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May 21, 2018

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….

LENT AGAIN?

Pastors corner with Fr Henry Ibe

    Fresh from his baptism, Jesus sets out to fast and pray in the desert where he is tempted by the Devil. By overcoming the temptations, he gives us a model to deal with temptations and sin.   The Lord spends forty days in the desert – a period symbolic of great physical and spiritual challenges. The Great Flood lasted forty days (Gen.7: 4, 17), and so did Moses’ fast on Mount Sinai (Ex.34:28). The spies sent by Moses spent forty days exploring the land of Canaan (Num.14:34); Elijah’s fasted for forty days (1 Kings 19:8); and Nineveh was given…

FIRST SUNDAY OF ADVENT

  ENTRANCE ANTIPHON    Cf. Ps 25: l-3 To you, I lift up my soul, O my God. In you, I have trusted; let me not be put to shame. Nor let my enemies exult over me; and let none who hope in you be put to shame.   COLLECT Grant your faithful, we pray, almighty God, the resolve to run forth to meet your Christ with righteous deeds at his coming, so that, gathered at his right hand, they may be worthy to possess the heavenly kingdom. Through our Lord..   FIRST READING A reading from the Book of Isaiah…

Archbishop Obinna visits Assumpta Parish …Says Nigeria needs prayers

  Activities marking the two-day pastoral visit to Maria Assumpta Cathedral by the Most Rev. Anthony Obinna, Catholic Archbishop of Owerri were rounded off on Sunday, August 13 with confirmation of 130 candidates and a rousing civic reception.   The pastoral visit kicked-off the previous day with visit to the four stations (formerly wings) that make up the Cathedral parish namely – Maria Assumpta, St. Joseph, St. Mark and St. Anthony. Benediction followed immediately after, before an interactive session at the Obiri-Odenigbo.   In his homily during a pontifical concelebrated Mass on Sunday, Archbishop Obinna condemned the spate of hate…

LENTEN FAST (1)

Lent is the annual period of 40 days preceding Easter, which the Church sets aside as a time of prayer, fasting and penance. In this solemn and holy season, the faithful are invited to renew their hearts and deepen their spiritual life by imitating Christ’s retreat in the desert and by contemplating the events of His passion. Fasting is one of the prescribed forms of penance during the Lenten period, whereby one atones for one’s sins and humiliates oneself before God in response to the advice of St. Peter the Apostle who said, “Humble yourselves before the mighty hand of…

PRAYER: A CRY BORN FROM OUR POVERTY

The time of expectation of the final coming of Christ is the time of faith and prayer.  “The Son of Man, when He comes, will He find faith on earth?” (Lk 18:8).  There is circularity between faith and prayer.  If it is true that to pray one must have faith, it is also true that to believe one must pray.  Persevering prayer is expression and nutrition of faith in God.  To address God explicitly is an act of faith in Him as person always present and distinct from every other reality.   TO PRAY IS TO BE SILENT IN ORDER…

Abracadabra/ Magic prayers in the Catholic Church? (1) Challenge to Knights

Prayer in our discussion today, calls for solemnity and devotion among the Catholic faithful.  When the Irish missionaries were here, there was little or no noise during Eucharistic or Liturgical celebrations, only the proper of the Holy Mass and a few hymns from the Catholic hymn book were sung.  People used to go to the Chapel or Church and stay long hours saying decades of the Rosary.  At times, the Rosary was intercepted with some devotional songs following the various mysteries. Prayer postures and format One can use any of the following postures while praying (a) kneeling down (b) standing…

Syria: US Bishops, Syrian Islamic Leader join Pope in prayer

The Grand Mufti of Syria, Ahmad Badreddin Hassou, the spiritual leader of Sunni Islam in Syria has expressed his desire to join the Pope in  praying for peace in the world especially in Syria. Fides news agency reported that “an exploratory request to that effect was sent by the Islamic leader to the Apostolic Nuncio in Damascus, His Excellency Monsignor Mario Zenari, and in coming days the feasibility of this desire will be evaluated on both sides.” Fides also reported that several Christian leaders in the Middle East affirmed that the Pope’s appeal found its way into “everyone’s hearts.” “The…

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…

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. …

Sunday Readings: FOURTEENTH SUNDAY OF THE YEAR (7/7/2013)

Sunday readings

FOURTEENTH SUNDAY OF THE YEAR (7/7/2013) OPENING PRAYER Father, through the obedience of Jesus, your servant and your Son, you raised a fallen world. Free us from sin and bring us the joy that lasts for ever.   FIRST READING A reading from the prophet Isaiah 66:10-14 Theme: Towards her I send flowing peace, like a river. Rejoice, Jerusalem, be glad for her, all you who love her! Rejoice, rejoice for her, all you who mourned her! That you may be suckled, filled, from her consoling  breast, that you may savour with delight her glorious breasts. For thus says the…

I begin every programme with Novena – CGC Commissioner

The Commissioner for Community Government Council (CGC) and Chieftaincy Affairs, Imo State, Barr. Lady Ugochi Nnanna-Okoro has attributed the success of her ministry so far to the power of Novena. A Novena is a series of prayers that are said for nine straight days, usually as a prayer of petition. Speaking during an interactive session with the press on the ongoing chieftaincy dispute resolution in the state, Barr. Nnanna-Okoro said God is using Governor Rochas Okorocha to bring peace to several communities most of which have been in turmoil for decades following ezeship tussles. Emphasizing the efficacy of Novena prayer,…

Sunday Readings: THIRTEEN SUNDAY OF THE YEAR (30/6/2013)

Sunday readings

THIRTEEN SUNDAY OF THE YEAR (30/6/2013) OPENING PRAYER Father, you call your children to walk in the light of Christ. Free us from darkness and keep us in the radiance of your truth   FIRST READING A reading from the first book of the Kings 19:16. 19-21 Elisha rose and followed Elijah The Lord said to Elijah: “Go, you are to anoint Elisha son of Shaphat, of Abel Meholah, as prophet to succeed you.” Leaving there, Elijah came on Elisha son of Shaphat as he was ploughing behind twelve yoke of oxen, he himself being with the twelfth. Elijah passed…

Sunday Reading: 12TH SUNDAY OF THE YEAR C (23/6/2013)

Sunday readings

OPENING PRAYER Father, guide and protector of your people, grant us an unfailing respect for your name, and keep us always in your love.   FIRST READING A reading from the prophet Zechariah 12:10 – 11 Theme: they will look on the one who  m they have pierced It is the Lord who speaks: “Over the House of David and the citizens of Jerusalem I will pour out a spirit  of kindness and prayer.  They will look on the one whom they have pierced; they will mourn for him as for an only son, and weep for him as people…

Calvary Intercessory Association celebrates 20th anniversary – Extols Spiritual Directors

Members of Calvary Intercessory Association (CIA) comprising more than eight dioceses from eight states in Nigeria, notably: Ekiti in Ekiti State, Ibadan in Oyo State, Awka in Anambra State, Umuahia in Abia State, Auchi in Edo State, Ahiara in Imo State, Issele-Uku in Delta State, Ondo in Ondo State and Mina diocese in the making, gathered in their numbers at St. Joseph’s Catholic parish Ushi, Ekiti Diocese, May 31 – June 2, 2013 and celebrated the 20th anniversary of their cherished association. The Eucharistic celebration was presided over by Rev. Msgr. Edward Ogidan and concelebrated by Rev. Frs. Raph Osegboun,…

Sunday Reading: ELEVENTH SUNDAY OF THE YEAR C (16/6/2013)

Sunday readings

ELEVENTH SUNDAY OF THE YEAR C (16/6/2013) OPENING PRAYER Almighty God, our hope and our strength, without you we falter. Help us to follow Christ and to live according to your will.   FIRST READING A reading from the second book of Samuel 12:7 – 10. 13 Theme: The Lord forgives your sin; you are not to die. Nathan said to David, “The Lord the God of Israel says this, ‘I anointed you king over Isreal; I delivered you from the hands of Saul; I gave your master’s house to you, his wives into your arms;  I gave you the…

Sunday Reading: TENTH SUNDAY OF THE YEAR C (9/6/2013)

Sunday readings

FIRST READING A reading from the first book of Kings 17:17 – 24 Theme: Look your son is alive. The son of the mistress of the house fell sick; his illness was so severe that in the end he had no breath left in him.  And the woman said to Elijah, “What quarrel have you with me, man of God? Have you come here to bring my sins home to me and to kill my son?” “Give me your son,” he said, and taking him from her lap, carried him to the upper room where he was staying and laid…

Come, Let Us Imitate The Faith Of Mary – (2)

See the previous article on this topic Then the massacre of the Holy Innocents. Does that incident hit us? Think of it! : The first effect of the Saviour’s birth was that almost every family in the area with a male child was plunged into mourning. Every babe under two years was murdered, butchered. And as a mother, Mary knew the impact on the mothers whose children were massacred. What excruciating agony and desolate darkness her faith must have gone through! What a superhuman effort it must have taken for her to remain loyal, to continue to believe, respect and…

Communiqué To Rescue Nigeria From Collapse – CBCN

Statement of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Nigeria, issued at the end of the Retreat to mark the Year of Faith(May 11-17, 2013, at the Daughters of Divine Love Retreat and Conference Centre, Abuja. We, Catholic Bishops of Nigeria have spent this last week in prayer to mark the Year of Faith. During this period, we have reflected and prayed for the Church in Nigeria and our dear country. We are confident that prayer remains an indispensable means for restoring our country to normalcy. For the last two years, we have witnessed an unprecedented escalation of violence and criminality across…

Sunday Reading: MOST HOLY TRINITY YR C 26/5/2013

Sunday readings

OPENING PRAYER Father, you sent your word to bring us truth and your Spirit to make us holy.  Through them we come to know the mystery of your life.  Help us to worship you, one God in three Persons, by proclaiming and living our faith in you.   FIRST READING A reading from the book of Proverbs 8:22-31 Theme: Before the earth came into being, Wisdom was born. The Lord created me when his purpose first unfolded. Before the oldest of his works. From everlasting I was firmly set, from the beginning, before earth came into being. The deep was…