IJEBU-ODE CATHOLIC DIOCESE PRAYS FOR OWO VICTIMS

To:

All Priests, Religious and Lay faithful

Catholic Diocese of Ijebu-Ode

Dear friends in Christ,

ATTACK ON ST. FRANCIS CATHOLIC CHURCH, OWO: ONE MONTH IN MIND

 Greetings of peace and good of the Lord Jesus.

We recall the sad event of June 5, 2022, Pentecost Sunday attack by gunmen on St. Francis Catholic Church killing over forty (40) worshippers and injuring very many more. Tuesday, 5th of July 2022 will make it one month since the sad event. In view of this, we have the approval and directive of the Bishop to observe some days of special prayers.

INTENTION FOR THE PRAYERS

The focus of and intentions of the prayer sessions will include but not limited to:

a) The continued happy repose of the souls of all those killed during the attack

b) Healing, restoration, and full recovery of the injured.

c) C onsolation, grace, strength and inner healing for all grieving families and the families of the injured

d) For God’s forgiveness on all perpetrators of this evil and for the conversion of their hearts to God in Christ.

e) For peace in our country; that God should renew and restore our country Nigeria to a nation of peace, progress and prosperity.

f) For the grace of divine protection on all of us.

NATURE OF THE PRAYER SESSIONS

Tuesday JULY 5, 2022

a) Day of fasting and prayer: all parishioners are encouraged to make the mortification of fasting along with prayer.

b) All Parishes at a convenient time in the evening (perhaps 5:00pm) should gather for communal prayer. The format should be as follows:

  • Exposition of the blessed sacrament
  • Recitation of the rosary
  • Bible reading (Romans 8:31-39)
  • A talk (to be based on the passage above and related to our situation in Nigeria. NB– pastors should ensure that this talk be delivered by a very competent person)
  • Prayer for Nigeria in Distress should be said communally (Pastors should ensure that copies are made available)
  • Silent adoration and private prayer
  • Holy Mass (Prayer Against Bribery and Corruption in Nigeria should said communally after the prayer after communion).

WEDNESDAY JULY 6TH- SATURDAY JULY 9TH  2022

All Homes and Families, Institutions, Religious Communities and Formation Houses and indeed all the faithful should continue:

  • Daily Recitation of the Rosary
  • Daily personal Prayers for all the intentions listed earlier above
  • Daily recitation of the Prayer for Nigeria in Distress, and Prayer Against Bribery and Corruption in Nigeria.
  • All priests should endeavor, as much as possible, to apply their Masses for all the intentions listed earlier above during this period.

SUNDAY JULY 10, 2022

All parishes should gather for communal prayers to conclude these rounds of special prayers in commemoration of the one month in mind of the Owo attack.  Parishes may consider either before Sunday Mass, immediately after Mass on Sunday or sometime later in the evening on Sunday as may be found appropriate for their circumstance.  The program of prayer for Sunday should be as follows:

  • Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament
  • Recitation of the Rosary
  • Bible reading (2 Cor. 4: 7-11 and/ or Romans 8: 31-39)
  • Talk and reflection
  • Prayer for Nigeria in distress and prayer against bribery and corruption in Nigeria.
  • Silent adoration and private prayers
  • Benediction.

A CALL FOR IMMEDIATE ACTION

  • All Priests are encouraged to immediately engage and plan with their pastoral team to work towards an effective fulfillment of this call to prayer.
  • ALL Pious Societies and Lay Organisations should immediately key into this recommended prayer sessions and support its effective implementation in their parishes. Presidents and executives at the Diocesan, Deanery, Parish and Station levels should please ensure the active participation of their members.
  • All parishioners are encouraged to adopt and be personally committed to these prayer sessions.  It is one of our own ways of making a positive difference.
  • All Deans are to animate effective implementation in their Deaneries.

May our Blessed Mother Mary, Queen and Patroness of Nigeria, continue to intercede for us. Amen!

Yours faithfully in Christ,

Very Rev. Fr. Patrick Balogun (Vicar for Pastoral Affairs)

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