Abeokuta Diocese @ 20: Spiritual, Physical Growth of the diocese; a collective responsibility - Bishop Odetoyinbo
The Bishop, Catholic Diocese of Abeokuta, Most Rev. Dr. Peter Kayode Odetoyinbo has reiterated his call for continued cooperation and support of priests, religious and entire faithful of the diocese, reminding them that the spiritual and physical growth of the diocese is a collective responsibility.
According to the Bishop, who made the call at the 20th anniversary of the Canonical erection of the diocese held at Ss. Peter & Paul Catholic Cathedral, Itesi, Abeokuta on 24th January, 2018 enjoined the faithful to continue to “be devoted to God and his Church in your families, the societies and in your places of work”.
“Let each of us renew our dedication, forgive and pledge together from today to be committed children of God and his Church in Abeokuta Diocese so that the mission of Christ will continue to expand”, Bishop Odetoyinbo said.
He added, “let none of us, at home and abroad, have a different agenda and purpose nor work and speak and act as such than to be committed to the faith and love of Christ Jesus as Clergy, Religious and Laity because united we stand divided we fail and fall”.
“Many parishes will emerge, many Priests will be ordained, religious will be consecrated, families will increase and for Abeokuta diocese there will be no limit to its growth and expansion because it is God’s doing”, he assured.
To mark the anniversary, Bishop Odetoyinbo pronounced the creation of St. Sebastian Catholic Church, Ajegunle as a Parish, with Rev. Fr. Clement Olaniyan as the pioneer Parish Priest. St. Sebastian Parish, Ajegunle was carved out of Holy Trinity Parish, Idiroko.
Bishop Odetoyinbo during the thanksgiving was full of appreciation to God for His benevolence to the diocese and her faithful in the last 20 years for different successes that had been recorded in the diocese.
“Our hearts, all of us Bishop, Clergy, Religious and Laity are full of joy and gratitude for God’s glory that he has manifested in the diocese, for counting Abeokuta worthy after many years of missionary work to be created as a diocese”.
“I acknowledge with you all the efforts of the missionaries the SMA and OLA, Priests, Catechists, lay faithful that had laboured for Jesus to be present in the land called Abeokuta Diocese today”
“We acknowledge the contributions and pastoral commitments of Anthony Cardinal Okogie the Emeritus Archbishop of Lagos, Most Rev. Alfred Martins the Archbishop and Metropolitan of Lagos Province, who by God’s providence and choice was the first Bishop of Abeokuta diocese. He is worthy of applause for all he did for 14 years with the clergy religious and laity at his disposal”.
“He set the diocese on the path of success and progress with increase in priests, parishes and lay association, spiritual and physical development that we today have continues to sustain and develop to where we are today”.
“We also applaud the efforts of the Diocesan Administrator who took the mantle of leadership from the Archbishop Martins the person of Msgr. Christopher Ajala and the clergy and religious and lay faithful that worked with him from 2012-2014 before we were consecrated and installed as the bishop of Abeokuta in June 2014. His period also saw the progress of the diocese both spiritual and physical”.
He admonished the faithful “to continue to serve and seek heaven alone that brings true happiness and fulfilment. Today as your Bishop I am happy and fulfilled with what God has used all of us to do for his glory and honour.
“I can notice so many developments in the past 20years which give me courage and hope that God is not done yet with us and we too are not done yet for God to continue to reign in this Diocese of Abeokuta”.
“The dedication of the Cathedral of SS Peter and Paul in 2016 among other successes achieved is our pride and we have taken an enviable position among the dioceses in Nigeria. The growth and increase in number of Priests, Vocations and Parishes are quite commendable and we are grateful to God because through Mary our Mother we have succeeded and we will continue to succeed because this is God’s own Diocese”.
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