Catholics throughout the country have been called upon to support the Catholic Caritas Foundation of Nigeria (CCFN), Emergency Appeal Fund collection scheduled to take place at all Masses in all the parishes in all the Archdioceses and dioceses in the country, on Sunday, March 29, the 5th Sunday of Lent.
The call was made by the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Nigeria (CBCN), in the communique issued at the end of their first Plenary meeting for the year 2020, held at the CSN Resource Centre, Durumi, Abuja, early this month.
In the communique signed by Most Rev. Augustine Obiora Akubeze, Archbishop of Benin City Ecclesiastical Province and Bishop Camillus Raymond Umoh of Ikot-Ekpene Diocese, President and Secretary of the Conference, respectively; the Bishops declared: “We thank all the faithful for their good response in participating in our recent Prayer processions for the repose of all who lost their lives due to the activities of criminals and other forms of violence in our country.”
They continued: “In the spirit of the same solidarity, we ask all Parishes and Dioceses to, on the fifth Sunday of Lent, organize and appeal for donations to assist the Catholic Caritas Foundation of Nigeria (CCFN) to respond to emergencies”. The CCFN is the Catholic Bishops’ Conference agency responsible for all social services through which the Church in Nigeria brings succor to the needy, the vulnerable, orphans, the marginalized, migrants and victims of human trafficking.
Speaking to Catholic News Services of Nigeria (CNSN), in his office in Abuja, recently, the Executive Secretary of the Catholic Caritas Foundation of Nigeria, Rev. Fr. Uche Obodoechina disclosed that the Foundation has been involved in many humanitarian services in different parts of the country, especially in the Northeast region, where the Boko Haram insurgents have been killing innocent people, especially Christians without any justification. He added that the special Emergency Fund is to enable the CCFN respond to the needs of victims of emergency challenges and disasters in all parts of the country, without prejudice on ethnic or religious affiliation.
Fr. Obodoechina stated that the response of the faithful to the Emergency Appeal Fund is a way of performing one corporal work of mercy, especially during this Lenten Season; and a way of showing that “we are our brothers’ keeper” irrespective of ethnic, religious and status differences. He added that this act of charity is a continuous exercise and admonished all the faithful in the country to contribute generously to the Fund.
He added that a letter of authorization by the Bishops’ Conference for the collection of the money in all Masses on Sunday, March 29; has been sent to all parish priests and published in Catholic newspapers in the country, to ensure the success of the exercise.
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