ways catechists can take care of their children and urged them to give birth to the number of children they can care for. Mr Imhodu pointed out that there is the need for parents to come together and discuss better ways of moving the family forward.
The lecture also featured an interactive session, while the vote of thanks was given by catechist John Aisekhagbor who thanked the Bishop of Auchi Diocese Most Rev. (Dr.) G.G. Dunia for gracing the occasion and appreciated their Diocesan chaplain Rev. Fr. Martin Alokwe for his support. Also, he appreciated all the catechists for their attendance and prayed God for their journey mercies.
Rev. Fr. Ebalu Thanks God At Emhokwemhe
It was a moment of celebration recently in the Catholic Community of Emhokwemhe, an outstation of All Saint Parish, Ighaewo as one of the newly ordained priests in Immaculate Conception Cathedral, Auchi Rev. Fr. Alfred Ebalu celebrated his ordination thanksgiving mass at Okpisa Primary school, Emhokwemhe.
Delivering the homily, Rev. Fr. Paul Oredipe the Rector All Saints Major Seminary, Uhiele, noted that the reading of the day was a call for all to follow the way of Jesus Christ, stressing that they are all invited to do the will of God. He added that many are invited but only few would be chosen and enjoined the new priest to follow the footsteps of Christ who is the leader of the Church as he commences his priestly assignment.
In his remarks, Very Rev. Fr. Isaac Bossey the Vicar General of the Catholic Diocese of Auchi, reiterated that priesthood is not a profession but rather, a call to serve in the vineyard of God and urged the new priest to be prayerful and discharge his duties effectively.
Highpoint of the celebration was a thanksgiving procession led by the newly ordained priest accompanied by the faithful of Emhokwemhe.
In his vote of thanks, the parish priest of All Saints Parish Ighaewo, Rev. Fr. Peter Ayala, commended the efforts of the faithful and all present for their show of love towards the new priest and prayed God to protect and bless them abundantly.
The event which witnessed the presence of His Royal Majesty, Dr. G.O. Eghabor the Okumagbe of Weppa Wanno Kingdom, also featured in cultural display by the youths of All Saints Parish Ighaewo and Iyora.
Otuo Celebrates Children/ Youth Harvest … Sends Forth Rev. Fr. Iyamah
The Catholic faithful of St. Joseph Catholic Church, Otuo has recently celebrated their 2011 annual children/youth harvest thanksgiving and bazaar tagged “Harvest of Divine Difference”.
Delivering the homily at the mass, the Rector of the Mass Centre Rev. Fr. Sylvester Gominah who described the day as a joyful one which the Lord has made, noted that children are gifts from God and ought to be celebrated always. He also advised that all the families present should endeavour to live together in peace like the holy family of Joseph, Mary and Jesus, stressing that it is a viable way of expressing gratitude for their immense gift from God.
Speaking further, Fr. Gominah pointed out that forgiveness of sins is important in a Christian's life and charged faithful to always learn how to forgive one another which is the foundation upon which their own forgiveness from God the Father of justice is built.
Continuing, the priest reiterated that in order for them to reap the rewards of the celebration, they must cultivate a positive attitude by shunning violence and anger against their neighbours.
The peak of the celebration was a thanksgiving procession by children, youths, parents and other lay apostolate groups bearing various gifts to the altar.
Thereafter at the bazaar sales, it was a moment of appreciation and presentation of gift items to the outgone Rector of the mass centre Rev. Fr. Joseph Iyamah, as the occasion was also used to Sendforth the priest.
Commending the efforts of the parishioners, the Rector of the Mass Centre Rev. Fr. Sylvester Gominah appreciated them for their out ward show of love towards the outgone priest and prayed God to reward them accordingly.
In his response, the recipient Rev. Fr. Joseph Iyamah, expressed gratitude to the parishioners for their show of love and for deeming him worthy to be honoured. He enjoined them to always co-operate with the new Rector of the Church in order to facilitate the progress and development of the Mass Centre, while commending the efforts of all who presented gift items to him and prayed for the growth and stability of Catholic faith in Otuo and its environs.
The celebration also featured cultural dance by the choir of St. Martin Catholic Church, Ikhin, Bible recitation by altar boys and chorography dance by St. Joseph choir, Otuo.
Jattu Mourns Youth President
Catholic faithful of St Philip Neri Catholic Church Jattu, were recently thrown into grief, following the death of the parish CYON President, Mr Ogeovho John Francis Aleakhme, who passed on after a brief illness.
At a requiem mass held in his honour, Rev. Fr. Romanus Ughiovhe condoled with the family, the youths of the parish and parishioners, urging them to put aside their grief and look forward to the glory of the resurrection.
Fr. Ughiovhe who dismissed the human notion of death being an end to man's life, said that the mortal body of a man is what loses life at death, adding that a man's soul goes back to its source, God, the creator of the world.
He also said that Christ has assured of a life after earthy death by the reason of His resurrection, pointing out that the raising of Lazarus from the dead was a proof of that assurance.
In a tribute by the members of the parish CYON, late Aleakhme was described as a man who possessed all the qualities of a young man in the Lord, as he was determined to succeed, diligent and was also disciplined. The tribute further extolled his virtues of timeliness and abhorrent of procrastination.
Also speaking during the mass, the parish priest of the Church Rev. Fr. Ignatius Omunagbe who was visibly overwhelmed with grief, described the late youth president as a man who was dedicated to the work of God and His Church.
Thereafter, the remains of Aleakhme was thereafter taken to the Church cemetery in a procession led by the youths dressed in their traditional uniform of white on black, where it was laid to rest amidst tears by family members, friends and parishioners present.
The funeral mass was attended by Rev. Frs. Godrick Shaba, Valentine Anaweokhai, Francis Emodogo, the Diocesan youth chaplain, Philip-Neri, Ebhakhaye and Innocent Elogie, both of St Philip- Neri Catholic Church, Mr Bernard Eshemokhai, the immediate past Provincial CYON President, youths from all around the diocese, parishioners of St Philip-Neri Catholic Church and the family of the deceased.
John Aleakhme until his death, was an active member of the CYON and had served in various capacities. He was recently elected president of the CYON in Jattu, a position he held untill his demise.
Ekperi Hosts Diocesan Laity Leadership Workshop
The Catholic community of SS Peter and Paul Parish Azukala/Ugbekpe, Ekperi has recently hosted the 2011 Auchi Diocesan Laity Leadership workshop at the church premises.
In his homily at the mass, the parish administrator Rev. Fr. Lawrence Adorolo enjoined all present at the mass to always strive to live up to their faith in their daily interactions with their neighbours and the world at large and also commended Catholic faithful for introducing various measures to evangelize the world, while he advised them not to relent in their efforts towards achieving positive change.
More, Fr. Adorolo prayed God that the spiritual fruits and the general outcome of the workshop as well as the retreat of the Diocesan Charismatic Renewal members at the same venue, would transform the people to be better Christians.
Welcoming participants to the workshop shortly after the mass, the Auchi Diocesan laity chairman Mr. George Umoru, thanked them for coming to the workshop, urged them to be purposeful in following Christ and noted that the 2011 workshop tagged “Laity as an active instrument for the salvation of the World” was to enable them understand the importance of laity in the Church.
In his lecture, Rev. Fr. Polycarp Imoagene Director of the Catholic Pastoral Centre, Sabo Iyakpi, reminded participants that the life of the Church depends on the laity since they constitute 99% of the church population and explained the importance of the laity in the Church which consist of the entire community.
Fr. Imoagene further charged all laity council members to imbibe the spirit of active participation in the evangelization of the church and the world.
In the second lecture delivered by Rev. Fr. Godswill Oghiator, the parish priest of the Church of Assumption, Udaba titled “the spirituality of lay faithful”, he explained that Christian growth and development depends on the spiritual well-being of the individual. He asserted that evangelization of the world requires major contribution from the laity and stressed that although the clergy pays a dominant role in the liturgy of the Church, witnessing of the lay faithful is recognized in the mission and vocation of the church.
Speaking further, Fr. Oghiator reiterated that the corpus role of the laity as reaffirmed by John Paul II, was that the people are specially called by God in the mission of evangelization into His vineyard and averred that their vocation must spread to all the apostolic mission of the Church.
Highpoint of the workshop was an interactive session shortly after the lectures, were questions bothering on the faith and lectures received were asked and answers were provided by the resource persons.
The leadership programme attracted delegates from all the parishes and mass centres in the Diocese. Also in attendance was Rev. Fr. Alfred Ebalu who represented the Diocesan laity chaplain, Rev. Fr. Mark Akhibi.
Ayogwiri Honours Patron Saint
The Catholic community of St. Matthew Parish Ayogwiri, has marked her Patron Saint feast day.
In a homily delivered by the parish priest Rev. Fr. John Awaebe, he highlighted the life of St. Matthew, the son of Alphaeus. The priest added that he was a tax collector at Capernaum who followed Jesus and became his disciple and was renamed Matthew from Levi, owing to his calling to be a disciple of Jesus Christ.
Speaking further, the parish administrator reiterated that St. Matthew who was a wealthy and respected man because of the nature of his job, had to neglect his wealth and life style by obeying the call of Jesus and followed him immediately in the spreading of the word of God. Fr. Awaebe urged the parishioners to imitate their patron saint by ignoring their wealth, sinful life and carry their cross and follow Jesus Christ, who is their Saviour.
Highpoint of the mass was a thanksgiving to God by the parishioners who proceeded to the altar in a joyful mood.
Auchi Diocese Holds Marian Pilgrimage At Igarra
Ibharayi Wilson/ Cecil Olorunda
Catholics within and outside the Diocese of Auchi, recently converged at the Marian Shrine at Igarra for the 2011 Marian Pilgrimage to offer prayers to Mother Mary to intercede for them, as the year draws close and for a better country in the year to come.
The three days event which featured spiritual exercises, was concluded with a thanksgiving mass presided over by Very Rev. Fr. Isaac Bossey, the Vicar General of the Catholic Diocese of Auchi.
In his homily at the mass tagged “Seek the Lord First”, Rev. Fr. Nicholas Oshiokede said that his objective was to addresses lost sheep of Christ particularly those who have not accepted Jesus as their Lord and prayed Mother Mary to intercede for them in order to make them members of Christ’s family.
He pointed out that Mother Mary is a caring mother who went to look for Jesus after the feast of Passover and found Him in the temple, listening and asking elders questions. He noted that though many families may have lost their children to the society, drugs, corruption, homosexuality, social vices and other crimes, the priest urged them to invite Mother Mary into their lives and through Her intercession, their family would be restored back to them.
Continuing, Fr. Oshiokede stressed that to lose focus in Christ is to commit sin and decried the attitude of some Catholics towards searching for Jesus Christ when they have strayed. He observed that instead of them to search for Christ in deep sorrow as Mother Mary did when she could not find him after the feast of Passover, they rather prefer to sleep in illusionary peace and happiness and described such individuals as persons who lack the thorough knowledge of what it takes to work with Christ.
Further, the homilist charged all present to reflect on the sins they have committed and urged them to shun all forms of evil and to love their neighbours with all their hearts.
Fr. Oshiokede enjoined them to pray their rosary, fast and pray, confess their sins to God, pray the Angelus and reminded them on the need to keep the statue of the Blessed Mary around their beds and prayed that God through the intercession of Mother Mary, would set them free from captivity, diseases, restore their lost children as well as create doors of opportunities. More, he charged them to put their trust in God even in the midst of difficulties.
The mass in which over twenty (20) priests were present, also featured thanksgiving procession by faithful from all the parishes, mass centres and outstations, thanking God for the successful completion of the pilgrimage.
In his vote of thanks, Rev. Fr. Joseph Iyamah appreciated the Catholic Bishop of Auchi Diocese Most Rev. (Dr). Gabriel G. Dunia for the 2011 pilgrimage. He also commended the parish priest of St. John the Apostle, Igarra Very Rev. Fr. Isaac Bossey, for his love and thanked the priests present, religions and the lay faithful for making the celebration a success.
On his part, the coordinator of the 2011 Marian Pilgrimage Rev. Fr. Ambrose Alumiasunya, thanked all those who contributed towards the success of the programme and prayed Mother Mary to grant them their heart desires.
Earlier in a lecture delivered by Rev. Fr. Godswill Ikiebe Oghiator titled “Dogma of Perpetual Virginity”. Fr. Oghiator noted that Blessed Virgin Mary was first honoured by God and called on Catholics to honour her who is the Mother of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.
He explained that dogmas are statement of faith, stressing that when they refuse to believe them, they may not be in full communion with the Church of God. He added that Mother Mary did not have other children except Jesus Christ, as been speculated by other Christians.
Fr. Oghiator encouraged all present to do away with sins such as adultery, homosexuality and other vices and turn to Christ, while urging them to be close to Mother Mary by living holy lives.
The event also featured rosary procession around major routes in Igarra town, all night prayer session led by Rev. Fr. Peter Oshomah, Stations of the Cross, penitential service, drama presentation by Diocesan Catholic Youths Organisation of Nigeria (CYON) and other spiritual activities.
Bishop Dunia Erects Dagbala As Parish
The Catholic Bishop of Auchi Diocese, Most Rev. (Dr.) Gabriel G. Dunia, has recently elevated Holy Angel Catholic Church, Dagbala from the status of Mass Centre to a parish.
In his homily, Bishop Dunia noted that it is both the responsibility of the priest and the lay faithful to plant a seed of faith whenever faith is lacking and to bring the seat of the parish closer to the people, so that they can reach out quickly to those in need of faith.
The Chief shepherd of the Diocese remarked that by the virtue of their baptism, they were brought into the vineyard of God as members of Christ’s body and stressed that God as a loving father, has planted them in His vineyard because of love and also cares for them with tenderness as the owner of a vineyard would care for His vineyard.
Continuing, Bishop Dunia reiterated that God hates pride and reminded the faithful on the need for them to shun pride and embrace humility which brings manifold blessings from God, stressing that Mother Mary was a clear example of humility while urging other outstations present to work towards improving their outstations and the new parish.
Speaking further, the pastor of souls called on all present to work towards assisting in the growth and development of the new parish which would bring about positive growth of Catholic faith in Dagbala and Auchi Diocese in general.
He reaffirmed that Holy Angel Dagbala, the new parish, now has All Saints Catholic Church Uneme-Osu, St Martins Catholic Church Ojirami- Afekumu, St. Augustine Ojirami-Peteshi and St. Patrick Uneme- Erhunrhun as outstations and added that the new parish would also have Rev. Fr. Moses O. Afokhume as the new parish administrator.
Highpoint of the mass was a thanksgiving procession by the Catholic faithful of Holy Angel parish who were in a joyful mood to the altar.
Other guests present at the celebration were priests, religious, HRH Stephen Irune of Uneme-Osu, the Olososo of Ososo, the head clan of Okorosh, A.A. Amune, Prof. and Dr. (Mrs) Aashikpolokhai and others.
In his address shortly after the mass, the chairman of the occasion HRH Oba Stephen Irune, thanked the Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Auchi Most Rev. (Dr.) G.G. Dunia, for the honour done to the Church and called on all present to contribute to the growth of the new parish both spiritually and materially.
The event also featured the cutting of the parish erection cake by Very Rev. Fr. Isaac Osese Bossey, priests present and other dignitaries. While the guests were entertained with cultural displays.
Knights Of St John Gets A Boost In Benin
The Knighthood order of St. John International of the Catholic Archdiocese of Benin, which consists of Archdiocese of Benin, Dioceses of Warri, Auchi, Uromi, Issele-Uku and Bomadi Vicarate, has initiated twenty (20) new members into its fold at St. Paul Minor Seminary, Airport Road, Benin City.
The initiation exercise which took place during the 2nd meeting of the Grand Board of Trustees (GBOT) of the order, had five of its new members from the Catholic Diocese of Auchi. They were Clement Ehiage (Afuze), Peter Adoga (Igarra), Nicholas Garuba (Ibillo), John Omozegbai (Jattu) and Reginald Igechi (Ekperi), while Warri Diocese had eight, Benin Archdiocese, six and Uromi Diocese, one.
In his homily at the opening mass, Rev. Fr. Salami Yakubu Gowon who appreciated God for the lives of the members emphasized that the event which was titled “Fostering of Fraternal love in Knighthood” was accurate and timely. He also said that love is needed among members to enable them live with one another in peace by avoiding anything that would lead to segregation.
Fr. Gowon noted that for them to promote fraternal love among members, they should send a strong message of love to one another through their life styles and charged them to participate in worthy politics. He stressed that the intending members aspire to belong to the order because they see love in the order, which provides a good environment for members to operate and urged them to show good examples to others around them as men and women of honour.
Speaking further, the homilist explored some of the virtues of Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of Jesus Christ, stressing that it was her shinning examples that endeavored her to be Mother of Christ, while enjoining all the knights present to emulate Mary, who made herself available to God.
Thereafter, at the lecture delivered by Brig. Gen. P.O.E. Origbe, the Grand President, he challenged the knights to seek holiness through active prayer life to improve their spiritual growth and stressed that prayer would make their life to be meaningful.
Continuing, the resource person reiterated that they should always attend mass, pray the Rosary, visit the Blessed Sacrament, confess their sins, read the Bible, make fruitful use of Sacramentals and added that if properly utilized, it would improve their prayer life.
While speaking on the importance of fraternal love, Brig. Gen. Origbe tasked all the members to promote fraternal love by attending their programmes and visiting members.
Other activities featured during the event were drilling of aspirants, lectures on health and spiritual life, novelty football match among others. Meanwhile, the thanksgiving mass was held at the Blessed Tansi Memorial Catholic Church, New Benin, Benin City.
SS Peter & Paul Celebrates Children/ Youth Harvest
Faithful of SS Peter & Paul Catholic Church, Azukala/Ugbekpe Ekperi, have celebrated their 2011 children/youth harvest/bazaar tagged “Harvest of Divine Progress” at the Church premises.
Giving the homily at the mass for the occasion, the parish priest Rev. Fr. Lawrence Adorolo, said that God expects Christians to live comfortably through hard work and as such, has provided all they need to live fulfilled lives.
Fr. Adorolo who also noted that man cannot live well if he does not work according to God's directives, warned that if God's provision for man is not properly utilized, the Lord will withdraw His glory which will lead to poor performance and yields, unfulfillment and unrewarding toils.
Further, the priest reminded the Catholic community of the need to give a proper account of God's blessings in their lives through generous donations during harvest celebrations, stressing that Christians need to understand that all they have is from God and belongs to God, as such, they should endeavour to glorify Him with their substance as well as to readily be of help to all who are in need.
Thereafter, Rev. Fr. Adorolo prayed God to bless and provide for all the faithful so that they will be able to live comfortably, provide for others who need their assistance and also to contribute towards the growth and development of the Church to the glory of His name.
Highpoint of the mass was the filling out of all societies in the Church for their special thanksgiving and prayers, bearing various gift items.
At the bazaar sales, the chairman of the occasion Barrister Donald Osikhena Boih, Edo State Commissioner for commerce and industry, in his address, thanked the Church for counting him worthy to chairman the harvest and prayed for the continuous growth of the Church.
Also present at the occasion were Mr Alexander Musa, Comrade Lazarus Adorolo, while Mr John Apoede Oghiator represented Sir Bruno Oshionebo, Chairman Etsako West Local Government Area.
New Executive For Cathedral CGO
The Assistant Administrator of Immaculate Conception Cathedral, Auchi Rev. Fr. Ferdinand Okafor, has inaugurated the newly elected executive of Catholic Girls Organisation (CGO) Cathedral chapter, to run her affairs for two years. They were; Kadiri Ernestina; President, Okarah Mercy; Vice President, Izuagie Joy; Secretary, Ebreneyin Tosan; Assistant Secretary, Esheku Caroline; Financial Secretary, Unigwe Nkeiruka; Treasurer, Omoghie Anthonia; Provost, Okpokpo Flora; Assistant Provost and Opogah Patricia; Organizing Secretary. Others were Akpojiri Doris; PRO I, Clement Gloria; PRO II, Francis Evangeline; Ex-officio I and Ofuenyi Margaret; Ex-officio II.
In his homily, Rev. Fr. Ferdinand Okafor who stressed that God is calling on all to come into His vineyard but many have refused to listen to God's call due to one reason or the other, tasked all present to shun material pleasures of the world and follow Christ, while adding that material things would deprive them of the love of God.
Fr. Okafor who noted that it is only through the love of God that they would see the kingdom of God, urged them to follow the examples of Christ, while pointing out that all the faithful are invited by God the Father but only few would be chosen if they put on the garment of Christ by following Him all the days of their lives.
During the inauguration, Fr. Okafor said that their call was an opportunity for them to serve Christ and advised them to shun pride by modeling themselves with the examples of Christ. He tasked them to carry other members along and be good leaders.
Highpoint of the mass was a thanksgiving by the new CGO executive and members who were accompanied to the altar by parishioners.
Benin Provincial CYON Gets New Executive
Members of the Catholic Youth Organisation of Nigeria (CYON), Benin Ecclesiastical Province, have recently at St. Malachi Grammar School, Sapele, Delta State elected a new executive to run her affairs.
The election for the body which consists of Benin Archdiocese, Dioceses of Auchi, Uromi, Warri, Issele-Uku and Bomadi Vicarate, was conducted by Rev. Fr. M. Desmond, the provincial chaplain and Rev. Fr. Rex Ozagie, Uromi Diocese CYON chaplain.
Shortly after the election, the following persons were elected as members of the new executive; Edokpa Fidelis; President (Uromi), Arhoghro Jude; Vice President I (Bomadi Vicariate), Innih Pauline; Vice President II (Auchi), Ife Emmanuel; Secretary General (Warri) and Osaigbobu Lucky; Assistant Secretary (Issele-Uku). Others were Ojemudia Patrick; Financial Secretary (Issele-Uku) and Otonobijie Tonia; Welfare Officer (Uromi).
In his remarks, the outgone president Bro. Ben. Eshemokhai of Auchi Diocese, thanked all present for the successful election and prayed God to continue to strengthen the body.
On his part, the interim committee chairman Bro. Michael Iyoriobhe, thanked the body for the confidence reposed on his led interim committee, while appreciating members for their response to the election and peaceful conduct.
Also, the provincial chaplain who expressed joy on the successful conduct of the election, congratulated the newly elected executive and tasked them to live up to the expectations of the people. He also charged them to be up and doing in the discharge of their duties, without fear or favour in order to facilitate the growth of the body and also promote youths activities in the province.
In his inaugural speech, the newly elected president of the body Bro. Edokpa Fidelis, on behalf of the executive, expressed their commitment to champion the course of the CYON and pledged to take the province to a higher level.
Diocesan CMO Holds Retreat At Okugbe Okpella
Umoru Aigbona Patrick
The Catholic Men Organisation (CMO) in the Catholic Diocese of Auchi, has recently at St. Vincent Parish, Okugbe Okpella, held their 2011 annual retreat.
Delivering a lecture titled “The Holy Eucharist”, Rev. Fr. Lawrence Nwaneri who is the parish priest of St. Vincent Okugbe Okpella, explained that the Eucharist means thanksgiving which he said originated from the Greek word “Eucharista” which means thanksgiving and added that Catholics believe in the real presence of Jesus Christ in the Eucharist.
Also, Fr. Nwaneri pointed out that the Holy Catholic Church teaches that at the moment of the consecration of the mass, the bread and wine on the altar truly becomes the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ, while reaffirming that the momentous change is known as transubstantiation- change of substance.
Further, the priest stressed that the miracles affirm the faith of Catholic and remind them of how privileged they are to share in one of the most basic truths and most exalted mysteries of the Catholic religion.
Highpoint of the occasion were penitential service and distribution of Rosary to all CMO members present by the parish priest Rev. Fr. Lawrence Nwaneri.
In his vote of thanks, the Diocesan CMO President Engr. (Chief) Donatus M.E. Okosun, appreciated the priest for his kind gesture and prayed God to reward him and also appreciated members for attending the programme.