IBADAN, NIGERIA -
Catholic Faithful have been called upon to use the bond of unity in the Eucharist to influence the social strata of the country by striving to take care of the needy with total commitment to the will of God.
This admonition was given by the Catholic Archbishop of Ibadan, Most Rev. Felix Alaba Job in his homily at the opening Mass for the Archdiocesan Eucharistic Congress, held at the Ss Peter and Paul Major Seminary, Bodija, Ibadan, recently.
The ceremony also featured, the ordination of three priests and investiture of the five new Monsignori for the Archdiocese; and the presentation of the Papal Medal - Pro Ecclessia et Pontifice to sixteen priests and Religious who have served the Church in the Archdiocese diligently.
According to the Archbishop, the theme for the week-long celebration - The Eucharist; Communion with Christ`s Bond with one Another, `reminds us of the call of God in our lives.` He therefore enjoined the faithful to use their various talents to serve humanity for the greater glory of God.
Quoting copiously from the bible and other documents to buttress the bond of unity in the Eucharist, Archbishop Job noted: `When we eat from the same table the Most Precious Body of our Lord Jesus Christ, it bonds us together, that we may all be one (Jn.17:21). Our Communion should essentially be our bond (1 Cor:10:17). Let us not make our differences cause us to falter.` He added: `The different gifts, talents and endowments of our priests, Religious and the lay faithful are our strength and our advantage.`
Speaking on the new evangelization era of the Church, Archbishop Job called on the faithful to rise up to the challenges of taking the Good News of Christ to the nook and crannies of the Archdiocese, by preaching in and out of season and bringing more people to the fold of Christ. He also urged them to be ready for challenges of mission outside the Archdiocese and the shores of Nigeria. He stressed that the love of God and unity among the faithful is paramount to the evangelization mission of the Church and essential for her continuous growth.
Archbishop Job noted that it is part of the evangelization mission to love and take care of the poor and needy, not only by praying with them and for them but also by caring and providing their needs and ensuring justice and equity in matters affecting them.
Addressing the newly ordained priests, the Archbishop urged them to give their lives to Christ and be like him in the service of humanity. He admonished them to be holy and exemplary priests In the same vein, Archbishop Job called on the five new Monsignors and recipients of the Papal Medals to see the honour bestowed on them by the Holy Father as a challenge for more proactive service to the Church. He urged them not to rest on their oars but be more committed and do more in the work of the Lord, particularly during the Year of Faith which begins in November. He said: `I call on you all to renew your commitment and devotion to the Lord during this Eucharistic Congress;` and pray for all the people of God and the country.
The three newly ordained priests are: Rev. Frs. John Olukayode Ademoye, Gabriel Akwaima Udoh and Michael Opeyemi Woods. The five Monsignori are: Peter Odetoyinbo, Vicar General of the Archdiocese; Peter Ajibola, Joseph Idowu, Peter otubusin and Theophilus Fadeyi.
The receivers of Pro Ecclessia et Pontifice include: Very Rev. Fr. James Ohea SMA; Rev. Fr. Martin Otillio OP; Rev. Fr. Marcel Marion Pokrzewinski OP; Rev. Fr. John Ohea SMA; Rev. Fr. Oscar Welsh SMA; Rev. Fr. Edward Joseph Railey OP; Rev. Fr. Fintan Daly SMA; and Rev. Sr. Catherine McCarroll MMM.
Others are: Rev. Sr. Leonie McSweeney MMM; Rev. Sr. Cecilia Asuzu MMM; Rev. Sr. Catherine Omoaka EHJ; Rev. Sr. Roseleen Da-Silva OLA; Rev. Sr. Nuala Edozien OLA; Rev. Sr. Patricia Ebegbulem SSL; Rev. Sr. Lelia Idigo IHM; and Rev. Sr. Bernadette Obasi IHM.