TO ALL PRIESTS AND RELIGIOUS WORKING IN THE ARCHDIOCESE OF LAGOS, AND THE LAY FAITHFUL
Dear Brothers and Sisters in the Lord:
- THE MONTH OF APRIL: I heartily welcome you to the month of April. This is a special month in the life of the Church because it ushers in the glorious season of Easter. The Lenten season, for which the liturgical colour is purple (a symbol of penance, mortification and the sorrow of a contrite heart) comes to an end, the season of Easter begins and it ushers in the liturgical colour of white — the colour of light, a symbol of joy, purity and innocence (absolute or restored).
- EASTER: The word “Easter” comes from Old English and it simply means the “East.” The sun which rises in the East, bringing light, warmth and hope, for Christians a symbol of the rising Christ, who is the true Light of the world. The Paschal Candle is a central symbol of this divine light, which is Christ. It is kept near the ambo throughout Easter Time and lit for liturgical celebrations. Easter is also the celebration of the Lord’s resurrection from the dead, culminating in his Ascension to the Father and the sending of the Holy Spirit upon the Church. Easter Time is the most important of all liturgical times.
There are 50 days of Easter from the first Sunday to the Pentecost. It is characterized, above all, by the joy of a new life and victory over death, expressed most fully in the great resounding cry of the Christian: Alleluia! All other expressions of faith flow from faith in the resurrection: “If Christ has not been raised, then empty is our preaching; empty, too, is your faith.” (1 Cor 15:14) The octave of Easter comprises the eight (8) days which stretch from the Easter Sunday to the second Sunday. It is a way of continuing to savour the joy of the day of the Resurrection. In a sense, every day of the Octave is celebrated like a Sunday.
- FEAST OF MATER ECCLESIAE: As was announced at the Chrism Masses, our Holy Father, Pope Francis has promulgated the Decree that the celebration of the memorial of “Our Lady Mother of the Church – Mater Ecclesiae” be incorporated into the Liturgical Calendar of the Universal Church. As Patroness of our Archdiocese, Our Lady, Mother of the Church would be celebrated as a FEAST throughout the Archdiocese on the Saturday before the Pentecost.
- PLENARY INDULGENCE: The Holy See has graciously promulgated another Decree by which she granted the faithful of our Archdiocese the special privilege of obtaining Plenary Indulgence by making a visit in the form of a Pilgrimage to the Holy Cross Cathedral, Lagos, and Mater Ecclesiae Monastery, Sangotedo, on two special days.
The Feast of the Exaltation of the Cross, the primary patron of our Archdiocese, (every September 14)
The Feast of “Our Lady, Mother of the Church – Mater Ecclesiae,” patroness of our Archdiocese. (Saturday before Pentecost)
It is however important to note that the conditions of going for confession, participating at Mass, receiving Holy Communion and praying for the Holy Father’s intentions, are to be fulfilled in order to receive the plenary indulgence.
- MARONITE EPARCHY: Our attention has been drawn to the different opinions being circulated on the Social Media concerning the Maronite Church in Nigeria existing in the same space as our Roman Catholic Church. In order to address all concerns, we refer everyone to the official Press Statement of the Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria (CBCN) on the subject matter.
In addition, we make the following points:
that the Maronite Catholic Church is one of the Eastern Catholic Churches that are in full communion with the Holy See.
the Maronite Church has existed since the 5th Century, and the Maronite Jurisdiction in Africa has been in existence in Nigeria since 2014 to cater for the pastoral needs of the Maronite faithful living in West and Central Africa.
The faithful of the Church have been receiving the pastoral care of priests of their Rite for a while in our Archdiocese. Msgr. Simon Faddoul was appointed to be in charge of the faithful since 2014 but he was not
appointed a Bishop until recently. After his ordination in Lebanon on 7th April, he will begin his ministry as a Bishop.
Since they belong to the Oriental Rite, the priests of the Maronite Church, whether married or unmarried, do not go about parishes of the Latin Rite celebrating Masses, but provide pastoral care and celebrate masses for their faithful within the oriental rite.
Let us take care to guard our faith from false teachings and misinterpretations.
- ARCHDIOCESAN SPECIAL COLLECTIONS: We repeat this item ono ur circular because it has come to our notice that some Parish Priests and Priests-in-Charge are not abiding with the information. The extant regulation concerning Special Collections in the Archdiocese is that on such Sundays when there is a Special Collection to be taken, it becomes the 2nd Collection and as such THERE IS NO 2ND COLLECTION at all Masses on that day. Parish Priests and Priests-in-charge are to take note and duly inform parishioners of such collections.
- VOTERS REGISTRATION: As we reminded the people at the Chrism Masses, we use this as another opportunity to encourage priests and people to ensure that they get themselves registered in preparation towards the forthcoming elections in 2019. We enjoin the Priests to sensitize and strongly encourage their parishioners that the power to determine their present and future wellbeing and welfare lies in the votes they cast during elections. It is therefore important that they participate actively in the process of choosing our Leaders.
- REVIEW OF ARCHDIOCESAN GUIDELINES: There would be a Seminar facilitated by members of the Archdiocesan Guidelines Implementation and Monitoring Team in order to review the implementation of the Guidelines in the past year shall be held with all the Priests working in the Archdiocese on 27th June, 2018. The seminars will hold at designated places in the four Regions. ALL PRIESTS ARE EXPECTED TO ATTEND AND PARTICIPATE While we thank you sincerely for your cooperation thus far, we appeal to you to lend your support and pastoral collaboration.
- SUPPORT FOR AUGUSTINE UNIVERSITY.
We want to thank all the Parishes that have heeded the call to support the Augustine University by sending in the fruits of their Augustine University Sunday so far. As you are aware the University is now in the third year and needs your support morethan ever for its maintenance and for the establishment of more Faculties in order to proceed to the second phase of its development.
We hereby repeat again the following directives concerning the support for the University:
- a) that the Second Sunday of every month throughout the Archdiocese be known as Augustine University Sunday. On that day, we expect that the priest himself will speak for a while on the situation of the University as it concerns courses on offer, facilities available, possibilities of a few scholarships etc. Parishioners are to be invited to make a collection for University. Proceeds from the collection are to be immediately remitted to the Chancery.
- b) You will recall that we authorized “Painless Giving” project asking for whatever each person can afford even if it is not more than N500.00 per month through Bank Transfer, POS or ATM. Members of the Fund Raising Committee of the University Priests at Deanery meetings to discuss the modalities for this. We expect each parish to open a sub-parish account into which the parishioners will make their monthly “painless donations”. The advantage of this is that each parish can see what comes in from the parish. At the end of each Quarter, the money will be transferred to the Central Archdiocesan account which is on our website, and which has already been circulated in our monthly Bulletin. This process will enable Parishes to know how much they are contributing to the University and give us opportunity to adequately acknowledge the Parish and the Parish-Priest. We REQUIRE the Parish Priests to give this his personal attention and the publicity it deserves. We shall take note of the attention each priest pays and duly acknowledge their devotion to this common laudable cause.
- c) Friends of Augustine University should be established in every Parish with the objective of rendering moral and financial assistance to the University. Kindly see that you organize this group and ensure that they commence operation immediately.
- d) Rev. Fr. Michael Umoh has been assigned the duty of liaising with the AUI Public Relations Office to publicize the University. Kindly give him your optimal co-operation.
- e) You will recall that Parishes were asked to offer scholarships to indigent students. Please see that this is done.
- AD LIMINA APOSTOLORUM VISIT: The Archbishop will be joining the other Bishops of Nigeria on the Ad Limina visit mentioned above begininig from 14th to 28th April in Rome. Kindly pray for the fruitfulness of the exercise.
- ARCHDIOCESAN 5TH SUNDAY LAITY COLLECTION:
We hereby remind all Priests and Priests-in-charge of the 5th Sunday Collection in support of the Laity Council. This is already being done in many parishes and it gives opportunities for more lay persons to contribute to the activities of their Council and reduce the number of levies imposed at Deanery and Parish levels. The proceeds as directed should immediately after the Sunday be disbursed to the different levels of the Laity Council as follows: 20% to the Archdiocesan Laity Council; 20% to the Deanery Laity Council and 60% to be retained for the Parish Laity Council. The leaders of the PLC should liaise with the Parish Priests to facilitate the disbursements.
- ADMISSION REQUIREMENTS FOR AUGUSTINE UNIVERSITY, ILARA (AUI): We call on Parish Priests and Priests-in-Charge to inform their Parishioners especially those seeking admission to Universities of the Admission requirements for our Augustine University. A minimum JAMB Score of 180 in relevant subject combinations is required. For more information, please visit the University website at www.augustineuniversity.edu.ng.
Available Programmes are:
FACULTY OF HUMANITIES, MANAGEMENT AND SOCIAL SCIENCES
- B.Sc. Economics
- B.Sc. Business Administration
- B.Sc. Accounting
- B.Sc. Banking and Finance
- B.A. English
- B.A. Philosophy
- B.A. Religious Studies
FACULTY OF SCIENCE
- B.Sc. Mathematics
- B.Sc. Computer Science
- B.Sc. Microbiology
- B.Sc. Biology
- B.Sc. Chemistry
- B.Sc. Physics
Parish Priests and Priests-in-Charge are expected to include this announcement in their weekly bulletin and keep repeating it.
- ARCHDIOCESAN NOVENA FOR THE SOLEMNITY OF THE ANNUNCIATION
This Novena comes up between the 3rd of April to 9th of April 2018 at the Archdiocesan Marian Shrine, Maryland. The details are as follows:
Novena: 3rd April- 8th April 2018
Solemnity: April 9th, 2018
Theme: Mary- Channel of our Peace
Venue: Archdiocesan Marian Shrine, Maryland
Time: 4:30pm daily
- CATHAN Conference: The meeting of the Catholic Theological Association of Nigeria comes up from 3rd – 6th April, 2018. Arrival is on the 3rd of April, while the Opening Mass would be on the 4th April, 2018 by 10am. Venue is the EHJ Domus Fidei, Ikeja. We are all encouraged to attend.
- 33rd Archdiocesan Youth Day: Scheduled to take place on the 8th of April 2018 with Holy Mass at Church of the Annunciation, 7th Avenue, Festac and reception at Federal Housing Authority (FHA) football field, 23 Road, Festac Town. We appeal that parishes support our youths with placement of Goodwill messages and other support they can render.
- CATECHETICS/ RELIGIOUS EDUCATION DEPARTMENT: This is to notify all parishes and collaborators about the following programmes:
- Pentecost Sunday Confirmation and Submission of names of candidates: This will hold on May 20, 2018 at St. Agnes Parish, Maryland. Names of candidates for Confirmation should be submitted to Catechists/ Religious Education Department, 19, Maye Street, Yaba. Candidates should be adequately prepared and Confirmation names chosen should conform with Catholic principles. Deadline for submission of names is April 30, 2018. For contacts and enquiry, please call 08033574050, 08066224284.
- Archbishop Alfred Adewale Martins Catholic Faith Family Project- Quiz Competition: Anchored by the knights of St. John International and Ladies Auxiliary, in collaboration with Religious Education Department, Lagos Archdiocese. We are called to unite and promote Catechists that will help families progress in their faith. The areas for coverage this year include Old Testament: Genesis and Isaiah; New Testament: Gospel of John and Ephesians; the Creed, Sacraments and Doctrines of the Church.
The timeline: Registration closes April 22, 2018
The posters and registration form is in circulation. Please seek more information. For contacts and enquiry, call 08033574050, 08037096269, 07034000974, 08066224284.
- 3. Archdiocesan Children (7-15) “Catechetical Spell and Explain” Competition: This is a remarkable newly introduced religious instructional method for our children organized in a competitive environment, with the objective to enhance growth and development in Christian faith and understanding of the doctrines of the Church. The curriculum covers Sacraments, Sacramentals, Liturgy, Words used at Mass and during Liturgical celebrations, Names of prophets in the bible and major attributes, etc. See posters for further details.
- CURIA MEETING – Members of the Archdiocesan Curia are hereby reminded of their meeting scheduled to hold on 12th April, 2018 at 10:00am in the Chancery’s Conference Room.
- ARCHDIOCESAN FINANCE COUNCIL MEETING: This comes up on Tuesday 17th April, 2018 at the Chancery by 10:00am. Those concerned should please take note.
- 60TH ANNIVERSARY OF YOUNG CHRISTIAN WORKERS MOVEMENT NIGERIA AND AN AWARD CEREMONY- this is to invite the entire clergy and Lay Faithful of the Archdiocese of Lagos to the 60th Anniversary and Award Ceremony of the Young Christian Workers Movement scheduled as follows:
Date: 1st May, 2018
Venue: Catholic Church of Ascension, Airport Road, Lagos
- CATHOLIC PRISON CHAPLAINCY- Parishes, Organizations, Societies or Individuals that wish to visit any prison or prisons, in the name of the Archdiocese should contact or notify the Archdiocesan Prison Chaplain: Rev. Fr. Jacob Adeyemi C.M on 08030600439 especially during the Lenten season and Eastertide. Let us not go there without his information.
- ARCHDIOCESAN LAY LEADER’S SEMINAR/ WORKSHOP: The workshop for all lay leaders in the Archdiocesan, deanery, Parish Laity Council, Archdiocesan and Deanery Executives of Lay organizations/ societies/ Associations and members of P.P.C. and P.F.C. comes up as follows:
Date: Saturday, 19th May, 2018Venue: St. Finbarr’s College, Akoka, Yaba
Theme: The greatest Among You Shall Be Your Servant
Time: 7:00a.m. accreditation
Participation Fee: N 2,000.00 per delegate
Delegate: 10 Delegates from Parishes
10 delegates from Lay organization/Society/Association
5 delegates from Deaneries
Please note the following:
(i) No one person should double in representation [i.e. One person must NOT represent parish or Deanery and Society at the same time]
(ii) Pay at the center or deposit into our account with the following particular:
Account Name: Catholic Lay Apostolate centre Bank: Access Bank
Account No: 0024595531 Depositor’s Name: Your Parish/Deanery/Society’s names
- SPECIAL COLLECTIONS: Please be reminded that the returns from the following Special Collections are to be made in the second quarter of the year: Youths- 08/04/2018, AUI-08/04/2018, 13/05/2018 and 10/06/2018, Social Development- 15/04/2018, Seminary- 22/04/2018, Holy Childhood- 06/05/2018, Communications Day- 13/05/2018 and Laity- 29/04/2018.
- QUARTERLY RETURNS COLLECTIONS: We commend all the parish priests who have been faithful to making their quarterly returns as when due and those who have taken advantage of our reminders in the last two circulars to make their returns. Only a few are yet to do so. We shall soon begin to publish the names of repeat defaulters. Kindly take note.
We want to encourage the use of the Pay-Direct option or Bank transfer in order to forestall the challenges of returned cheques, irregular signatures and other problems that cause cheques to bounce. For those who insist on making their returns with cheques, you need to pay attention to you entries and signature.
When making their returns, Parish Priests or Priests-in-Charge, should also ensure that they attach the front page of the Blue Sheets that has the name of the parish and the appropriate quarter on it. Kindly note these in your subsequent submissions.
- LAGOS ARCHDIOCESAN MUSIC COMMISSION (LAMCOM): This is to inform all that t1he Archdiocesan Music Commission would be sending the procedures for the selection/appointment of Parish Choirmasters to all the Parish Priests in thearchdiocese. We encourage all Parish Priest / Priests-in-charge to receive and cooperate with the Music Commission accordingly.
- FAMILY AND HUMAN LIFE UNIT (FHLU): this is to notify all who wish to be trained in the areas of marriage, family and human life as facilitators, counselors or social workers to register now by calling 08130285777 or 09082053445. Training schedules include:
- MARRIAGE THEOLOGY AND LIVED EXPERIENCE
PART TIME CLASSES:
- Weekday: First Tuesdays of each month for 10 months begins 6th February, 2018 @ 19 Maye Street, Yaba.
- Weekend: First Saturdays of each month for 10 months begins 3rd February, 2018 @ 19 Maye Street, Yaba.
FULL TIME YABA CENTRE: Begins 20th September, third Thursday weekly for ten weeks.
- Last Saturday of every month for 10 months begins 24th February, 2018 @ St Francis Catholic Church, Idimu
- Fourth Tuesday of each month for 10 months begins 27th February 2018 @ St Augustine Catholic Church Ikorodu
- Second Tuesday of each month for 10 months begins 13th February, 2018 @ Holy Family Catholic Church Festac
- Third Tuesday of each month begins 20th January 2017 @ St Margaret Catholic Church Olodi Apapa
- LOVE AND LIFE Ovulation Method (BILLINGS) of Natural Family Planning
YABA CENTRE:i. 1st Saturday of every month for 8 months begins 3rd February, 2018
- 3rd Tuesday of every month for 8 months begins 19th June, 2018
Total course fee- N 30,500 with certificate.
- BASIC CHRISTIAN COUNSELLING COURSE
- one Friday a month for three months begins 16th March, 2018.
- one Tuesday a month begins 20th February, 2018.
Total course fee- N 12,000 with certificate.
NOTE: Payment details: FAMILY AND HUMAN LIFE UNIT- CATHOLIC ARCDIOCESE OF LAGOS, ECO BANK ACCT NO. 3772028512.
- MATER ECCLESIAE MONASTERY:
- Monthly Retreat: Mater Ecclesiae Monastery, Sangotedo, Lagos organizes a day of spiritual retreat for young girls from 15 years and above for the purpose of discerning their vocation. The retreat is scheduled to hold on the first Saturday of every month. Time: 9:00 am – 4.00 pm. Venue: Mater Ecclesia Monastery, Sangotedo, Lekki, Lagos.
- Mater Ecclesiae Retreat Center: Mater Ecclesiae Retreat Center is officially open to everyone for personal and Group Retreats. Time for Public Adoration to the Most Holy Sacrament is from Mondays to Saturdays 9:00am to 8:30pm; on Sundays after 9:00am Mass to 12:15pm; and from 3:30pm to 5:00pm. Also, you can visit the Book Centre.
For more inquiries, call 09085648168.
- PRIESTLY ORDINATION ANNIVERSARY: We congratulate, rejoice with and request your prayers for Rev. Frs. Raphael Adebayo, Gabriel Amologbe, Vincent Olofinkua, Richard Fasuyi, Johnpaul Olaniran, Chukwubuikem Opechi OP and Benedict Okolo CM as they mark their Sacerdotal Ordination anniversary this month. May God grant them lasting joy and the grace of final perseverance. Ad multos annos!
- 15. BEREAVEMENT: We announce, with deep sympathy with the family concerned, the demise of Late Lady Angelina Oguh, the Mother of Rev. Fr. Benedict Oguh SDV; she died in the month of March, 2018. Also the Funeral of Late Madam Grace Ezezue, mother of Rev Fr Vincent Ezezue, comes up from 5th – 6th April, 2018 at Mathew Catholic Church, Amawbia, Anambra. Kindly remember to celebrate Masses for the repose of their souls and consolation to the families. May God grant them eternal rest. Amen.
+ Alfred Adewale Martins
Archbishop, Metropolitan See of Lagos.
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