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2018, Dec 09
Archbishop Augustine Akubeze, the President of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Nigeria (CBCN) and the Archbishop of Benin City, has advocated for a Catechetical template that will be relevant for the New Evangelization apostolate of the Church in Nigeria. The Archbishop made the call in his address while declaring open the first National Catechetical Summit of the Church in Nigeria.
The ceremony which took place at the CSN Resource Centre, Durumi, Abuja; was attended by over 300 participants from most of the Archdioceses and dioceses in the country. The theme of the summit which was organized by the Religious Education, Catechesis and Biblical Apostolate unit of the Pastoral Affairs department of the Catholic Secretariat of Nigeria (CSN); had over 15 presentations and interventions delivered by experts in different fields of relevance to catechesis in the life of the Church
Present at the programme were: John Cardinal Onaiyekan of Abuja Archdiocese, who gave the keynote address; Archbishop Franz-Peter Terbart Van-Elst, Delegate for Catechesis at the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of the New Evangelization, who represented the Vatican and the Apostolic Nuncio to Nigeria, Archbishop Antonio Guido Filipazzi. Among the speakers were: Bishops Emmanuel Badejo of Oyo Diocese, Hilary Dachelem of Bauchi Diocese and John Oyejola of Osogbo Diocese.
The CBCN President urged the summit to put in place a systemic order of reworking of the Catechetical Apostolate of the Church in the country. He continued: “At the end of the summit, we should have a clearer picture of specific ways to harmonise Catechetical syllabus for the nation; assist in creating a template for catechetical procedures in dioceses; seriously consider completing the review of the National Catechetical Directory for Nigeria and establish a form of Ratio Fundamentalis for the formation of Catechists.”
Archbishop Akubeze spoke extensively on the Catechetical Apostolate, the goal of catechesis in the Church, the National Catechetical office, financial support for Catechetical Apostolate; new challenges confronting Catechesis in Nigeria and the need for revamping the remuneration of various categories of Catechists of the Church in the country, to enable them enjoy a living wage.
The CBCN President, among other things also suggested the consideration for the introduction of on-line catechesis and other methods that will make the apostolate be in line with the universal Church guidelines in the concept of the present day world without diminishing the faith, doctrine and teachings of the Church.
 Also present at the ceremony were: Archbishops Anthony J.V. Obinna of Owerri Archdiocese; Bishops; Martin Olorunmolu of Lokoja Diocese and CBCN Episcopal Chairman for Religious Education, Catechesis and Biblical apostolate Committee; John Ayah of Uyo Diocese and CBCN Episcopal Chairman for Church and Society department (CSN); Donatus Ogun of Uromi Diocese; Donatus Akpan of Ogoja Diocese; diocesan directors of Religious Education, Catechesis and Biblical Apostolate; Superiors of Religious Congregations and their members, as well as full time and part time catechists form all over the country.


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