By Fr. Anthony Adetayo

Being a tradition all over the world to celebrate the Leprosy day on the 29th day of January, the Catholic diocese of Ijebu Ode continued this initiative with a Holy Mass at St. Joseph Catholic Center, Ijebu Igbo. This celebration witness a congregation of people ranging from the camp settlers, government officials from the Local Government, JDPC staff members, Catholic Health Secretariat staff members and other parishioners.

Fr. Christopher Ogunnupebi, at the beginning of the Mass welcomed everyone to the celebration making known the effort of various individuals who have made the day a possible event.

The Bishop of the diocese blessing and presenting the gifts to the Leprosarium camp in Ijebu Igbo marking the World Day of Leprosy.

The Bishop in his homily said this is a special outreach of our church to show our love, oneness with the people of St. Joseph’s center, Ijebu Igbo. He appreciated those who have taken it as their duty to take care those who are here (Leper’s colony). He thanked specially the priests and sisters whose apostolate is to minister to the center.

Those in attendance include Frs. Stephen Osinkoya, Christopher Ogunnupebi, Fra Dominic (FI), Gabriel Udogu (FI) John Benedict (FI)and Anthony Adetayo.

The bishop said though science has given us a cure to leprosy especially when discovered early. However, the mind of man which breeds discrimination has not been healed. People continue to cast out others and discriminate them based on tribe, height, skin colour. This is why it’s the mind of man that is in the greatest need of healing. The Gospel passage today makes us realize that we need to listen to God in His word and make it fruitful in our well-prepared heart. We should not be like those who receive the word of God on the path (syncretic heart) or rocky soil (hard-hearted) or thorny soil (distracted heart). We should receive it for fruition. The Holy Father has given us a leeway which is to embrace the word of God, study it and reflect over it. Even when ministers are not available at a time or the other, the word of God is ever active and alive.
The Bishop added that we must always possess a positive thought toward others just as David thought of building for the Lord a temple. God blessed him and promised him a dynasty forever. When you think evil of others, evil becomes yours but when you think well of others, wellness becomes yours.

The parish priest Fr. Udogu Gabriel on behalf of the diocese appreciated all who were in attendance especially the center community, St. Peter Catholic parishioners, Holy Angels Catholic church parishioners.

The Bishop gave his episcopal blessing to conclude the Mass.

At the end of the Mass, there was a talk handled by Mr. Chris Njoku and Mrs. Ogunnubi, a representative of the Local Government on the topic “Health is wealth”. There was a question answer session that concluded with the blessing of the people and the gifts to be handed over by the Bishop to the Center community.

The Bishop handed goods items and a mouthwatering cash amount to the community for the glory of God and salvation of souls.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *