DECEMBER 2019 DIOCESAN CIRCULAR

TO ALL PRIESTS AND RELIGIOUS WORKING IN THE CATHOLIC DIOCESE OF IJEBU-ODE, AND THE LAY FAITHFUL

Dear Brothers and Sisters in the Lord: DECEMBER 2019 DIOCESAN CIRCULAR Grace and Peace of the Lord be with you.

1: The Month of December: Welcome to the last month of the year. We thank God for preserving our lives to witness the last month of the year 2019. The month of December is a month of expectation, joy and celebration. It is a time we celebrate two seasons in the Church’ liturgical year: the season of Advent and the season of Christmas. During the season of advent, we are reminded of the three coming of Christ (his first coming which took place many years ago, the coming of Christ in glory at the end of time, and the coming of Christ today in the Sacraments and life of the Church). Thus, this season opens us up to stock-taking, self-evaluation and thanksgiving to God. Therefore, we need to embrace this season with hope and expectation, with longing and waiting, and with conversion and penance in preparation for the season of Christmas.

The season of Christmas comes with great joy. It is a season that expresses God’s love for his people. While we are busy with travelling and making other material preparations for Christmas, we must not lose sight of the spiritual significance of the season- the opportunity to encounter Jesus and draw closer to him.

2: Novena to the Infant Jesus: As a continuation of the call for monthly Novena for the sake of our Diocese I invite you all to take up, for this month of December, the novena to the Infant Jesus. This 9 days novena will start on December 15 to December 23, 2019. This is expected to take place in all Catholic families, parishes, houses of formation and institutions across the Diocese simultaneously.

3: Pope’s Intention for the month of December: The future of the very Young. That every country take the measures necessary to prioritize the future of the very young, especially those who are suffering.

4: Concerning new projects or moribund projects in all Parishes: In an earlier letter dated August 29, 2019, I requested that all moribund or new projects be stopped in all parishes. May I reiterate this announcement and request that permission be sort from me for the continuation / completion of such project(s) for the growth of the parish.

5: ANNOUNCEMENTS

  1. Advent Season: During this season, we call on all Parish Priests, Chaplains and Superiors of formation Houses to organize Advent retreat for their Parishioners and students. This is necessary in order to have a worthwhile and spirit filled season of Advent.
  2. Special Collections: Let us remember to collect these special collection for the month of December, World AIDS day (Dec. 8) and Marriage & Family (Dec. 29). Priests should kindly ensure that they are remitted on time to the Chancery for proper collation.
  3. 10 years remembrance of Bishop Anthony Saliu Sanusi: There shall be a requiem mass in honour of our departed pioneer Bishop, Most Rev. Anthony Saliu Sanusi on Saturday, December 7, 2019, the 10th year anniversary of his death (December 7, 2009). This mass will be said at the venue of the Priests and Religious seminar. All Priests should kindly take note. Also, prayers should be offered at his graveside for those who can visit the Cathedral.
  4. Priests Annual Retreat: The Annual Retreat of Priests in the Diocese for this year has been scheduled to hold from 2nd December to 6th December, 2019. Venue: Louis Bautain Retreat Centre, Ijebu-Itele. To this end, all Priests are requested to promptly fulfil their financial obligations through the Pastoral Committee Chairman, Rev. Fr. Simon Mayungbe. Please note that the retreat is obligatory and NOT optional. All Priests involved in Pastoral and Administrative work of the Diocese must attend.
  5. Priests and Religious Seminar on Abuse of Minors: The Seminar on VOS ESTIS LUX MUNDI of Pope Francis, which addresses issues surrounding clerical abuse of minors has been scheduled to hold from 6th December to 7th December, 2019 at the Louis Bautain Retreat Centre. More information about the seminar can be obtained from the Pastoral Committee Chairman, Rev. Fr. Simon Mayungbe. This seminar is COMPULSORY for all Priests and Religious working in the Diocese.
  6. Priests and Religious Get-Together 2019: This has been scheduled to hold on Tuesday, 17th December, 2019. Venue: CWO Maria center. Epe garage, Ijebu-Ode. This gathering will begin with the celebration of the Holy Mass at exactly 11 am. Kindly endeavor to be present.
  7. Diocesan Christmas Carols: The Liturgical Commission in conjunction with St. Albert Music Society presents 5th Diocesan Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols. Date: 1st December, 2019. Venue: St. Michael Catholic Church, Ilishan-Remo; Time: 2:00pm
  8. Catechesis and Religious Department: There shall be a Christmas get-together for all Catechists, Lay leaders, Evangelizers and all teachers of faith on December 7, 2019 at the Catechetical center, Ilado by 11:00am. All those concerned should be at this gathering.
  9. Holy Childhood Association: The members of the Holy Childhood Association will be having their annual congress at Christ the King Catholic College, Odolewu from 21st December – 23th December, 2019. All Parish Priests should endeavor to have Children from their parishes present at this congress. Parents are to support these children also by making sure they join other children from various parishes across the Diocese at this congress.
  10. Holy Family Sunday: This will come up on Sunday, December 29, 2019. We enjoin all Priests to make this day a memorable one for all families by paying special attention to the family life during homily. Also, different side attractions to make the day a wonderful one should be done.
  11. Family and Human Life Apostolate: The level one and level two training of Marriage Counsellors continues this month. All participants should endeavor to attend.
  12. Organizational Information:
    1. CYON: There shall be an Annual General Meeting of all members of the Catholic Youth Organization of Nigeria, Ijebu-Ode Diocese on December 14, 2019 at Most Pure Heart of Mary Catholic Church, Esure, Ijebu-Imusin. This meeting will start with the Holy Mass at exactly 10:00am.
    2. CWO: The Catholic Women Organization of Nigeria, Ijebu-Ode Diocese will have their love feast and Christmas Carols on December 15, 2019 at the CWO Maria Centre, Epe garage, Ijebu-Ode. Delegates from all parishes are expected at this gathering.
    3. CMO: The members of the Catholic Men Organization of Nigeria, Ijebu-Ode Diocese will be having there general meeting on December 22, 2019 at St. Michael Catholic Church, Ago-Iwoye.
  13. Societal Information:
    1. Association of Sacred Heart of Jesus and Immaculate Heart of Mary will be having their monthly meeting on December 8, 2019 at St. Sebastian Catholic Cathedral, Ijebu-Ode by 10:00am.
    2. End of the year meeting of all members of Mass Servers will take place at Most Pure Heart of Mary Catholic Church, Esure on December 8, 2019. All members should be part of this meeting.
  14. Priestly Ordination Anniversary: We congratulate, rejoice with and request your prayers for the following: Msgr. Gabriel Ayankoya RTD (Dec. 23), Rev. Frs. Italo Spagnolo, SDB (Dec. 21) 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) as they celebrate their Priestly Ordination Anniversaries this month. May God grant them fulfillment and the grace of final perseverance. Amen.
  15. Transfers/Appointments:
    1. Rev. Fr. Michael Elogie — Associate Priest, St. Timothy Catholic Parish, Degun
    2. Rev. Fr. Michael Ogunniyi, SDB — Priest-in-charge, Corpus Christi Catholic Parish, Ikoto
    3. Rev. Fr. Italo Spagnolo, SDB — Priest-in-residence, Corpus Christi Catholic Parish, Ikoto

Thank you as I wish you a blessed and fruitful month of December. I wish you all a merry Christmas and a happy New Year in advance.

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