TO ALL PRIESTS, RELIGIOUS AND THE LAY FAITHFUL IN THE CATHOLIC DIOCESE OF IJEBU-ODE.Dominic
Dear Brothers and Sisters in the Lord,
Grace and Peace of Christ be with you.
- The Month of November: I warmly and gracefully welcome you to the penultimate month of the year, the month of November, 2022. We thank God for his guidance, protection and providence upon us thus far. Indeed, the Lord has been good to us as members of the mystical body of Christ in Ijebu-Ode Diocese. This month reminds us that the year is coming to an end, therefore, let us all be more security conscious as I enjoin all to intensify our prayers for peace and harmony in our beloved nation, Nigeria.
In the month of November, The Church celebrates, the Solemnity of All Saints (Nov. 1) and the commemoration of all the faithful departed: All Souls (Nov. 2) These two important days give profound expression to our faith and believe in the Communion of Saints and the culture of praying for the dead. In these commemorations, we find a strong connection between the Church Triumphant (the faithful who have attained eternal bliss); the Church Suffering (the faithful 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 of God in heaven, both known and unknown. It is obligatory that Masses be celebrated in all Parishes on this day. 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 while praying for the departed souls and giving alms to the poor. It is obligatory for all Priests to celebrate 3 Masses on this day: for the special intention of the priest, for all the faithful departed, and for the intention of the Holy Father.
Solemnity of Christ the King: The celebration of Christ the King comes up on Sunday, November 20, 2022. The celebration also marks the beginning of the last week of the 2021/2022 Liturgical Year. On this day, Eucharistic Processions are held throughout Nigeria. As we embark on this Eucharistic procession in our various parishes, let us offer prayers for the world, for our country and our Diocese, whose Patron Feast Day occurs this day.
Advent: Every First Sunday of Advent Seasons marks the beginning of a new Liturgical Year in the Church. For the Liturgical Year of 2022/2023, which begins on November 27, 2022, Readings for Masses shall be taken from Cycle A for Sunday and Year 1 for Weekdays. The Liturgical colour for this season is Purple and this sombre colour is highly significant as it evokes the sentiment and atmosphere of penance, anticipation and preparedness for the Nativity of Jesus Christ at Christmas.
Other liturgical celebrations in this month include: St. Charles Borromeo, (Nov. 4); Dedication of the Lateran Basilica, (Nov. 9); St. Leo the Great, (Nov. 10); St. Martin of Tours, (Nov. 11); St. Josaphat, (Nov. 12); St. Elizabeth of Hungary, (Nov. 17); The Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary, (Nov. 21); St. Cecilia, (Nov. 22); St. Andrew Dunglac,P & Companions, (Nov. 24); St. Andrew the Apostle, (Nov. 30).
- Pope’s Intention for the month of November: For children who suffer: Let us pray for children who are suffering, especially those who are homeless, orphans, and victims of war, that they may be guaranteed access to education and the opportunity to experience family affection.
- Bishop’s Intention for the month of November: For flood victims: Let us pray for safety and guidance upon all the victims of the regions under flood conditions, that lives and properties may be protected and all affected may experience relief and comfort.
- Monthly Novena Prayer: We are invited to pray the Novena to Christ the King, for this month, for the growth of our Diocese and for peace in the world. This shall be part of our preparations for the celebration of the feast of Christ the King, the Patron of our Diocese. This shall take place on November 11 – 19, 2022.
NB: All Parish Priests, Superiors and Chaplains are to kindly ensure that this novena prayer is said in all Parishes, Convents, Schools and Formation Houses across the Diocese.
May Christ the King, Patron of our Diocese, hear our prayers. Amen.
- Submission of 2022 Pastoral Report: This is to inform all Heads of Department, Institutions and Presidents of various Organizations like CMO, CWO, CYON and HCA that you are required to submit a comprehensive report of pastoral activities done in the year 2022. 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 office of the Bishop through his Secretary on or before December 10, 2022. This is an obligatory annual report and all those concerned should take note.
- Parish Budget for 2023:All Parish Priests and Priests-in-charge in collaboration with all Parish Pastoral Councils are required to prepare the Parish Budget for the year 2023 and submit it to the Finance Department in the Chancery on or before Wednesday, 16th November, 2022. This is very important and it should be taken with utmost seriousness by all concerned.
- Submission of activities plan for the year 2023: This is to remind all Departmental Heads, Chaplains and all those in charge of various commissions in the Diocese to kindly submit a copy of their proposed programmes/activities for 2023. The deadline for submission is December 9, 2022. Both the hardcopy and softcopy of the activities should be submitted to the Chancellor.
- Diocesan Prayer Crusade for Priests and Religious: This is to continually appeal to families within our Diocese to adopt a Priest/Religious for prayer throughout the Year 2022. Families within our Diocese are encouraged to freely choose and adopt a Priest/Religious whom they would be praying for on daily basis throughout this year. Let us all remember to pray for our Priests and Religious daily. We continue to implore Parish Priests to be creative in encouraging and implementing this appeal.
- Ave Maria Pilgrimage Centre, Iwopin: We continue to solicit your generous support towards the renovation of the Ave Maria Pilgrimage Centre, Iwopin. We have begun serious work on the site and we need funds to execute this project. We sincerely appreciate all those who have contributed generously towards this project as we continue to appeal to individuals, families, societies, parishes and stations who are yet to support this project of rebuilding a Pilgrimage Centre for the Blessed Virgin Mary in our Diocese with your kind donations.
Remember, God loves a cheerful giver (2 Cor. 9:7). The account details are as follows:
Account Name: Ave Maria Pilgrimage Center. Catholic Diocese of Ijebu-Ode
Account Number: 1022812598
Bank: United Bank for Africa (UBA)
- Construction of a Diocesan Chancery Building: The building of our Diocesan Chancery is ongoing and we have reached the final stage of completing this project. We continue to appeal to Parishes, Institutions, families and benefactors, within and outside the Diocese, who are yet to make their contributions, to financially support this project. We recognize and acknowledge all the contributions and donations already received. May God continue to reward and replenish all our benefactors abundantly.
To support this project of building a befitting Chancery for the Catholic Diocese of
Ijebu-Ode, kindly make your donation(s) to the following Bank Account:
Account Name: Catholic Diocese of Ijebu-Ode
Account Number: 0131027016
- Special Collections: Let us remember to take this special collection for the month of November:
- Catholic Institute of West Africa (November 6): The Catholic Institute of West Africa (CIWA) is an institute of Higher learning for Priests, Religious and Laity located in Port Harcourt, Rivers State. The collection is meant to support this institute and the training of candidates in the school. Let us donate generously.
Priests should kindly ensure that this collection is well publicized, collected and remitted to the Chancery for proper collation.
- Monthly Recollection: As a result of the National Pastoral Congress in Benin which shall begin on 8th November, 2022, the monthly recollection for Bishop and Priests for this month shall take place on Friday, November 4, 2022 at St. Anthony Catholic Church, Magbo at 10:00a.m.
At this recollection, we shall be praying for all departed Bishops and Priests of Ijebu-Ode Diocese with the celebration of the Holy Mass. Vestment colour: Purple.
NB: All Priests and Deacons engaged in pastoral work in the Diocese are expected to be punctual at this month’s recollection.
- Education Department:All Catholic Primary and Secondary Schools in the Diocese shall resume from midterm break on November 4, 2022.
NB: All staff, students and parents should take note of these dates.
- NCDPA Meeting: At the last meeting of the Nigerian Catholic Diocesan Priests Association (NCDPA) of Ijebu-Ode Diocese which took place on October 18, 2022, new leadership team was elected to coordination the affairs of the Association for the next 3 years: they include:
Rev. Fr. Peter Ayanbadejo – Chairman
Rev. Fr. Charles Soyege – Vice-Chairman
Rev. Fr. Anthony Abdulahi – Secretary
Rev. Fr. Henry Obiagbalasi – Asst. Secretary
Rev. Fr. Patrick Ajewole – Treasurer
Rev. Fr. Israel Onele – Financial Secretary
Rev. Fr. Linus Ijeh – Public Relation Officer (PRO)
We pray for divine wisdom and counsel for them as they take up this role of leadership for the growth of the Association. Amen
We express profound gratitude to the former executives of the NCDPA for a successful tenure and job well done.
- Organizational Groups:
- Holy Childhood Association: This is to remind all Parishes of the need to prepare adequately for the Annual Diocesan Congress of the Holy Childhood Association which comes up on December 17th to 20th, 2022, at Christ the King Catholic College, Odolewu. All Pastors should ensure that their children are prepared for this event.
- Catholic Women Organization of Nigeria (CWON): The fourth Diocesan General Meeting of the CWON comes up on 4th November, 2022 at St. Francis Catholic Church, Likosi by 10:00a.m
All past and present Deanery and Parish coordinators and Executives are expected to attend this meeting.
- Catholic Men Organization of Nigeria (CMON): The Diocesan CMON shall be having their General Meeting on November 27, 2022 in Ijebu-Ode Deanery. Let all Executives endeavour to be punctual.
- National Pastoral Congress and National Eucharistic Congress: The National Pastoral Congress has been scheduled to take place on 8th to 11th November, 2022, in Benin City Archdiocese. Immediately after the Pastoral Congress, the Eucharistic Congress will begin (11th to 13th November, 2022). The theme of the Congress is: “A call to live as one and serve the weak.”
- Let us pray for the success of these programmes and endeavour to attend as individuals, families and pious groups.
We pray for a renewed love of and firm belief in the Eucharist. Amen
- Department of Catechesis and Religious Education: There shall be general meeting of all Agents of Evangelization on November 8, 2022 at Catechetical Centre, Kajola, Ijebu-Ode by 11:00a.m
- This month’s training and formation of Catechists comes up on November 12, 2022 at Catechetical Centre, Motubo, Ijebu-Ode by 10:00a.m
- Refresher course for Catechists and Agents of Evangelization for ministerial Installation comes up on November 26, 2022 at St. Anthony Hall, Ejirin Road, by 10:00a.m
All concerned should endeavor to be punctual.
- Family and Human Life Apostolate: The Bi-Annual meeting of marriage consultors holds on Saturday, November 12, 2022 at St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church, Odo-Aye at 10:00a.m.
- Level 1 Training of Marriage counsellors for this month comes up on Saturday November, 19, 2022 at Most Pure Heart Catholic Church, Esure.
- Consecrated Persons:The Annual recollection and general meeting of all consecrated men and women Religious in the Diocese shall take place on Saturday, November 26, 2022, at Abbe Louis Bautain Retreat Centre, Ijebu-Itele by 9a.m. Let all those concerned take note and be punctual.
- Pastoral Seminar for Priests: This Year’s Diocesan Pastoral Seminar for Priests shall come up on November 28 to December 2, 2022, at Abbe Louis Bautain Retreat Centre, Ijebu-Itele.
NB:Presbyterial council meeting also holds on November 28, 2022 at exactly 4:00p.m. All Priests (Diocesan and Religious) working in the Diocese are to be in attendance.
- Diocesan Pastoral Council: This is to inform all members of the Diocesan Pastoral Council that the 2nd meeting for the year comes up on Saturday, 26th November, 2022 at St. Sebastian Catholic Cathedral, Ijebu-Ode. The meeting will begin with the celebration of the Holy Mass at 10:00a.m.
All members of the council are expected to be in attendance.
- National Laity Congress:The Diocese will be hosting the forthcoming annual National Laity Congress in December. This programme shall take place from on the 8th to 11th of December, 2022 at Abbe Louis Bautain Retreat Centre, Ijebu-Itele.
Let us all contribute and support the planning committee for a proper and successful hosting. We appeal to all Parish Priests and Priests-in-charge to ensure that we encourage and sensitize our lay faithful to participate actively as we prepare for this congress.
- Transfers: We welcome the following Priests/Religious assigned to work in the Diocese:
Rev. Fr. JohnPaul Ekwem, CM – Church of Assumption, Oke-Owa
Rev. Fr. Pius Ndekile, Jesuit, – Jesuit Community, Ijebu-Ode
Rev. Fr. Chukwunonso Obiora, Jesuit, – Jesuit Community, Ijebu-Ode
Sr. Benedicta Nwosu, HHCJ, – Ibiade Community
Sr. Gladys Chukwu, HHCJ, – J4 Community
Sr. Martha Ali, HHCJ, – Ibiade Community
We thank and appreciate the following Priests/Religious who have been transferred out of the Diocese:
- Rev. Fr. John Igwe CM
- Sr. Mary George Nwaribe, HFSN
- Sr. Anthonia Onuegbu, HHCJ
- Sr. Clara Obosi, HHCJ
- Sr. Catherine Anokwuru, HHCJ,
- Sr. Eulalie Yoni, OLA
May God bless and reward them for their services to the Diocese. Amen
- 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 God grant them the grace of final perseverance in their vocations.
Thank you as I wish you a blessed and fruitful month of November.
Most Rev. Francis Obafemi ADESINA
Bishop of Ijebu-Ode Diocese.