National Chaplains and Sister Advisors of the various laity groups in the Church have been enjoined to remain steadfast in their apostolate of leading the various groups of the laity in the Church spiritually and pastorally in conformity with the teachings and values of the Church. In this perspective, they were urged to emulate St Paul by imbibing the spirit of courage and dedication under the influence of the Holy Spirit.
This admonition was given by Most Rev. Michael Apochi, the Catholic Bishop of Otukpo Diocese and Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Nigeria (CBCN), Episcopal Chairman for Pastoral Agents Department of the Catholic Secretariat of Nigeria (CSN); in his homily at the closing Mass for the training programme organized for newly appointed Chaplains and Sister Advisors of Church sodalities and other groups in the country, by CSN department of Pastoral Agents.
The programme which took place recently at the CSN Resource Centre, Durumi, Abuja was attended by about 30 Chaplains and Sister advisors from different parts of the country and featured paper presentations by experts in different aspects of the roles, needs and expectations of spiritual directors for laity groups.
Using the readings of the day to buttress his point, Bishop Apochi enjoined the Chaplains and Sister Advisors on their roles and duties of spiritually guiding the laity entrusted to them, with sound teaching of understanding their faith and the Scriptures; as well as how to live a life of spirituality as faithful followers of Christ. In the same vein, Bishop Apochi stressed the need for the lay faithful to pray for their spiritual directors, so that they can religiously carry out their apostolate without any hindrance.
Addressing the participants at the opening ceremony, Bishop Apochi noted the invaluable roles of the chaplains in their apostolate; stressing: “The lay faithful shall use the services you shall render to them in various societies and organizations which they belong in the Church to enhance the quality of their Christian life.” He urged them to take advantage of the opportunities offered by the training programme to enhance their apostolate and participate actively to enable them serve the lay faithful effectively to the greater glory of God.
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