Sunday 21st of March 2021 was a day specially chosen for the celebration of the Diaconate Ordination of Rev. Henry Ebele Obiagbalasi and Rev. James Smile Igwe at St. Joseph Catholic Church Oru Ijebu. As part of the celebration of the year of St. Joseph as declared by the Pope which spans between December 8th 2020 and December 8th 2021, the Catholic diocese of Ijebu-Ode chose to carry out this ordination in St. Joseph Parish to commemorate the celebration in a unique way. The more unique quality of this celebration is the fact that the Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Ijebu Ode, Most Rev. Francis Obafemi Adesina ministers for the first time, the Diaconate Ordination.

The Holy Mass started at about 10:00 a.m. where the Bishop presided as the chief celebrant with other priests in attendance including Very Rev. Fr. Patrick Balogun., Very Rev. Fr. Alabi Lawrence Cssp, Rev. Fr. Augustine Adetola, Rev. Fr. John Anih MSP, Rev. Fr. Hector Osifeko, Rev. Fr. Anthony Adetayo and Rev. Fr. Michael Elogie. In his homily, Fr. Hector emphasized the importance of journey. In journey of life, one would meet with a lot of interesting and uninteresting things. The focus should be on the journey. The two Deacons would have had moments of discouragement in their journey towards the diaconate ordination but their focus which is the priesthood kept them going. He reminded the Ordinands of the importance of availability to the people of God. The focus should not be on money.

The Parish Priest and the Vicar for Religious Very Rev. Fr. Alabi Lawrence Cssp appreciated everybody for coming around, both the laity and the clergy alike. He expressed the collective gratitude of the entire parish community to the bishop and the Diocese for hosting the Ordination in their Parish.

The Bishop started his remarks with a song of Thanksgiving to God and requested that the people join. He said every priest is chosen from among the people to represent the people before God. For this reason he thanked the communities of Cathedral Parish Ijebu Ode and Ajaka parish, Sagamu for bearing fruits in this manner. He thanked the parents who contributed to their training from childhood. The Bishop reminded the congregation of the importance of the year of St. Joseph and what it means to the celebration of the Diaconate Ordination.
He also thanked the host community St. Joseph Catholic Church Oru for accepting to host the celebration few weeks after his pastoral visitation to the same parish. He solicited for prayers for himself, the Diocese and the Deacons. He said the Priestly Ordination is not automatic after the Diaconate because the Church is not in a hurry. Prayers are very important for them.

At the conclusion of the Holy Mass, group pictures were taken at the entrance of the church without any reception activities to ensure COVID-19 protocol was observed. It was indeed a glorious day for the Catholic Diocese of Ijebu-Ode most especially the Bishop, and for Rev. Henry and Rev. James.

The Bishop, Most Rev. Francis Obafemi Adesina with the new Deacons, Rev. Henry Ebele Obiagbalasi (left), Rev. James Smile Igwe (right)

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