MARCH 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 March: I welcome you graciously to the third month of the year. A month in which we launch ourselves fully into the Lenten journey. Lent is a time for penance, renewal and reconciliation. It is a period in which we mortify the flesh through the 3 pillars of Lent: Almsgiving, Prayer and Fasting. Let us sincerely make use of this great opportunity to draw closer to God in holiness and be truly reconciled with God.

2: Pope’s Intention for the month of March 2020: Catholics in China: We pray that the Church in China may persevere in its faithfulness to the Gospel and grow in unity.

3: Lenten Reflection 2020: We thank the Social Communications Commission of the Diocese for putting in place Lenten reflections for the year 2020. During the season of Lent, we shall be opportuned to listen to edifying, nourishing and deep spiritual reflection on each day of Lent from the Bishop and Priests working in the Diocese. These reflections will be posted on the following Social media handles:

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 Lent at 7:15pm to listen to the reflections.

4: Annual Marian Pilgrimage 2020: We thank God for the success of this year’s Marian Pilgrimage and for the journey mercies granted to each and every one of us. We equally thank the pastoral committee led by Fr. Simon Mayungbe for the co-ordination and planning towards the success of the event. At the closing Mass of the pilgrimage, I emphasized the importance of keeping the place clean throughout the year. We welcome suggestions from individuals, deaneries and Church societies on how to do this. We equally solicit for generous contributions and support. God bless you as you donate generously to God’s cause. The bank details where payment can be made is:

Account Name: All Purpose Committee, Catholic Diocese of Ijebu-Ode

Account Number: 0030825687

Bank: Access (Diamond) Bank

5: Novena to Saint Joseph: 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 March, the novena to Saint Joseph. This 9 days novena will start on March 10 – March 18, 2020. This is expected to take place in all Catholic families, parishes, houses of formation and institutions across the Diocese simultaneously.

6: Cathedraticum Masses: The Cathedraticum Mass is a celebration in which the Catholic faithful in the deanery gather round their Bishop to pray with him and support him materially to aid his work of charity to the poor and needy. This year’s Cathedraticum Masses will take place as follows:

  • Ogbere Deanery — Tuesday, March 10, 2020
  • Sagamu Deanery — Saturday. March 14, 2020
  • Esure Deanery — Tuesday, March 17, 2020
  • Ijebu-Ode Deanery — Saturday, March 21, 2020
  • Ijebu-Igbo Deanery — Tuesday, March 31, 2020.

This has been communicated officially to all the Deans of the Deaneries. I still await a reply from them regarding the venue where the Masses will take place at the various deaneries.

7: Bishop Albert Fasina and Msgr. Victor Ajayi 40th Priestly Ordination Anniversary: This is to inform us that our Emeritus Bishop and Msgr. Victor Ajayi will clock 40 years as Priests on March 8, 2020. There shall be a celebration for them at Holy Family Catholic Church, G.R.A. Sagamu on that day by 10:00am. However, the Diocesan celebration will come up during the Diocesan Thanksgiving Day Mass which will come up on 30th May, 2020 at Saint Sebastian Catholic Cathedral by 11:00am. Let us pray for them as they celebrate God’s faithfulness in the Lord’s vineyard.

8: Priests’ Annual Retreat: The Priests annual retreat for the year 2020 will come up from March 22nd – 27th, 2020 at Abbe-Louis Bautain Retreat and Conference Centre. This is a statutory retreat which every Priest must partake in every year. As such, it is important for all Priests engaged in pastoral work in this diocese to be a part of this spiritual exercise. Priests are encouraged to see Fr. Simon Mayungbe and make necessary payments to him.

9: 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

10: ANNOUNCEMENTS

  1. NCDPA Meeting: This is to inform all members of the Nigerian Conference of Diocesan Priests Association, Ijebu-Ode Diocese that their shall be a general meeting of all members on Tuesday, March 3, 2020 at St. Francis Catholic Church, Itele by 10:00am.
  2. Lenten Appeal: The season of Lent has started already and as it is a custom, there shall be a special Lenten appeal collection every Sunday during lent. Let us contribute generously to this collection as the money is being used to carry out charitable works for the less privileged in our society
  3. Catechesis and Religious Education Department: The Diocesan School of Ministry has started and those yet to register should kindly do so on time. This is an oppourtunity to learn more about the Catholic Faith. Let us endeavour to be part of this training. There shall be a meeting of all agents of Evangelization with the Director of Religious Education on March 7, 2020 at the Catechetical Centre, Ilado starting by 11:00am. All those concerned should be at this meeting.
  4. Congregational Teaching for the year 2020: For our congregational teaching this month, we are expected to treat the second chapter of the book “You don’t have to kill.” The teaching takes place every 2nd Sunday of every month. The book is still on sales in all Parishes and institutions at the rate of N100. Priests are to ensure that they promote this congregational teaching in their parishes and institutions.
  5. Organizational Meetings:
    1. CWO: The general meeting of the members of the Catholic Women Organization of Nigeria, Ijebu-Ode Diocese (CWONIO), will come up at St. Michael Catholic Church, Ago-Iwoye on March 22, 2020. All parishes are to endeavor they send in their representatives to this meeting. Also, the Mother’s Day celebration for this year in all parishes will come up on March 29, 2020.
  6. Societal Information:
    1. Block Rosary Crusade: The Marian night of the Block Rosary crusade for the first quarter of this year will come up at Most Pure Heart of Mary, Esure on March 6-7, 2020. All members are encouraged to attend. Also, there shall be a general meeting of members of the Block Rosary Crusade on March 15, 2020 at St. Sebastian Catholic Cathedral by 10:00am. All members should take note.
    2. Pontifical Mission Societies (PMS): There shall be a Lenten retreat for all members of the Holy Childhood Association (HCA) in the diocese on March 7, 2020. This retreat will be parish based and all animators in various parishes are to liaise with their respective Parish Priests and ensure that the retreat is well organized and participated in by the Children.
    3. Diocesan Liturgical Commission: There shall be a meeting of all members of the liturgical commission on March 17, 2020 at St. Timothy Catholic Church, Degun by 10:00am. All members of this commission are encouraged to be at this important meeting.
  7. Priestly Ordination Anniversary: We congratulate, rejoice with and request your prayers for Most Rev. Albert Ayinde Fasina (March 8), Msgr. Victor Ajayi (March 8), Frs. Kennedy Ukachi, SMM (March 17), Francis Okposio, SMM (March 17), John Benedict Mary, FI (March 24), James Shatu, FI (March 25), Gabriel Udogu, FI (March 25), Vincent Michael, FI (March 25), and John Aruleba (March 28) as they celebrate their Priestly Ordination Anniversary this month. May God grant them fulfillment and the grace of final perseverance. Amen.
  8. Bereavement: The entire diocese commiserate with the family of Late Sir Lawrence Adekoya, KGSS. Late Sir Adekoya played a very significant and prominent role during the early years of the diocese. He was a pillar of support to the pioneer Bishop, Late Antony Saliu Sanusi. We thank God for the life of Sir Adekoya and may God grant him eternal rest in his bosom. May God console the family he left behind. Amen. The burial details will be communicated later by the family.

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

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