By Veronica Idowu

On a significant day The Immaculate Conception and a day to complete ‘A Year of Saint Joseph, the Catholic Diocese of Ijebu-Ode ordains two priests; Rev Frs. James Igwe and Henry Obiagbalasi. Worthy to note that these two priests were ordained deacons by His Lordship, Most Rev Francis Obafemi Adesina. To begin the Year of St. Joseph. Other activities includes the celebration of world day of grandparents and elderly, symposium for St. Jseph organized by Religious Education Department and Family & Human Life department, Free antennal delivery for 1000 women. However, the 8th day of December was special as it closes the Year long celebration as declared by the Pope. The Holy Mass which took place at Holy Family Catholic Church, Sagamu was celebrated by the Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Ijebu-Ode, Most Rev Francis Obafemi Adesina in company of a good number of priests within and outside the Diocese. As it has been the custom of the people of Ijebu-Ode Diocese, the celebration was witnessed by Religious, Lay Faithful, friends and families of the ordinands.

The homilist, Very Rev Fr. Sylvester Onasanya began his homily by pointing out the celebrations of the day which were: The Immaculate Conception, the closure of a year of Saint Joseph and of course, the priestly ordination. He explained the significance of the celebrations as he called everyone to have steadfast faith in God and always pray for God’s orderliness in their daily lives. He said that “priesthood requires God’s grace”. He prayed that God will grant the priests the grace of final perseverance. On the same vein, he said that the mission of the priest is the mission of Christ. He encouraged the ordinands to be ministers of grace. In his words “you are ministers of God’s people, as such, everyone should be seen equally – the rich, poor, young and old. He encouraged them to live modest lives, respect elders even the younger ones. To the congregation, he strongly appealed that they always pray for the priests. He said priests are not breadwinners. In fact, they should be assisted spiritually, morally and financially. He concluded by saying the prayers for the priests.
Afterwards, the ordination rite was concluded with vow making, anointing, laying on of hands, prayer of consecration and vesting.

Joined by priests, religious and well-wishers, the newly ordained priests danced to the Lord in thanksgiving.
The Chancellor, Very Rev Fr Albert Igbodipe in his remarks thanked God for the success of the ordination. He extended his appreciation to the Bishop Most Rev Francis Obafemi Adesina, the Msgrs, priests, religious and everyone who worked towards the success of the ordination.

The chief Shepherd, Most Rev Francis Obafemi Adesina in his closing remarks, congratulated everyone for the celebration of The Immaculate Conception. He also brought the year of Saint Joseph to a close. He formally introduced the new priests to the congregation. He admonished them to be closer to Jesus who has called them. He also thanked the families of the new priests for their support and care. He urged the people of God to always pray for the priests unrelenting while he called for support for the seminarians.
In conclusion, Bishop Adesina announced the new Vicar General of the Diocese in person of Msgr Victor Olufemi Ajayi, the Parish Priest of Holy Family Catholic Church, Sagamu and Dean of Sagamu deanery. This appointment will last till 8th December, 2024 to the glory of God.

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