By Josef Ishu
The Catholic Archbishop of Abuja, Most Rev. Ignatius Kaigama has promised to intensify services for more positive pastoral and spiritual impact in the Catholic Archdiocese of Abuja.
Archbishop Kaigama made the promise on Saturday, November 6, 2021 in his homily of the Holy Mass of Thanksgiving to celebrate the Abuja Catholic Archdiocese's forty years of establishment.
The Mass of thanksgiving was held at the ongoing Cathedral of 12 Apostles, Papal Ground, Kubwa Expressway and was well attended by priests, religious and the lay faithful.
The Prelate called on all pastoral agents to redouble their effort, and individuals or groups to contribute towards the evangelization drive by sponsoring modest church buildings or the purchase of land, or the building of parish houses, especially in the fifty-one newly created pastoral areas.
He therefore called on his fellow priests to remember that they have been called to build the people of God. "We are no longer our own or called to make tainted profit (cf. 1 Tim. 6:5; 1 Pt. 5: 2) for our biological families."
"By our priestly sacrifices and selfless dedication to our pastoral duties and the commitment of our lay people, our Archdiocese in the next forty years will truly be a home of communion, participation and mission, especially as we inaugurate our Archdiocesan phase of the synod on synodality, called by Pope Francis."
"Like the body parts, each of us must contribute to our pastoral, educational, medical and other social services, in a society where people have come to identify the Church as a provider of social amenities, employment, relief to the poor, etc., even though she receives no government subventions as elected political leaders lavishly do."
The Archbishop prayed that with 79 parishes, 23 chaplaincies and 51 pastoral areas; a total of 323 diocesan and religious priests and other priests on secondary assignment in the Archdiocese, 380 Sisters, 132 major seminarians; working in the Archdiocese and our Catholic population over 900,000 Catholics with vibrant youths, through the intercession of Our Blessed Mother, we implore the Lord of providence to catapult our Archdiocese in the next forty years to more pastoral heights through our labour of love; to make us shining witnesses in our troubled nation, and at the end of our lives, to enable us see God face to face in heaven.
The Archbishop disclosed that, like Abuja ecclesiastical jurisdiction, he is forty years a Catholic priest, sustained by God’s providence despite his weaknesses and imperfections.
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