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June 18, 2018

Children should be baptized in the faith, Pope Francis says

  Pope Francis spoke about the Sacrament of Baptism on Wednesday, emphasizing the importance of the Catholic practice of baptizing infants, since the grace of the Holy Spirit helps them to grow in virtue. “Why baptize a child who does not understand?” the pope asked April 11. “When we baptize a child, the Holy Spirit enters that child, and the Holy Spirit makes… the Christian virtues grow in that child, who will then flourish.” Though we hope that when a child grows up he or she will understand and desire Baptism for themselves, to withhold the sacrament from a child…

Vatican encourages youth participation in pre-synod meeting via Facebook

Vatican encourages youth participation in pre-synod meeting via Facebook

  As the pre-synod gathering on youth approaches, Vatican organizers are inviting young people around the globe to join in the discussion through Facebook groups in six different languages. The 2018 Synod of Bishops on Youth, Faith, and Vocational Discernment will take place this October, but a pre-synod meeting with 315 young people from around the world will take place in Rome from March 19-24. “With this path the Church wishes to listen to the voices, feelings, faith and even the doubts and critiques of the youth,” Pope Francis said in announcing the pre-synod event. The goal is to hear…

WHAT IS YOUR AUTHORITY?

Pastors corner with Fr Henry Ibe

  Today’s Gospel passage is emphatic that Jesus taught the people with authority, not like the Scribes!It might sound strange to suggest that the Scribes did not teach with authority, but the reality is that their teaching had too much of human power but very little of moral authority – it was bereft of compassion and was programmed for selfish gain. Moreover, they did not practice what they taught. Conversely, Jesus was forthright and used his teaching to edify rather than put people down; he challenged the people to repent but with empathy, and he lived what he taught. That…

ON FAITH AND FAITHFULNESS

Pastors corner with Fr Henry Ibe

Today we reflect on the importance of faithfulness in our faith journey. Our faith demands faithfulness – that unshaken commitment to the work of the Lord with complete dedication. St Paul makes it clear in the Letter to the Romans: “Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God–this is your true and proper worship” (Rom. 12:1) Faithfulness means we deploy the totality of our being in serving the Lord while not seeking the glory, which belongs to Him alone. Jesus teaches us in…

Disadvantages of Loss of Hope in our Faith

The resultant effect of loss of hope is hopeless condition. This continues as “despair” which adversely affects the person all round – physically, socially, mentally, morally etc. The following dangers manifest: The person loses trust in God and all his promises. He doubts the possibility of gaining favour from God. He questions one’s faith in God when one cannot receive favour from him. The person does not have self-direction again but becomes interested in carrying out activities of the devil, joins ritualists and cultists due to hard time, becomes involved in fetish practices particularly by the temporarily barren women who…

Acting on our Faith

Pastors corner with Fr Henry Ibe

On this last Sunday of Advent, we are invited to learn from the spiritual bond between Mary and Elizabeth. We are called to believe in divine promises, and to act on that faith by becoming channels of the joy flowing from it. In the First Reading, the Lord promises Bethlehem that out of it will come the Messiah. And in the Gospel, as soon as Mary learns that the promise would materialize through her, she hurries off to share the joy with Elizabeth. Authentic faith always leads to action! Mary is “the one who believed that the promise made her…

Be Proactive in faith – Archbishop Obinna advises Christians

Catholic faithful residing in any part of  Owerri Archdiocese, who have no Catholic Parish or Station near them, have been advised to be enthusiastic in applying for a Catholic Centre.  Such a centre would cater for their spiritual needs, grow into a station and eventually become a parish. His Grace, Most Rev. Anthony J.V. Obinna, Catholic Archbishop of Owerri gave the adcise recently while responding to an address of welcome presented to him by St. Peter’s Catholic Station, Works Layout Owerri, during his maiden pastoral visit and inauguration of the Blessed Tansi Catholic Parish which owns the station. He disclosed…

THE REVOLUTION IN THE HEART OF MAN

The first reading describes the love of God for His creatures.  “But you have mercy upon all because you can do all things and you overlook the sins of men for the sake of repentance.  For you love all things and does not hate anything which you created”.   In the Gospel, Jesus puts into effect the prophetic words of Wisdom.  He communicates the gratuitous love of God to Zaccheus the sinner, who converts and opens his heart and hands.   THE ENCOUNTER WITH CHRIST OPENS THE HEART AND HANDS The exterior gesture of giving, like every human gesture, is…

FAITH PERFORMS ACTION OF GRACE

The proclamation of the Kingdom of God is a proclamation made not only with words but also with actions. “Miracles seal the triumph of the Spirit over Satan and because of this Jesus invested by the Spirit, enters into combat with Satan in the desert.  Christ is the strong man, who with a hard battle, recovers from the spirit of evil what he usurped.  Jesus inaugurates the messianic kingdom destroying the undertaking of his enemy. The miracles, therefore, enter into the perspective of the inauguration of the messianic kingdom.  For its content, the miracle is an anticipation of the eschatological…

THE EXPERIENCE OF PARDON RENEWS THE SOUL

The love of God towards men is so gratuitous that we cannot claim to have it directly.  It is absolute so much that we can never say that we will miss it.  Human love on the contrary is so limited and closed by our egoism.  It rarely pushes beyond strict justice or outside of moralizing severity that we easily imagine a vindicator – God and a religion based on fear.  Who among us still recognizes that the “grace” which he asks from God means “tenderness” of God and “mercy” for the sinner?  Only an attentive reading of the Word of…

THE CHOICE OF FAITH: A RADICAL CHOICE

The act of faith in Jesus is realized and becomes concrete by taking over the reality of man in all its dimensions, from the corporal to the social and historical.  The assent to His person which is lived in a new community, has radical exigencies and brings ruptures and the sacrifice of realities and values such that their renunciation is either an act of desperation or resignation vis-à-vis the sense of existence or the opening up of earthly order to the reality of God which comes from above as grace.   RENUNCIATION AS ACT OF FAITH The renunciation of the…

THE WORD OF CHRIST, SIGN OF DIVISION

The kingdom of God is the realization of communion among men and with God. Already the prophets announced it and described it as a time of peace, of well-being, of unheard of joy; a time of universal and cosmic fraternity. Every barrier would be eliminated. There will be constituted one people for one God. Jesus realizes this project of God in humanity expressed by the prophets. He comes to “gather the dispersed sons”. His last prayer is the prayer for unity: “Father that they may be one, as we are one”.  How do we reconcile this expression with the words…

THE YEAR OF FAITH HELPS THE WEAK AND LOST FAITH (III)

1. As the Year of the Faith continues, it is my wish in this write-up, dear friends to unveil yet another aspect of the lessons of the year of faith and that is: “The Year of Faith helps the weak and lost faith”. Faith we know comes from hearing and must be believed, professed and lived. Lack of professing and living the faith, leads to weak faith and weak faith may lead to the lost of faith. Faith as a theological virtue needs to increase and therefore, cannot be inactive. If it does not increase, it may be bound to…

SO PRAYS THE DISCIPLE OF JESUS

Prayer, in its most universal definition and shared by every religion, is dialogue with God.  However, man in dialogue with God can be a risk. Man in prayer can pervert himself and God.  He can reduce God to one of his goods of consumption, to a facile remedy for all his insufficiencies and indolence.  And he can reduce himself to a being who unloads his responsibilities to another.   ONLY FAITH SAVES THE TRUTH OF PRAYER In Israel, which lives in a regime of faith, the truth of the relationship of man with God is saved, the truth of prayer. …

KSM: Mgbidi Sub-Council promotes six to 2nd Degree

The Knights of St. Mulumba Nigeria (KSM), Mater Ecclesiae Sub-Council Mgbidi, Orlu diocese has raised six brothers to the Second Degree.  The wives of the knights whom they call Sisters were similarly promoted. The investiture ceremony which took place at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church Mgbidi on June 30, 2013 started with a concelebrated Mass presided over by Rev. Fr. Ray Alaneme of Orlu diocese, assisted by the Parish Rector, Rev. Fr. Dr. Eugene Dike, his Assistant, Rev. Fr. Emmanuel Ilozurike and the Sub-Council Chaplain, Rev. Fr. Francis Amadi. In his sermon during the Mass, Fr. Alaneme reflected on the readings…

THE DISCIPLES; MESSENGERS OF SALVATION

Christ calls in order to send.  To be a disciple of Jesus is not a privilege per se but a service for the kingdom of God.  Jesus sends His disciples to “announce” that the kingdom of God is close at hand.   THE MISSION: AN ANNOUNCEMENT OF HOPE Man aspires towards peace, but he makes wars.  He wants to be loved and to love, but often he is not loved and does not love.  Man wants justice, equality, but perpetrates injustice and heats unjust and oppressive structures. In the profundity of his being man is in search of the living…

KSJ 422 celebrates birth of John the Baptist – commissions security house

Knights of St. John International (KSJ) Holy Cross Commandary, and their Ladies Auxiliary (LAUX) 350 Owerri, last Sunday, June 30, 2013 celebrated the birthday of the patron Saint of the Ancient and Nobel Order, St. John the Baptist. The Grand finale of the week-long activity –packed celebration were: the two-day seminar featuring talks by two distinguished personalities- ”Who is John the Baptist and what does he stand for?” by Prof. Goody Obodo and ”Waves of Doctrine” by Major Peter Opara, the Worthy President. There were also Sunday Eucharist celebration at the Maria Assumpta Cathedral, Special Awards and commissioning of the…

Prof. Celestine Onwuliri; A demise that would continue to live in our minds – Msgr Theo Nwalo

– As family commissions academic block for Major Seminary Activities slated to mark the one-year remembrance of Prof. Celestine Onwuliri who died in Lagos in the ill-fated Dana air crash which occurred on June 3rd, 2012 have been concluded with a memorial Mass at St. Jude’s Catholic Parish Amuzi Mbaise and the commissioning of a Philosophy Block built in memory of Prof. C. Onwuliri at the Seat of Wisdom Major Seminary Ariam, Abia State on Saturday 22nd and Sunday 23rd June respectively. The Mass which witnessed a mammoth crowd of people who came from all walks of life had Msgr….

THE CHRISTIAN IS ONE WHO HAS CHOSEN CHRIST AND FOLLOWS HIM

In all religions the great spiritual masters had disciples who were assiduous in their teaching and preoccupied with preserving their words.  We find the phenomenon also in the Bible (1R), though this configured in a particular way because the people lived in a regime of covenant and faith.  Covenant is not founded on traditions of master and disciples but on itself.  Certainly, the chosen people needed guides to orient them in the interpretation of faith in events.  This necessity was, however, provisional and the prophets expected a future in which God Himself the hearts of people without the mediation of…

Understanding the Year of Faith

Pope Emeritus, Benedict XVI, last year announced the period October 11, 2012 to November 24, 2013 as “The Year of Faith” to be observed by Catholics throughout the world. Official Vatican documents, particularly “The Door of Faith”, issued by the Pope Emeritus explained that the period will enable Christ’s faithful re-discover and share with others the precious gift of faith entrusted to the Church. This re-discovery and sharing of Catholic faith is expected to be facilitated by living out the teachings of the catechism of the Catholic Church, which is rich in the systematic presentation of our faith.  It is…