Monthly Bulletin /Circular November, 2021 /028

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

Dear Brothers and Sisters in the Lord:

  • The Month of November: Welcome to the penultimate month of the year. The Church commemorates during this month, the Solemnity of All Saints (Nov. 1) and All Souls (Nov. 2). These two days are reminders that holiness of life must be desired by all and that we must always pray for our brothers and sisters in purgatory. These two important days give profound expression to our faith and believe in the Communion of Saints. In these commemorations, we find a strong connection between the Church Triumphant (the faithful who have attained the joys of heaven); the Church Suffering (the faithful who are still undergoing purification for the expiation of their sins in Purgatory) and the Church Militant (the faithful who are still on the earthly pilgrimage). 

All Saints’ Day: The Solemnity of All Saints’ Day is a Holy Day of Obligation set aside to celebrate all the Saints throughout Christian history, both known and unknown. On this day, it is compulsory that Masses are celebrated in all Parishes. May the Saints continue to intercede for us always. Amen.

All Souls’ Day: The commemoration of All Souls reminds us of human mortality. Let us avail ourselves of the graces attached to this celebration by gaining for ourselves Plenary Indulgence through the sacrifice of the Holy Mass, visiting a Church or cemetery and giving alms to the poor. It is compulsory for all Priests to celebrate 3 Masses on this day: one for the faithful departed, one for the Priest’s intention and one for the intention of the Holy Father.

Solemnity of Christ the King: The celebration of Christ the King comes up on Sunday, November 21, 2021. The celebration also marks the beginning of the last week of the 2020/2021 Liturgical Year. On this day, Eucharistic Processions are held throughout Nigeria. On account of the Covid-19 protocols still in place, may I recommend that one hour adoration and worship be observed before the Blessed Sacrament in all parishes and places where Masses are celebrated across the diocese immediately after the Celebration of the Holy Mass. Let us offer prayers for the world, for our country and our Diocese whose Patron feast day occurs on this day. 

Advent: Every First Sunday of Advent Seasons marks the beginning of a new Liturgical Year in the Church.  For the Liturgical Year of 2021/2022, which begins on November 28, 2021, Readings for Masses shall be taken from Year C for Sunday Cycle and Cycle I for Weekdays. The Liturgical colour for this season is Purple and this sombre colour is highly significant as it evokes the sentiment and atmosphere of penance, anticipation and preparedness for the Nativity of Jesus Christ at Christmas. 

  • Pope’s Intention for the month of November 2021: People Who Suffer from Depression:  Let us pray with the Holy Father in this month; that people who suffer from depression or burn-out will find support and a light that opens them up to life.
  • Bishop’s Intention for the month of November 2021: For displaced persons and refugees: That families who take in and support displaced persons and refugees may find support for their efforts which show solidarity with the needy.
  • Novena to Christ the King: We shall be taking up the Novena to Christ the King for this month of November for the growth of our diocese. This shall be part of our preparations for the celebration of the feast of Christ the King, the Patron of our Diocese. This Novena shall commence simultaneously in all Parishes, Houses of formation, Chapels, Convents and Institutions on the 12th November and will conclude on the 20th November, a day preceding the celebration of Christ the King. 

Please, all Parish Priests, Superiors and Principals should ensure that this Novena is done in their respective Parishes, Houses of Formation, Convents and Institutions. May Christ the King, Patron of our Diocese hear our prayers. Amen.

  • 2023 Synod of Bishops: On October 10, 2021, in Rome, the Holy Father, Pope Francis opened a two-year synodal process entitled: “For a Synodal Church: Communion, Participation, and Mission,” which is the path to “2023 Synod on Synodality On October 12, 2021, an awareness was created for all Priests in the diocese at their monthly Recollection and on Sunday, October 17, 2021, we officially inaugurated this process in the Diocese at St. Sebastian Cathedral, Odo-Egbo, Ijebu-Ode. 

As a Diocese, we have designed a work plan to participate actively in this Synodal Process which is:

PHASE ONE: Grassroots Meeting on Deanery Level on Saturday, November 12, 2021.

PHASE TWO: General Meeting on Local Levels on Sunday, November 28, 2021

PHASE THREE: Diocesan Pre-Synodal Meeting on Saturday, February 12, 2022

PHASE FOUR: Submission of Pre-Synodal Feedback to Episcopal Conference on April, 2022

  • Parish Budget for 2022: All Parish Priests and Priests-in-charge in conjunction with their Parish Pastoral Councils are expected to submit their Parish Budgets for the year 2022 to the Chancery on or before Wednesday, 10th November, 2021. This is very important and it should be taken as matter of urgency and necessity by all concerned.
  • Ave Maria Pilgrimage Center, Iwopin: We appreciate all those who have contributed to the renovation of the Marian Pilgrimage Center with their kind donations. This is an important spiritual patrimony in our Diocese, we therefore appeal to individuals, families, societies, parishes and stations to support this course of rebuilding Ave Maria Pilgrimage center with your kind donations. Remember, God loves a cheerful giver (2 Cor. 9:7). The account details is 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. We 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

  • ANNOUNCEMENTS
  • Special Collections: Let us remember to collect this special collection for the month of November: 
  • Catholic Institute of West Africa (November 7): The Catholic Institute of West Africa (CIWA) is an institute of Higher learning for Priests, Religious and Laity located in Port Harcourt, Rivers State. The collection is meant to support this institute and the training of candidates in the school. Let us donate generously.

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

  • Priests Monthly Recollection for November: The Priests’ monthly recollection will take place on Tuesday, November 9, 2021 at St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church, Odogbolu, starting at exactly 10:00am. The theme for this month’s recollection is “Financial Discipline and Accountability: A Pathway to Building Inner Peace as a Priest. All Priests engaged in pastoral work in the Diocese are expected to be present at this prayer gathering.
  • Pastoral Seminar for Priests: This Year’s Diocesan Pastoral Seminar for Priests shall come up on November 29 to December 3, 2021, at Abbe Louise Bautain Retreat Centre, Ijebu-Itele. All Priests in the diocese both Diocesan and Religious are expected to attend this programme.   
  • Submission of Parish Pastoral Plan: As a way of reminder, Pastors and Priests-in-Charge of Parishes, Quasi-Parishes, Independent Stations, Heads of Departments, Organizations, and Institutions in the diocese are to submit their Pastoral Plan for 2021-2031 to the Pastoral Department headed by the Vicar for Pastoral Affairs, Very Rev. Fr. Patrick Balogun on or before November 19, 2021. All concerned must take this seriously.
  • 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 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 his Secretary on or before December 10, 2021. This is an obligatory annual report and all those concerned should take note.
  • Submission of activities for the year 2022: This is to remind all Departmental Heads, Chaplains and all those in charge of various commission in the Diocese 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 Chancellor.
  • C.Y.O N: There shall be an Annual Diocesan Council Meeting of the C.Y.O.N on 27th November, 2021 in Ijebu-Ode Deanery.
  • Holy Childhood Association: This is to inform Parishes to prepare adequately for the Annual Diocesan Congress of the Holy Childhood Association which comes up on December 18th to 20th, 2021, at Christ the King Catholic College, Odolewu. All Pastors should endeavour that their children are prepared for this event. 
  • Department of Lay Apostolate: The Diocesan Laity Council submit comes up on November 14, 2021 at C.W.O Marian Centre, Ijebu-Ode. Also, on November 19, 2021, there shall be LEP Laity Seminar at C.W.O Marian Centre, Ijebu-Ode. 
  • Family and Human Life Department: 
  • The Level one training of marriage counsellors takes place at Esure, Ogbere and Ijebu-Igbo deaneries, while level three training of marriage counsellors takes place at St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church, Odo-Aye. Both level trainings take place on the same day: Saturday 21st November, 2021.
  • The Quarterly Meeting of the Family and Human Life Department shall take place on Friday 6th November, 2021 at St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church, Odo-Aye.
  • Transfer: We welcome Rev. Fr. Michael Adebanjo to the Diocese. Fr. Adebanjo has been on mission in Scotland for 5 years before now. He has been assigned to St. Timothy Catholic Parish, Degun as Parish Priest.
  • Appointment:Rev. Fr. Augustine Adetola has been appointed as Mission Promotions Director for the Catholic Diocese of Ijebu-Ode in USA and Europe. Until this appointment, Fr. Adetola served fervently and graciously as the secretary to the Bishop; this responsibility he carried out with hard work, dedication and commitment. We thank him and pray God to bless him with fruitfulness and success in his mission.

NB: All appointments with the Bishop should be fixed through the Diocesan Chancellor: Rev. Fr. Albert Igbodipe. Tel. Number: 08088157058.

  • Priestly Ordination 2021: The Priestly Ordination of Rev. James Smiles Igwe and Rev. Henry Eberechukwu Obiagbalasi will come up on Wednesday, 8th December, 2021, the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception at Holy Family Catholic Church, G.R.A., Sagamu. This celebration shall be used to mark the end of the year of St. Joseph. Let us continue to keep them in our prayers.
  • Priestly Ordination Anniversary: We congratulate, rejoice and request your prayers for Rev. Frs. Gabriel Olanrewaju (Nov. 3); Sylvester Onasanya (Nov 12); Basil Matuluko (Nov 16) and Martin-Rita Ogunbanwo (Nov 16) as they celebrate their Priestly Ordination Anniversary this month. May the Lord grant them the grace of final perseverance. Amen.

Thank you as I wish you a blessed and fruitful month of November. May God heal our land. 

Signed: 

Most Rev. Francis Obafemi ADESINA

Catholic Bishop of Ijebu-Ode Diocese.

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