DECEMBER 2020 DIOCESAN CIRCULARadmin
TO ALL PRIESTS AND RELIGIOUS WORKING IN THE CATHOLIC DIOCESE OF IJEBU-ODE, AND THE LAY FAITHFUL
Dear Brothers and Sisters in the Lord:
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 2020 despite all the troubles of the year. 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.
Season of Advent: The English word “Advent” is from the Latin word `Adventus’, which means coming. It is a season that spans for four (4) weeks, i.e. from 1st Sunday of Advent till 24th December. 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 Advent begins a new Liturgical year in the Church. Sunday readings from the first Sunday of Advent will now be from Cycle B of the Lectionary. The Liturgical colour for this season is Purple, which tells us more about the penitent nature of the season.
Season of Christmas: At Christmas, we celebrate the birth of Christ, the Word made flesh. The Christmas season begins on the 24th of December with the Christmas Eve Mass and ends on the feast of the Baptism of the Lord. 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-day novena will start on December 15 — December 23, 2020. 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: For a Life of Prayer: We pray that our personal relationship with Jesus Christ be nourished by the Word of God and a life of prayer.
4: Ave Maria Pilgrimage Center, Iwopin: Since the circular of April, there has been a constant request to support the renovation of the Ave Maria Pilgrimage Center. We appreciate all those who have contributed generously to this appeal with their kind donations. We remind individuals, families, societies, parishes and stations to support this course of rebuilding our Pilgrimage center with your kind donations. Remember, God loves a cheerful giver (2 Cor. 9:7). The account details is as follows:
- Account Name: Ave Maria Pilgrimage Center, Catholic Diocese of Ijebu-Ode
- Account Number: 1022812598
- Bank: United Bank for Africa (UBA)
5: Construction of a Diocesan Chancery Building: For the past 51 years of the Catholic Diocese of Ijebu-Ode, the Diocese has been making use of the Bishop House and now some offices in the JDPC Complex as chancery for the day-to-day running of the Diocese. It has become necessary and expedient at this stage to build a Chancery where the daily administrative activities of the Diocese will be carried out. As such, I am calling on all Parishes, Institutions, families and benefactors both within and outside the Diocese to financially support this project. The preliminary works has already begun on the proposed site. To support this project of constructing a befitting Chancery for the Catholic Diocese of Ijebu-Ode, kindly make your donation to the following Bank Account:
- Account Name:Catholic Diocese of Ijebu-Ode
- Account Number: 0131027016
- Bank: FCMB
6: Pastoral Letter 2020: My first pastoral letter to all Priests, Religious and Laity of the Catholic Diocese of Ijebu-Ode will be made available in all Parishes as from the third Sunday of Advent. The title of this first pastoral letter is “The Word of God: A Light in our path beyond the Golden Jubilee year celebrations.” I chose to reflect on this theme based on the just concluded year of the Word of God, which ended in September 2020. In this letter, I proposed ways in which the bible can be more engaged in the families and churches. The letter also introduces us to the Pastoral plan of the diocese titled, “Moving forward in faith and action” (cf. Ex. 14,15; Phil. 3, 12-14) which will be published next year. It is my sincere desire that every family, parish and institution will have access to this Pastoral letter, digest its contents and apply it. It is written both in English and in Yoruba. I enjoin all Priests to pick up copies at the Chancery for their Parishioners.
7: Annual Statistics 2020: 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 orphanages in the Diocese to kindly submit the statistics for the year 2020. The submission of this statistics will be done online. The portal will be opened on December 15, 2020 and will be closed on January 15, 2021. Further directives on how this will be done will be communicated to us through Rev. Fr. Augustine Adetola, the Secretary to the Bishop.
- 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.
- Advent Reflections 2020: We thank the Social Communications Commission of the Diocese for putting in place Advent reflections for the year 2020. During the season of Advent, we shall be opportune to listen to edifying, nourishing and deep spiritual reflection on each day of Advent from the Bishop and Priests working in the Diocese. These reflections will be posted on the following Social media handles:
- YouTube: Catholic Diocese of Ijebu-Ode Nigeria
- Facebook: “The Partner Newspaper, Ijebu-Ode Diocese”
- Website: www.ijebuodecatholicdiocese.org
- Kindly log in to any of these platforms and listen to the inspiring messages from the Priests working in the Diocese. Also, tune in to Lumen Christi Television on DSTV Channel 350 every day during Advent at 7:15pm to listen to the reflections.
- Special Collections: Let us remember to collect these special collection for the month of December, World AIDS day (Dec. 6) and Marriage & Family (Dec. 27). Priests should kindly ensure that they are remitted on time to the Chancery for proper collation.
- Bishop Anthony Saliu Sanusi Memorial Lecture: The first Memorial events in honour of the pioneer Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Ijebu-Ode, Most Rev. Anthony Saliu Sanusi will come up on the 11th and 12th of December, 2020. The events are scheduled as follows:
FRIDAY, 11TH DECEMBER, 2020
Event: Memorial Mass in honour of Late Bishop Anthony Saliu Sanusi
Venue: St. Sebastian Catholic Cathedral, Odo-Egbo, Ijebu-Ode
Time: 5:00pm. Vestment/ Colour for the Mass: Purple
SATURDAY, 12TH DECEMBER, 2020
Event: Memorial Lecture
Venue: Bishop Anthony Saliu Sanusi Hall, St. Sebastian Catholic Cathedral, Ijebu-Ode 1St Talk: The Life, Episcopacy and Contributions of Bishop Anthony Saliu Sanusi to Catholicism in Ijebu-land.
Speaker: Most Rev. Michael Fagun, Bishop Emeritus of Ekiti Diocese.
2nd Talk: Lessons from Bishop Anthony Saliu Sanusi for the Present and Future of Ijebu-Ode Catholic Diocese.
Speaker: Mr. Oyewole Theophilus Olaoye
Other events lined up for this Memorial Day include: Enthronement of the Bible; Documentary on the life and times of Bishop Anthony Saliu Sanusi; 3D slides presentation of the grave site and many more.
- Priests Annual Pastoral Seminar: The Annual Pastoral Seminar of Priests in the Diocese for this year will hold from 30th November to 4th December, 2020 at the Louis Bautain Retreat Centre, Ijebu-Itele.
- Priests and Religious Get-Together 2020: This has been scheduled to hold on Wednesday, 23rd December, 2020 at Christ the King Catholic College, Odolewu-Ijebu. This gathering will begin with the celebration of the Holy Mass at exactly 11 am. All Priests and Professed Sisters working in the Diocese are expected to be present.
- Male and Female Religious Get-Together 2020: The male and female Religious working in the Diocese will be having their end of the year party on Monday, 21st December, 2020 at Handmaids Secondary School, Ibi-Ade, Ogun Waterside. Mass begins at exactly 11:00am.
- Catechesis and Religious Department: The commissioning of new Catechists and evangelizers will come up on 15th December, 2020 at Sacred Heart Catholic Church, Kajola starting with the Holy Mass at exactly 10:00am.
- Holy Childhood Association: The members of the Holy Childhood Association will be having their annual congress at Christ the King Catholic College, Odolewu from 20th December – 22nd December, 2020. 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.
- Holy Family Sunday: This will come up on Sunday, December 27, 2020. All Parish Priests are enjoined 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.
- Grand Finale of the 25th Anniversary of Christ the King Catholic College, Odolewu-Ijebu: The year long celebration of the 25th anniversary of Christ the King Catholic College will come to a close with the grand finale celebration on 19th December, 2020 at the College’s Auditorium. The Mass will begin at exactly 10:00am.
- Submission of 2020 Report: This is to inform all Heads of Department, Institutions and Presidents of various Organizations like CMO, CWO, CYON and HCA that there will be need to submit a comprehensive report of activities done in the year 2020. This report is expected to be detailed containing the summary of what was done and pictures to back it up. It will be submitted both in printed copies and soft copies to the Vicar for Pastoral Affairs on or before December 10, 2020. This is an obligatory annual report and all those concerned should take note. A copy of this should be sent to the Chancery also.
- Submission of activities for the year 2021: This is to remind all Departmental Heads, Chaplains and all those in charge of various commission in the Diocese that the deadline for submission of the proposed programmes/activities for 2021 has elapsed. Those yet to submit should kindly do that in time.
- Organizational Information:
- CWO: The Catholic Women Organization of Nigeria, Ijebu-Ode Diocese will have their love feast and Christmas Carols on December 13, 2020 at the CWO Maria Centre, Epe garage, Ijebu-Ode. Delegates from all parishes are expected at this gathering.
- Priestly Ordination Anniversary: We congratulate, rejoice with and request your prayers for the following: Msgr. Gabriel Ayankoya RTD (Dec. 23), 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.
- We welcome back to the Diocese Rev. Fr. Jude Marie Ezeigbo from his studies in Rome. He has taken up residence at St. Timothy Catholic Parish, Degun, Ijebu-Ode. We welcome Rev. Fr. Anthony Adebambo back to the country from his studies in Canada.
- We welcome in the same vein Sr. Eulalie Yoni EHJ from Burkina Faso and Sr. Anastasia Inyiama, EHJ to the Diocese. May their stay in the Diocese be fruitful and enriching. Amen.
- With deep faith in the resurrection from the dead, we announce the death of Rev. Fr. Italo Spagnolo, SDB. Fr. Spagnolo worked for many years in our Diocese before going home earlier this year for medical check-up. He passed away on Thursday, 27th November, 2020. May God console his biological and religious family and indeed all of us in the Diocese who have had contact with this great missionary who worked selflessly in Nigeria for many years.
- Bereavements: The entire Diocese commiserate with the families of Rev. Fr. David Mary Odunsi and Sr. Mary Nwachukwu, CP on the demise of Late Pa. John Abayomi Odunsi and Late Mrs. Victoria Nwachukwu. May God grant them eternal rest in His kingdom. Amen.
- We also commiserate with Rev. Fr. Albert Adeleke and his family on the demise of his father, Late Pa Anthony Adegoke Adeleke. He will be buried during the month of December. May God grant him eternal rest in his kingdom. Amen.
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.