Pastor's Blog

Monthly Bulletin/Circular August, 2017

To all Priests and Religious working in the Archdiocese of Lagos, and the Lay Faithful

Dear Brothers and Sisters in the Lord:

1. The Month of August: We welcome you to August, the eight month of the year. A transitional month in our seasonal calendar notable for breaks, pilgrimages, vacations and travels. As we take time out to relax and refresh, let us keep alight our spiritual pathway and endeavor to deepen our friendship with God. The Church in her solicitude has provided a plethora of feasts in the month of August which allow the faithful to celebrate major events in the life of Christ, Mary and some remarkable saints. Two of these feasts are worthy of mention; the feast of the Transfiguration (August 6) which gives the faithful a preview of the glory of God to be revealed; the second is the feast of the Assumption (August 15), which assures us that God fulfills his promises and does not refuse any good to those who walk without blame.

The month is also dedicated to the Immaculate Heart of Mary renowned for purity and perseverance. We honor Mary’s immaculate heart by recognizing her extraordinary holiness, the immense love she showered on Jesus as His mother and the role she played in the economy of salvation, especially her perseverance in Jesus’ redemptive sufferings. The Blessed Virgin Mary is no doubt the most perfect example of Christian perseverance. Following Mary, the saints whose feasts we commemorate this month include – St. AlphonsusLiguori (August 1) St. John Vianney (August 4), Dominic (August 8), Lawrence (August 10), Clare (August 11), Maximilian Kolbe (August 14), Bartholomew (August 24), Augustine (August 28) and John the Baptist (August 29) etc – let us embrace and practice the virtue of perseverance as we continue our journey in this second half of the year.

2. Re-Disclaimer Zion Prayer Movement Outreach: We refer to the July 2017 circular in which we called attention to the above-named Movement and placed a sanction on the main leader in order to encourage him to submit himself to the guidance and authority of the Church. He has since come to try and explain himself. However, he continues to bear the burden of the sanction as the activities of the Movement is still ongoing.

We reiterate that all authentic Catholics have to submit themselves to the discipline and guidance of the Church and that every genuine gift of the Holy Spirit is to be exercised in unity with the Church. No one is to use gifts in such a way as to disrupt the unity of the Body of Christ. The Lord gave the first place to the Apostles (cfr. 1 Cor. 12:28) for good reason i.e. to lead and guide the Church. Anyone who persists in disobedience is hurting the unity of the Church and needs to be corrected.

In the light of all these and in order to ensure that the Catholic faithful are not misled, we are constrained to instruct that the sanction on the main leader of the Group, Mr. Ebuka Anozie continues to remain in force i.e. to stop receiving Holy Communion if he goes to Mass in any of our parishes. Secondly, if he goes to any Chapel of Perpetual Adoration, he should restrict himself to praying personally and is not permitted to interact with any of the faithful within the premises of any Parish within the Archdiocese. Thirdly, if there are still any priests who come to celebrate Mass, Sacrament of Reconciliation and other Sacraments illicitly in the premises of the Movement to respect the dignity of their priesthood and not allow material inducements to becloud their sense of respect for the rules of the Church. The law requires that priests do not go to celebrate any of the Sacraments in any jurisdiction outside that in which they are incardinated without the due permission of the competent authority. A lay person cannot be a competent authority to invite and authorize a priest to celebrate the Sacraments.

All Priests all over the Archdiocese are hereby directed to continue to enforce this sanction strictly in their various parishes. They are to catechize the faithful on this and help them to understand that anyone who participates in the activities of this movement does so at a risk to the authenticity of his or her catholic faith and practice. We pray that the Holy Spirit would beam His light of understanding of all those concerned and help them to retrace their steps.

3. Re-Profile update for Priests: We had expected by now to have the record of all priests working in the Archdiocese. However, a number of our priests are yet to heed our directive by updating their profile. We call on priests who are yet to update their profile to do so by opening the following link on an internet-connected laptop or desktop computer: http://chancery.aclassconsult.com/personnel/add_profile Select Priests under Personnel. Carefully fill the data form provided. Kindly ensure you also upload your passport size photograph before clicking on SAVE. We expect the DEANS ensure that all the priests in their deaneries carry out this important instruction. IT IS ALREADY PAST DEADLINE. Any priest who does not do the needful in good time would be holding us back and would ultimately be excluding himself from the benefits of the exercise. For more inquiries, contact the Chancery.

4. Archbishop’s Installation Anniversary: August 4, 2017 marks the 5th anniversary of my installation as the Archbishop of Lagos. We thank the Good Lord for His benevolence and His many blessings that I have experienced in these past 5 years as the Archbishop of the See of Lagos, an Archdiocese truly blessed by God. There shall be a Mass of Thanksgiving at the Holy Cross Cathedral, at 12noon on the day of the anniversary. This will be followed by a Press Conference. Kindly pray for my intentions as I continue my service as the Chief Shepherd of the flock of Christ in Lagos Archdiocese.

5. On the Sale and Purchase of Vehicles: While we await the policy document on the above, we hereby restate the instruction that all priests, heads of educational and health institutions as well as departments that the decision to sell or purchase official vehicles for parishes and other Archdiocesan establishments needs to be confirmed with the Chancery.

You would understand that the practice of buying vehicles without due consultation is not appropriate and is capable of leading to abuse as has been noticed. We expect everyone concerned to take note and comply.

6. Four Year-Term Non-Renewable for Elected Officers

This is to bring to the notice of all Associations of the Lay Faithful that the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Nigeria (CBCN) at its first plenary meeting of the year, which held from 4th to 10th March, 2017 at the Daughters of Divine Love and Retreat Centre, Lugbe, Abuja; acting upon credible reports from the relevant bodies of Lay Associations and Sodalities in the Church in Nigeria, resolved that the tenure of office for all elected officers of all Sodalities, Organisations and Societies should henceforth be four years non-renewable.

It is to be noted that those who are already in their leadership roles, having been sworn in with the constitutional provision of three years or by common understanding of three years as a policy, will not serve four years as a result of the new policy. They will complete their three years; however, the clause of non-renewable binds them. Those to be elected hereafter will serve four years non-renewable.

7. Presentation of Books / Works for Imprimatur: The Archdiocese has created a new procedure for those who want nihil obstatand imprimaturon their works. Those concerned are to open the following link on the internet https://lagosarchdiocese.org/down/g18.pdf download the form and fill it carefully . After which, they can bring their books and works together with the filled form to the Chancery. They are also advised to seek a first editing of their works from capable hands particularly their Priests before sending them to the Archbishop for consideration.

8. Admission Requirements for Augustine University, Ilara (AUI): For about one year, we have been repeating this item monthly. We expect by now that all Parish Priests and Priests-in-Charge have been complying informing their Parishioners especially those seeking admission to Universities of the Admission requirements for our Augustine University. A minimum JAMB Score of 180 in relevant subject combinations is required. For more information, please visit the University website at www.augustineuniversity.edu.ng.

Available Programmes are:

Faculty of Humanities, Management and Social Sciences  

1. B.Sc. Economics

2. B.Sc. Business Administration

3. B.Sc. Accounting

4. B.Sc. Economics

5. B.Sc. Business Administration

6. B.Sc. Economics

7. B.Sc. Economics

8. B.Sc. Business Administration

9. B.Sc. Accounting

10. B.Sc. Banking and Finance

11. B.A. English

12. B.A. Philosophy

13. B.A. Religious Studies

Faculty of Science

1. B.Sc. Mathematics

2. B.Sc. Computer Science

3. B.Sc. Microbiology

4. B.Sc. Biology

5. B.Sc. Chemistry

6. B.Sc. Physics

Parish Priests and Priests-in-Charge are expected to include this announcement in their weekly bulletin and keep repeating it.

 9. Announcements:

a. Consultors Meeting: The meeting of the College of Consultors for the third quarter shall be held on the Wednesday, 23rd of August, 2017 at 10.00am in the Chancery’s Conference Room.

b. Archdiocesan Novena towards the Solemnity of the Assumption: The Archdiocesan Novena comes up between the 6th of August and 15th of August, 2017 at the Archdiocesan Marian Shrine, Maryland at 4:30 p.m daily. The theme is Mother of Sorrows, Queen of Peace (Litany of Blessed Virgin Mary).

c. Seminar on Evangelisation: The Archdiocesan Evangelization Commission is organizing an Evangelization Seminar for interested Evangelizers, Catechists, PPC members, society heads, etc at Catholic Church of Divine Mercy, Lekki on Saturday, August 26. Time is 9.30am to 3pm. It begins with Mass at 8.00am. Each participant should come with N600.00K to cover lunch. For inquires, contact Msgr. Paschal Nwaezeapu on 07039006000

d. Singles Day with the Archbishop: This year’s Singles Day with the Archbishop is scheduled to hold as follows:

Theme: Mary, Model of true Christianity. Topic: The challenges facing the Singles in our modern world and the way forward. Date: Saturday, 19th of August, 2017. Venue: St. Jude Catholic Church, Mafoluku. Time: 9:00a.m. starting with the Holy Mass.

e. Comedy Concert with Catholic Comedians: There will be a Gospel Comedy Concert/Charity fundraiser organized to mark the 5th anniversary of the Installation of His Grace, Most Rev. Alfred Adewale Martins, Archbishop of Lagos tagged: FEST2LAFF with Catholic Comedians…. The wheel of charity. Date: Sunday 20th August 2017. Time: 3pm – 8pm. Venue: McGovern Hall, St. Agnes Catholic Church, Maryland. Ticket: Regular #3,000. VIP #10,000.Archbishop’s table #50,000 for 2. For ticket and enquiries, please call MC Smart 08062499548.

f. Special Invitation:

(i) The Sisters of the Eucharistic Heart of Jesus cordially invite the Clergy, Religious and the Lay faithful of the Archdiocese of Lagos to the PERPETUAL PROFESSION OF VOWS of Sister Justina Marie KehindeOjo, EHJ. Date: August 15, 2017.

Venue: St. Peter Claver Catholic Church, Ajao Estate, Lagos.

Time: 10.00am.

(ii) The Sisters of the Holy Child Jesus are celebrating the Silver Jubilee of three sisters and Final Vows of four sisters on

Date: Saturday 12th August, 2017. Venue: St. Gregory’s College Chapel. Time: 10.00am. at 10am. You are cordially invited. Kndly keep them in your prayers.

g. 16th Biennial Archdiocesan Youth Convention: This event is scheduled to take place from August 24th-27th at Augusta College, Ojo Road by Iyana-isashi Bus stop, Lagos. All Catholic Youths in the Archdiocese are advised to register online to participate in this event. Parish Priests and individuals are encouraged to support them.

h. Catholic Men Organisation: The CMO, Lagos Archdiocese 15th Anniversary Celebration commences 6th August with the 2nd CMO WEEK activities in the parishes. Theme: “The Master is Here and is asking for you” (Jn.11:27-29). Daily sub-themes are as follows: Day 1: Membership mobilization and Enlightenment. Day 2: “I am with you always, until the End of the Ages” (Matthew 28:20) Encountering Christ in The_ _Holy Eucharist. Day 3: “Your Word is a Lamp for My Feet and a Light for my Path” (Ps. 119:105) Shaping one’s life with theword of God.The Program continues with The 5th Annual Convention from 10th August 2017 and ends 13th August, 2017 with a Thanksgiving Mass at St Gregory College Ikoyi, Lagos followed by a Reception Ceremony at the same venue.

All Men and other faithful are encouraged to attend. j. (i) FAMILY WEEK 2017: The Annual Family Week begins in our Archdiocese from 12th – 19th August, 2017. Theme: The Joy of the Family is the Joy of the Society. Subthemes: Sunday 13th August, 2017: Introduction in all Masses at Parishes. Monday 14th August, 2017: Fatherhood and the joy it brings! (Matt 2.13) Tuesday 15th August, 2017: Motherhood-Modeling the woman of Proverb 31. Wednesday 16th August, 2017: Children and their Responsibilities. (Eph 6.1-4). Thursday 17th August, 2017: The Family & Justice in the Society. Friday 18th August, 2017: Family Become Who You are: Reflections on the concrete Realities of the Family in Church and Society. Saturday 19th August, 2017: Deanery Special Events. Sunday 20th August, 2017: Parish Family Celebrations: Gifting Sunday; celebration, renewal of marriage vows, celebration of silver/golden Jubilee, wedding anniversaries and special collections. There shall be a special collection for the Family and Human Life Unit of the Archdiocese in all the parishes on this day.

(ii). We are all invited to the FHLU thought provoking Conference that inaugurates the Family Week. Venue: Church and Society Hall-19 Maye Street, Yaba, Lagos. Date: 12th August 2017. Time: 10 am to 4pm, daily. Participants are to pay the sum of N2,000 for registration fee including Lunch and Conference materials.

k. PROVINCIAL MARRIAGE ADVISORY CARE: The Provincial Marriage Advisory Care intends to hold a conference with the theme: The Role of PMAC in Effective Marriage Preparation. Date: Saturday, 12th August, 2017. Venue: St. Mary’s Parish, Isolo. Time: 10am (Opening Mass).

I. Lagos Archdiocesan Music Commission (LAMCOM)

(i) LAMCOM Annual Regional Choral Seminar: This regional seminar/workshop for all choristers in the Archdiocese would expose them to the right techniques of voice usage. We encourage Parish Priests and Priests-in-charge to sponsor the participation choristers in their parishes. Cost 500 naira per person excluding feeding and transportation.

Schedule is as follows:

  • Friday 1st September. 2017 at St Leo’s Parish, Ikeja, for IKEJA REGION.
  • Saturday, 2nd Sept. 2017 at Catholic Church of Annuciation, Festac for BADAGRY REGION.
  • Monday, 3rd Sept. 2017 at As. Phillip & James Parish, Lekki for LEKKI REGION.
  • Saturday Sept. 9th, 2017 at Holy Child School, Obalende for LAGOS REGION
  • Time is 10am

(ii) LAMCOM Marian Concert: The festival of indigenous choral music in honour of the Marian Year will feature the 15 Deaneries’ choirs of the Archdiocese. Date: Monday, October 2nd 2017 (Public holiday). Venue: Sacred Heart Parish, Ojota. Time: 11am You are all cordially invited. For more information, kindly contact LAMCOM website:www.lamcom.org

(iii) Cecilian Academy of Sacred Music (DIPLOMA PROGRAM): Admission into Diploma Program shall begin with a 3 month PREPARATORY CLASSES for prospective participants. The classes begin on August 26th 2017 at the following centres: A. ST LEO’s PARISH HALL, IKEJA. B. HOLY CROSS CATHEDRAL HALL, LAGOS C. ST. JOSEPH’s PARISH SCHOOL , GOWON ESTATE D. ST. THOMAS AQUINAS PARISH SCHOOL, OKOKOMAIKO. E. OUR LADY QUEEN OF APOSTLES PARISH, LAKOWE, IBEJU LEKKI For more details about the diploma program, online registration and payment deadline, kindly consult the website: www.diplomacecilianacademy.org

m. Companions of Priests and Religious (CCPR): This is a Pious group committed to the spiritual and material welfare of priests and religious all over the world. As a non-levying and non-financially based community, the group is 25 years old this year and has been active in some parishes of our Archdiocese. Members of this pious group will be going round parishes, schools and chaplaincies to create awareness and establish new groups. Parish Priests, Priests-in-charge, Directors, Chaplains etc. should kindly oblige them.

n. Catholic Biblical Instructors’ Union (C.B.I.U) Lagos Archdiocese: It has come to our notice that many of our members are ignorant of the teachings of the Catholic Church and Scripture, thereby falling prey to false teaching. In order to enhance and promote the Catholic Teaching through the Scriptures and CCC, we hereby recommend that Catholic Biblical Instructors Union (CBIU) should be established in our various parishes. Please for further enquiries, contact the following persons: 08028454115, 08034159996, 08069519596.

International: Regional Competitions will begin August 20, 2017 in the Regions. The Knights of St. John International representatives or delegates will be available to administer the quiz questions/competition. Faith Formation and Education Committee and Parish catechists are to cooperate and galvanize to ensure the success and fruitfulness of the effort. The areas for participants to cover include: i. Old Testament- 1st and 2nd Samuel, Book of Numbers. ii. New Testament- Gospel of Luke, Letter to the Romans. iii. Papal Document for Study: AmorisLaeitita(The Joy of Love) of the Holy Father, Francis. iv. Catechism: Sacraments, Doctrines and Tradition. The timelines for implementation include: April – August 2017: Study September 16, 2017- Grande Finale. We encourage you to do the needful. For more information, contact the following: 0803320831, 08033574050, 08059304736, 08066224284.

q. Quarterly Returns: We remind all Parish Priests and Priests-in-Charge who are yet to remit their returns for the previous quarters including the Special Collections as directed in the last circular to take note of their repeat violation of the deadlines even as we take note also. Once again we encourage repeat defaulters in this matter to make amendments before it is too late.

We reiterate our call that the Pay-Direct option should be used or else bank transfers should made in order to forestall the challenges of returned cheques, irregular signatures and other problems that cause cheques to bounce. For those who insist on making their returns with cheques, we expect you to pay particular attention to your entries and signatures.

When making their returns, Parish Priests or Priests-in-Charge, should also ensure they attach the front page of the Blue Sheets, the one that has the name of the parish and the appropriate quarter on it. Kindly note these in your subsequent submissions.

r. Mater Ecclesiae Monastery:

  • Monthly Retreat: Mater Ecclesiae Monastery, Sangotedo, Lagos organizes a day of spiritual retreat for young girls from 15 years and above for the purpose of discerning their vocation. The retreat is scheduled to hold on the first Saturday of every month. Time: 9:00 am – 4.00 pm. Venue: Mater Ecclesia Monastery, Sangotedo, Lekki, Lagos.
  • Mater Ecclesiae Retreat Center: Mater Ecclesiae Retreat Center is officially open to everyone for personal and Group Retreats. Time for Public Adoration to the Most Holy Sacrament is from Mondays to Saturdays 9:00am to 8:30pm; on Sundays after 9:00am Mass to 12:15pm; and from 3:30pm to 5:00pm. Also, you can visit the Book Centre. For more inquiries, call 09085648168.

10. Priestly Ordination Anniversaries: We congratulate, rejoice and request your prayers for Msgri. Aniagwu John, Nwaezeapu Paschal, Sotos Ignatius and Rev. Frs. Arabi Christopher, Enearu Stephen, Olaitan Julius, Omofuma Pius, Opogah Innocent, Anyanwu Cletus, Echewodo Christian, Ikeri Emmanuel, Ngene Sebastian, Nnaemeka Augustine, Anosike Gregory, Osuntoyinbo Patrick, Akodu Peter, Agule Gabriel, Irabor Benson, Akaajime Frederick, Uwakwe Martins, Okafor Thaddeus, Ukaegbu Henry, Ukonu Andrew, Okuma Kelvin, Agu Samuel, Njoku Kingsley, Ujunwa Bertrand, Ajaero Henry, Ealefor Francis, Abhulime Andrew, Akaenyi Theodore, Yoest Robert. Others are Rev. Frs. Okojie Joel, Bariki Nicholas, Gugong Jonah, Njoku Jude-Mary, UbiliChidube Mary-Vincent, Anumba Peter, Celestine Ezenwa, Emmanuel Abah, Amojo Christopher, Peter Dim, Emmanuel Uche, Bini Thaddeus, Victor Ukanero, John Ukwa, Oguh Benedict, MgbemereCamillius, Dike Francis, Victor Eke, Onukwugha Christian, Nwoke Jeffrey, AdieleModestus, Nwokocha Collins, Anyanwu Christopher, Onyebuchi Martins, and Oyegoke John whose sacerdotal ordination Anniversaries occur this month. May God grant them lasting joy and the grace of final perseverance. Ad multosannos!!

11.  Bereavement: It is with gratitude to God for a life well spent, that we announce the home-call of Very Rev.     Msgr. PATRICK SOMIDE, who departed this world on Thursday 13th July, 2017 after a brief illness. We                 also announce the death of Mr. Maurice Mgbemere, the father of Rev. Fr. CamiliusMgbemere SDV; and                 Lolo Josephine UgochukwuMgbakor, the mother of Rev. Fr. John Smart Mgbakor who died in the month           of July, 2017. Kindly celebrate Mass for the repose of their souls. May God grant them eternal rest. Amen.

(Signed)

+ Alfred Adewale Martins

Archbishop, Metropolitan See of Lagos

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