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Pope urges Jesuit students to found themselves, grow and mature in Jesus

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Pope Francis on Dec. 3 met the students and staff of the Jesuit International College of the Gesù of Rome, on the occasion of their 50th anniversary this year.

By Robin Gomes

Pope Francis on Monday received some 60 students and staff of the Jesuit International College of the Gesù of Rome, exhorting them to be

founded
in Jesus and to grow and mature in Him for the greater glory of God.

A hostel for Jesuit students from around the world, the College of the Gesù was founded 50 years ago in 1968 at the initiative of late Jesuit Superior General Fr. Pedro Arrupe.

Founded in Jesus

The Argentine Pope, himself a Jesuit, told the group that the celebration of their golden jubilee means going back to what is original and essential, to be

founded
again in Jesus, in His life, reaffirming a “clear “no” to the temptation to live for ourselves, to serve and not to be served.”  

To be formed, the Pope said, means

first of all
to be founded or rooted in Jesus, to be of service like Him, to empty and annihilate like Him, obedient until death like Him, ready to face even slander, persecution and humiliation.

“I beg you, in all your things, to found yourselves totally in

God
” the Pope told the group recalling the words Francis Xavier, the saint whose feast falls on December 3.

Reminding the College of the Gesù  community that it was there that the Jesuit founder St. Ignatius of Loyola lived, wrote the Constitutions and sent his first companions on a mission to the world, the Pope said, “You are a nursery that brings the world to Rome and Rome into the world.”

Growing

During their years at the Collegio of the Gesù, the Pope said, the Jesuit students are called to grow and sink their roots.  To have roots means to have a heart well grafted in God, which is capable of expanding and responding to Him with limpid and gushing enthusiasm, with the fire that burns inside, with that positive tension, that says “no” to every compromise.

“If the heart does not expand,” the Pope warned, “it will atrophy.” “Never forget, if you do not grow, you wither.”

The Holy Father exhorted the Jesuits not to fear


crisis



,
saying without them there is no growth, no fruits without pruning and no victory without struggle.  To strike roots and grow means to fight relentlessly against all spiritual worldliness, the worst evil that leads to clericalism, he said. 

If worldliness affects the roots, it means goodbye to fruits and to the plant. Growth, he said, is a constant act against one’s ego.

Pope Francis pointed out that freedom and obedience are two signs of growth.  He urged the students to be free by being united in diversity and combatting their ego.  In this task, he said, they must never neglect prayer.

Just as for Jesus, obedience to the do the will of the Father should be our food of life, he said. 

Maturing

After founding oneself and growing in Christ, the Pope said, comes maturing, whose sign is producing fruits which fertilize the land with new seeds.  This is where mission comes into play, he said, in which a Jesuit comes to face the situations of today, to take care of the world that God loves. A Jesuit is called to be at the most intricate intersections, in the borderlands and deserts of humanity.  He is a lamb among wolves so that the Shepherd will join him there. 

The zeal for mission, the Pope said, is aided by passion and discipline in studies, which will benefit from the ministry of the Word and the ministry of consolation. In

mission
,  they can touch the flesh that the Word has assumed, by caressing the suffering members of Christ and bringing them to before the Crucified One.  In this way, patience and hope also mature. 

In conclusion, the Pope wished that the international community of the College of Gesù continue to be an active gym in the art of living, including the other. carrying one another’s burdens, frailty, histories, cultures and memories of peoples.

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CATHOLIC WORLD

Killing of Christians: Buhari lied to Trump – CAN fumes

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Killing of Christians: Buhari lied to Trump - CAN fumes

The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has reacted to President Muhammadu Buhari’s revelation of his conversation with United States President, Donald Trump, on the massacre of Christians in Nigeria, saying President Buhari was economical with the truth.

President Buhari had on Tuesday, revealed that at the heat of the bloody clashes between herdsmen and farmers in Nigeria, the United States President, Donald Trump, unequivocally accused him of killing Christians.

Buhari said these in his closing remarks at the two-day ministerial performance review retreat held at the Presidential Villa, Abuja on Tuesday.

At a point, the President digressed from his prepared speech and narrated his encounter with Trump on the bloody clashes.

He said he managed to explain to the American leader that the clashes were not about ethnicity or religion.

He said, “I believe I was about the only African among the less developed countries the President of United States invited.

“When I was in his office, only myself and himself, only God is my witness, he looked at me in the face, and asked, ‘Why are you killing Christians?’

“I wonder, if you were the person, how you will react. I hope what I was feeling inside did not betray my emotion, so I told him that the problem between the cattle rearers and farmers, I know is older than me not to talk of him. I think I am a couple of years older than him.

“With climate change and population growth and the culture of the cattle rearers, if you have 50 cows and they eat grass, any root, to your water point, then they will follow it. It doesn’t matter whose farm it is.

“The First Republic set of leadership was the most responsible leadership we ever had. I asked the Minister of Agriculture to get a gazette of the early 60s which delineated the cattle route where they used meager resources then to put earth dams, wind mills even sanitary department.

“So, any cattle rearers that allowed his cattle to go to somebody’s farm would be arrested, taken before the court. The farmer would be called to submit his bill and if he couldn’t pay, the cattle would be sold, but subsequent leaders, the VVIPs (very important persons) encroached on the cattle routes. They took over the cattle rearing areas.

“So, I tried and explained to him (Trump) that this has got nothing to do with ethnicity or religion. It is a cultural thing.”

However, CAN’s Vice President and Chairman of the association in Kaduna State, John Hayab, was not impressed with Buhari’s submission, saying “Buhari and his government will never stop from amusing us with their tales by moonlight because what is happening in Zamfara, Sokoto, Katsina, Birnin Gwari, Southern Kaduna, Taraba, Plateau and others cannot be described as a cultural thing.

He told Punch correspondent in an interview: “President Buhari’s weak story about his conversation with President Donald Trump further confirms why his government does not care about the killings in our country by calling them cultural things.

“Just this (Tuesday) evening, I received a report from the Kaduna Baptist Conference President about the number of their members that have been killed by bandits in Kaduna State from January 2020 to date to be 105 and our President will call it a cultural thing? All we can say is may God save our Nigeria.”

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Nuncio tasks clergy, laity on good stewardship

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Nuncio tasks clergy, laity on good stewardship

The Apostolic Nuncio to Nigeria, Archbishop Antonio Guido Filipazzi, has urged the clergy, religious and lay faithful to be trustworthy, transparent, selfless and generous stewards in the discharge of their duties in the Church, following the way of Jesus.

Archbishop Filipazzi made the call during the opening ceremony of the maiden General Assembly of the Abuja Archdiocese, which was held on at Our Lady Queen of Nigeria Pro-Cathedral, Friday September 4.

The General Assembly, with the theme “Catholic Archdiocese of Abuja: Together in Evangelization,” saw Bishops, priests, religious men and women, and the laity gathered together to discuss means of strengthening the faith of God’s people amid the ongoing Covid-19 health crisis.

Addressing participants, Archbishop Filipazzi said that “an administrator is neither a master nor a slave who cannot decide anything, but one who is given a responsibility by the Master.” In this light, the faithful are called to be “true administrators of divine mystery” entrusted to them by Our Lord, according to their varying roles in the Church.

The Apostolic Nuncio also said “differences must not lead to division,” as everyone, though different, must strive for unity since there is no room for divisions in the body of Christ.

Archbishop Filipazzi, speaking on the upsurge in violence in northern Nigeria in a Vatican News interview on 29 August, had also called for shunning divisions along religious and ethnic lines.

Rather, he appealed for “general respect of the law and general intervention of the government” in the violent attacks which have claimed many lives and caused massive material damage.

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Assumpta CMO raises fund to roof “St Joseph’s Hall of Faith”

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Assumpta CMO raises fund to roof “St. Joseph's Hall of Faith”

The Catholic Men Organization, CMO, Maria Assumpta Cathedral Parish Owerri, joined their counterparts in the Archdiocese to celebrate Father’s Day on Sunday, August 30.

The celebration earlier scheduled for May 10 this year was differed because of Covid-19 pandemic.

The occasion began with a Pontifical Mass presided over by His Grace, Most Rev. Anthony Obinna, Archbishop of Owerri cum Parish Priest of the Cathedral Parish.

In his homily, Archbishop Obinna called on Christians to live a life of witnessing to Christ at all times. He said that the zeal to preach the word of God is like a fire that burns inside the heart of a Christian and will not abate until one bears witness to Christ. This, he said, must be done in the course of our daily lives, in our places of work, in our families, among our friends, through living life that is Christ-like.

He congratulated the Christian fathers on the occasion and appealed for support to enable them complete their building project in no distant time. His Grace also appreciated the performance of the CMO choir during the Mass.

The theme for the parish celebration is: “Catholic Men As Spiritual Heads of the Domestic Church: Implications in the Family.”

The parish CMO used the celebration to raise fund for the roofing of their building project named: “St. Joseph’s Hall of Faith.”

In his brief remark at the occasion, the Parish CMO President, Arc. Anthony Emeka Ozoude said, “We have been able to complete the block work,” adding that, “the task before us now is to put a roof on the building.”

He therefore made a passionate appeal for generous donations from members and well wishers, assuring donors that every kobo donated will be prudently applied for the purpose.

Arc. Ozoude recalled that early this year, the parish CMO executive identified a three-prong programme of focus, namely: Membership revalidation, Debt recovery and Fund raising for the roofing.

He advised members not to sit on the fence anymore as there is so much to gain spiritually, morally and even intellectually from participating in the CMO activities both at the parish, stations and prayer groups levels.

“The committed members who attend our programmes regularly have discovered this and have remained resolute in their participation,” he said.

Activities marking this year’s celebration included Retreat, visit to ailing members in their homes, thanksgiving Mass blessing of the mini altars for the 5 prayer groups of CMO etc.

Arc. Ozoude thanked in a special way, Archbishop Obinna, the Cathedral Administrator and priests working in the Cathedral for their support. He also commended the various stations and prayer groups for their cooperation.

The CMO president acknowledged the good work and sacrifice of the Planning Committee, headed by Dr. Uche Ukozor and thanked them for a job well done.

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