“REMEMBER THE CHURCH IS A COMMUNION…” Bishop Adesina tells newly posted Priests

By Fr. Anthony Adetayo

The Diocese of Ijebu-Ode organizes special briefing for the newly posted Priests across the Diocese. This took place on Tuesday 17th January 2023 at JDPC Chancery complex by 10:45am. It can be recalled that on 25th December 2022, the Diocese released a list for Priests’ transfer and newly created independent Stations. Though the posting becomes effective from 6th February 2023, it is pertinent for them to get abreast with matters of transfer policy and parish environment strategy.

Present at the event were the Bishop of the Diocese; Most Rev. Francis Obafemi Adesina, Priests on transfer to Independent Stations, the Chancellor; Very Rev. Fr. Albert Igbodipe, the Vicar for Clergy; Very Rev. Fr. Michael Adebanjo and the Vicar for Pastoral; Very Rev. Fr. Patrick Balogun.

The Bishop noted with conviction that the Diocesan Pastoral seminar birthed the collective decision to have pastoral expansion. According to him, “It became expedient to create some Churches as independent stations with a view of cultivating those stations to becoming full parishes within a short time. Some priests were appointed to lead this task and are designated Priests-in-charge and not Parish Priest. Until final approval and creation, Independent stations don’t have status of a Parish or Quasi Parish.”

The Bishop continues by saying “the church is a communion between God and ourselves (vertical), and also communion of ourselves with one another (horizontal). Its institutional structure is synodal or collegial and not monarchical. Therefore always remember that the Church is a communion”. The Bishop proceeds by saying that “the emphasis here is love and unity. The concept of independence does not mean complete autonomy. Such station is still under the pastoral supervision of the Proper Pastors and Dean, while the Priest-in-charge remains an Assistant Priest in the main Parish”.

The Bishop listed some dos and don’ts duly itemized in 8 points to aid a mutual working relationship between the Priests-in-charge and their Proper Parish Priest. In addition, he made reference to the understanding of the chain of authority in the Parish life, permission procedure, living and feeding policy, finance administration and mutual respect. He concludes by saying “these guidelines are not the only things to know, creativity is a key to success and everyone should see it as sacrifice.”

As expected, questions and answers came up for clarifications by the Bishop and the two Vicars present. It was a lively and pastorally effective briefing that has set the right direction for all pastoral agents involved in the Parish life.