NOVEMBER 2020 DIOCESAN CIRCULAR

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

1: 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, canonized or beatified. 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 22, 2020. The celebration also marks the beginning of the last week of the 2019/2020 Liturgical Year. On this day, Eucharistic Processions are held throughout Nigeria. However, due to the safety measures put in place to guard against the spread of COV1D-19, I enjoin all Parish Priests to kindly have a simple public procession. Prayers are to be offered for the country and the world in general.

Novena to Christ the King: As a continuation of the call for monthly Novena for the sake of our Diocese and as part of the preparations to celebrate the feast of Christ the King, the Patron of our Diocese, I invite you all to take up, for this month of November, the nine days Novena to Christ the King, Patron of our Diocese. This Novena will commence simultaneously in all Parishes, Houses of formation, Chapels, Convents and Institutions on the 13th November and will conclude on the 21st November, a day preceding the celebration of Christ the King.

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

2: Pope’s Intention for the month of November 2020: For Artificial Intelligence: We pray that the progress of robotics and artificial intelligence may always serve humankind.

3: Full Re-opening of Churches: In line with the release of the State Government ordering the full re-opening of worship centers in the State, may I enjoin all Parish Priests and Priest-in-charge to kindly ensure that Parishioners observe all safety measures already in place. While the sitting arrangement can be re-worked according to the parish or Church setting, the use of hand sanitizer, face mask and washing of hands should continue. The country has not been declared free from Covid-19 pandemic. Thus, I expect that Priests and the various Parish Pastoral Council will come up with ways that will ensure safety of all those who come into our Church premises.

4: 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 is as follows:

  • Account Name: Ave Maria Pilgrimage Center, Catholic Diocese of Ijebu-Ode
  • Account Number: 1022812598
  • Bank: United Bank for Africa (UBA)

5: Construction of a Diocesan Chancery Building: For the past 51 years of the Catholic Diocese of Ijebu-Ode, the Diocese has been making use of the Bishop House and now some offices in the JDPC Complex as chancery for the day-to-day running of the Diocese. It has become necessary and expedient at this stage to build a Chancery where the daily administrative activities of the Diocese will be carried out. As such, I am calling on all Parishes, Institutions, families and benefactors both within and outside the Diocese to financially support this project. The preliminary works has already begun on the proposed site. 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

6: ANNOUNCEMENTS

  1. Curia Meeting: The last Curia meeting for the year will come up on Tuesday, November 3, 2020 at the JDPC Conference Hall, Ijebu-Ode. The meeting start at exactly 10:00am. All Priests concerned should endeavor to be there on time.
  2. Annual Pastoral Seminar: This is to inform all Priests on Pastoral assignment in the Diocese of the annual Pastoral Seminar which will come up from November 30 — December 4, 2020 at Louis Bautain Retreat and Conference Center, Itele.
  3. Priests Monthly Recollection for November: The Priests’ monthly recollection will take place on Tuesday November 10, 2020 at Holy Trinity Catholic Church, Imomo, starting at exactly 10:00am. The theme for this month’s recollection is “St. Johnbosco and youth ministry: A model for today’s Priest” All Priests engaged in pastoral work in the Diocese are expected to be present at this prayer gathering.
  4. Presbyteral Council Meeting: The last meeting of the Presbyteral council for this year will come up on November 30, 2020 at the Louis Bautain Retreat and Conference Center, the venue for this year’s Pastoral seminar. The meeting will start at exactly 4:00pm. All Priests working in the Diocese should take note.
  5. A Day Recollection for Episcopal Vicars and Chancellor: There shall be a day recollection for all the Episcopal Vicars and Chancellor recently appointed at Saint Patrick Formation House, Esure, Ijebu-Imusin on Thursday, November 21, 2020. The recollection will start at exactly 10:00am.
  6. Recording of Advent Reflections: The Communications Department is using this medium to inform all Priests that have been selected for the Advent Reflection, that the recording will come up on Tuesday, 3rd and Wednesday, 4th November, 2020 at the JDPC Compound. Kindly be available for this event.
  7. Submission of 2020 Report: This is to inform all Heads of Department, Institutions and Presidents of various Organizations like CMO, CWO, CYON and HCA that there will be need to submit a comprehensive report of activities done in the year 2020. This report is expected to be detailed containing the summary of what was done and pictures to back it up. It will be submitted both in printed copies and soft copies to the Vicar for Pastoral Affairs on or before December 10, 2020. This is an obligatory annual report and all those concerned should take note. A copy of this should be sent to the Chancery also.
  8. Submission of activities for the year 2021: 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 2021. The deadline for submission is November 30, 2020. Both the hardcopy and softcopy of the activities should be submitted to the Chancellor.
  9. Special Collections: Let us remember to collect the special collection in support of the Catholic Institute for West Africa (CIWA) on November 8 and ensure that we submit it on time to the Chancery for proper collation.
  10. 25th Anniversary of Religious Profession: We rejoice and celebrate with Sr. Roseline Abiola Ogunbanwo, SSL, from St. Mary Parish, Ogbere as she marks 25 years in the Religious life. The celebration which was postponed before will now come up in her home parish, St. Mary Catholic Church, Ogbere, on Sunday, November 8, 2020.
  11. Department for Pastoral Planning and Operations: In order to enhance the smooth running of the Pastoral life and activities of the Diocese, the former pastoral department or committee as we used to have it will now be known and called “the department for pastoral planning and operations.” The following persons will constitute the members of the department:
    1. Rev. Fr. Matthew Oguleru: Co-ordinator
    2. Rev. Fr. Evaristus-Mary Oduntan: Assistant Coordinator
    3. Rev. Fr. Albert Osunlaja: Secretary
    4. Rev. Fr. Peter Owolabi: Member
    5. Rev. Fr. Peter Adesanya: Member
    6. Rev. Fr. John Aruleba: Member
    7. Rev. Fr. Sabinus Orji: Member
    8. Sr. Catherine Fafila, SSL: Member
    9. Sr. Margaret Okudaje, OLA: Member
    10. Sr. Patience Nwokenkwo, CP: Member
    11. Mr. Paul Osineye (Cathedral Parish): Member
    12. Mr. Michael Adubi (Cathedral): Member
    13. Mr. Raymond Odubela (Enure): Member
  12. Transfers/Study:  Rev. Fr. Stephen Osinkoya — To study Canon Law at Pontifical Santa Della Cruce, Rome, Italy. Rev. Fr. Christopher Ogunnupebi — Priest-in-charge, Holy Angels Catholic Parish, Oke-Agbo, Ijebu-Igbo. Rev. Fr. Peter Ayanbadejo — Acting Cathedral Administrator, St. Sebastian Catholic Cathedral, Odo-Egbo, Ijebu-Ode. Rev. Fr. Gabriel Oresegun — Acting Dean, Ijebu-Ode Deanery. Rev. Fr. James Shatu, F.I. — Acting Priest-in-charge, St. Michael Catholic Parish, Ilisan
  13. 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.

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