BISHOP SANUSI REALLY SUFFERED TO GET THE DIOCESE STARTED…ARCHBISHOP JOB REITERATEDadmin
by REV. FR. LEO AWOJINRIN (CATHOLIC DIOCESE OF IJEBU-ODE)
At a mass presided over by the Metropolitan Archbishop of Lagos, Most Rev. Alfred Adewale Martins, and concelebrated the Bishop of Ijebu-Ode Diocese, Most Rev. Francis Obafemi Adesina and the Emeritus Bishop, Albert Ayinde Fasina, the Priests, Religious and Laity of Ijebu-Ode Diocese gathered to thank God as they concluded the year long celebration of the Golden Jubilee of the Diocese on 18th July, 2019 at St. Sebastian’s Catholic Cathedral, Ijebu-Ode. Also, present at the mass were Archbishop Gabriel ‘Leke Abegunrin, Bishop Peter Kayode Odetoyinbo, Bishop John Akin Oyejola and other dignitaries of the Church and State from far and wide.
‘Were l’o bawa se, ee, were l’o bawa se; ohun ti a ro pe ko se se, were l’o ba wa se’. With these lyrics of an ancient song of Thanksgiving expressing how God makes easy , things we thought of as difficult, Most. Rev. Felix Adeosin Job began the homily at the mass of the 50th Anniversary of the erection of Ijebu-Ode Diocese and the 80th birthday and retirement celebration of Most Rev. Albert Fasina, the Emeritus Bishop of Ijebu-Ode.
Archbishop Job, who was the third of the first 3 indigenous Priests of Ijebu land, emphasized the fact that ‘Bishop Sanusi really suffered to get the Diocese started’, yet He could be described as ‘a courageous man for accepting the office of the Bishop, a prayerful man who took everything as the will of God’.
In his historical and truth revealing homily, he highlighted how Bishop Sanusi, Fr. Joseph Adeneye and himself as the only Priests of Ijebu land worked hard at the inception of the Diocese. He mentioned fondly the impact made by Archbishop John Kwao Amuzu Aggey, the Metropolitan at the time, Fr. Galvin, Mother Gobert OLA, Mother Johanna OLA and other missionaries played at the beginning of Ijebu-Ode Diocese. In fact, he was tipped to be the first secretary to Bishop Sanusi but it never materialized.
In his words on the celebrant of the day, Most Rev. Albert Fasina, he referred to a survey of comment from people about the celebrant. He said many people knew the celebrant as very courageous, likeable, gentle, reflective and prayerful man. A teacher by all standards, generous to a fault, sympathetic to the poor, needy and never afraid to beg to support them. In fact, that earned him the title ‘begging Bishop’. The preacher said Bishop Fasina ‘loved his Priests, cared for them and challenged them to be mature by giving them freedom with responsibility. Some proved him right but some disappointed him, yet he loved them all the same’
The Emeritus of Ibadan Archdiocese was magnanimous in his thanks to God who now made Ijebu-Ode Diocese grow in leaps and bounds. He made a comparison of the diocese between 1970 and 2019 thus: ‘ Population: 20,050 and 80,010; Diocesan Priests: 3 and 70; Parishes: 5 and 38. God has indeed been wonderful to the diocese in the last 50years.
To conclude, he charged the Diocese led by Bishop Francis Adesina, to make evangelization a priority as about 5% of the population of Ijebu land are Catholics. He suggested also that the laity should be empowered toward collaborative ministry, harness the material wealth of the diocese, instill a sense of accountability and responsibility in all, build the human capital of the diocese and further strengthen the departments so that they can function as expected. ‘With your young and energetic Bishop, an array of well prepared and young clergy and a body of consecrated persons, with your active and willing faithful, Ijebu-Ode Diocese in the next 25 years, I say, win the whole of Ijebu people for Christ’
As usual, a reception followed the mass and the gift of a car was presented to the Emeritus Bishop. We thank God for Ijebu-Ode Diocese and the celebrant at 80. May God bless the Church!
May God bless Ijebu-Ode Diocese!