By Fr. Anthony Adetayo

The Catholic Diocese of Ijebu-Ode inaugurates the 2022 Pastoral year with an Opening Mass celebrated by the Bishop, Most Rev. Francis Obafemi Adesina and all Priests. In attendance also were Male and Female Religious and representatives of the Laity across the Diocese on Tuesday 11th January 2022 at Most Pure Heart of Mary catholic Parish, Esure-Ijebu.
The homilist Very Rev. Fr. Michael Adebanjo said “With God on our side, there is no hopeless situation.” According to him, “We must joyfully look to the future with hope and to consciously devote ourselves and do our part and strive for excellence in different parishes and ministries we have been entrusted with. We cannot deceive God even if we deceive one another or the Bishop but no one can deceive God. My dear Lay faithful, you have been called and sent to work in God’s vineyard because you are baptized; we are not in competition in any way or in conflict. Rather, we are called to be complementary. For all of us if we are not part of the solution then you are part of the problem. As we entrust this new year into God’s hands we ask for God’s courage to submit ourselves and our future to God’s hands.”

The Bishop giving his closing remarks said “We formally inaugurate another pastoral year. May God accompany us in 2022 with his graces. 2021 was a tough year in a certain way but we achieved a lot pastorally. But because our Lord lives, we shall do well in 2022 even with all its obstacles. Gathered as we are today, we jointly offer our profound gratitude to God. We also express appreciation to one another for peaceful coexistence and support from the Laity that helps to further the work of God.”
In exhortation and promise, the Bishop said “We shall renew our effectiveness in collaboration and desire to build bridges. We cannot build the Church of Christ if we are divided. On my part, I renew my commitment to Christ and responsibilities to govern, to teach and to sanctify the body of Christ under me. I sincerely appreciate all priests here and all consecrated persons (Male and Female) and members of the Laity.”
The program continued with special pastoral discussion and sharing on strategies to be adopted for the new year.

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