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CHRISTMAS: A TIME TO SHOW LOVE
It is Christmas again, a special time to share God's love among love ones. Celebrating Christmas means more than eating, drinking and merry making. It is all about love and God is love - Love is the key to peace among all mankind, we are called to celebrate this love. Love is the key to peace and happiness within all creation; let us share the love and happiness to others. Love needs to be practiced - love needs to flow first in our homes, with our partners, with our children, with relatives and with others around us.

To achieve this love, we must learn to forgive and ask for forgiveness even from all the past wrongs known and unknown. We must enhance the feeling within ourselves as member of a larger family and MOST importantly - Christmas is a feast of BLISS given to us by God. We must always avail ourselves of this divine bliss, forgiveness especially from those we have offended and divine help that is offered to us by GOD.

Christmas a part from being a time of merriment, joy and happiness, should also serve as a sober reflection and an opportunity for us to appraise our lives in the past twelve months and strategize the way of coming closer to God.

We must take things with ease, relax these coming days and avoid the rush of getting things done in a rush - it is UP TO YOU to create the proper inner attitude and openness for love toward others and from others within YOURSELF.

God bless you all

Merry Christmas & A Happy New Year.
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Braving Out The Battle Of Life
For the true and faithful soldier of the cross, the battle of life must be braved out, come what may. In other words, the authentic soldier of the cross of Christ must fight his battle of life for Christ, in Christ and with Christ most confidently, faithfully, fearlessly and steadily to the end. This is necessary first, so that the safety of life is secured; secondly, so that the basic necessities of life can be procured and preserved in an atmosphere of peace and concord. Thirdly, so that the soldier can live to receive and wear the crown expected at the end of the battle that has been well fought, won and is over. Fourthly and very importantly, so that the soldier can really celebrate, thank and glorify God, the true fighter and winner of the battle for the soldier. Hence, the hymn, “A soldier of the Cross”, composed in 1709 by Dr. Watts states and asks:

“Am I a soldier of the cross?
A follower of the lamb?
And shall I fear to own His cross?
Or blush to speak His name?

Must I be carried to the skies?
On flowery beds of ease?
While others fought to win the prize
And sailed three bloody sea?

Are there no foes for me to face?
Must I not stem the flood?
Is this vile world a friend to grace?
To help me on to God?

Sure, I must fight if I would reign,
Increase my courage, Lord
I, ll bear the toil, endure the pain
Supported by thy word.

[The Chorus]
In the name, the precious name
Of him who died for me
Thru grace I, ll win the promised crown
What ever my cross may be”.

The cross in which we must brave out the battle is constituted daily in the life of the true and faithful soldier by those souls who have allowed themselves to be possessed by demonic spirit or spirits who use them to attempt and wreck every kind of havoc on their victims.

The victims of these demonic spirits must be ready at all times, as well trained soldiers, to brave out the battle in all its ramifications to its finality. They, the victims cannot afford to relax at any moment, they must be watchful and at alert always and everywhere to stem the flood of the demon or demons and prove themselves to be brave and unconquerable soldiers in the name, the precious name, Jesus Christ. This is what Jesus means, when he states: “In the world you will have hardship, but be courageous; I have conquered the world” (John 16:33).

The world being referred to here is the world of the demonic souls where they, the demons think and hope that they can wreck both imaginable and unimaginable havoc on the innocent children of God. In that world, there are many foes for the true and faithful soldier to face, yet, he should be rest assured that in the name, the precious name he can bravely fight, win the battle successfully and reign with the one and only conqueror of sin and death, Jesus Christ. He is the weapon with which no other can be compared both in this world and in the world to come, forever. Amen.
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CHRISTMAS: THE BRIDGE OF LOVE BETWEEN GOD AND MAN
» By Rev. Fr. Dr. Anselm Jimoh
Christmas is a time for joy and happiness, a season of celebration and rejoicing, one of eating and drinking and making merry with one another, it is a great opportunity in our human history and annual life. Though, it is not the greatest feast in the Christian tradition and life, it is however the most widely celebrated as even Christians and non-Christians alike get involved in the celebrations.

Christmas which is the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ calls to mind the incarnation; the mystery of God the Son taking to himself the nature of man and the word was made flesh. There is an emphasis on Jesus who is Christ here because Jesus Christ who is the most important figure that has ever walked the path of earth is that important not merely because he is the Son of God, but more importantly because of what he came to do on earth as the Son of God. In this mystery of the incarnation, God in his love established and built a bridge of love with which he came down to man and by which man can climb up to him.

Isaiah 9:2-7 calls on Israel to rejoice and be glad for light has come and darkness is forever gone. Be glad for the Saviour has been born, he is the wonder-counsellor, the mighty God, the prince of peace. The same theme of joy is found in Luke 2:1-14; the simple and humble birth of Jesus who is the Christ is recorded and shepherds watching their flock by night were the privileged ones to hear the news first, accompanied by the beautiful songs rendered by the wonderful voices of the angels as they chorus, Glory to God on high, hosssana in the highest.

We do not just rejoice and celebrate without a genuine cause, so why is Christmas such a period of rejoicing and gladness? We celebrate and rejoice because the presence of Christ in the history of humanity symbolizes the beginning of a change in human history; a change from the slavery to sin to the freedom of the children of God. The creation account and the account of the fall of man in the book of Genesis showed that humanity was doomed for damnation, having chosen to exercise God's gift of freewill selfishly and wrongly, but the promise of Gen. 3:15 began to be fulfilled with the birth of Christ.

The letter to the Hebrews, 1:1-2 clearly shows that God had made efforts to return Israel, His chosen race, the symbol of God's people to himself by sending them prophets but now in the last days he has decided to come himself in the form of his son Jesus Christ. If you like, he has now given us everything that is left so that we could in fact, be saved. That precisely is the beginning of the change from damnation to life in abundance, for Christ said, I have come that you might have life and have it to the full (Jn 10:10).

Jesus' mission on earth was to proclaim peace, joy, happiness, liberation, and general well being of all. Jesus had not come for a political, economic nor social revolution; he had come for a moral and spiritual revolution. Thus, he had to build on a foundation that is required to sustain such revolution. He chose the best, which is love. Authentic Christian love; this is called agape in Christian theology. This is different from philia and erotic love. It is the love that vertically proceeds from God to humankind and distributed through human co-operation amongst humankind in a horizontal manner. Christmas is the beginning of this network of love.

The phenomenon of Sancta Claus (Father Christmas) at Christmas and not any other festival is therefore not strange. Which means that somehow, we know or believe, that Christmas is when to remember our loved ones, when to display some generosity by exchanging gifts as our sign of love.

The coming of Jesus Christ to the world creates a kind of ladder by which humanity may and should ascend to the divine and by which the divine comes down to humanity. In Jesus Christ, there is of course the union of the human and the divine, which Catholic theology has appropriately termed the hypostatic union, i.e. the union of two natures in the one person of Jesus Christ. Christmas therefore, is a period when we celebrate the beginning of the great change in the course of human history; the change from a road to damnation to the route of life, the change that is marked by the conquering of Satan and the victory of the children of God.

Christmas presents us with the opportunity for us as individuals to effect a change in our personal lives. Hence, the call of John the Baptist takes on a renewed relevance, prepare a way for the Lord, and make its paths straight. Christ's coming into the world marks the end of an era; the end of the era of heading towards damnation and signifies the beginning of a new era; the new era of sonship. If Christ's coming into the world marks the end of an era and indicates the beginning of another, each Christmas should mark the end of an era in our lives and indicate the beginning of another era in our lives. Specifically, each Christmas should mark a change from sin to a life of grace, an indication of a renewed effort to say no to anything that does not lead to God and yes to a renewed effort to living a life of grace. We should replace our evil ways with good.

How do we do this? Evil and good cannot co-habit. One would necessarily have to give way to the other. Thus, our efforts to do what is right would necessarily eliminate efforts to doing what is wrong, vice versa. The argument is that when we are preoccupied with thinking, planning and executing what is right and good in the sight of God, we would not have the time to think, plan nor execute evil or things that lead us away from God.

Christmas is a period of sober reflection. This does not suggests that we are to cut out the social aspect of this beautiful festival, rather it is a call to be fully aware of what Christmas is all about. Our people say; tears do not prevent the eyes from seeing. This is to say that we should not be blinded to the real meaning of Christmas by allowing ourselves to be carried away by the superfluous aspects.

Christmas is an opportunity for us to rate our Christian love. Not based on the period of Christmas alone, but an opportunity to evaluate how far we have been able to participate in the horizontal distribution of the divine love that has come to us. This divine love of God comes to us in different forms and shades. It might just be a rich sense of humour, a gentle manner of speech, a clear sense of direction and organization, a positive attitude towards life, financial strength, political power, etc. how have we affected the lives of others, positively with any of these that God has graciously bestowed on us?

Christmas is the period to celebrate love. What does love entail? The popular parable of the “Good Samaritan”, which we find in Luke 10:30-37 readily comes to hand in answer to this question. Love entails that we are nice to all and sundry. This is irrespective of colour, race, financial, political, social, and religious and in fact, moral status. Love is the extension of a hand of fellowship to all who are in need, here and now. The life of Christ, his words and deeds embodies this love. He knew neither Jew nor Gentile. The sun and rain from his Father is for all underneath the sky.

Love entails a little time for others, a little of all we have for those who do not have particularly, those whom society seems to reject. The basis of this love is that we realize that we are all brothers and sisters. Practicing Christian love, which is what Christmas calls us to evaluate in our lives, is not a tedious task. It is just that we cannot make time for it. Perhaps, we are too busy, running after our businesses, trying to make more money, more connection, etc. if only we can spare a little time for other creatures of God around us. Come to think of it, we do not have to look too far, neither do we have to turn our heads twice, before we see those in need.

Maybe we should come closer home; charity as they say begins at home. The family, according to sociologists is the smallest unit of the society. The Church proclaims also that the family is the first Church. The practice of Christian love should therefore begin at home. How much of love does the husband have and show to his wife? Maybe, he is busy making money for the family. Perhaps, it is good to remember that the family particularly the wife needs you much more than the money. If this is not the case, then we should put a question mark on the love of the wife for the husband. Christmas is an opportunity to turn to your wife and reassure her of your love for her. Same goes for the woman.

What about the children? The love between the husband and wife provides the unseen but firm foundations for the children to learn authentic love. It guarantees good upbringing for the children as the life of daddy and mummy is always so loud that the children cannot hear their voice again. This is the Chinese way of saying action speaks louder than voice. Christmas is a time to gather your family together and celebrate the love of God in his Son's coming. Let the love so bubble in the family that it reaches out to others who do not belong to the immediate earthly family. After all we all belong to one large family where God is the father, Mary our mother, and all of us brothers and sisters.

Christmas is here again; God has given us his Son as gift that we may live. What gifts have we for God as our sign of gratitude? I tell you as a man of God and a minister of His word that the best gift to give to God is our Christian life of love.
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Helping Teenagers To Have Value For Sex
» By Stephen Atsoboudu Iyelumi
Let us not waste time asking the question what is sex because the act in this contest suggests they understand what the act is all about but what is important is whether they have value, respect or honour for sex. Let us simply from the outset state that sex is an act created by God for procreation. This act of child birth or of procreation according to our faith is only for married couples.

One thing that is very essential for our knowledge now is that everybody, irrespective of age, culture and race has and does make alternative choices. By this we mean the will power to choice to do right or wrong amongst various possibilities. If this is true what is important to note is to ask whether teenagers can make the right choices at every given instance. I dare to answer this question in the affirmative. If their thoughts and actions are guided by divine reason and structured by well informed societal moral values.

Society in the past years seem to have taken for granted the fact that teenagers do have value for things and people around them; they see the young in relation to sex as nothing but chips tossed about in an uncontrollable sea of interior emotional haphazard trends and that the highest thing one can do in our hyper stimulated worth is to cut down the rate of pregnancy. Some believe that it is man's nature to be promiscuous. This as it were, accounts for why some adults manipulate the young into having intercourse by teaching them how to avoid the consequences.

Far from this reality is our knowledge of who these people really are; they are young, that is correct but they are also free. They are free to choose and not to because they are not only humans but human persons with innate ideas. They are also moved to carry out heroic actions such as helping the poor and retarded, serving as volunteer workers in slums and migrant camps and some even refuse fraudulent acts in personal and public spheres of which the act of sex is no exception.

Consequently, to say that they have no value for sex is to deny them of their humanity, their choice of free will and so on. What one would rather settle for amongst other things is that teenagers are even thirsting for someone to teach them, someone to teach becomes more imperative because it has a lot to say about us as humans and more still as Christians.

If today's society cannot teach inspiring and enduring values to its young ones, if it does not imbibe in them inspiring moral values and if these values are not accumulated with commitment as it relates to the self and the significant others that have the know how, how do we intend to save our culture? Worst is, what does it say about the Church.

While we may continue to turn around in emptiness the whips of these questions, it is the humble submission that the young have value for the act of sex and this can be enhanced and appreciated by the availability of a tutor. By tutor, here, is meant any elderly one, any religious leader, any teacher, any political office holder, any public figure including our celebrities. Others are catechists and Sunday school teachers. When this is conscientiously done the issue under discourse would not only be approached and assessed in positive light, it would also speak well of our humanity which has God as its source other than looking out or turning to the great “American Saviour”, technology.
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WHICH ARE THE DOGMAS OF THE CHURCH? Pt 3
» By Rev. Fr. Stan-William Ede
At the beginning of this our journey through the dogmas of the Church about two months ago, I mentioned that a single publication on this column would not be able to exhaust all the dogmas, and so we shall have them published part by part through three or four editions. This therefore is the third part of the presentation, yet not the last nor the least. As always, 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.
As we have also previously done, it is pertinent to recall 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
The Mother of the Redeemer (Blessed Virgin Mary)
102. Mary is truly the Mother of God.
103. Mary was conceived without stain of Original sin.
104. Mary conceived by the Holy Ghost without the co-operation of man.
105. Mary bore her Son without any violation of her virginal integrity.
106. Also after the Birth of Jesus Mary remained a Virgin.
107. Mary was a Virgin before, during and after the Birth of Jesus Christ.
108. Mary was assumed body and soul into Heaven.
God the Sanctifier (and the Doctrine of Grace)
109. There is a supernatural intervention of God in the faculties of the soul, which precedes the free act of the will.
110. There is a supernatural influence of God in the faculties of the soul which coincides in time with man's free act of will.
111. For every salutary act internal supernatural grace of God (gratia elevans) is absolutely necessary.
112. Internal supernatural grace is absolutely necessary for the beginning of faith and of salvation.
113. Without the special help of God the justified cannot persevere to the end in justification.
114. The justified person is not able for his whole life long to avoid all sins, even venial sins, without the special privilege of the grace of God.
115. Even in the fallen state, man can, by his natural intellectual power, know religious and moral truths.
116. For the performance of a morally good action Sanctifying Grace is not required.
117. In the state of fallen nature it is morally impossible for man without Supernatural Revelation, to know easily, with absolute certainty and without admixture of error, all religious and moral truths of the natural order.
118. Grace cannot be merited by natural works either de condigno or de congruo.
119. God gives all the just sufficient grace (gratia proxime vel remote sufficiens) for the observation of the Divine Commandments.
120. God, by His Eternal Resolve of Will, has predetermined certain men to eternal blessedness.
121. God, by an Eternal Resolve of His Will, predestines certain men, on account of their foreseen sins, to eternal rejection.
122. The Human Will remains free under the influence of efficacious grace, which is not irresistible.
123. There is a grace which is truly sufficient and yet remains inefficacious (gratia vere et mere sufficiens).
124. The sinner can and must prepare himself by the help of actual grace for the reception of the grace by which he is justified.
125. The justification of an adult is not possible without Faith.
126. Besides faith, further acts of disposition must be present.
127. Sanctifying grace sanctifies the soul.
128. Sanctifying grace makes the just man a friend of God.
129. Sanctifying grace makes the just man a child of God and gives him a claim to the inheritance of Heaven.
130. The three Divine or Theological Virtues of Faith, Hope and Charity are infused with Sanctifying grace.
131. Without special Divine Revelation no one can know with the certainty of faith, if he be in the state of grace.
132. The degree of justifying grace is not identical in all the just.
133. Grace can be increased by good works.
134. The grace by which we are justified may be lost, and is lost by every grievous [mortal, serious] sin.
135. By his good works the justified man really acquires a claim to supernatural reward from God.
136. A just man merits for himself through each good work an increase of sanctifying grace, eternal life (if he dies in a state of grace) and an increase of heavenly glory.

(B.) Certain Truths Not Yet Defined By the Magisterium
The Mother of the Redeemer (Blessed Virgin Mary)
35. Mary gave the Redeemer, the Source of all graces, to the world, and in this way she is the channel of all graces.
36. Mary, the Mother of God, is entitled to the Cult of Hyperdulia.
God the Sanctifier (and the Doctrine of Grace)
37. Actual Grace internally and directly enlightens the understanding and strengthens the will.
38. The Grace of faith is not necessary for the performance of a morally good action.
39. Actual Grace is not necessary for the performance of a morally good action.
40. In the condition of fallen nature it is morally impossible for man without restoring grace (gratia sanans) to fulfill the entire moral law and to overcome all serious temptations for any considerable period of time.
41. Grace cannot be obtained by petitions deriving from purely natural prayer.
42. Man of himself cannot acquire any positive disposition for grace.
43. God gives all innocent unbelievers (infideles negativi) sufficient grace to achieve eternal salvation.
44. Sanctifying Grace is a supernatural state of being which is infused by God, and which permanently inheres in the soul.
45. Sanctifying grace is not a substance, but a real accident, which inheres in the soul-substance.
46. Supernatural grace is a participation in the divine nature.
47. Sanctifying grace makes the just man a Temple of the Holy Ghost.
48. The loss of sanctifying grace always involves the loss of Charity.
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Jonathan: Bemused Or Meditating?
» By Rev. Fr. Leonard O. Anetekhai
There is a saying which holds that “time waits for no one”, this implies that whatever one has to do should be done fast with all consideration that procrastination is the thief of time. But how many Nigerians believe in this fact? Our problem is that we have so much erudite persons but with small brains that do not see beyond the nose and so much small brains that needs enlightenment, but the opportunity and resources are not made available for them. This is because we have not learnt to put things right as a nation.

In May 29, 2007 as we welcomed Late President Umaru Yar'Adua though imposed on us as Nigerians by the self acclaim largest ruling party, we thought that our hope of a true democracy will see the light of the day, but happenings within and around the country then did not leave us hopeful, but to conclude that “a farmer is better than a teacher”, when it comes to assessing the Obasanjo's administration and that of Yar'Adua. Then it was a crime to draw early conclusions about Yar'Adua as President who had already being branded a 'Silent Achiever'. Nigerians waited to see the rain of change fall but to no avail before Mr. Silent Achiever passed on silently to join our ancestors.
Today we are seeing another vision of a silent Achiever, who rose from Mr. Nobody to Somebody. As a people we looked beyond party system and believed Goodluck Jonathan would bring about the much needed change to Nigeria's economy and social life, and so voted for him during the April 2011 presidential election. Mr. President even acknowledged this in his acceptance speech that “This is a new dawn! Our nation has spoken. At the end of intense and hard fought campaigns by all the political parties, our people spoke through the ballot. In every city, town, village, ward and voting unit, Nigerians stood in the sun, some in the rain, some walked long distances and all waited patiently, to vote”.

This, I think has eluded the President memory with his myopic way of formulating ideas without consideration for the masses and selling them to the public who gave him a mandate. You once told and thanked Nigerians, even with a heart full of gratitude to Almighty God, for the great sacrifice and overwhelming national mandate given to you, to preside over the affairs of this nation for the next four years that you will not let us down. In your words, 'We have, by this election, reaffirmed our unity as one nation under God; reiterated our faith in democracy; and underscored our determination to fully join the free world where only the will of the people is the foundation of governance. We will not let you down. We will not let Nigeria down'.

Today these promises has been blown away with the single tenure agenda, which for Mr. President is borne out of a patriotic zeal, but for the majority it is a wrong call towards a right direction. For others, especially those from the North, who are still burning from the fallout of the crisis on zoning, such a matter was never going to sell.

Hardly had that matter fully died down than two Justices, Aloysius Katsina-Alu, then Chief Justice of Nigeria, and Justice Isa Ayo Salami, then President of the Court of Appeal, reached for each other's weakest point in an aggressive manner, with the National Judicial Council, NJC, playing the role of a biased umpire with its recommendation that Salami stood suspended and should be removed from office.

Yet to recover from the shock of the ambition of single term bid and the mess in the judiciary, the issue of fuel subsidy removal is at our door step. For me, this so called subsidy removal is not just another distraction by Jonathan to continue to buy time, but a maximum slavery for Nigerians. Why am I saying this? The President came into full control and without looking into the economic viability of the states decided to enslave the common man with the idea of minimum wage, which today has become a bone in the throat of many governors. Now, Mr. President wants to pay back the many individuals who are aggrieved with the whole process of minimum wage.

Yes, the common man applauded your concern over their poor state of livelihood, thus they looked beyond PDP and saw in you an individual who will satisfy their expectations of a better Nigeria, hence voted and gave you willingly their mandate. Now you want to take back with fuel subsidy removal. Please, if your elders did not tell you ask them, you are not a ghost that came out of the blues, you have been in the corridors of power for more than twelve years now you cannot tell us that the government have done anything meaningful with the much money gotten from crude oil in this country. We hear daily in the news, “only a few people are feeding fat on subsidy” and our fuel is being smuggled across the borders into neighbouring countries tell us who are these few and why will people not smuggle fuel across the borders when we have status as immigration officers.
It's shameful that the majority are poorer in the midst of plenty, we are blessed with so much and still we cannot fix our power generation crisis, the scarcity and insecurity of food stirs us in the face such that security of lives and property has become a personal venture. The President once promised us a unity of purpose, but we are beginning to ask with the current method of approach the President has adopted, if he is bemused or meditating. If he is bemused then he can take a deep bow and walk away, but if meditating, he should not wait to see Nigerians all lie in state before the Boko Haram invasion is dealt with.

The violence in Jos and heightened insecurity across the country are a reflection of the exhausted state of Nigeria's security apparatus and the puzzlement of the Commander-in-Chief. As an individual, I believe Jonathan can still live up to his campaign promises to restore Nigeria to prominence; if he shakes off the shackles that bind him to the Peoples Democratic Party. There is no dispute that he won the presidency on the party's platform, but his mandate is beyond party affiliation. For someone who does not covet a second term, yet is desirous of writing his name in gold, he should lean more to the side of the people rather than seek to satisfy the whims of the powers that be in the party.

It is not enough to say, “I value all Nigerians. I see our youth who are looking for jobs and yet remain hopeful. I see the farmer, and fisherman, toiling everyday to earn a living. I see the teacher, working hard, to train our future generations, with much sacrifice. I see the market women whose entrepreneurial spirit helps to generate income for their children and families. I see our sportsmen and women training hard to bring glory to our nation. I see our resilience and commitment, as a nation, to defend our democracy and secure our future”. It is time to disassociate yourself and your mandate from the thieves of time who call themselves advisers and godfathers.
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Abortion: From Womb To Tomb (I)
» By Rev. Fr. Francis Ikhianosime
If there is any issue that has attracted more attention in the area of human and family life more than any other, abortion would arguably be it. This is resultant from the fact that it threatens the uniqueness and inviolability of human life. It is both an action directly opposed to all the values of life and rights of a human person. The abortion case far from being a social misdemeanor and moral aberration has taken a step further towards its perpetuation. More and more countries are beginning to vie for an abortion bill or law. Russia, United States, South Africa, Slovakia, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, United Kingdom, Georgia and Kazistan are among top rating countries that have approved of abortion in the first two trimesters. Some other countries have approved of this for one trimester and some others approved on claimed justifiable reason(s). It has been pretty difficult to compute an accurate statistics of abortion in particular countries because of many of the cases are unreported. However, in America alone, since 1973, 50 million induced abortions have been recorded. The abortion case is one that remains ever new. The million-dollar question is: are there any justifiable reasons for abortion to be done whatsoever? This question is to elastic, but the progression of our discussion would help draw the demarcation between when abortion could be possible or not.

UNDERSTANDING ABORTION
Abortion is defined in medical terms as any pregnancy that does not end in a live birth, and therefore can refer to a miscarriage or a premature birth that does not result in a live infant. Such events are often called spontaneous abortions if they occur before 20 weeks of gestation. In common parlance however, abortion is used to mean, “Induced abortion” of an embryo or fetus at any point in pregnancy (Cf. Wikipedia Encyclopedia, www.wikipedia.org). For the sake of clarity, Pregnancy takes place after fertilization, when a sperm unites with an oocyte. This is usually about 24 hours after intercourse. From this moment, the being is said to be highly organized, has the ability to respond to his or her environment, has the ability to adapt, and has the ability to reproduce (cell division). All these are essential elements of a living being. Therefore, from that point, human life has begun and the mother is carrying a human being. That being is both a human being and a human person and equally a subject of human rights and obligation like the mother. Therefore, the mother from that point could not violate that right. If she does, she is trampling on communal human rights.

Our definition of abortion above puts two grounds for abortion. The first, which is called spontaneous abortion also, accommodates what is called therapeutic abortion. This occurs when the termination of pregnancy becomes a collateral effect of a medical intervention on a pregnant woman. The direct death of the fetus is not the main intention for the medical intervention but its effect (cf. Justin Ekennia, Bio-Medical Ethics, p. 151). Today however, understanding of therapeutic abortion has been taken too far; a step in a wrong direction. Some physicians are wont to warp this understanding. They claim that any pregnancy terminated because of risk to the mother's life, if allowed to progress to gestation, is purely medical. But this is not the correct understanding of therapeutic abortion. Therapeutic abortion is the product of an effect not a cause. It must be similarly pointed that any action on the mother that is done with the knowledge of a likely dangerous effect on the fetus, and afterwards, results in abortion is a willed and induced abortion. Again, we here wouldn't want to go into the debate of what qualifies as danger to the mother. However, I wish to state that the term “unwanted pregnancy” is a misnomer. All sexual actions are open to procreation, so a decision to copulate is a decision to procreate and even if not a decision to copulate once a sexual action results in pregnancy, the right of the individuals cease. This being so, not even cases of rape, incest, madness, population control, economic conditions, genetic deformation, or even possible physical or mental abnormalities in the child, etc do not qualify or justify the termination of a pregnancy. The reasons being the uniqueness of the human person and the inalienable dignity and right the human person has. Abortion is an attempt to play God, which is an arrogation of right and breaking of the fifth commandment.

The conditions for abortion are often based on social reason. About 95% of abortion carried out are often induced but erroneously dragged into the realm of therapeutic abortion. One fact that must be established is that in discussing abortion as a moral error and sin, the right of the mother must be known is not superior to that of the child and that the mother has limited domination over the child, even though both vulnerable and handicapped. If killing a human being is wrong because he has a personal life, such argument holds true too for abortion. Speaking non-cosmetically, abortion is murder and every murder is a grave sin and punishable. The reasons against abortion are more solid than cases for abortion, at least speaking both from the points of view of the bible, logical reasoning and social foundations.

A SCRIPTURAL CASE AGAINST ABORTION
First, every human being is a unique creation in the image and likeness of God (cf. Gen 1: 27). The Psalmist talks of the dignity of the human person when he speaks in Psalm 8:5-7: “Lord, what is man that you care for him, mortal man that you keep him in mind?... with glory and honor you crowned him, giving him power over the works of your hands”. Thus, man is a being with dignity and this man is defined irrespective of his size, age or influence. The bible gives recognition too to the unborn child. God knows the preborn. The Psalmist decries: “You knit me in my mother's womb…my frame was not hidden from thee, when I was being made in secret, intricately wrought in the depths of the earth. (Psalm 139: 13,15). Jeremiah 1:5 "Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations" is a testimony to God knowing the preborn child and recognizes and treats him as an independent being.

Also, abortion is a sin against justice. God is a God of justice and stands usually for the weak and oppressed. Abortion apart from being an act of murder is also a sin of oppression against the weak and defenseless. Ps 68:5 calls God, “Father of the fatherless and defender of the widow and orphan”. So, God fights for the fetuses who are helpless like he does for little children. He therefore, visits his wrath on all abortionists. In fact, the book of Apocalypse concludes by naming those who will not enter the kingdom. It reads: “Blessed are those who wash their robes, that they may have the right to the tree of life and that they may enter the city by the gates. Outside are the dogs and sorcerers and fornicators and murderers and idolaters, and everyone who loves and practices falsehood” (Rev. 22: 14-15). The sin of abortion is such that blinds us from God and makes our prayers to be unheard. Hear what Prophet Isaiah says: “When you spread forth your hands, I will hide my eyes from you; even though you make many prayers, I will not listen; your hands are full of blood” (Isa 1:15). Abortion can be compared to the sin of child-sacrifice in scriptures and it was described as the major cause of the kingdom of Israel being dominated by the Assyrians and the Israelites taken to exile (cf. 2 Kings 17: 17-18). Prophet Amos similarly condemned the Ammonites because they ripped open pregnant women in Gilead (Amos 1:13)
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Catholics in Politics: Roles and Expectation in Nigeria (III)
» By Rev. Fr. Mike Umoh
The Political Climate in Nigeria

Before we can apply the above principles effectively, a brief consideration of the political situation in Nigeria is appropriate.
Some people have described Nigeria as a multi-religious country with extremely religious citizens. How much and how well the citizens translate the tenets of religion into daily social relationships is another issue entirely. Nigeria operates the democratic system of government, which the Catholic Church favours particularly because it makes the human person and his/her dignity the center of its principles. “The Church recognizes that while democracy is the best expression of the direct participation of citizens in political choices, it succeeds only to the extent that it is based on a correct understanding of the human person.” (Cf. Second Vatican Council, Pastoral Constitution Gaudium et spes, 25.) Unfortunaltely, one cannot say that Politics in Nigeria has the human person at the center. From the colonial era and even after the independence the political climate has remained often tensed up and hardly effective towards achieving the ideals of a state as noted above. It can be argued that the one major factor always wanting in all our political experience is concern for the common good and the human person. The National anthem at Independence reads in part “though tribe and tongue may differ, in brotherhood we stand…” With the power of hindsight, it seems that the “brotherhood” of this entity comprising of more than two hundred and fifty (250) ethnic groups and more than Three hundred (300) languages never was.

Looking at our nation even today, it is stating the obvious that politics in Nigeria is generally characterized by too many wrong things. The indicators of good governance are lacking in every way: Delapidated infrastructure, decayed system, corruption everywhere, round pegs in square holes, unemployment, poor educational, health and housing policy system, bad roads, mismanagement and colossal waste of resources, educations without morality and civility, and many more. It is evident that politics in Nigeria is a thriving industry with lost values, dignity and intergrity. Many people prefer to invest in politics and Church business rather than opening a production factory. Most people seek public office in order to get rich. This explains the constant decamping and cross carpeting rampart among Nigerian politicians. It is politics of “cash and carry”. This is partly responsible for the monumental and embarrassing level of graft and corruption in our government. We operate a system of "dirty politics" of "guns, goons, and gold"; of deceit and unprincipled compromises, politics of greed. As a fall out from the ugly situation, our politics is heavily tilted against the poor who are in a real sense voiceless and powerless. Our legislature and judiciary, as very important organs in the democratic system, much as they try, are both phenomena and epiphenomena of the problems in our land. They are engaged by the system with too many vested interests to protect rather than primarily promoting the common good of all. We operate politics of patronage, personalities, and of pay-off instead of politics of ideologies that present voters with clear cut alternatives on key social issues such as environmental protection, globalization and trade liberalization. Rewards or benefits are distributed according to the loyalty of clients to their patrons. Rewards or development projects are distributed, then, on the basis not of justice due to people but on the basis of the government official's "kindness" and the loyalty of the people to the public official. Our candid story in Nigeria like many African countries is that our style of politics is a major obstacle to integral development of the people. It is an anti-people system of government. However, I am not unaware that compared to many African countries, Nigeria is not as terrible, but we know that wrong is not changed to good in relation to a greater wrong.

Prescisely because of the manner of politics described above, many Catholics like their good Christian counterparts consider it dirty and are therefore apprehensive engaging in it.

The need for good people in government

One may attribute the failure in our society today largely to the full or partial neglect or apathy of good people towards politics for many decades now. While some Catholics understand that they need to serve others with love and compassion, they do not see the political arena as one of those important areas they are called to serve. Some argue that Jesus was not involved in politics. Indeed there were times in the history of the Church, like during the reign of Pope Pius IV, when Catholics were actually forbidden from participating in politics. But if we look closely at Jesus Christ's stand in His day, we will see that He took quite an extreme political position. He basically challenged the existing order by announcing a new government that is the Kingdom of God and He Himself as head of it. When Jesus told us to render unto Caesar what is Caesar's and to God the things which are God's, he threw a damning challenge to all believers that when man's law violates God's Law, then we are to obey God rather than man. We see the disciples doing this in Acts Chapter 5. It is obvious that Jesus, and the early church, challenged the political and religious people of their times. We notice the difference in the empire when Constantine the Roman emperor converted to Christianity. The Christian tenets influenced the social policy and the empire progressed. The world surely needs good people.

Christians abandoned this duty for too long in the hands of non-Christians. Since government policies play a role in protecting unborn babies, who are murdered by abortion, only those who uphold the Christian values can enforce the law. The presence and absence of Laws promoting evils like Sex and violence on television, women being viewed as sex objects and abused and raped have held sway because those who occupy the positions of authority are largely those who do not believe in the sanctity of life.

Catholics have been unduly understanding with non-believers, secular humanist and authoritarian governments to the point of compromising their faith. In the 80's, the education minister succeeded in removing prayers and religious and moral instructions from our educational curriculum and the government went on to appropriate mission-owned schools. The major voice that was heard then was the lonely voice of Cardinal Okogie, then Archbishop Okogie. Catholics were not heard. The effect of that evil is evident today in our social psyche. The book of Proverbs says: Where there is ignorance of God, the people run wild, but what a wonderful thing it is for a nation to know and keep His laws (Proverbs 29:18) Attempt to remove God from our social life has brought us so much pain and hardship. Because people no longer serve God, evil abounds and holds everyone to ransom. The knowledge of God infused by a God-fearing leader makes the difference. Whether we like it or not, the leader dictates the pace and mood of the society. Today our education system is in shambles; our society is plagued with crisis of identity and moral decadence because of evil leaders.

When we give room for bad leaders, we expose the people to all sorts of suffering. Again the book of Proverb says: A wicked ruler is as dangerous to the poor as a lion or bear attacking them. (Proverbs 28:15) How else can one describe the embarrassing level of corruption and greed by our leaders. The amount of money siphoned by those in government through contract splitting and over inflation, every form of corruption and mismanagement to the detriment of the poor is worse than the attack of bear and lion. It is indeed a systemic catastrophe that calls for a revolution.

In 1 Timothy 2:1-4 Christians are instructed to pray for God's wisdom and for direction for our leaders so that we might "live peaceable and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good and pleases God our Saviour who wants all men to be saved and come to a knowledge of the truth." We know that the function God has given government is the dispensing of justice and the restraining of evil (Romans 13:1-4). For God to demonstrate His justice in government, He uses godly men and women in government, to do His will.

We need godly men and women in positions of authority, so that we may have a peaceful, just and moral society for the people to live in. If the moral, righteous people of our country do not take their responsibility in government, then we leave the doors open for our nation to be governed by the wicked and immoral. We are familiar with the role played by Pope John Paul II towards the collapse of the communist regime.

The Church must defend those who cannot defend themselves (Proverbs 31:8). We are to give fair judgment to the poor, the afflicted and the orphans. How can this be done in a society, when Christians remain outside the areas of politics and justice?
In England, we saw statesmen, like William Wilberforce, who led the fight to abolish slavery. Christians such as Lord Shaftsbury were also involved with correcting child labour abuses. Christians brought about reform to insane asylums, they worked in prisons and have had a great impact on every level of society.

Christians established thousands of missions around the world including orphanages, schools, hospitals and medical clinics. Christians have led the way in bringing literacy and modern sanitation to multiplied millions of people around the world. All these reforms were brought about by social action of godly men. Many leaders in Africa received their basic education from missionaries and church schools. It is very unfortunate that, although the Church taught these people to read, the Marxists and Atheists gave them something to read.

The real challenge to Catholics therefore is that their involvement in politics must amount to more than the attempt to maintain upright personal behaviour in a non-Christian environment. It must mean more than crusading for a few moral causes by political means. Catholic politics must be about politics in its entirety. It must be about defining the very nature of government - about the structure, limits, and policy responsibilities of government. Our personal piety and heart-deep dedication to Jesus Christ should work their way out in the way we seek to obey God with all the political responsibilities we bear as public officials and as citizens.

When we approach politics this way, we will realise that the political arena is neither neutral nor non-religious. Rather, it is a world shaped by the religiously deep drives, commitments, and habits of a culture. Jesus Christ calls on us to work together to build a culture inspired by the Gospel. When Catholics respond to this call, we can be proud of the opportunity to carry out our earthly activities to the greater glory of God.
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Affinity And Public Propriety As Impediments To Matrimony
» By Rev. Fr. Ferdinand Okafor
INTRODUCTION

The Sacrament of matrimony like other Sacraments requires adequate preparations. One of these preparations is the calling of banns. Often after each call of the banns, the announcer often adds:

If you have any reason or reasons why the intending couple cannot be married in the Church, please notify the priest. The kind of reason that is here refer to is not a reason that is coated with hatred, rather it is simply that if there is any canonical impediment that will prevent the couples from marrying the priest should be notified. Canonical impediment is any of the obstacles mentioned in Canons (1083-1094) which prevents a marriage from taking place. They are: age, impotence, prior marriage, the vows of order or perpetual chastity, abduction, the murder of a spouse, affinity, consanguinity, adoption and public propriety. The focus in this write-up is on the impediments of affinity and public propriety.

Affinity is a relationship that arises from a valid marriage even f it is not consummated (Can 109 & 1). It can either be direct or collateral. Direct Affinity is the relationship between each of the couple in a marriage and the parents in-law (the parents of the other partner in the marriage) and the step-children (the children of the other partner from a previous marriage); while collateral affinity is the relationship that each of the partners in a marriage establishes with the relatives (brothers, sisters, cousins, nephews, nieces, uncles and aunties) of the other partner in a marriage. For example, a man has affinity from the direct line with the parents of the wife as well with the children of the wife from another marriage; and affinity from the collateral line with the relatives of the woman. Similarly, a woman has affinity from the direct line with the parents of the husband as well with the children of the husband from another marriage; and affinity from the collateral line with the relatives of the man. A woman is related to the parents of her husband as well as the children of the man from another marriage (her step children) in the first degree of the direct line. This principle is also applicable to the man. Those on the first degree of the collateral line are the brothers and sisters of the couple, while the second degree are the, nephews, nieces, uncles and aunties of each the couple.

Affinity as an impediment affects only the couple and not their relatives. This means the relatives of each couple may marry one another. For example, a man cannot marry the wife's sister, mother or relative after the death of his wife. Similarly, a woman is forbidden to marry her husband's brother, father or relatives even after the death of her husband. The case cited by the Sadducees is a clear example of the impediment of affinity (Lk 20:27-33). A woman's brother or sister however, is not forbidden to marry the relative of the man. In a like manner a man's brother or sister is not forbidden to marry the relatives of the woman. This same rule of affinity is equally applicable in public propriety.

Public propriety is an impediment to marriage. It is the relationship between a man and a woman and it has the features or resemblance of marriage. It is a life of concubinage or irregular union wherein a man and woman has been known to be living together or cohabiting. Cohabitation or concubinage does not necessary mean that a man and a woman are living together under the same roof, but in so far as the features of marriage such as carnal union has been exercised, it becomes an impediment such that the man's brother cannot marry the woman even after the death of the man, neither can the man marry any of the sisters of the woman after her death.

In the light of this, one needs to be acquainted with this teaching of the Church on marriage to avoid marital scandal.
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Pope To Africa: Embrace The Word And Love Of God To Facilitate Equality

The Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI, has charged the Church in Africa to embrace the Word and love of God in order to facilitate equality, justice and peace in the continent, as a panacea for the realization of reconciliation, Justice and Peace.

Pope Benedict gave this advise in his Apostolic Exhortation at the Basilica of the Immaculate Conception of Mary in Ouldah where he signed the post Synodal apostolic exhortation, “Africae Munus” in Benin Republic, during his second visit to the continent.

In his address, the Bishop of Rome remarked that the second special assembly for Africa of the Synod of Bishops benefited from the post Synodal Apostolic exhortation “Ecclesia in Africa” of Blessed John Paul II, which harped on the need to evangelize Africa, promote humanity and also developed the concept of the Church as God's family, which according to the Pope has “bore many spiritual fruits for the Catholic Church”.

More, Pope Benedict pointed out that for Christians, it entails being a group of believers who “praises the triune God, celebrates the great mysteries of our faith and enlivens with charity relationships between individuals, groups and nations and beyond ethnic, cultural and religious differences”. He added that the Church offers this service to everyone, as she is open to cooperation with all in the society which includes representatives of Churches and communities who are yet to be in fill communion with the Catholic Church, non- Christian religions, traditional religions and Islam.

Continuing, the shepherd of souls stressed that the special assembly concentrated on the theme of reconciliation, justice and peace which are important for the world but have need of urgency in Africa owing to the “tensions, acts of violence, wars, injustices and abuses of all sorts, new and old which have marked this year”. Also, the Holy Father spoke on the need of reconciliation with God and neighbour, stressing that “a Church reconciled within herself and among all her members can become a prophetic sign of reconciliation in society within each country and the continent as a whole …all this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and has given us the ministry of reconciliation…”

While reiterating that the reconciliation is found in the nature of the Church, which “in Christ is a sacrament, a sign and instrument that is, of communion with God and of the unity of the entire human race”. Consequently, the Pope stressed that the Church in Africa is called to promote peace and justice, forgiveness and a duty to combat every form of slavery.

In addition, the prelate charged the continent to search for new paths of peace which he noted is one of their greatest treasures, urging them to have courage, observing that “the reconciliation is born of forgiveness, the will to once more to live as one, to share a vision of the future and to persevere in overcoming difficulties”. More, he added that “Men and women reconciled and at peace with God and neighbour can work for greater justice in society”, hinting that the Gospel teaches that justice means doing the will of God which is evident in the countless initiatives aimed at promoting “justice in Africa and the welfare of all its peoples, especially the most disadvantage and those in need of employment, schools and hospitals”.

Speaking further, the Pontiff, who termed Africa “land of a new Pentecost” urged them to put their trust in God and become God's great family, admonishing them to be “generous with all your sons and daughters, agents of reconciliation, peace and justice”, while calling on the continent to be good news for the Church and the world.

Don't Take Leadership For Granted Says Archbishop Onaiyekan
… As Bishop Ajakaye Frowns At Oil Subsidy Removal

The Metropolitan Archbishop of Abuja, His Grace, Archbishop John Onaiyekan, has admonished religious and political leaders not to take for granted the opportunity given to them to serve, while stressing that power belong to God alone.

Making this call in a homily at our Lady of Consolation Parish, Bazza, Adamawa State at the homecoming and Episcopal thanksgiving mass in honour of the Catholic Bishop of Yola, Most Rev. Stephen Dami Mamza, Archbishop Onaiyekan noted that even when people use the slogan of the ruling party “Power to the People,” they must acknowledge that it is God who gives power and it should be used responsibly.

Further, the Archbishop called on Christians to adopt peace, love, forgiveness and should be deligent and God fearing in the course of discharging their duties, as according to him, “… God has chosen some people to serve humanity not because they are better than others, but for His word and will to be revealed through them.”

In another development, the Catholic Bishop of Ado- Ekiti Diocese, Most Rev. Dr. Felix Ajakaye, has warned that the removal of oil subsidy by the Federal Government, would compound the problems of the Nigerian masses and have “disastrous effect on the unity and stability of the country.”

This was the crux of his homily delivered recently at the annual General Meeting of the Provincial/Diocesan coordinators and secretaries of Justice, Development and Peace/Caritas Nigeria (JDPC), held at Ado- Ekiti.

According to him “there is fear in the land, the country is sitting on a keg of gun powder, while there is frustration everywhere.”

Bishop Ajakaye noted that in spite of the fact that President Goodluck Jonathan was unanimously voted into power by Nigerians, there are indications that the president is losing grip of the situation as the masses who voted him to power are still suffering indignantly as a result of poor administration and wrong application of resources.

The prelate charged the president to be more proactive in his administration, by taking decisive and meaningful actions on issues that will make life worth living for majority of Nigerians, stressing that “it is foolhardiness” to think that what is presently happening in the Arab now cannot happen in Nigeria as claimed by some of the country's political leaders.” However, he added that “but if it happens, it will affect all, including the Church”.

He regretted that “some Catholics in government are not serving the people as Christians, but are rather in government for their selfish ends at the expense of the people they took an oath to serve”.

Continuing, Bishop Ajakaye reiterated that the Catholic Church is very rich in human resources, stressing that it should be maximized to the advantage of the people pointing out that, “As a Church, we should focus more on the people rather than promote the rich”.

Speaking further, the Bishop sued for a revolution of the mind; a miracle of the heart that will guarantee eternal life, adding that this is possible only through justice and peace, while calling on Christians, especially Church workers to be spiritually and physically developed to ensure peace with God and fellow men.

Bishop Arogundade Calls For Collaboration, Proper Planning For JDPC

The Catholic Bishop of Ondo Diocese, Most Rev. (Dr.) Jude Arogundade has stressed on the importance of collaboration and proper planning for the success of the social services of the Church.

This was contained in his key note address to the provincial Diocesan coordinators and secretaries of Justice, Development and Peace/Caritas (JDPC) of Nigeria at the 2011 annual general meeting held at the Pope John Paul II Pastoral Centre, Ado- Ekiti.

According to the Bishop who is also the Liaison Bishop for JDPC for Ibadan Ecclesiastical province, “an organization that plays individuals interests over and above the interests of its organization will compromise the boundaries and standards the organization needs to achieve its goals.”

Speaking further, the prelate who gave some guidelines on how to enhance the social services of the Church in the country, stated that “the disciplines of personal mastery, mental, model and system thinking must be at the root of your self evaluation at your meeting, this discipline of personal mastering suggests that we can, as individuals cultivate a way of thinking that leads us gradually to master the core value of JDPC in an unambiguous way and make such value your own”.

The Bishop urged the coordinators to continue to strive harder to achieve greater successes and recognition in other social services of the Church as done in the election monitoring process.

While stressing on the importance of spirituality in the life of Church workers, Bishop Arogundade noted that JDPC in Nigeria needs leaders who have been through their own transformation to facilitate the transformation of others, adding that authenticity is also of paramount importance to the work of the commission. He urged the coordinators to develop a personal vision that taps into a deep well of hope and aspirations.

In a lecture delivered at the meeting, the Director of Church and society development, Catholic secretariat of Nigeria (CSN) Rev. Fr. Zacharia Samjumi, called on provincial and Diocesan Coordinators of Justice, Development and Peace/Caritas Nigerian to initiate fund raising activities that will ensure the sustainability of the Church's social work in the country, as financial support from overseas development partners continue to dwindle.

The CSN Director's message which was delivered by Rev. Fr. Benard Asogo, National Secretary of the commission, tasked the coordinators to brace up for the financial challenges facing them in sustaining the social works of the church.

Fr. Samjumi who noted that JDPC has been a major stakeholder in the building of the Nigerian nation, outlined the various activities of the commission at national, provincial and Diocesan levels that have impacted positively on the lives of Nigerians in the different communities and the nation at large.

In their reaction, JDPC Coordinators called on President Goodluck Jonathan to initiate practical programmes that will impact positively on the lives of majority of Nigerians, stressing that the last few months of his administration has not reflected any change from the existing style of promises and projections without any progressive movement.

This was contained in a communiqué issued at the end of the annual general meeting, signed by Rev. Fr. Benard Asogo, National Secretary of the commission and Rev. Fr. Thaddeus Ajayi, chairman communiqué committee.

Also, the group commended President Goodluck Jonathan for keeping faith with his promise of allowing a level playing ground for all political parties and politicians during the elections and also appreciated Prof. Attahiru Jega's led INEC for conducting a good election and restoring the confidence of most Nigerians in the ballot box process.

They noted “that movement of the nation towards sustainable democracy and good governance is still quite some distance, while the last few months of the new administration have given little ray of hope as to the political will and ability of the administration to solve the problems of the country and make life worth living for majority of Nigerians.

Further, they called on the Federal, State and Local Governments to be more pro-active in leading the country and finding solutions to the observed perennial problems of the country.

In addition, the communiqué maintained that the government should address the worrisome state of insecurity, mismanagement and wrong application of resources, corruption in all strata of life and other areas of concern.

Iviukwe Hosts Diocesan Laity Council

St. Mary Catholic Church, Iviukwe has played host to the 90th Auchi Diocesan laity council meeting at the Church premises.

Welcoming members to Iviukwe, the parish laity chairman Bro. Peter Kanebe (KSJI), appreciated the delegates for coming and noted that they were pleased to host the laity council which was the last meeting for 2011.

He informed the delegates that the parish is made up of six stations which include St. Mary Iviukwe (main station), St. Bede Iviegbepui, St. Peter Iviukhua, St. Martin Ivianokpodi, St. Peter Ivioghomhe and St. Francis Othame.

Speaking on the spiritual growth of the parish, Sir Kanabe explained that the parish has witnessed tremendous growth and hinted that some traditional believers in the area have embraced the Catholic faith through the efforts of the parish priest Rev. Fr. Peter Oshomah, and added that all the lay apostolate groups in the parish were functioning effectively for the propagation of the gospel of Christ in their land.

Speaking earlier at the parish house, the parish priest Rev. Fr. Peter Oshomah who has recently proceeded for further studies, thanked the laity council for the love they have for one another and pledged his support towards the advancement of the council while wishing them fruitful deliberations.

Among issues deliberated on was the presentation of awards to some deserving sons of the diocese of Auchi, frequent absence of Sobe parish at the laity council meeting, as the laity council members charged delegates of Sobe laity council to rise up to their responsibilities by attending meetings.
More, the council congratulated the newly elected laity council executive of St. John the Apostle, Igarra for their successful elections and wished them the best as they continue the work of God.

In his vote of thanks, Mr. A.O. Irerua from Afuze parish, appreciated the host parish priest for his support towards the laity and thanked the Iviukwe Catholic faithful for the reception accorded them. The next meeting is slated for February, 2012 at St. John the Apostle, Igarra.

Rev. Fr. Anelu Celebrates 10th Ordination Anniversary

Godwin Okpeniku

The parish administrator of St Joseph Catholic Church, Eme-Ora Rev. Fr. James Anelu, has marked his tenth (10th) year anniversary as a priest with thanksgiving to God for His mercies, love and blessing all through the years.

Giving the homily at the occasion, Very Rev. Fr. Pius Omofoma from the Archdiocese of Lagos, noted that the priestly vocation is essentially a call to sanctity, stressing that sanctity is intimacy with God by imitating Christ, being chaste and humble, full of unreserved love for souls, giving of oneself to God and love for the Church.

Continuing, Fr. Omofoma reiterated that the priesthood is an astounding miracle, great blessing and said that a priest may not understand the greatness of this mystery which only God knows while remarking that a priest preaches to win souls for God and be a witness to the truth.

More, the priest advised faithful to desist from the habit of disrespecting their priests and reminded them of the need to be friendly with their priests by bearing their minds on issues bothering them. He urged them to always support their priests and pray for them so that they would be able to succeed in their daily endeavours.

Speaking further, he congratulated Fr. Anelu for the gift of courage, zeal and determination in carrying out his priestly office and extolled some of his virtues which include truthfulness, steadfastness and focus. He wished him and other celebrating priest, God's guidance and blessings in their vocation.

Also present at the thanksgiving mass was Very Rev. Fr. (Prof) John Onimhawo who prayed for Mrs Edith Anelu the mother of Rev. Fr. James Anelu.

Thereafter, there was a thanksgiving procession led by the celebrants accompanied by their families, parishioners, friends and well wishers.

Stay Awake Always Fr. Nasamu Tells Faithful

Ambrose Ekperi

The parish priest of St Jude Parish, Afuze Very Rev. Fr. Charles B. Nasamu, has stressed the need for Christians to be spiritually awake and alert, inorder for them not to be overtaken by the devices of the evil one, who is always on the prowl, seeking to ridicule and destroy faithful.

While giving this hint in the homily at the baby dedication of Mr and Mrs P.C. Obeze and thanksgiving by Chief George Izobo, Very Rev. Fr. Nasamu urged all to always pray without ceasing and embark on good works.

Also, the priest bemoaned the prayerless life style of some Christians who only remember to call on God when they are in need. He noted that such Christians carry on with their lives without any consideration for God, as if they are the author of their lives.

While harping on the need to pray always and study the word of God, Very Rev. Fr. Nasamu stressed that anyone living outside God's protection is an open target for the devil. Further, he added that God is the only true place of refuge for man and He alone should be worshipped, as He is the author of their lives, who knows when, where and how to call them home.

Making reference to the lives of saints, Fr. Nasamu pointed out that they were ordinary people, who did extra ordinary things through their life styles.

Speaking on forgiveness, the parish priest stressed that the act of forgiveness is not extraordinary, but it becomes extraordinary when the wrong done is grievous and it appears humanly impossible to forgive, but a Christian still forgives.

Further, the clergyman reiterated that Christians should live lives of forgiveness and of prayer, remarking that the life they live, their conduct in their family, neighbourhood and community, speaks more of whom they are and affects others

Igarra Marks Children/Youth Harvest Thanksgiving
…Gets New Laity Executive

Cecil Olorunda

It was another year of thanksgiving in the Catholic community of St. John the Apostle Parish, Igarra as they marked their 2011 annual children/youth harvest thanksgiving at the church premises.

Giving the homily at the mass, the parish priest Very Rev. Fr. Isaac Bossey, noted that some faithful find it difficult to attend to the work of God and pointed out that though there may be obstacles on the way, but with Jesus Christ on their side, they will succeed, while reiterating that despite the obstacles experienced by Jesus, He did not relent in discharging His duties.

Continuing, the homilist charged them to always respond positively in carrying out the business of God in a way that He would bless them, noting that the greatest thing on earth is for a Christian to do the work of God with love.

Highpoint of the mass was a thanksgiving procession by the children/youths accompanied by their parents, while the bazaar sales were later held also at the church premises.

In another development, the laity council of St. John The apostle, Igarra has recently elected a new executive to run their affairs in the next three years.

The election which was held in Msgr. Thomas Oleghe’s hall was supervised by the parish priest Very Rev. Fr. Isaac Bossey.

Speaking earlier, the CMO chairman of the parish Mr. S.A Apologun who moderated the election, charged intending members of the executive to remain dedicated to duties in the service of the Lord, while urging them to lead faithful in the parish with honesty and perform effectively at meetings and other functions within and outside the parish.

At the end of the election which was keenly contested, the following persons emerged as members of the new executive: Sir D.A Adumaza; chairman, Mr. Raphael Agbebaku; Vice Chairman I (St. Francis, Ihievbe Ogban), Mr. I.L Okoro; Vice chairman II, Mr. Boniface Osee; Secretary, Mr Damian Mary Adeleke; Assistant Secretary and Mrs A.E. Uba; Treasurer. Others were Sir Augustine S. Adeboye; Financial Secretary, Catechist Joseph Achakata; PRO, Mrs Alice Ojo; Welfare Officer I, Mrs Emily Otuogbai; Assistant Welfare Officer and John Ayeni; Provost.

In his inaugural speech, the elected chairman Sir D.A. Adumaza on behalf of the new executive, thanked the members of the laity for the confidence reposed on them and assured that the new executive will succeed with God on their side.

He solicited for the co-operation of members so that they would be able to achieve their goals and noted that with the assistance of the parish priest, they would succeed in their task and also dedicated the members to God Almighty for utmost performance.

Appreciating the parish laity for a successful election, the parish priest Very Rev. Fr. Isaac Bossey, thanked the new chairman on behalf of the members for holding a minute silence for their late laity chairman Price Jerry Oyedele Jerome and charged the new chairman and his executive to work hard for the advancement of the parish.

St James Mark 2011 Adult Harvest Thanksgiving/Bazaar

Julia Ezurike

The Catholic Community of St. James Mass Centre, Water Board Auchi, recently had reasons to thank God as they marked their 2011 adult harvest thanksgiving/ bazaar tagged “Harvest of Divine Favour”.

Delivering the homily at the Eucharistic mass concelebrated with Rev. Fr. Philip-Neri Ebhakhaye, Rev. Fr. Francis Emodogo, Rector of the Mass Centre noted that God has given everyone abilities for the good of mankind, stressing that in the gospel of the day, the least talent given to a man that refused to use it was taken away and given to another having more.

Fr. Emodogo called on parishioners to always use their abilities and resources given to them by God to work for Him and mankind, adding that they would be rewarded by God.

Highpoint of the mass was a thanksgiving procession to the altar with their gifts items by individuals, lay apostolate groups and others present.

In his opening speech at the bazaar sales, the chairman of the occasion Mr G.O. Ifijeh appreciated God for the life of the parishioners, noting that they have contributed immensely to the development of the mass centre.

On his part, the chairman of the 2011 central harvest planning committee, Engr. B.C. Ezurike, expressed joy and thanksgiving to God for making the celebration a reality. He appreciated the efforts of St. James parishioners who worked tirelessly towards the development of the Church, which he said was evident in the ongoing project at the rectory and called on all present to donate generously towards its completion and to further lay the foundation of the Church building.

Continuing, Engr. Ezurike prayed that God’s divine favour would reach all present as they celebrated 2011 harvest of divine favour. Thereafter individuals and groups participated in the bazaar sales which recorded a huge success.

In his vote of thanks, Rev. Fr. Francis Emodogo appreciated God, all those who contributed to the success of the 2011 harvest and prayed God to continue to reward them.

Ekperi Celebrates Adult Harvest Thanksgiving/Bazaar

Reginald Igechi

The Priest and lay faithful of SS Peter and Paul, Azukala/Ugbekpe Ekperi have recently marked their 2011 annual adult harvest thanksgiving/ bazaar.

Delivering the homily at the mass, the parish administrator Rev. Fr. Lawrence Adorolo, called on Christians to give to God according to the riches He has bestowed on them. He emphasized on the need for them to have good disposition to the service of God and humanity, as a mark of gratitude to God for the blessings bestowed on them by Him.

Also, the Priest noted that harvest time is a time for faithful to give good account of their blessings during the season, stressing that on the last day, they shall give account of their lives, while urging them to find their way to God's heart like the virtuous woman who found her way into her husband's heart.

Continuing, Fr. Adorolo challenged faithful to continue to serve as instruments of encouragement to others, adding that their abilities should also be used for the service of God and humanity. He admonished them to help the less privileged in the society, a gesture, which he described as an expression of gratitude to God for His enablement to serve Him in sincerity.

Speaking further, the priest frowned at laziness, fear and selfishness visible in some faithful, describing them as ingredients of failure of an energetic and talented individuals to use their talents for the benefit of their neighbours and enjoined them to use their talent for the benefit of others.

Highlight of the mass was a thanksgiving procession by parishioners who danced joyfully to the altar in appreciation to God for the blessing in another year.

In his remarks at the bazaar, the chairman of the occasion Chief Abraham Jimawo appreciated the Bishop of Auchi Diocese Most Rev. Dr. G.G. Dunia and the parish administrator for their prayers and charged all present to contribute towards the work of God. Thereafter items were put up for sales.

Rev. Fr. Emodogo Marks Ordination Anniversary

Pauline Innih

The chaplain, Catholic Youth Organisation of Nigeria (CYON) Auchi, Diocese and Rector, St. James Mass Centre, Water Board Auchi, Rev. Fr. Francis Emodogo, has recently marked his fifth year anniversary as a priest and CYON chaplain.

The event which took place at St. James Rectory was organized by the diocesan CYON to appreciate the priest's leadership qualities as their chaplain.

Speaking at the occasion which was graced by youths from various parishes/mass centres, the immediate past Benin Provincial CYON President Bro. Bernard Eshemokhai, noted that the event which was a surprise package for the priest was also a means for them to express their love and appreciation to their chaplain and prayed God to continue to protect, bless and endow him with the wherewithal to continue to expand the kingdom of God.

On his part, the acting president of the diocesan CYON Bro. Cyril Edebe, described the celebrant as a disciplined, hardworking priest who does not tolerate laziness.

In his response, Rev. Fr. Emodogo who said that he was overwhelmed with joy, appreciated the CYON of the diocese for the surprise get together and prayed God to bless and grant them journey mercies to their parishes/mass centres.

Highpoints of the event were cutting of the anniversary cake and presentation of gifts to the celebrating chaplain.

Auchi Diocese Hosts Provincial Seminar

Reginald Igechi/ Pauline Innih

The Catholic Diocese of Auchi, has hosted the Archdiocese of Benin Ecclesiastical Provincial laity council conference/ seminar recently, at the Catholic Pastoral Centre, Sabo Iyakpi.

The provincial seminar is an annual event of the four Dioceses (Auchi, Uromi, Warri, Issele-Uku), one Archdiocese (Benin Archdiocese) and a Vicarate (Bomadi) that makes up the province.

Delivering the homily at the opening mass concelebrated with the Bishop of Auchi Diocese, Most Rev. (Dr.) Gabriel G. Dunia, Rev. Frs. Mark Akhibi; Auchi Diocesan laity chaplain, Alfred Ebalu and Paul Inanoremhe, the Bishop noted that the laity should stand in deference of the Church as they were baptized as soldiers of God, while stressing that the virtues of the laity determines the quality of clergy.

More, the Bishop reminded them of the need to pray fervently and show individual and collective concern towards events happening within their environments, adding that they should strengthen their faith whenever they have the opportunity of coming together.

Continuing, the Chief Shepherd of the Diocese reiterated that the laity council members should let their faith manifest in their daily works, tasking them to develop their children and the world in Christ in order to attain the three theological values which are faith, hope and charity. Further, he admonished them to live for God and as God's children, individuals and society; they should not let intimidation wave their faith in God.

In addition, the Bishop prayed the participants to appreciate the splendour of God and achieve the fullness of a pure Christian life. He thereafter wished them a fruitful seminar.

Speaking shortly after the mass, the laity chaplain, Auchi Diocese, Rev. Fr. Mark Akhibi, said that the level of evil in the society necessitates the theme of the seminar “Formation and ongoing formation of the society”. He pointed out that no one can leave out the value of the gospel of Christ unless he/she submits himself to the formation. He welcomed the participants to the Catholic Diocese of Auchi and prayed God to protect them always, as he declared the conference opened.

On his part, the laity chairman Auchi Diocese Mr George Umoru, welcomed the participants to the Diocese of Auchi and appreciated them for attending the programme.

In a similar vain, the Benin Provincial laity chairman Mr Philip Itedjere, thanked the council members for attending the seminar and also praised the efforts of Bishop of the diocese Most Rev. (Dr.) G.G Dunia for his zeal and dedication in ensuring the development the young diocese has enjoyed by raising it to its present status.

In the lectures delivered by Rev. Fr. (Dr.) Joseph Iyamah and Prof. Ben Itsueli, they noted that laity are vital in the running of the church, as they stressed that they also help in decision making, which would enable the church to grow better. The duo emphasized that laity are faced with different challenges, but can be surmounted if they follow and embrace one faith.

On his part, Rev. Fr. Godswill Oghiator charged the laity to always assist in the teachings of the church, since the priest cannot do it all, while admonishing that they are to teach the gospel of Christ always.

Climax of the event was the presentation of awards to some deserving Catholics in the province who have contributed immensely towards the development of the church and the society. They were: Mr. Joseph Egboride Iduozie, Chief Dr. (Mrs.) Patience E. Blankson, Sir. Felix O. Odia, Hon. Philip Shaibu, Sir. Augustus A. Amanfoh, Dr. Simon O. Imuekemhe, Lady Rebecca R. Suowari, Prof. Anthony U. Omorogie, Prof. D.O Aigbomian, Chief Mike Oghiadomhe, Sir George E. Clark, Sir (Dr.) Peter F. Singabele and Sir and Lady E.C Ekperi.

Responding on behalf of the awardees, Prof. D.O Aigbomian commended the organizing committee adding that the award would propel them to do more towards the development of the church and the society in general.

In his congratulatory message, the chaplain laity council, Uromi Diocese, Rev. Fr. Ewah Daniel, commended the awardees for their contributions towards the growth and development of the church and prayed God to continue to guide them in their daily endeavours.

Also featured at the gala night was the result of the 2011 report by different dioceses in the province. In it, Uromi Diocese emerged winner, closely followed by Issele-uku (2nd position) and Auchi Diocese (3rd position). Others were Archdiocese of Benin City, Warri Diocese and Bomadi Vicarate respectively, while, guests were entertained by CYON of Auchi Diocese.

Prayer Is The Key To A Successful Marriage Says Fr. Oshiokede
…As St. Theresa Choir Gets New Executive

Catherine Izuagie

The assisting parish priest of St. Theresa Catholic Church, Fugar Rev. Fr. Nicholas Oshiokede, has asserted that the virtue of praying together as a family would make a couple to stay together as husband and wife.

He gave this admonition recently at St. Theresa Catholic Church, Fugar at the wedding ceremony of Angela Adamu and Festus Ishabor.

Giving the homily at the Eucharistic celebration, Rev. Fr. Oshiokede reiterated that at creation, God made man and woman suitable for helping each other. He said that God commanded husbands to love their wives and also implored the women to respect their husbands.

Fr. Oshiokede noted that marriage is the coming together of a man and a woman to form a family and stressed that with prayer, the family will be able to overcome all the challenges that would come their way.

Highpoints of the celebration were the exchange of marriage vows, exchange of rings and pledge of love for each other, thanksgiving procession by the newly wed couple as well as the presentation of CWO materials to the bride by the parish CWO president, Mrs Catherine Izuagie on behalf of the executive.

In another development, the choir of St Theresa Parish, Fugar has elected a new executive to run their affairs for the next three years.

The election which was keenly contested was presided over by the Diocesan chairman, Mr Samson Osigwe, the disciplinarian Mr Moses Adenome, the parish laity chairman; Mr J. Iyogwoya and the parish laity secretary, Mr Paul Imuedemhe, have the following members elected as the new executive; Mr Lucky Ogiogio; chairman, Mrs Rita Elemah; Vice Chairperson, Mr Friday Elemah; General choir master, Mr Imuedemhe Emmanuel; Assistant choir master II, Miss Caroline Shaibu; Assistant choir master III, Miss Eshiemogie Elizabeth; Secretary General, Miss Anyifua Scholastica; Assistant Secretary, Mr Benjamin Oboh; Curator I, Iseidu Sylvester; Curator II and Theodora Ogwarughie as treasurer.

Others were Osi Elizabeth; Provost I, Victoria Itsuekhai; Provost II, Obamighie Nancy; PRO I, Mrs Izuagie C.; PRO II, Mrs Alice Aizebeokhai; Disciplinarian, Mr Augustine Ikhaghie; Organist I and Mr Kester Momoh; Organist II.

Cathedral Celebrates 2011 Adult Harvest/Bazaar

Ibharayi Wilson /Ugiomoh Charity

The Catholic community of Immaculate Conception Cathedral, Auchi had reasons recently to thank God, as they celebrated their 2011 annual adult thanksgiving/bazaar at the church premises.

Delivering the homily titled “the preparation for the journey of life”, the Bishop of the diocese Most. Rev. (Dr.) Gabriel G. Dunia, noted that there is the need for the lay faithful to reflect on their lives as they marked the 2011 adult harvest, stressing that they should all prepare for the journey of life in order for them to end it successfully in whatever conditions they find themselves. He reiterated that they should be joyful and active, working towards their goal which is heaven, the home of rest for all eternity

Also, the chief shepherd of the diocese noted that all the activities done by man are products of planning and advised that they should always struggle to survive even in the midst of persecution and death, provided it is worthy in the sight of God, while pointing out that men are like plants and animals who struggle daily to survive.

Speaking explicitly on the way they are to seek wisdom, Bishop Dunia said that wisdom is given to man by God and added that wisdom can be received by seeking the ways of God. He explained that among the ten virgins invited for a wedding banquet, only five of them were wise who carried extra oil and noted that the other five who did not carry extra oil were foolish.

He enjoined all present to seek the wisdom of God by reflecting deeply on the journey of their lives on earth and move progressively towards their creator.

More, the prelate stressed that celebrating with one another is the preparation towards been charitable and urged parents to prepare their children towards been charitable by living a life worthy of emulation in order for their children to become better leaders in future.

In addition, the Bishop prayed that the light of God will continue to shine in their lives to make them splendid in the sight of God by thinking and working along with Him. He charged them to shun evil by thinking positively and been courageous, which would help them prepare for the journey of life.

Highpoint of the celebration was a thanksgiving procession by individuals, lay apostolate as well as other groups.

Other priests present at the mass were Rev. Frs. Valentine Anaweokhai, the Cathedral administrator, his assistant Charles Dania, Alfred Ebalu, the bishop’s new secretary and John Aligamhe, the priest in residence at the cathedral.

In his address at the bazaar sales, the Cathedral Administrator Rev. Fr. Valentine Anaweokhai thanked all for their presence and noted that the 2011 bazaar sales is geared towards the development of the Church which he said include construction of new Church pews, marbling of the Sanctuary wall, sinking of a borehole as well as building a befitting Marian Grotto.

Further, Rev. Fr. Anaweokhai charged all to continue with their acts of generosity so that the set goals of 2011 development programme would be achieved. Thereafter, the bazaar items were put up for sales.

Bishop Dunia Visits Sobe Parish

Akhilemu Collins

The Catholic community of St Thomas Moore Parish, Sobe was agog recently, as the Catholic Bishop of Auchi Diocese, Most Rev. (Dr.) Gabriel G. Dunia, paid a three day pastoral visit to the parish.

The Bishop who was received by parishioners from Sobe, Uzebba, Avbiosi and Okpuse led by the parish administrator Rev. Fr. (Dr.) Anselm Jimo, appreciated the faithful for their love and prayed God to bless them all.

Delivering the homily at the Eucharistic celebration to conclude the visit, the Bishop charged the faithful to depend on the grace and love of God, stressing that as soldiers of Christ, they should be ready to defend their faith at all times no matter the condition they find themselves.

Continuing, the Chief Shepherd of the Diocese reminded the 42 confirmation candidates to put their faith in Jesus Christ who is the master, a great teacher and the Father of all.

Highpoint of the mass was a thanksgiving by the newly confirmed, accompanied to the altar by parishioners, friends and well wishers.

Earlier at Avbiosi community, the Bishop appreciated the Avbiosi people for their courage in sustaining their Catholic faith stressing that God loves humble people and advised them to always take care of one another. He pledged to pay the schools of the two children who presented him a bouquet on arrival.

Other activities carried out by the Bishop were a courtesy call on the Okomagbe of Iluhaha and a visit to St. Joseph the Worker Catholic Church Okpuje, where the Bishop praised the efforts of the priest and thanked Mr Idon Victor for donating a piece of land for the Church at Okpuje and prayed God to continue to reward him.

Also, speaking at St. Mary's Catholic Church, Uzebba, the Shepherd of souls commended the faithful for their zeal towards promoting the work of God and tasked them to contribute to the ongoing projects.

While interacting with parishioners at the reception held in his honour, Bishop Dunia appreciated the efforts of the parishioners, their love, the reception accorded him and also tasked them to always utilize the landed property, while commending the development recorded in the parish in the past years.

Rev Sr. Rachael Obaze Thanks God At Iraokhor

Johnson Azoganokhai

It was a moment of joy and celebration recently at St. Anthony Catholic Church Iraokhor, an outstation of St. John the Baptist, Ogbona, as Rev. Sr. Rachael O. Obaze, who received her final profession at Ilorin, thanked God

In his homily, Rev. Fr Isaac Agabi welcomed all present to the celebration, urged them to always do good to others and avoid deceiving others. More, they should listen to the word of God and endeavour to be obedient children of God.

Continuing, the priest reminded them that God who created them is expecting them to worship Him in spirit and in truth, while he explained that God promised to accept them when they repent from their sinful ways and noted that it is only God that can make them clean if they embrace humility and by living a holy life in Christ.

Speaking further, Fr. Agabi tasked them to shun their secret ways by turning to Christ and added that many now follow the way of the devil because of worldly wealth and called on them to re-examine themselves and also urged them to seek God first who is above all things.

He congratulated the newly professed Rev. Sr. and prayed that God would strengthen her and also praised the congregation of Notre Dame Sisters for coming to celebrate with the newly professed sister.

Highpoint of the mass was a thanksgiving procession by the newly professed sister as she was accompanied to the altar by the Sisters of Notre Dame present, family members, friends and well wishers.

FRSC Remember Accident Victims At Igarra

Cecil Olorunda

In commemoration of world accident victims day, the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), Igarra 14 unit command, has recently organized a sensitization programme at St. John the Apostle, Igarra on how accident can be avoided as the year draws to an end.

The group led by Mr Raymond Uka, the unit acting Head of Department operations and administrative officer, said it was an opportunity for them to pray for all those that have died in road accident and to remind travelers/ motorists of the need for them to always use their seat belts, encourage motorcycle riders to use their helmet and stressed that all motorists should always maintain a speed limit of 100 kilometre per- hour.

More, Mr Uka advised that commercial vehicles should shun overloading, drunk driving and ensure proper check of the tyres before embarking on a journey.

While appreciating the FRSC for their effort in organizing the programme, the parish administrator of St John the Apostle, Igarra Very Rev. Fr. Isaac Bossey, prayed God to grant those that lost their lives in road accident eternal rest. Meanwhile, a minute silence was observed for all those who lost their lives in road accident.
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