FEBRUARY 2020 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: Grace and Peace of the Lord be with you.

1: The Month of February: I heartily welcome you to the month of February 2020, a month rich in both liturgical and spiritual activities. We begin the liturgical activities with the Feast of the Presentation (February 2), where the Church calls us to re-dedicate ourselves to God, following the example of Mary and Joseph who took the Child Jesus to the temple for dedication. In the later part of the month, we will begin the Season of Lent with the ASH WEDNESDAY (February 26). The ashes we receive on our foreheads reminds us of two things: that we are sinners in need of God’s mercy and it reminds us of the fact that we are dust and unto dust we shall return. Hence, the Season of Lent is meant to be a time for spiritual renewal and growth through the acts of Prayer, Fasting and Almsgiving. During this season of Lent, the colour will change from Green to purple, to depict the penitential nature of the season.

2: Lenten Reflection 2020: The Social Communications Commission of the Diocese has put in place Lenten reflections for the year 2020. During the season of Lent, we shall be opportune to listen to edifying, nourishing and deep spiritual reflection on each day of Lent from the Bishop and Priests working in the Diocese. This reflections will be posted on the following Social media handles:

  • YouTube: Catholic Diocese of Ijebu-Ode Nigeria
  • Facebook: “I-partner Ijebu-ode” and “The Partner Newspaper”
  • Website: www. ijebuo decatholicdiocese .org
  • Instagram: I-partner Ijebu-ode

Kindly log in to any of these platforms and listen to the inspiring messages from the Priests working in the Diocese. I enjoin all Priests that will take part in this spiritual exercise to make themselves available on February 13 and 14, 2020 for the recording which will take place at the Studio of the Justice, Development and Peace Commission, Ijebu- Ode, starting at exactly 9:00am on both days.

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3: Bishop’s Canonical Pastoral Visitation: My first Canonical visitation to all Parishes, Institutions, formation houses and convents within the Diocese has begun already with Ogbere deanery. I express my gratitude to all the Priests, Consecrated Men and Women, Catechists, Lay Leaders and indeed all Lay faithful of Ogbere Deanery for the warm reception given to me at my arrival and during my stay in the deanery. It was really a wonderful encounter with the People of God. It is my hope and desire that our sharing in the various parishes in the deanery will grow the faith in the deanery. In the month of February, it will be the turn of Esure deanery. The purpose of the canonical pastoral visitation is to familiarize myself with the diocese, to know the boundaries and celebrate the sacraments with the people of God in their various places. The following dates have been assigned to the Parishes, Institutions and Convents in Esure Deanery:

  1. St. Louis Catholic Parish, Ijebu-Ife, Sunday 9th – Monday 10th February, 2020.
  2. Holy Ghost Model College, Imuwen, Monday 10th February, 2020.
  3. Home 25 (In care of Perfecta Caritas and Pro-Labore Dei Sisters), Monday 10th February, 2020
  4. Most Pure Heart of Mary Catholic Parish, Esure, Sunday 16th – Monday 17th February, 2020.
  5. St. Felix Nursery and Primary School, Esure, Monday 17th February, 2020.
  6. St. Francis Catholic Parish, Itele, Monday 17th – Tuesday 18th February, 2020.
  7. Abbe Louis Retreat and Catechetical Center, Itele, Saturday 22nd February, 2020.
  8. Louisville Girls High School, Itele, Saturday 22nd February, 2020.
  9. St. Patrick Catholic Parish, Ikija, Saturday 22nd – Sunday, 23rd February, 2020.
  10. St. Patrick Formation House, Ijebu-Imusin, Monday 24th February, 2020.
  11. Our Lady Queen of Apostles Chaplaincy, Ilese, Monday 24th February, 2020.

4: Annual Marian Pilgrimage 2020: The annual Marian Pilgrimage will come up on February 7-8, 2020 at the Ave Maria Center, Iwopin. It will start at exactly 3:00pm on Friday. The theme for this year’s Pilgrimage is “Mary, comforter of the Afflicted”. We are all encouraged to come with our friends and families. Come with your various intentions and entrust them to the cares of Mary, help of Christians who is always ready to present our intentions to Jesus, her son.

5: Novena to the Immaculate Heart of Mary: As a continuation of the call for monthly Novena for the intentions of our Diocese and as part of preparations for the Marian Pilgrimage which will come up on February 7th – 8th 2020, we have already begun the Novena for the Consecration of the Catholic Diocese of Ijebu-Ode to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. This Novena will hold on Friday, February 7, 2020 at the venue of the Marian Pilgrimage in Iwopin. May I enjoin all Parish Priests, Superiors and Chaplains to kindly ensure that this novena is carried out in all Parishes, schools, convents and formation houses across the diocese.

6: Day of Consecrated Persons: The Feast day of Consecrated Life is celebrated worldwide on February 2nd every year. However, in our Diocese, this celebration will take place on February 1st, 2020 at St. Sebastian Catholic Cathedral, Ijebu-Ode stating with the Holy Mass at exactly 10:00am. The Bishop will preside over the Mass. Other events follow after the Mass. All Priests in the Diocese and Religious are invited to this celebration.

7: Pope’s Intention for the month of February 2020: Listen to the Migrants’ Cries: We pray that the cries of our migrant brothers and sisters, victims of criminal trafficking, may be heard and considered. As we pray for this intention, let’s remember our pastoral care and support to all settlers in our diocese.

8: 25th Anniversary of Poor Clare Monastery in Ijebu-Ode Diocese: This is to inform all Priests, Religious and Lay faithful of the diocese, that the Poor Clare Monastery will be celebrating 25 years in Ijebu-Ode Diocese on February 15, 2020. This celebration starts with the Holy Mass at exactly 10:00am. Let us make it a date and honour this celebration with our presence.

9: Priests’ Monthly Recollection: This month’s Priestly Recollection will come up on February 11, 2020 at St. Louis Catholic Church, Ijebu-Ife. The theme for this recollection is “What must I do to inherit eternal life? Our spiritual pathway to individual conversion”. This Recollection starts at exactly 10:00am and all Priests involved in pastoral work in this diocese are expected to be at this gathering.

10: Submission of Statistics for 2019: At the circular for the month of January, we beckoned on all Parish Priest, Principals and Superiors to kindly submit the Sacred returns (Statistics) for 2019. Till now, many Parishes, Institutions, formation houses and Convents are yet to do this. By this announcement, those yet to submit are expected to do so before the 2nd Sunday in February. By Monday, February 9, 2020, the list of those yet to submit will be published on the Whatsapp platform of Priests and Religious. Thank you as you comply with this information.

11: Parish Pastoral Council: This is to call on all Parish Priests that are yet to submit the names of their Parish Pastoral Council members to the Chancellor, Msgr. Valentine Awoyemi, to kindly do so. For those Parishes that currently do not have Parish Pastoral Council, they are to constitute the council and send the names across to the Chancellor.

12: 2020 International Eucharistic Congress (IEC), Budapest, Hungary: This is to inform all interested Priests, Religious and Laity that the 2020 International Eucharistic Congress (IEC) will take place from September 13 to September 20, 2020 in Budapest, Hungary. The cost for this congress is Euro 2,750 (2 in a room) or Euro 3,000 (1 in a room) plus N30,000 non-refundable fee. This amount will cover visa processing, travel insurance, international flight tickets, registration for the IEC, accommodation, feeding, materials, ground transport in Budapest and other expenses. Interested persons should contact the following persons for further information about this congress:

  • Ogbere Deanery: Frs. Peter Owolabi and Henry Osobor
  • Esure Deanery: Frs. Simon Mayungbe and Emmanuel Matuluko
  • Ijebu-Ode Deanery: Frs. John Aruleba and Hector Osifeko
  • Ijebu-Igbo Deanery: Fr. Stephen Osinkoya
  • Sagamu Deanery: Frs. Leo Awojinrin and James Oluka
  • General Coordinator: Fr. Martin-Rita Ogunbanwo

13: ANNOUNCEMENTS

  1. NCDPA Meeting: This is to inform all members of the Nigerian Conference of Diocesan Priests Association, Ijebu-Ode Diocese that their meeting earlier slated to hold on Tuesday, February 18, 2020 at St. Francis Catholic Church, Itele has been shifted to Tuesday, March 5, 2020. The venue remains the same. Those concerned should take note.
  2. Special Collections: Let us remember to collect these special collections for the month of February: Holy Childhood (February 9), Laity (February 16), and Pontifical Mission Society (P.M.S.) National Office (February 13). Priests should kindly ensure that they are remitted on time to the Chancery for proper collation.
  3. Presbyteral Council Meeting: The meeting of all Priests involved in Pastoral work in Ijebu-Ode Diocese will come up on Tuesday, February 25, 2020 at Sacred Heart Catholic College by 10:00am. All Priests are expected to be at this gathering.
  4. Block Rosary Crusade: The members of the Block rosary Crusade will be having their first general meeting on January 19, 2020 at St. Sebastian Catholic Cathedral by 10:00am.
  5. Catechesis and Religious Education Department: The department in charge of Religious Education in conjunction with Diocesan School of Ministry in the Diocese will begin a new 2020-2021 academic/ training session for all interested persons who want to become a Catechist, Sacristan, etc. This training will start on Saturday, February 15, 2020 at the Ave Maria Catechetical Centre, Ilado. All Parish Priest are encouraged to send their parishioners for this training, as it will help the Parish life.
  6. Congregational Teaching for the year 2020: The Congregational teaching for the year 2020 will commence this month. As such, the department for Catechesis and Religious Education in the diocese has produced a book that will serve as a guide for this teaching. The title of the book is, “You don’t have to kill”. This book is a reflection on the troubling issue of ritual murders for money, which is prevalent among youths in Nigeria today. This publication is geared towards promoting the social teaching of the Church on sanctity of and respect for human life. The congregational teaching takes place on second Sunday of every month in the Diocese. On days assigned for the teaching, it is expected that the teaching takes the place of the homily at Mass and the lay faithful are allowed to ask questions pertaining to their faith during Mass. The book will be sold in all Parishes and institutions at the rate of N 100. Priests are to ensure that they promote this congregational teaching in their parishes and institutions.
  7. Societal Information:
    1. The Association of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and Immaculate Heart of Mary will be having their general meeting on February 9, 2020 at Our Lady of Assumption Catholic Church, Oke-Owa by 8:00am.
    2. There shall be a general meeting of members of the Block Rosary Crusade on February 16, 2020 at St. Sebastian Catholic Cathedral by 10.00am. All members should take note.
  8. We welcome Rev. Fr. Francis Adeyemi Bamigboye to Ijebu-Ode Diocese. Fr. Bangboye is a Fidei Donum Priest from the Catholic Diocese of Osogbo. He was ordained on January 3, 2020. We welcome him to our midst and pray that his Priestly ministry among us will be fruitful and enriching. Amen.
  9. Posting of Priests:
    1. Rev. Fr. Francis Bamigboye – Associate Priest, St. Francis Catholic Parish, Likosi
    2. Rev. Fr. Israel Onele – Associate Priest, St. Mary Catholic Church, Ogbere.
    3. Rev. Fr. Emmanuel Matuluko – Priest-in-charge, Blessed Tansi Station, G.R.A. and St. Paul of the Cross Station, Idomila.
    4. We wish them well in this new place of assignment and pray that they may be fruitful in the exercise of their Priestly ministry among the people of God. Amen.
  10. Priestly Ordination Anniversary: We congratulate, rejoice with and request your prayers for Msgr. Valentine Awoyemi (February 14) as he celebrate his Priestly Ordination Anniversary this month. May God grant him fulfillment and the grace of final perseverance. Amen.

Thank you as I wish you a blessed and fruitful month of February.

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