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May 21, 2018

Saluting the fathers On 2017 Father’s Day …Be the St. Joseph of your family, Church, nation

Fatherhood is a great honour accompanied with great responsibility, tasks and obligations that ought to be met. Fatherhood is attained more specifically by choice and more or less by chance, but be that as it may, the circle of fatherhood accommodates all, both those by choice and by chance. the attainment of fatherhood by any means does not negate the stand you should have in relation to the responsibility expected of you to your growing family.   The world needs real men who become real fathers. Fathers who accepts their own mannerism without abdicating their fatherly authority; fathers who would…

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The Shepherd God

Pastors corner with Fr Henry Ibe

On this Good Shepherd Sunday, we acknowledge God as the universal shepherd of humanity, and ourselves as the sheep of his flock. Today is also the World Day of Prayer for Vocations. The Patriarchs of Israel were shepherds, just like their early kings. And in Scripture, the prophets speak endlessly of Israel as the flock of God. In the Responsorial Psalm today, we see what our Lord the Good Shepherd does for us his sheep: “Fresh and green are the pastures where he gives me repose. Near restful waters he leads me, to revive my drooping spirit” (Ps. 23:2-3a). Of…

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Canonization of Blessed C.M.I Tansi: A Rejoinder/Testimony

Canonization of Blessed Tansi

I refer to the serialized publication on the above by Msgr. Nathaniel Ndiokwere in The Leader. This matter is not only lgbo, Nigerian or African but of the universal church. I prayed for the canonization of those mentioned by the writer because of the publicity given to them. The cult of Fr. Tansi spread like wild fire a few years after his beatification at Oba town. Thousands of the faithful stormed to Oba for the beatification. Many joined Tansi Sodality and sewed uniforms with Tansi’s image. The sodality formed at Holy Cross Aladinma Parish Owerri died some five years ago,…

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Ndigbo will be better off in Biafra

I feel highly disappointed when I hear some Igbo sons and daughters kick against Biafra especially those who know the history of Nigeria very well. They don’t want Biafra. They want one Nigeria. What a disappointment? How long will it take some of these Igbos to know that there is no basis for One Nigeria. Out of the three major ethnic groups (Hausa, Igbo and Yoruba), the two major ethnic groups – Hausa and Yoruba don’t want us. What they want is our land and our national resources and not the human resources. It is only the Igbos who want…

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The Bumpy Ride of Life

Pastors corner with Fr Henry Ibe

Today, we are called to see our life on earth as a pilgrimage, laden with bumps and potholes. But God is always on hand to steer us through. He’s got our back! In the Second Reading, St Peter says: “you must be scrupulously careful as long as you are living away from your home.” We are pilgrims on our way back to the Father’s house. The Responsorial Psalm explains that God is faithful and, if we stay close to him, he will show us the path of life and everlasting happiness. The Gospel passage expresses the same truth – Jesus…

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Looting and whistle blowing Policy

Those who fought for Nigeria’s political independence had a dream of a country where tribe and tongue will not count and where no man shall be oppressed. It was with pride, and great sense of nationalism and patriotism that they looked forward to a country that will stand shoulder to shoulder with other nation states. Theirs was a dream of building a country where corruption and its attendant vices, are banished; a country where human life is sacred and respected, and where the rights of the individual are protected. But alas what we have today as a nation is a…

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Cardiac arrest or heart attack: Any difference?

Many a times, we tend to confuse cardiac arrest with heart attack, as if they are one and the same disease condition. Cardiac arrest and heart attack are entirely two different heart disease conditions, even though they may have some similarities and some linkages. Cardiac arrest is an abrupt loss of heart function due to the malfunctioning of the heart electrical system. In this condition, the heart will suddenly start beating abnormally, producing irregular heartbeats that originate from one of the lower chambers of the heart, known as the ventricle. This reduces the pumping capability of the heart which will…

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Buhari’s Whistle-blowing policy working wonders

President Buhari’s corruption sledgehammer has eventually fallen on two heavy weights in his government.  Ambassador Ayodele Oke, Director-General Nigerian Intelligence Agency (NIA) and Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Babachir David Lawal, have been suspended. Ayodele is being investigated for a whopping N13 billion loot, (comprising $43 million, £27,800 and N23.2 million) found in an apartment at Osborne Towers, Ikoyi, frequented by his wife, Folashade, while the SGF is being investigated for allegations of violating the law and due process in the award of contracts, amounting to billions of naira, under the Presidential Initiative on the North East (PINE)….

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Mercy Begets Mercy

Pastors corner with Fr Henry Ibe

The Feast of Divine Mercy was established on April 30, 2000 by Pope John Paul II, at the canonization of Saint Mary Faustina Kowalska, the Divine Mercy visionary. Saint John Paul II is our Apostle of Mercy. He saw forgiveness as a necessary ingredient for peace on earth. We know that it was him who established the Divine Mercy Sunday celebration on April 30th, 2000, and that he died on Saturday, April 2nd, 2005, shortly after the vigil Mass of the Feast of Divine Mercy. He was beatified on the Feast of Divine Mercy in 2011. And finally, he was…

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LIVING BEYOND DEADLY BONDAGE

A 2017 EASTER MESSAGE Christ the Lord is risen again! Christ has broken death’s strong chain Alleluia Up till one hundred years ago, the name Jesus Christ was barely known in Igbo land and in most parts of black Africa. Today not only is Jesus Christ worshipped as God in these parts, He is also seen as the one and true Redeemer or Savior of the world. The reason for this worship of Jesus Christ derives from his rising from the grave of death and appearing again to his bewildered apostles and disciples.   At the time of Jesus’ arrest…

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The Joy of Easter

Today is Easter Sunday, the day Christians all over the world celebrate the resurrection of Jesus. The joy of Easter derives from the delightful surprise of Christ rising from the dead. There was a sort of sudden replacement of the sense of shock, trauma, disappointment and hopelessness as a result of the way Jesus was tortured and his excruciating death. With the disciples, the thought process wasn’t so fast, they struggled to remember, he promised he will be raised on the third day. The post resurrection experience was that of sorrow turning into joy. It was indeed a delightful surprise….

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The Mysteries of Christ’s Resurrection

Today is Easter Sunday. For us Christians, Easter is the celebration of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. The Easter Sunday Mass holding in Churches across the world today is among the most attended Sunday services as it marks the end of Lent, a 40 – day period of fasting, prayer, almsgiving and spiritual discipline that is observed by every Christian faithful. While Easter is being marked with great pomp and revelry in certain quarters, we should not lose sight of its overall significance. Beyond the culinary pleasures associated with the feast let us not forget that, had the…

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The Power of Easter

Pastors corner with Fr Henry Ibe

Jesus is alive! Our Lord is risen because, “it was impossible for death to keep its hold on him” (Acts 2:24). Adam’s rebellion is reversed and man’s communion with God is restored. Through the victory of Christ, we have been assured of divinization; we have become sharers in the divine nature. What a great paradox that we have been so immeasurably rewarded for our sinfulness – through the merits of Christ. That is the amazing depth of God’s love; the unfathomable wonder of divine madness. The resurrection of Christ means everything for us. It confirms everything he said and did:…

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Good Friday Collection to benefit Holy Land Christians

As Christians in the Middle East continue to suffer innumerable hardships this Lenten season, the Vatican has announced that this year’s Good Friday Collection will benefit Christian communities in the Holy Land.   “Once again, from every part of the Church, expressions of solidarity come together effectively in the Good Friday Collection,” stated Cardinal Leonardo Sandri, prefect of the Congregation for the Oriental Churches, in a recent press release. “Our sense of communion in the suffering and risen Christ moves us again this year to undertake the important initiative that is the Collection for the Holy Land,” Cardinal Sandri said….

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The Spirit of HOLY WEEK: Its Tradition and Spiritual Imports

The last three days of the forty days spiritual journey with the Lord through fasting, prayer and almsgiving usually launch us into the solemn atmosphere of recalling the events surrounding the salvific mystery of humanity. Right from antiquity, these days were designated as “Holy” and were set-aside for the commemoration of the paschal mystery of our Lord which reached its apogee with the service of Easter vigil on Holy Saturday. It is often the long awaited moment in the spiritual life of the Church. The week reflects the tender and humble nature of our Lord and Redeemer. It always comes…

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Understanding the essence of Palm Sunday

Palm Sunday is one of those major Christian festivals which has gradually become Paramount in the Church’s liturgical Calendar.  Like the ash Wednesday ritual which begins the Lenten season, the palm Sunday practice which used to be a purely Catholic Church ceremony has been appropriated by the entire Christendom worldwide. Simply understood, it is a spiritual carnival commemorating the historical solemn but triumphant entry of our Lord Jesus Christ into Jerusalem about two thousand and seventeen years ago.   Here in Nigeria and Owerri town in particular almost every Christian irrespective of his or her denomination participates in the open…

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From Hosanna to Crucifixion

Pastors corner with Fr Henry Ibe

It’s Palm Sunday today and it is Passion Sunday! It is a day of dramas and monumental contradictions. On this day, we commemorate the triumphal entry of a king who ends up dying like a common criminal. It is a day of both “Hosanna”,and of “Crucify him!” It’s a day of acclamation: “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord” and, also, a day of denials: “I do not know him!” It’s a day of paying homage and, also, a day of mockery!   Dear friends, as we recall one of the most dramatic episodes of the…

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The Significance of “Oji Igbo” In Igbo Cultural Renaissance

Within the upland ecological zone of the tropical Rain Forest south of the Sahara is one evergreen perennial medium sized cauliflorous tree called “Oji”. The evergreen or brown pods contain one or more seeds. “Oji” is known or be planted most by Yoruba farmers for its commercial and medicinal values. It is known to be eaten most by the Hausa/Fulani tribes as a nerve tonic and for its energy prone properties.   It is known to be venerated and ceremonized most by the igbos for cultural identity. A tick epicarp covers the seed while a membrane protects it from drying…

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Media ethics, a necessary tool for reporting violence in Nigeria – Catholic directors of Communication

Resolutions issued at the end of the First Plenary of the Association of Diocesan and Religious Directors of Social Communications of the Catholic Church in Nigeria, on Media ethics held at Pinnacle Hotel, Sokoto, Sokoto State, from 13-46 March, 2017   1. Preamble We, the Diocesan and Religious Directors of Social Communications of the Catholic Church in Nigeria, held our First Plenary at Pinnacle Guest Inn and Resorts, Sokoto, in the Diocese of Sokoto, from 13-16 March, 2017. It featured conference presentations and workshops. After reflecting on the papers presented by a team of resource persons on Information management, the…

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This is Holy Week

Welcome to the most sacred week in Lent – Holy Week! The greatest focus of this week is the passion (suffering) and resurrection of Jesus Christ and the events that led up to it. The high point of this week is the Paschal Triduum (Holy Thursday, Good Friday and Holy Saturday). For those who may not know why this week is called holy and observed as such, this is why.   So, Holy week is the week preceding the resurrection – Easter Sunday. It is most definitely a very sacred time of  the year, for it is during Holy Week…

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