Monthly Bulletin /Circular January, 2023 /042Dominic
TO ALL PRIESTS, RELIGIOUS AND THE LAY FAITHFUL IN THE CATHOLIC DIOCESE OF IJEBU-ODE.
Grace and Peace of the Lord be with you.
- The Month of January: I warmly and joyfully welcome you to a blessed New Year and the first month of the Year 2023. As it is the practice to begin every New Year with high hopes and wonderful resolutions, may this Year bring us God’s blessings and favours. As we prepare to make electoral choices that will either build or mar our country for the next four years, let us be wise and conscientiously vote for competence, character and capability.
I invite us to intensify in our prayer for a peaceful, free and fair election, trusting that God will help us in our decisions making for a better Nigeria.
The New Year begins with the celebration of the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God, Let us therefore, commend our beloved Nigeria to the intercessory maternal love and care of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Mary Queen of Nigeria, Pray for us.
The month of January affords the opportunity to reflect and celebrate the some of the mysteries of our Lord Jesus Christ, which include, the Solemnity of the Epiphany of the Lord (Jan. 8) and the Baptism of the Lord (Jan. 9).
The Baptism of the Lord’s celebration concludes the Christmas season and introduces us to the first part of the Ordinary Time of the Year (Year A), wherein we commemorate the life of Christ in its fullness. The liturgical colour for this season is Green, a symbol of hope, that we shall reap the rewards of eternal life.
In January, the Church invites us to celebrate the following saints; St. Anthony, Abb (Jan. 17), Blessed Cyprian M.I Tansi (Jan. 20), St. Agnes of Rome (Jan. 21), St. Francis De Sales (Jan. 24), Conversion of St. Paul (Jan. 25), SS. Timothy & Titus (Jan. 26), St. Thomas Aquinas (Jan. 28), St. John Bosco (Jan. 31).
- Pope’s Intention for the month of January: For Educators: Let us pray that educators may be credible witnesses, teaching fraternity rather than competition and helping the youngest and most vulnerable above all.
- Bishop’s Intention for the month of January: For Innocent Children: Let us pray that the right to life and care of innocent children may be respected and protected in our country Nigeria.
- Opening Mass of the Year: The Opening Mass of the year 2023 comes up on Friday, January 13, 2023, at Corpus Christi Catholic Church Ikoto. It shall begin with the celebration of the Holy Mass by 10:00am. All Priests, Consecrated persons, representatives from Agents of Evangelization and Laity are expected to be at this gathering. Priests should ensure that there is a good representation of the Laity from their respective Parishes. The discussion after the Mass shall be for Only Priests and Religious (Male and Female Religious).
Theme: “Moving forward in Faith and Action.” NB: Let us all endeavor to come along with a copy of the Diocesan Pastoral Plan.
- Priestly Ordination:By the special grace of God, the Priestly Ordination of Rev. Peter Olusoga Deile, Rev. Christian Nnaemeka Ogbu, Rev. Maximillian Emmanuel Okusanya and Rev. Anthony Oluwatimilehin Thomas shall come up on Saturday, January 21, 2023, at St. John Vianney Catholic Church, Iperu-Remo. Holy Mass shall begin at exactly 10:00a.m
Let us remember them in our prayers as they prepare for this sacred and sublime gift of the priesthood.
- Installation of to the ministry of Lector:The installation ceremony of prepared candidates to the ministry of Lector in the Diocese shall take place on Saturday, January 14, 2023, at St. Sebastian Cathedral, Odo-Egbo, at 10:00a.m.
All those to be installed must participate in the preparatory Retreat/Practice which comes up on Saturday, January 7, 2023 at St. Sebastian Cathedral, Odo-Egbo, at 9:00a.m
- Diocesan Prayer Crusade:This is renewed invitation of the Bishop to every family of Diocese on the need to pray earnestly for our Priests and Religious. As we begin a new year, we wish to vehemently appeal that every family and society adopt a Priest/Religious, whom they shall be praying for in particular on regular basis throughout the Year 2023. We thank those who responded to this appeal and have remained faithful and committed to this cause since last year. May God bless and sustain you. Amen.
NB: Parish Priests and Priests-in-charge should be creative in encouraging and implementing this appeal.
- Sunday of the Word of God: The Holy Father, Pope Francis, in his Apostolic Letter “Aperuit Illis” issued on September 30, 2019, established that the Third Sunday in the Ordinary Time each year would be celebrated as the SUNDAY OF THE WORD OF GOD. With this “Motus Propio”, the Holy Father invites all Catholics across the world to deepen their appreciation, love and faithful witness to God and His Word. This day is to be observed as a special day devoted to the celebration, study and dissemination of the Word of God.
The celebration of the Sunday of the Word of God comes up on Sunday 22nd January 2023. On this day, there shall be the ceremony of the Enthronement of the Word of God in all parishes in the Diocese.
As a follow-up to this Sunday of the Word of God, we direct that all priests should begin to sensitize the faithful about this special Sunday and the prominence of the Word of God in the Life of the Christian. This must be done in all Parishes and Institutions across the Diocese on this very day. The Bible remains enthroned until Tuesday, March 21st, 2023, the day before Ash Wednesday. Special attention must be given to Small Christian Communities in our various parishes, with focus on how the Word of God is shared and celebrated.
- 2023 Marian Pilgrimage to Iwopin:By the special grace of God, we shall be resuming our pilgrimage to Ave Maria Pilgrimage Centre, Iwopin on Friday, February 3, 2023. Further details on this shall be communicated later through other diocesan communication channels.
- APPeal: We also wish to remind us that construction works are ongoing on the site and we need more funds to complete this project. We therefore, continue to solicit your generous support towards the completion of this project.
We sincerely appreciate all those who have contributed generously towards this project. We thank all those who donated plastic chairs to be used at this Year’s Pilgrimage, however, we still need more chairs. A chair costs N6000.
We appeal to individuals, families, societies, parishes and stations, who are yet, to support this project of rebuilding a befitting Pilgrimage Centre for the Blessed Virgin Mary in our Diocese 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: The building of our Diocesan Chancery is ongoing and we are close to the final stage of completing this project. We continue to appeal to Parishes, Institutions, families and benefactors, within and outside the Diocese, who are yet to make their contributions, to financially support this project. We recognize and acknowledge all the contributions and donations already received. May God continue to reward and replenish all our benefactors abundantly.
To support this project of building a befitting Chancery for the Catholic Diocese of
Ijebu-Ode, kindly make your donations to this Bank Account:
Account Name: Catholic Diocese of Ijebu-Ode
Account Number: 0131027016
- Annual Statistics 2022: 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 2022 to the office of the Chancellor on or before January 20, 2023.
- Special Collections: Let us remember to take the following special collections for the month of January, Christian Association of Nigeria CAN (January 8), Consecrated Life (January 22). Holy Childhood Association (HCA) collection (January 29).
Priests should kindly ensure that these collections are remitted on time to the Chancery for proper collation.
- Diocesan Chancery: The Diocesan Chancery will resume activities for the year, on Wednesday, 4th January, 2023, with the celebration of the Holy Mass at 8.00a.m at JDPC Compound.
- Education Department: The resumption date for all pupils and students of our Schools (Primary and Secondary), for the second term of 2022/2023 Academic Year is on January 9, 2023. All Heads of Schools, Staff, Parents and Students should be reminded of this date.
- Family and Human Life Department: The first departmental meeting of the year comes up on 13th January, 2023 at Odo- Aye Parish, Ijebu-Ode, while the Level One Training of Marriage Counsellors resumes on Saturday, 22nd January at Most Pure Heart, Esure.
- Holy Childhood Association: All Animators of the various parishes in the Diocese are to have their Parish meetings on January 14, 2023. This meeting is important for deliberation on Parish plan for the year.
- The Diocesan Animators General Meeting and Workshop comes up on January 28, 2023. For this General Meeting, Animators are to come with:
- Comprehensive list of Children (HCA members) in their various parishes.
- Typed plan and projection of HCA activities in each parish.
- The record and proceeds of monthly Mission Bank Collection and Presentation in the families.
- Food stuff and or Cash for the February Love Outreach to Children Homes.
- There shall be workshop on the Animation task.
- Catholic Women Organization of Nigeria (CWON): The Diocesan CWON shall be having their New Year Thanksgiving and first meeting of the Year on January 15, 2023 at Holy Trinity Catholic Church, Imomo.
All those concerned should be punctual at this meeting.
- Catholic Youth Organization of Nigeria (CYON): The members of the CYONIO are inviting all young people to the New Year opening prayer programme which comes up on January 27, 2023 at St. Vianney Catholic Church, Iperu-Remo. Time: 10:00a.m
All deanery chaplains are also expected to attend this programme.
- Curia Meeting: The first curia meeting of the year comes up on Tuesday, January 24, 2023, at the JDPC Conference Hall by 10:00am. All concerned should be in attendance for this meeting as important issues on the activities for the year will be discussed.
- Feast of Consecrated Life: This celebration comes up on Thursday, February 2, 2023, at St. Michael Catholic Church, Ago-Iwoye. This will begin with the Holy Mass at 10:00am.
NB: In appreciation for the services of all consecrated persons engaged in pastoral activities in the Diocese, all Priests, Religious and Laity should endeavor to be punctual at this celebration.
- Priestly Ordination Anniversary: We congratulate, rejoice with and request your prayers for the following: Rev Frs. Albert Osunlaja (January 5); Michael Elogie (January 5); Israel Onele (January 18) and Stephen Ositimehin (January 23) as they celebrate their Priestly Ordination Anniversaries this month. May God grant them fulfillment and the grace of final perseverance. Amen.
Happy New Year!
Most Rev. Francis Obafemi ADESINA
Bishop of Ijebu-Ode