WE HAVE A MISSION TO MAKE CHRIST KNOWN. Bishop Adesina remarkedadmin
Fr. Augustine Adetola
As a continuation of his Canonical Pastoral Visitation to Ogbere Deanery, the Catholic Bishop of Ijebu-Ode Diocese, Most Rev. Francis Obafemi Adesina visited St. Thomas Catholic Parish, Agbure from 19th – 20th January, 2020. He was received with great joy and dancing from the entrance of the town by Parishioners both from the main station and out-stations who came out in huge number to welcome the Chief Shepherd of the Diocese.
Having been welcomed at the entrance of the Church by the Priest-in-charge of the Parish, Rev. Fr. Udo Iwuji, SDV, the Bishop proceeded straight to prepare for the Mass since the visit started on a Sunday morning. During the mass, the Priest-in-charge welcomed the Bishop to St. Thomas Parish, Agbure and introduced the parishioners from various stations to the Bishop.
In his homily at the mass, the Bishop expressed his joy and great satisfaction for having the opportunity to visit the Parish for the first time. He said that he has come to see how vibrant the Parish community really is and he expressed his satisfaction that he wasn’t disappointed with what he saw at the mass. Furthermore, reflecting on the readings of the day, the Bishop said that “we all have a mission to make Christ known to the world. By our baptism, we have all been commissioned to go out and preach the gospel.” He enjoined all Parishioners of St. Thomas Parish to make sure that they show Christ daily in their community.
During the mass, the people came forward with gifts expressing their joy and happiness for having the opportunity to see the Bishop in their parish.
After the mass, there was a meeting of the laity with the Bishop. During the meeting, members of the various stations from Ligun, Camp II, Ogun camp, Ilusin, Lomiro and Agbure all shared their joys and challenges with the Bishop, who listened patiently on them. The Bishop, in his reply, assured the people that the church will always care for them, he charged them also not to relent but have a change of attitude in being Catholics and not wait for the Bishop to do everything for them.
Later in the evening on the same day, the Bishop in company with the Priest-in-charge and the members of the pastoral council, paid a courtesy visit to the Chief Imam of Ilusin at his private residence. The Chief Imam welcomed the Bishop and his entourage to his house and expressed his joy at the visit. He praised the Catholic Church for what she is doing in the midst of several Christian denominations and her role in maintaining peace and cordial relationship in the society. The Bishop also thanked the Chief Imam for his kind words and stated the purpose for his visit which is geared towards maintaining a good cordial relationship with our Muslim brothers and sisters. He said that both Christians and Muslims should always see themselves as brothers and sisters from the same Mother and Father. If this exist, there will not be religious crisis or conflicts.
It was really a wonderful time at St. Thomas Parish, Agbure which will surely live long in the minds of all those present at the Visitation. From Agbure, the Bishop proceeded to St. Kizito Parish, Iwopin to round off his Pastoral Visitation in Ogbere Deanery.