YOU SURPRISED ME… BISHOP FRANCIS ADESINA

By Fr. Anthony Adetayo

The 25th day of April 2021 was a very joyful day in the life of the entire faithful of the Catholic Diocese of Ijebu-Ode as the Bishop of the Diocese Most Rev. Francis Obafemi Adesina celebrated his second episcopal anniversary at St. Sebastian Catholic Cathedral Ijebu-Ode.

In attendance were the Metropolitan Archbishop of Ibadan, Most Rev. Gabriel Abegunrin; the Bishop of Osogbo Diocese Most Rev. John Oyejola; Several Priests from within and outside the Diocese. Other dignitaries of Church and State present include: the Chairman, Ogun State Local government commission, Honourable Bukonla Onabanjo; Oba Anthony Alakija, the Akija of Ikija; Oba Fakoya, the Magunsen of Itamarun; Oba Gideon Adetoye, the Liken of Ibefun and Oba Adegbesan, the Onitasin of Itasin.

The Bishop in his appreciation said those who knew him are responsible for the secret execution of the event but he was grateful. The Bishop who expressed shock at the latent arrangements of the celebration said whatever God has initiated cannot be stopped. According to him “I didn’t suspect this plan, you surprised me!
Thanks for your love for me which is also your love for Jesus”.

The Bishop went further to address the congregants in the words of his anniversary speech. In his speech he expressed gratitude to God and the people of the Diocese. He reminded the people of the importance of implementing the new pastoral plan of Diocese titled, “Moving forward with Faith and Action (Exodus 14:15). Also, he encouraged everyone to support Vocation to the Priesthood and Religious Life, since that Sunday was also the Good Shepherd or Vocation Sunday. Quoting Pope Francis, the Bishop asked us to ponder on the summary of the life of Saint Joseph which is dream, service and fidelity in every of our pastoral engagement.

Furthermore, the Bishop re-emphasized his Pastoral focus which he stated at his Episcopal Ordination 2 years ago, “to continue to promote evangelization and renewal of the Catholic faith in the Diocese as embarked upon by our venerable predecessors. We shall through the collaboration of a dynamic Clergy Religious and Laity insist on catechetical and liturgical formation on the apostolate of trained Laity, on integration of faith in action, active solidarity among priests family life apostolate, proper education of youth, mutual collaboration with the consecrated persons harmonious relationship between Catholic and non-Catholic communities and the promotion of reciprocity of rights and duties”

It was indeed a colorful event as the entire Diocese celebrated the Bishop on the occasion of his Episcopal Anniversary. We wish him well in the years ahead and may God bless the Catholic Diocese of Ijebu-Ode.

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