ANNOUNCEMENTS December, 2022 /041Dominic
TO ALL PRIESTS, RELIGIOUS AND THE LAY FAITHFUL IN THE CATHOLIC DIOCESE OF IJEBU-ODE.
Grace and Peace of the Lord be with you.
- The Month of December: I warmly and gracefully welcome you to the month of December, 2022. We thank God for the grace to behold the last month of the year 2022, despite our challenges. May the name of the Lord be blessed, now and forever. Amen.
The month of December combines the period of penance and expectation, in which we echo with one voice, “Maranatha” that is, “come Lord Jesus” at Advent and the season of joy and celebration of the birth of the Saviour at Christmas.
Season of Christmas: At Christmas, the Church recalls the memory of the Nativity of the Lord and the Mysteries of his appearing. The birth of Christ to the world ushers in the reign of peace, because the prince of peace has been born. We celebrate the presence of God among his people – Immanuel, “God is with us.” As a Diocese and as Nigerians, the season of Christmas assures us, like the disciples on the journey to Emmaus, that the Risen Lord is with us on the journey down through the years, no matter how long it takes, no matter how turbulent it may seem, Jesus is ever on our side.
The Christmas season begins on the 24th December with the Eve of Christmas and ends with the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord. The season of Christmas comes with great joy. While we may engage in travelling and celebrating, I enjoin us not to lose sight of the spiritual essence and benefits of the season- the opportunity to encounter Jesus and invite him into our lives and homes.
- Pope’s Intention for the month of December: For Volunteer Not-for-Profit Organizations: Let us pray that volunteer non-profit organizations committed to human development may find people dedicated to the common good and ceaselessly seek out new paths to international cooperation.
- Bishop’s Intention for the month of December: For Catechists and Lay Leaders: Let us pray that they may faithfully, courageously and creatively propagate and teach the faith and the doctrine of the Church to Catechumens.
- Monthly Novena Prayer: As we anticipate the birth of the Infant King, we are invited to pray the Novena to the Infant Jesus, for the growth of our Diocese and for peace in the world. This shall begin on December 15 and end on December 23, 2022.
NB: All Parish Priests, Superiors and Chaplains are to kindly ensure that this novena prayer is said in all Parishes, Convents, Schools and Formation Houses across the Diocese.
- Submission of 2022 Pastoral Report: This is to strongly remind all Heads of Department, Institutions and Presidents of various Organizations such as, CMO, CWO, CYON and HCA that are yet to submit the comprehensive report of pastoral activities done in the year 2022 to do so, on or before December 10, 2022. This report is expected to be detailed containing the summary of what was done and pictures to back it up. It is to be submitted both in printed copies and soft copies to the office of the Bishop through his Secretary. This is an obligatory annual report and all those concerned should take note.
- Submission of Plan of Activities for the year 2023: This is a reminder to all Departmental Heads, Chaplains and all those in charge of various commissions in the Diocese to kindly submit a copy of their proposed programmes/activities for 2023. The deadline for submission is December 9, 2022. Both the hardcopy and softcopy of the activities should be submitted to the Chancellor.
- Diocesan Prayer Crusade for Priests and Religious: As we approach the end of the year, we are reminded of the appeal made by the Bishop at the beginning of the year to families within our Diocese to adopt a Priest/Religious for prayer throughout the Year 2022. We thank those who responded to this appeal and have remained faithful and committed to this cause. May God bless and sustain you. Amen.
For those, who are yet to do so, it is not too late as we all have the collective duty and obligation to pray always for our Priests and Religious.
We continue to implore Parish Priests to be creative in encouraging and implementing this appeal.
- Ave Maria Pilgrimage Centre, Iwopin: By the special grace of God, we shall resume our pilgrimage to Ave Maria Centre, Iwopin next year February. Construction works are ongoing and we need more funds to complete this project. We therefore, continue to solicit your generous support towards the completion of this project.
We sincerely appreciate all those who have contributed generously towards this project, as we continue to appeal to individuals, families, societies, parishes and stations, who are yet to support this project of rebuilding a befitting Pilgrimage Centre for the Blessed Virgin Mary in our Diocese with your kind donations.
Remember, God loves a cheerful giver (2 Cor. 9:7).
The account details are as follows:
Account Name: Ave Maria Pilgrimage Center. Catholic Diocese of Ijebu-Ode
Account Number: 1022812598
Bank: United Bank for Africa (UBA)
- Construction of a Diocesan Chancery: The building of our Diocesan Chancery is ongoing and we are close to the final stage of completing this project. We continue to appeal to Parishes, Institutions, families and benefactors, within and outside the Diocese, who are yet to make their contributions, to financially support this project. We recognize and acknowledge all the contributions and donations already received. May God continue to reward and replenish all our benefactors abundantly.
To support this project of building a befitting Chancery for the Catholic Diocese of
Ijebu-Ode, kindly make your donations to this Bank Account:
Account Name: Catholic Diocese of Ijebu-Ode
Account Number: 0131027016
- Annual Statistics 2022: This is to remind all Parish Priests, Principals, Head Teachers, Superiors of various Religious Houses, Administrators and Managers of Hospitals and those in-charge of various Orphanage Homes in the Diocese to kindly submit the statistics for the year 2022. The submission of this statistics will be done online. The portal will be opened on December 15, 2022 and will be closed on January 15, 2022. Further directives on how this will be done will be communicated to us through Rev. Fr. Albert Igbodipe, the Diocesan Chancellor.
- Advent Season Reflection and Retreat: We thank the Social Communications Commission of the Diocese for organizing Advent daily reflections for the year 2022 with the theme: “When He comes back”. During this Season of Advent, we shall be opportune to listen to edifying, faith nourishing and deep spiritual daily reflection, from the Bishop and Priests working in the Diocese. These reflections will be broadcast on the following social media handles of the Diocese:
YouTube: Catholic Diocese of Ijebu-Ode Nigeria
Facebook: “I-partner Ijebu-ode” and “The Partner Newspaper”
Kindly log in to any of these platforms to listen to the inspiring messages for the season. Also, you can watch them live on Lumen Christi Television on DSTV Channel 350 every day during Advent at 7:20pm, except Thursdays and Sundays by 3:20pm.
Also, as part of our spiritual preparations for the Season of Christmas, during this season of Advent, Parish Priests, Chaplains and Superiors of Houses of formation are to organize Advent Retreat for their Parishioners and Students.
- Christmas Holiday: Christmas is a season, in which we welcome the messiah into our lives, families and communities. The mood of this season invites us to celebrate and share with others the love and joy of the birth of Jesus Christ. “Observing common life, religious are to live in their own religious house and are not to be absent from it except with the permission of their superior.” Canon 665§1
Without prejudice to the particular laws and policies of the different religious Congregations working in the Diocese of Ijebu-Ode, regarding the celebration of Christmas, no religious community and apostolate within the Diocese should be completely shut down or deserted during Christmas season. Let us keep our Communities alive with our presence.
- All Priests must be available to their parishioners during the Christmas season. No apostolate should suffer, as a result of negligence on the part of the minister. Let us share the joy of the season with those whose pastoral care and need have been entrusted to us.
- Christmas Carols: 2022 Christmas Carols shall be done at Deanery levels. Kindly be informed of the following deanery carols in the Diocese.
|Ijebu-Igbo Deanery||St. Peter Catholic Church, Oke-Sopen||Sunday, 4th December, 2022||3:30p.m|
|Sagamu Deanery||Holy Family Catholic Church, GRA, Sagamu||Sunday, 4th December, 2022||2:00p.m|
|Iloti Deanery||Sacred Heart Catholic Church, Egbe||Sunday, 11th December, 2022||2:00p.m|
|Iperu Deanery||St. John Vianney Catholic Church, Iperu-Remo||Sunday, 11th December, 2022||2:00p.m|
|Ogbere Deanery||St. Mary Catholic Church, Ogbere||Saturday, 17th December, 2022||10:00a.m|
|Ijebu-Ode Deanery||St. Sebastian Cathedral, Ijebu-Ode||Sunday, 18th December, 2022||3:00p.m|
|Esure Deanery||Date not yet fixed|
- Special Collections: Let us remember to take the following special collections for the month of December: World AIDS day (Dec. 4) and support for Marriage & Family Department (Dec. 30). Priests should kindly ensure that, this collection is well publicised, collected and remitted to the Chancery for proper collation.
- Annual Pastoral Seminar for Priests:This Year’s Diocesan Pastoral Seminar for Priests (Diocesan and Religious) working in the Diocese which started on Monday, November 28, and shall end on Friday, December 2, 2022 at Abbe Louis Bautain Retreat Centre, Ijebu-Itele. Kindly pray along with us for the success of the seminar.
- Consecrated Persons: There shall be Christmas Party for all Consecrated Persons in the Diocese on Wednesday 14th December, 2022, at the Franciscan Sisters of the Immaculate community in Iloti, by 10a.m.
- Priests and Religious Get-Together 2022: This shall come up on Wednesday, 21st December, 2022, at Christ the King Catholic College, Odolewu-Ijebu. This gathering will begin with the celebration of the Holy Mass at exactly 11am. All Priests and Professed Sisters working in the Diocese are expected to attend.
- Holy Childhood Association: The Annual Diocesan Congress of the Holy Childhood Association comes up on December 17 – 20, 2022, at Christ the King Catholic College, Odolewu. All Pastors should ensure that their children are supported to attend and participate actively in this congress.
- National Conference of Laity Council:The Diocese shall be hosting the 2022 National Conference of the Catholic Laity of Nigeria on December 8-10, 2022 at Abbe Louis Bautain Retreat Centre, Ijebu-Itele.Theme: “Who is my Neighbour?”
Let us all contribute and support the Planning Committee for a proper and successful hosting. We appeal to all Parish Priests and Priests-in-charge to ensure that we encourage and sensitize our lay faithful to participate actively for the success of this congress.
- Family and Human Life Department: Level 1 Training of Marriage Counsellors continues this month on 10th December, 2022, at Most Pure Heart Catholic Church, Esure.
- Level 2 Training of Marriage Counsellors comes up on 10th December, 2022, at St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church, Odo-Aye.
- Celebration of the Feast of Holy Family and Inauguration of FHL Committees in Parishes in the Diocese shall take place on Friday 30th December, 2022. There shall be special collection on this day to support the department.
- Department of Catechesis and Religious Education: There shall be Advent Retreat for all Agents of Evangelization on December 10, 2022, at Corpus Christi Catholic Church, Ikoto at 10:00a.m
All concerned should endeavour to be punctual.
- Catholic Women Organization of Nigeria: The Catholic Women Organization of Nigeria, Ijebu-Ode Diocese, shall be having their Love Feast and Christmas Carols on Sunday, December 11, 2022 at CWO Maria Centre, Ijebu-Ode by 10:00a.m. Delegates from all parishes are expected at this gathering.
- Education Department: All Catholic Primary and Secondary Schools in the Diocese shall be going on first term vacation on December 16, 2022.
NB: All staff, students and parents should take note of this date.
- Holy Family Sunday: This will come up on Friday, December 30, 2022. All Parish Priests and Priests-in-Charge are to make this day remarkable for all families by paying special attention to the family life during Homily and Eucharistic celebration. Also, social and spiritual programmes are be organized to make it wonderful and memorable for families in the parish.
- Priestly Ordination Anniversary: We congratulate, rejoice with and request your prayers for the following Priests: Lawrence Alabi, CSSp (Dec. 4), Alfred-Matthew Nworie (Dec. 17), Henry Osobor (Dec. 17), Patrick Ajewole (Dec. 17), Augustine Adetola (Dec. 18), Anthony Adetayo (Dec. 18) and Oluka James (Dec. 18), Henry Obiagbalasi (Dec. 8), James Smiles Igwe (Dec. 8) as they celebrate their Priestly Ordination Anniversaries this month. May God grant them fulfillment and the grace of final perseverance. Amen.
- Transfer: We welcome the following Religious assigned to work in the Diocese:
- Sr. Judith Jatau, SSL, – Louisville Girls High School, Itele
- Sr. Maryann Anaehobi, SSL, – Louisville Girls High School, Itele
- Sr. Rita-Mary Buseni, SSL, Louisville Girls High School, Itele
- Sr. Dominica Egbuna, HFSN – St. Thomas Aquinas Primary School, Ibefun
- Sr. Maria Udokristi Okwaraku, HFSN – St. Thomas Aquinas Primary School, Ibefun
- Sr. Ugonna Theresa Udoha, HFSN – St. Thomas Aquinas Primary School, Ibefun
We wish them a fruitful and enriching apostolate in the Diocese. Amen.
- Necrology: Kindly pray for the repose of the souls of the following:
- Most Rev. Anthony Saliu Sanusi; Pioneer Bishop of Ijebu-Ode Diocese – died on December 8, 2009
- Fr. Conrad Orcino, FI, a missionary of the Franciscan of the Immaculate, who worked in Ijebu-Igbo and Sagamu Deaneries – died on 21st December, 2018
May their souls and the souls of the faithful departed through the mercy of God rest in peace. Amen
- Gratitude and Appreciation: I sincerely appreciate all the Clergy, Religious and Laity for your collaboration and contributions towards the smooth running of the Diocese. I recognize and commend the efforts of every department, institution and organisational group, who contributed immensely, by organizing spiritual, pastoral, social and humanitarian programmes to promote the pastoral life of the Diocese. May God bless us all and bless the Diocese of Ijebu-Ode. Amen
I wish you a blessed and fruitful month of December. Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year in advance.
Most Rev. Francis Obafemi ADESINA
Bishop of Ijebu-Ode.