Monthly Bulletin /Circular December, 2021 /029

TO ALL PRIESTS AND RELIGIOUS WORKING IN THE CATHOLIC DIOCESE OF IJEBU-ODE, AND THE LAY FAITHFUL  

Grace and Peace of the Lord be with you.

  • The Month of December: I welcome you to the last month of the year. We thank God for preserving our lives to witness the last month of the year 2021, in spite of all the challenges and huddles of the year. The month of December combines the period of expectation in Advent season and the period of joy and celebration at Christmas season. It is a time we celebrate these seasons with our families, relatives, friends and loved ones. 

Season of Christmas: At Christmas, we celebrate the birth of Christ, the Word made flesh. The Christmas season begins on the 24th of December with the Christmas Eve Mass and ends on the feast of the Baptism of the Lord. The season of Christmas comes with great joy. It is a season that expresses God’s love for his people. While we are busy with travelling and making other material preparations for Christmas, we must not lose sight of the spiritual significance of the season- the opportunity to encounter Jesus and draw closer to him. 

  • Pope’s Intention for the month of December: For Catechists: Let us pray for the catechists, summoned to announce the Word of God: may they be its witnesses, with courage and creativity and in the power of the Holy Spirit.
  • Bishop’s Intention for the month of December 2021:  For familes experiencing difficulties: that they may receive support and be able to train their children in a healthy and peaceful community.
  • Novena to the Infant Jesus: In continuation of the call for monthly Novena for the sake of our Diocese, I invite you all to take up, for this month of December, a nine-day novena to the Infant Jesus. This novena will start on December 15, and end on December 23, 2021. This is expected to take place in all Catholic families, parishes, houses of formation and institutions across the Diocese simultaneously. 
  • Ave Maria Pilgrimage Center, Iwopin:Since the circular of April, there has been a constant request to support the renovation of the Ave Maria Pilgrimage Center. We appreciate all those who have contributed generously to this appeal with their kind donations. We remind individuals, families, societies, parishes and stations to support this course of rebuilding our Pilgrimage center with your kind donations. Remember, God loves a cheerful giver (2 Cor. 9:7). The account details are as follows:

Account Name: Ave Maria Pilgrimage Center, Catholic Diocese of Ijebu-Ode

Account Number: 1022812598

Bank: United Bank for Africa (UBA)

  • Construction of a Diocesan Chancery Building:The building of our Diocesan Chancery is ongoing and we have made great progress. We therefore, renew our call to all Parishes, Institutions, families and benefactors both within and outside the Diocese to financially support this project. We acknowledge all the donations already received within the Diocese from Institutions and Parishes. We also acknowledge personal donations and promises from individual member of the Presbyteral Council and Laity in the Diocese. May God reward you abundantly. 

To support this project of constructing a befitting Chancery for the Catholic Diocese of Ijebu-Ode, kindly make your donation to the following Bank Account:

Account Name: Catholic Diocese of Ijebu-Ode

Account Number: 0131027016

Bank: FCMB

  • Annual Statistics 2021: This is to remind all Parish Priests, Principals, Head Teachers, Superiors of various Religious Houses, Administrators and Managers of Hospitals and those in-charge of various Orphanage Homes in the Diocese to kindly submit the statistics for the year 2021. The submission of this statistics will be done online. The portal will be opened on December 15, 2021 and will be closed on January 15, 2022. Further directives on how this will be done will be communicated to us through Rev. Fr. Albert Igbodipe, the Diocesan Chancellor.
  • Advent Season Reflection and Retreat: We thank the Social Communications Commission of the Diocese for organizing Advent reflections for the year 2021 with the theme: Come thou Lord Expected Saviour. During this season of Advent, we shall be opportune to listen to edifying, nourishing and deep spiritual reflection daily, from the Bishop and Priests working in the Diocese. These reflections will be broadcast on the following social media handles: 

YouTube: Catholic Diocese of Ijebu-Ode Nigeria

Facebook: “I-partner Ijebu-ode” and “The Partner Newspaper” 

Website: www.ijebuodecatholicdiocese.org

Kindly log in to any of these platforms to listen to the inspiring messages for the season. Also, you can watch them live on Lumen Christi Television on DSTV Channel 350 every day during Advent at 7:20pm, except Thursday and Sunday by 3:20pm.

Also, as part of our spiritual preparation for the Season of Christmas, during this season of Advent, Parish Priests, Chaplains and Superiors of Houses of formation are to organize Advent Retreat for their Parishioners and Students. 

  • Diocesan Christmas Carol: The 2021 Diocesan Christmas Carol has been scheduled to take place on: 

Date: Sunday December 5, 2021.

Venue: Bishop Sanusi Memorial Hall, St. Sebastian Catholic Cathedral, Odo-Egbo, Ijebu-Ode

Time:  2:00p.m. prompt 

Chief Host: DiocesanChoir  

  • End of the Year of St. Joseph Celebration and 2021 Priestly Ordination:With the Apostolic Letter “Patris Corde” (“with a Father’s Heart”), the Holy Father, Pope Francis, proclaimed the Year of St. Joseph for the Universal Church from January 1, 2020 to December 8, 2021. As a Diocese, we have successfully journeyed through this year’s celebration with various programmes organized by the Catechetical Department, Pastoral Department and the Human and Family Life Department to assist us to reflect on the life and the role of St. Joseph in our journey of faith. 

By the special grace of God, we shall be gathering for the Priestly Ordination of Rev. James Smiles Igwe and Rev. Henry Eberechukwu Obiagbalasi to mark the end of this celebration. 

Venue: Holy Family Catholic Church, Sabo-G.R.A, Sagamu.  

Date: Wednesday, 8th December, 2021, (the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception)

Time: 10.00a.m prompt

May St. Joseph continue to intercede for us all. 

  • ANNOUNCEMENTS
  • Special Collections: Let us remember to collect the following special collections for the month of December: World AIDS day (Dec. 6) and support for Marriage & Family Department (Dec. 26). 

Priests should kindly ensure that, this collection is well publicized, collected and remitted to the Chancery for proper collation.

  • Pastoral Seminar for Priests: This Year’s Diocesan Pastoral Seminar for Priests (both Diocesan and Religious working in the Diocese) which started Monday, November 29, and will end on Friday, December 3, 2021 at Abbe Louise Bautain Retreat Centre, Ijebu-Itele. This is for all Priests working in the Diocese.   
  • Submission of 2021 Report: This is to remind all Heads of Department, Institutions and Presidents of various Organizations like CMO, CWO, CYON and HCA of the need for the submission of a comprehensive report of activities done in the year 2021. This report shall contain the summary of what was done with pictures to back it up. It should be submitted both in printed copies and soft copies to the office of the Bishop through the Diocesan Chancellor, on or before December 10, 2021. This is an obligatory annual report and all those concerned should take note.
  • Submission of Programme of activities for the year 2022: All Departmental Heads, Chaplains and all those in charge of various commission in the Diocese are reminded to kindly submit a copy of their proposed programmes/activities for 2022. The deadline for submission is December 10, 2021. Both the hardcopy and softcopy of the activities should be submitted to the Diocesan Chancellor.
  • Priests and Religious Get-Together 2021: This has been scheduled to hold on Thursday, 29th December, 2021, at Christ the King Catholic College, Odolewu-Ijebu. This gathering will begin with the celebration of the Holy Mass at exactly 11am. All Priests and Professed Sisters working in the Diocese are expected to be present.
  • Male and Female Religious: 
  • The Annual Joint Recollection and Meeting of the Men and Women Religious working in the Diocese comes up on Saturday 4th December, 2021 by 10.am at the Community of the Sons of Mother Mary, Imomo. 
  • There shall be Christmas Party for all Consecrated Persons in the Diocese on Tuesday 14th December, 2021, at the Franciscan Friars of Immaculate community, Sagamu, at 10a.m.
  • Holy Childhood Association: The Annual Diocesan Congress of the Holy Childhood Association comes up on December 18 to 20, 2021, at Christ the King Catholic College, Odolewu. All Pastors should ensure that their children attend and participate in this programme. 
  • Holy Family Sunday: This will come up on Sunday, December 26, 2021. All Parish Priests are enjoined to make this day a memorable one for all families by paying special attention to the family life during Homily and Eucharistic celebration. Also, social and spiritual programmes are be organized to make this day wonderful for families in the parish.  
  • Catholic Women Organization of Nigeria: The Catholic Women Organization of Nigeria, Ijebu-Ode Diocese, shall be having their love feast and Christmas Carols on Sunday, December 12, 2021 at the CWO Maria Centre, Epe Garage, Ijebu-Ode. Delegates from all parishes are expected at this gathering. 
  • Family and Human Life Department: a. There shall be Deanery Singles’ Forum for both Esure and Ogbere Deaneries at Most Pure Heart of Mary Parish, Esure, on Saturday December 4, 2021. 

b.     Level One Training of Marriage Counsellors at Esure, for Ogbere, and Ijebu-Igbo Deaneries shall take place on Saturday December 18, 2021.

  • Celebration of the Feast of Holy Family in all parishes and institutions across the Diocese on Sunday 26th December, 2021. There shall be special collection on this day to support the department. 
  • Bishop Anthony Saliu Sanusi Memorial Celebration: This year’s celebration has the theme: Bishop Sanusi: A Liturgical Icon. We shall be exposing the Liturgical Life of Late Bishop Anthony Saliu Sanusi, the Pioneering Bishopof the Catholic Diocese of Ijebu-Ode. The focus shall be on the areas of his Liturgical Decorum, Music and Practices (Rites). This event is scheduled to take place on Saturday 11th of December, 2021, at St. Sebastian Catholic Cathedral, Edo-Egbo, Ijebu-Ode. We shall begin with the celebration of the Holy Mass at 10.00am. Other activities include: Visit to the Tomb Site of the former Bishops of our Diocese and a memorial Lecture at the Cathedral Hall at 12noon. 
  • Catechesis and Religious Department:There shall be a Diocesan Congress for all Agents of Evangelization and Teachers of faith (Catechists, Lay Leaders and Evangelizers) on Thursday December 16th to Saturday December 18th 2021, at Christ the King Catholic College, Odelewu. 
  • World Human Right Day Celebration:On every 10th of December, the world celebrates Human Right Day. For this year’s celebration, the Bishop will be celebrating the Holy Mass with the Church and Society units of the Diocese, at Justice Development and Peace Commission (JDPC) compound, Ijebu-Ode, at 9a.m. After which, he shall be laying a foundation for the proposed Bishop Fasina Ayinde Outlet for the Poor and Destitute at the same venue.  
  • Priestly Ordination Anniversary: We congratulate, rejoice with and request your prayers for the following: Msgr. Gabriel Ayankoya Rtd (Dec. 23), Lawrence Alabi, CSSp (Dec. 4), Alfred-Matthew Nworie (Dec. 17), Henry Osobor (Dec. 17), Patrick Ajewole (Dec. 17), Augustine Adetola (Dec. 18), Anthony Adetayo (Dec. 18) and Oluka James (Dec. 18) as they celebrate their Priestly Ordination Anniversaries this month. May God grant them fulfillment and the grace of final perseverance. Amen.
  • Transfer: We welcome Rev. Fr., Alexanthony M. Issoh, FFI; Rev. Fr. Jerome M. Nwokedi, FFI; and Rev. Fr. Giles M. Ibhariale, FFI from the Franciscan Friar of the Immaculate to the Diocese.  May their stay in the Diocese be fruitful and enriching. Amen.

Also, in a special way, we thank Rev. Fr. James Shatu, FFI, who has worked in the diocese for 4 years and is now on transfer to Republic of Benin. We wish him well in his new assignment. 

Thank you as I wish you a blessed and fruitful month of December. I wish you all a Merry Christmas and a happy New Year in advance.

Most Rev. Francis Obafemi ADESINA

Bishop of Ijebu-Ode Diocese.

Click here, to download the Diocesan Circular for December

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