By Fr. Anthony Adetayo

As the Catholic world celebrates today the Feast of Presentation, the diocese of Ijebu Ode marks also the feast of consecrated life which is a celebration of the consecrated men and women. This celebration took place at the Cathedral church of St. Sebastian by 10:00am prompt.

In attendance were array of priests, religious – male and female, seminarians, novices and postulants of different Religious communities all over the diocese, including a good number of the laity from different parishes and institutions.

The Bishop, Most Rev. Francis Obafemi Adesina who presided and preached was flanked by the oldest religious in the diocese Rev. Fr. Spagnolo Italo SDB and Fr. Lawrence Tunde Alabi Cssp.

In his homily, the Bishop recognized the presence and efforts of all the Religious in the nooks and crany of the diocese. He encouraged the people to celebrate them always for their quiet but effective apostolate. The Bishop said “we must contemplate the Lord Jesus always”. When Jesus was presented in the temple today, the encounter he had with people like Ann and Simeon changed the narrative of the Gentiles to that of joy and light. Our encounter as Religious with people must therefore bring joy and light to others. Our life must reflect chastity, obedience and poverty like Christ whom we imitate.

The Bishop added ” Do not multiply habits, multiply holiness “. He reiterated that activities and habits need no multiplicity but holiness must spread and multiply for people to see and be led to God. He asked that the Religious should extend their presence to the ‘really poor’ people in the diocese and contemplate Christ always.

The Religious had a Thanksgiving after Holy Communion accompanied by diocesan priests.

At the end of the Mass there was a reception at the Bishop Sanusi’s memorial hall where all were satisfactorily entertained.

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