By Rev. Fr. Anthony Adetayo

It is said that appreciation is the highest form of prayer, for it acknowledges the presence of good wherever you shine the light of your thankful thoughts. This is the sole purpose for the celebration of the 25th anniversary of the establishment of the St. Clare Monastery in Ijebu Ode diocese that took place on Saturday 15th February 2020. It was indeed a Thanksgiving day.

The Holy Mass began by 11:00am at the monastery’s premises. It was presided over by Most Rev. Dr. Gabriel Leke Abegunrin, the Metropolitan of Ibadan Archdiocese.
Other Episcopal figures present include Most Rev. Dr. Felix Alaba Job, the emeritus of Ibadan Archdiocese, His Eminence Anthony Cardinal Olubunmi Okogie, the emeritus of Lagos Archdiocese, Most Rev. Dr. Hyacinth Egbebo, the bishop of Bomadi Diocese and of course the host Bishop, Most Rev. Dr. Francis Obafemi Adesina.
The number of priests were over 50, religious were even more while the laity were there in their multitude.

In his homily, Very Rev. Fr. Anthony Akinwale (OP) read the psalm responsory of the day and calls the day a special day of Thanksgiving for our Christian vocation and the vocation to monastic life. According to him, God calls all of us even before the foundation of the world to holiness of life, to be like Him. It is this lack of holiness that has impoverished our country. He said our country has no business with poverty except evangelical poverty. Our leaders have failed us and live everyday in denial. He warned that many expect holiness from priests and religious alone, this wrong notion must be corrected. Everyone of us is called to holiness of life. He added that the monastic life may not be attractive except to those who have deeper yearning for God. We must pray for more vocation.

After the homily the sisters renewed their vows before all the Bishops and everyone present.

The Bishop of the diocese, Most Rev. Francis Obafemi Adesina welcomed all the bishops who came and narrated the history of the establishment of the monastery with contribution of people who facilitated its progress, like Bishop Albert A. Fasina etc. He said the monastery is placed into the hands of the Lord. According to him, the monastery has been a place of refuge for many priests, religious and laity who seek for spiritual solace. The nuns too were thanked by him for representing the peaceful presence of God among us.

Mother Rose (the Abbess) gave the vote of thanks. Msgr. Valentine Awoyemi blessed the members of the association of Poor Clare Monastery. This was followed by Thanksgiving from the nuns received by Bishop Hyacinth Egbebo of Bomadi Catholic Diocese.

After the conclusion of the Mass, Archbishop Felix Alaba Job led everyone to the blessing of the extension of the monastery buildings. Refreshment then followed afterwards.

It was an avenue to appreciate what God has done in the life of the diocese of Ijebu Ode and St. Clare’s spirituality in our land.

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