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April 22, 2018

The Church cannot be silent about economic suffering – Pope Francis

  In the preface to a book on his economic thought, Pope Francis has written that the Gospel is not an unattainable ideal, but something that the whole Church should seek, especially where there is economic injustice. “The Church, in spreading the message of charity and justice of the Gospel, cannot remain silent in the face of injustice and suffering,” the pope wrote. “Many encounters have confirmed to me that the Gospel is not a utopia but a real hope, even for the economy: God does not abandon his creatures… he invites them to not grow tired of collaborating with…

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…

Pope Francis issues New Exhortation

  Pope Francis released an apostolic exhortation in which he aims to “repropose” the universal call to holiness – which he says is the mission of life for every person. Published April 9, Gaudete et exsultate, or “Rejoice and be glad,” is Francis’ third apostolic exhortation. It is subtitled “On the call to holiness in the contemporary world.” The 44-page exhortation explains that holiness is the mission of every Christian, and gives practical advice for living out the call to holiness in ordinary, daily life, encouraging the practice of the Beatitudes and performing works of mercy. Francis mentioned the holiness…

Pope baptizes Nigerian migrant who foiled robbery in Italy

Pope baptizes Nigerian migrant who foiled robbery in Italy

  Six months ago Nigerian John Ogah was alone, without a home or job, begging for small change outside an Italian supermarket in Rome. He struggles for words to describe his situation, likening his survival to that of a dead person with nothing to lose. “It was difficult for me, really. When I [say] difficult, difficult,” the former undocumented migrant tells the BBC in a phone interview. But fast-forward half a year and John is a legal resident in Italy and hailed a “migrant hero” for confronting an armed robber. He feels like the luckiest man on earth now that…

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…

Ahiara Diocese: Bishop Ugorji calls for healing, renewal

Bishop Lucius Ugorji calls for revival on Ahiara Diocese

  …As mammoth crowds welcome him Christ’s faithful in the Catholic Diocese of Ahiara, have been called upon to embrace healing and renewal, as the way to put behind them the ugly experience of the Diocese in the recent past. It is only through a new communion and friendship within the church, as a family of God, that past animosities and misunderstandings over the appointment of a successor to their pioneer bishop, Late Most Rev Victor Chikwe, which have rocked the diocese for several years now, can be overcome. His Lordship, Most Rev Lucius Iwejuru Ugorji, the new Apostolic Administrator…

Reformist Pope Paul VI, murdered Archbishop to be made Saints�

Reformist Pope Paul VI and murdered Archbishop to be made Saints

  Pope Paul VI, who oversaw sweeping reforms of the Catholic Church in the l960s, will be made a saint along with a Salvadoran archbishop who was shot dead while celebrating Mass, the Vatican said on Wednesday. Pope Francis signed decrees giving the go-ahead for the honours on the basis of miracles attributed to each candidate, the Holy See said in a statement. The pope put Paul VI on the path to sainthood by beatifying him in October 2014, while Oscar Romero was likewise elevated to the status of “blessed” in May 2015. Paul VI completed the reforms of the…

Ahiara Diocese:  No Victor No Vanquished

Bishop Okpaleke

  To the glory of God, the protracted saga over the appointment of a bishop for the Catholic Diocese of Ahiara is over. No victor, no Vanquished! God won the battle, the church won the battle. This followed the resignation of Bishop Peter Okpaleke on Wednesday, Feb. 14. It would be recalled that he was appointed by Pope Benedict XVI in 2012 as Bishop of Ahiara to succeed the pioneer Bishop of the Diocese, Most Rev Victor Chikwe who died 2010 but Okpaleke was rejected by a majority of the local clergy and the faithful of the diocese. While the…

Why I resigned – Bishop Okpaleke

Bishop Okpaleke

  Most Rev. Peter Ebere Okpaleke said he threw in the towel as the Bishop of Ahiara Diocese for his own good and that of the church. In his resignation letter to His Holiness Pope Francis dated February 14, 2018, which was Ash Wednesday and Valentine’s Day, Bishop Okpalaeke said the problem at Ahiara was eating him up, spiritually and he can’t hold any longer. “Unfortunately the situation in Ahiara Diocese to the best of my knowledge has not improved. Most importantly, this has been threatening my spiritual life. Taking the above into consideration, I am convinced, in conscience that…

2018 Lenten Message of His Holiness Pope Francis

  “Because of the increase of iniquity, the love of many will grow cold” (Mt 24: 12)   Dear Brothers and Sisters, Once again, the Pasch of the Lord draws near! In our preparation for Easter, God in his providence offers us each year the season of Lent as a “sacramental sign of our conversion”.[1] Lent summons us, and enables us, to come back to the Lord wholeheartedly and in every aspect of our life. With this message, I would like again this year to help the entire Church experience this time of grace anew, with joy and in truth….

Bishop Amatu calls for upholding  of church integrity

  Those who receive special recognitions from the church have been charged to conduct themselves well, so as to preserve the integrity of the church. Most Rev. S.A. Amatu, Catholic Bishop of Okigwe Diocese gave the admonition as he performed the investiture of Sir Jude Chibueze Ukanyirioha (KSJI), who was recently honoured as Papal Knight of St. Sylvester (KSS) by His Holiness Pope Francis at the Cathedral of Immaculate Conception Okigwe, 23rd December 2017. The prelate elucidated on the modalities of selecting a papal awardee and said the few selected were mere samples of a lot more eligible candidates in…

Migrants and refugees: men and women in search of peace

2018 new year message by pope francis

MESSAGE OF HIS HOLINESS POPE FRANCIS – JANUARY 1, 2018 1. Heartfelt good wishes for peace Peace to all people and to all nations on earth! Peace, which the angels proclaimed to the shepherds on Christmas night, is a profound aspiration for everyone, for each individual and all peoples, and especially for those who most keenly suffer its absence. Among these whom I constantly keep in my thoughts and prayers, I would once again mention the over 250 million migrants worldwide, of whom 22.5 million are refugees. Pope Benedict XVI, my beloved predecessor, spoke of them as “men and women, children,…

Defiant Trump confirms US will recognize Jerusalem as capital of Israel …Pope calls for caution

Pope Francis warns Donald Trump

  US President Donald Trump has defied overwhelming global opposition by recognising Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, but insisted that the highly controversial move would not derail his own administration’s bid to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. In a short speech delivered at the White House, Trump directed the state department to start making arrangements to move the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem – a process that officials say will take at least three years. “I have determined that it is time to officially recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel,” Trump said. “While previous presidents have made…

Fr. Valentine Njoku – Seeking the face of Christ through the poor …Honoured thrice

Fr Valentine Njoku – Seeking the face of Christ through the poor

    When Rev. Fr. Valentine Ogechukwu Njoku began to hop from prison to prison, orphanage to orphanage, giving succor to the inmates as much as he could afford, meandering and genuflecting through homes of people living with disability, distributing wheel-chairs and sundry walking aids, sharing food and clothing materials among dejected, eking-out financial assistance to the downtrodden who hunger to start small scale businesses of their own and so on many felt it was a mere spasm of evangelical overzeal of a young priest that would peter-out someday. But that was not to be.     The priest acted…

Pope Francis: The Poor are Our ‘Passport’ to Paradise

Pope Francis on World Day for the Poor

  On the first World Day for the Poor, Pope Francis said caring for the needy has a saving power, because in them we see the face of Christ, and urged Christians to overcome indifference and seek ways to actively love the poor that they meet. “In the poor, we find the presence of Jesus, who, though rich, became poor,” the Pope said Nov. 19. Because of this, “in their weakness, a saving power is present. And if in the eyes of the world they have little value, they are the ones who open to us the way to heaven.”…

Pope donates N76m car gift to charity … Africa benefits

Pope donates N76m car gift to charity ... Africa benefits

On Wednesday, Pope Francis became the new owner of a papal-themed Lamborghini Huracán, which was given to him by company executives at the Vatican and will be auctioned off for charity. The sleek white Huracán with gold lines running along the hood and angles of the car’s body was presented to Francis in front of his residence at the Vatican’s Saint Martha Guesthouse Nov. 15. He blessed and autographed it in the presence of top executives from the luxury Italian sports car brand. The car will be auctioned at Sotheby’s in London, and the Pope has decided to give the…

Pope warns against use of mobile phones in church

Says Mass is for the Eucharist, not pictures Pope Francis on Wednesday chastised those who spend Mass talking to others, looking at their phone or even taking pictures during papal liturgies, saying these are distractions that take focus away from the “heart of the Church,” which is the Eucharist. “The Mass is not a show: it is to go to meet the passion and resurrection of the Lord,” the Pope said Nov. 8. “The Lord is here with us, present. Many times we go there, we look at things and chat among ourselves while the priest celebrates the Eucharist… But…

Celebrating World Day of the Poor, November 19

World Day of the Poor

Today poverty is a growing epidemic. Worse still, this scandalous growth is followed by an ostentatious wealth accumulation in the hands of a privileged few. This is worrying. Although Jesus said the poor would always be with us, he did not say the gap between rich and poor would be so outrageously wide and growing by the day.  The Pope is concerned. After celebrating the Jubilee of Mercy, last year, Pope Francis thought it wise to inaugurate the first World Day of the Poor to draw attention to the burgeoning poverty surrounding us. “I wanted to offer the Church a…

Gunman attacks First Baptist Church, kills 27 worshipers

Pope Francis condemns Texas-church-shooting

…Pope grieved by the ‘senseless violence’ On Tuesday Pope Francis voiced his sorrow after 27 people were killed at a Baptist Church in Texas over the weekend, offering his support and praying that such acts of meaningless violence would come to an end. In a Nov. 7 telegram signed by Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin, Pope Francis said he was “deeply grieved by news of the loss of life and grave injuries” caused in Sunday’s shooting at a Baptist church in Texas. Francis condemned the “senseless violence” and offered his “heartfelt condolences” to the families of the victims…

Pope: The Saints Weren’t Perfect, But They Allowed God To Touch Their Lives

Pope Francis marked All Saints’ Day Wednesday saying the saints are honored not because they were perfect or did everything right, but because they allowed God to touch their lives and fought hard against sin. “The Solemnity of All Saints is ‘our’ feast: not because we are good, but because the holiness of God has touched our lives,” the Pope said Nov. 1. Saints, he said, “are not perfect models, but are people whose lives God has crossed,” and can be compared with the stained glass windows of a church, “which allow light to enter in different shades of color.”…