“THIS THIRD IS SIGNIFICANT TO ME”…BISHOP FRANCIS REMARKS AS HE TURNS THREEAnthony Adetayo
By Fr. Anthony Adetayo
Every 25th day of April is unique in the Catholic Diocese of Ijebu-Ode as it marks the Episcopal ordination anniversary of the Bishop, Most Rev. Francis Obafemi Adesina. This year’s event held at St. Sebastian catholic Cathedral Ijebu-Ode, marks his third anniversary and for a very personal reason, the Bishop decided to celebrate the Mass in a quiet way with the early morning Mass celebration at 6:30am on the first working day of the week thinking that people will find it difficult to attend. The Bishop was however surprised at the turn out as the Cathedral church was not scanty at all.
The Mass was concelebrated by the Vicars and few other priests in the Deanery of Ijebu-Ode. In his homily, Very Rev. Fr. Albert Igbodipe (Diocesan Chancellor) says God calls the Bishop to be a healer. “Jesus has different personalities to work with, yet he was a healer to all of them. Not all of them did his will as some of them betrayed him. It was after resurrection that their inner conversion surfaced.” He encourages the Bishop not to be discouraged by few people or things that are not yet yielding as expected but he should be a healer like Jesus. The Bishop danced in thanksgiving to God for his blessing.
Very Rev. Fr. Patrick Kunle Balogun, on behalf of the Bishop, thanked everyone present and those who did not make it for the Mass in absentia. He thanked specially the family of Adesina and the mother and elder sister of the Bishop who were present.
The Bishop in his remarks said “the joy of today is far beyond me, it is our Diocese that is celebrating. I thank God for considering me for the position as the Bishop of this Diocese and for staying by me thus far. The Bishop continues “this third celebration is significant, God made me the third Bishop of Ijebu-Ode and I am celebrating my third Episcopal anniversary at my thirty-third year of my priestly vocation. That is why I am celebrating it humbly. Remember my insigna “Lord make me an instrument of peace”. Pray for me so that whatever is imperfect in me will be made perfect.”
The second part of the program began with Mid-day prayer and Magificat at 12:00noon and quickly followed by a reception ceremony where Priests, Religious and Laity were opportune to appreciate the Bishop with their presence, presentations and gifts. It was concluded with Divine Mercy prayer and prayer for the Bishop’s third anniversary.