Our Dream, A Great St. Dominic Parish
The generous man will be prosperous and he who waters will himself be watered. – Proverbs 11:25
Nothing is Impossible
When you put your trust in god.
Join us to build for the Lord a new (Greater) St. Dominic’s.
Harken to the voice of god to thee.
Is there anything too hard for me,
Then put your trust in God alone
and rest upon his word,
for everything, oh everything,
Yes everything is possible with God
The words above, summarize the faith of the founding fathers of our parish. They represent the beauty of our parish, a parish made great by the group of determined and talented people who over the years put their hearts, minds and resources together to build a great parish that has become a rampart and home of succor for many. It has become the pride of many; no wonder the watchword – St. Dominic’s, Our Treasure and Our Pride. Thank God for documented records, I have chosen to take us back memory lane to remind the elderly and enlighten the young, how this great parish has metamorphosed over the years.
From very humble beginnings in 1951 when the very first set of Dominicans arrived the then St. Patrick Church, the parish in some sixty-four years ago, since after it was renamed St. Dominic Catholic Church has continued to grow from strength to strength. Within a period of ten months, the old church was built between 1955 and 1956. From then, the parish has continually grown in numerical strength and infrastructure achieving many “firsts” to become the great parish it is today. In 1967, a parish clinic, a first of its kind in the country was opened.In 1978, the Yaba Community Center (YCC), an all-purpose center desired by all was completed. By 1980, the twenty-classroom block was completed, followed by the parish office/bookstore block in 1982. All this while, far back as 1975, it had become glaring that the church dedicated in August 1956 had become too small for the fast growing population of parishioners. The idea of building a new church was mooted, and while a launching for this purpose was done in 1987 for a church valued at seven million naira, it was not till 1990 that the process of the new church began with a foundation laying ceremony.
It seemed a daunting task, as the economy then was said to be bad, the parish had only about three million naira then for a project that was initially valued at fourteen million naira. Then came the era of courage, determination and hard work on the part of both pastoral team and parishioners. The next three years and ten months saw the “Build for the Lord” era. All parishioners were told it would require the effort of all. Thus the Build for the Lord theme song “Nothing is impossible” emerged. People set targets for themselves to have their names engraved on plaques that would be mounted in the new church once completed. Many could not afford to make those significant contributions that would qualify them to have their names inscribed on the plaques, but resolutely and undeterred, they made their “widow’s mites” that helped to complete at a final whooping sum of thirty-five million naira, the gigantic edifice we are all proud of. More still, they went ahead to contribute towards the building of a monumental priory completed in July 1997.
A privilege and a spiritual dimension? Dearly beloved in Christ, last week we flagged off our Multipurpose Complex Commitment (MCC), aimed at getting parishioners to make commitments towards the building of a Multipurpose complex. Looking back, we seem to be going down history lane. We are undertaking a seemingly difficult and daunting task at a time when more than ever we seem to have a very bad economy. But we are reassured that Nothing is Impossible as we try to build a Greater St. Dominic. Again with a growing population, our facilities are stretched compared to demand. Our children cramp themselves to have mass and Sunday School in the YCC facility. Our Catechumen do not have space for catechism classes, societies do not have rooms for meetings. It would be fitting to have rooms for vocational classes for our youth and a befitting crèche where parishioners would confidently leave toddlers. Again we hope that with befitting event halls, many parishioners who celebrate the sacrament of Matrimony in the parish would not have to look elsewhere for halls for receptions.
Interesting, I see the characteristic grit attitude of parishioners as they responded to pick up commitment forms and envelopes last Sunday and the enthusiasm with which some have started responding with their donations. I however see this in a different light. I see this from a spiritual dimension, I see it as a spiritual privilege. Why? Scripture tells us that even when King David had all that was required to build a magnificent temple for the Lord, God had already apportioned that privilege/duty to another – his son Solomon (cf. 1 Chronicles 17:4ff, 1 Kings 8:19ff, 2 Samuel 7:5ff). In the same vein, though those before us could have built a multipurpose complex, but God has chosen to give us in these times, the privilege of being part of the history of building a Greater St. Dominic’s.
I thank those who have helped to kick-start this process and immensely all parishioners who have in faith responded so far. I enjoin others who have not responded to courageously join in believing that Nothing is Impossible when you put your trust in God, and I encourage all to persevere as we try within the next thirty months to build our Multipurpose Complex. Please be part of building a greater St. Dominic. Please do not wait till the end to make a once and for all contribution, as inflation may have set in by then. We would appreciate if the contributions would come in steadily or regularly as this would help up ensure that the work goes on continuously and the contractors do not leave the site.
Please see pages 16 and 17 (inside back cover) of this bulletin for how you can be part of the commitment. May God who has given us the opportunity of being part of this beginning help us to be part of its completion and witness the blessing, through Christ and Lord. Amen
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