To all Priests and Religious working in the Archdiocese of Lagos, and the Lay Faithful
Dear Brothers and Sisters in the Lord:
The Month of September: Welcome to the month of September, the ninth month of the year which also signals the end of the third quarter. This month ushers us into the “ember” months which providentially are harvest months in our Archdiocese. Harvest period is a fitting opportunity to joyfully thank and praise God with the best fruits of our labours for His manifold benevolence, inexhaustible mercies, abiding faithfulness and boundless love upon us. We pray that the Lord of the Harvest will accept our finest gifts as once He accepted the bread and wine offered by the Priest, Melchizedek. During this month, we shall commemorate the birth of the Blessed Virgin Mary (8th September), our Mother and Queen whose significant role in the economy of salvation continues to enrich our faith and deepen our piety. Also, in this month, we shall commemorate the Exaltation of the Cross (14th September) which is the feast day of our Cathedral and Patron Feast of our Archdiocese, and Our Lady of Sorrows (15th September). These feasts call us to sober reflection on the excruciating pain Our Lord underwent on the Cross and the victory achieved there from; and the seven sorrows that pierced Our Lady’s Heart, all of which was borne with a docile heart and complete trust in the supreme will of God. We shall also celebrate the feast of the Apostle, St. Matthew on 21st Sept to remind us of our duty to be Agents of Evangelisation and as we celebrate the feast of the Archangels on 29th Sept, we express our faith in the existence and the roles of the Angelic Beings in our spiritual lives.As the school holidays draw to a close, and our children resume school, we pray for a fruitful and beneficial academic session. May the month of September bring us a plenitude of God’s blessings and favors. Amen.
PRAYER FOR NIGERIA: On May 22nd 2018, we had a Prayer Procession through some of the streets of Lagos to show our dissatisfaction with the situation of our country Nigeria. Since then we have used all possible occasions to give expression to the problems that we see with the situation of Nigeria especially with regard to insecurity and threat to religious freedom and the rights of different ethnic groups to exist and flourish in the country that belongs to all citizens. However, we know that unless the Lord builds the house, the labourer labours in vain and unless the Lord watches over the city, the watchman watches in vain. It is therefore necessary to place our desires and intentions into the hands of God even as we play our roles as human beings, citizens of our country.
To this effect, we hereby direct that all Priests, Religious and Lay faithful of our Archdiocese should gather together in their different Parishes for Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, the Rosary and other prayers between 5pm and 6pm on the last Sunday of every month till further notice.
We know that the Rosary has always been an effective weapon in moments of difficulty and in the fight against all forms of evil. We pray that by the intercession of our Blessed Mother in the presence of the Lord in the Blessed Sacrament that the will of the Lord for the welfare and good of His people will not be subverted.
6-MONTH MANDATORY PREPARATION FOR MARRIAGE: The Sacrament of Marriage which is not only a gift of immense value to the Church but also a means of grace for living the married life by couples. A Sacrament of such importance should involve adequate preparations such that couples who are approaching it go through programs designed to assist them develop an appropriate understanding of the Sacrament and evaluate as well as deepen their readiness for married life. Such a program should help to provide insights into getting to know one another better as individuals preparing to become married couples. Marriage preparation in the Archdiocese of Lagos involves a process. Hence, it is required that couples planning to receive the Sacrament should contact their Parish Priests not later than SIX MONTHS before the anticipated wedding date in order to begin the marriage preparation process. The period of preparation in the Archdiocese is 6months. We expect all priests to keep this in mind, inform couples and adhere to this Regulation.
CONCERNING PRIVATE MINISTRIES: We refer to the January 2017 Circular in which we called attention of all Priests and faithful in the Archdiocese to the menace of private ministries in and around the Parishes as well as in the homes of Parishioners. Such ministries are often run by individuals as private ventures with their personal interests in mind. They beguile unsuspecting members of the faithful as having solutions to their problems. We call on Parish Priests and Priests-in-Charge to continue to sensitize their Parishioners. Anyone who participates in the activities of these private ministries does so at a risk to the authenticity of his or her catholic faith and practice. We encourage everyone to be vigilant so as not to give wolves in sheep clothing a chance to lead people astray with all the consequences for our salvation.
PRIESTLY AND DIACONATE ORDINATIONS: Our deacons, Rev. PaulMary Otukpe, Rev. Raymond Emedo, Rev. Joseph Oyekunle, Rev. Martins Ozonwafor, Rev. Andrew Toye shall be raised to the Order of the Priesthood and Mr. Harrison Okoli to the Order of Diaconate on Thursday, November 8, 2018 at Catholic Church of Ascension, Airport Road. The time is 10.00am. Let us keep them in our prayers as we continue to pray for all our Clergy.
2018 CATECHETICAL WEEK CELEBRATION: This will begin from 7th to 14th October in all the Parishes. The theme is “Live and Let’s Live: A Case for the Sanctity of Human Life.” Please, Contact the Religious Education Department 19, Maye Street, Yaba, for details and sub-topics.
+ Alfred Adewale Martins
Archbishop, Metropolitan See of Lagos
Categorised in: Pastor's Blog
This post was written by Emmanuel Ozoezi