Workers of the Catholic Secretariat of Nigeria (CSN) and other agencies of the Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria (CBCN) have been called upon to embrace collaborative ministry in the discharge of their various duties to enhance the evangelization apostolate of the Church in the country.
The call was made by the Metropolitan Archbishop of Kaduna Ecclesiastical Province, Most Rev. Matthew Man’Oso Ndagoso while moderating the 2017 annual retreat of the workers at the Catholic Bishops Conference at the CSN Secretariat in Durumi, Abuja.
Speaking on the essence of team work or collaborative ministry; Archbishop Ndagoso stated that as the face of the Church and the Bishops Conference, the workers have the primary challenge of collaborating to make the Gospel message of Christ authentic and credible, by the way they work together and serve the people that come to their various offices for one thing or the other.
Using several Biblical references and other Church documents to buttress his point, Archbishop Ndagoso told the workers that the Church exists to promote and witness to the teachings of Christ adding that the quality of the early Church and the credibility of the early Christians accentuated by the collaboration, cooperation and unity attracted many converts to the Church.
He urged the workers to harness their individual talents to serve the Church in unity and collaboration, so that the message of the Gospel can be well assimilated by the faithful and prospective converts. While noting that united witness in the proclamation of the Gospel and unity among the proclaimers is paramount to the work of the Church, the Archbishop declared: “Unity is and end result but the means towards the result. You are all agents of the Gospel. We exist to proclaim the gospel of the Lord”
The Archbishop continued: “Quality of the proclaimers affect the credibility of the gospel proclaimed. Unity among evangelizersis very important and CSN and other Bishops agencies workers as face of the Church in Nigeria must collaborate to make the gospel message authentic and credible.”
Archbishop Ndagoso noted that the charisms of each group used in a non competitive way will help the Church to achieve her evangelization apostolate; adding that the concept of the Church as the people of Church as the people of God encompasses the idea of team work or collaborative ministry.
Stressing the importance of subsidiarity, solidarity and dialogue in the life of the Church, Archbishop Ndagoso pointed out that If the Church is corporate in its basis, it must also be corporate in its function thereby bearing witness to authentic Christianity.” He added that for the CSN and other agencies to be able to realize the objectives of the Bishops Conference, teamwork among the workers is not an option but a necessity. He added that, in this perspective, there is no room for envy, jealousy or power seeking, but mutual respect and trust among all workers as well as sharing of responsibilities for the benefit of the common good of all.
Earlier in his opening address, Archbishop Ndagoso stressed the importance of retreat in the life of man, describing it as an opportunity to pray open up oneself to God, recapitulate the past to determine the present and plan for the future. He commended the CSN authority for starting the new year with a retreat for the workers pointing out that this will enable to reflect on their performance in the past year, plan for the new year and move closer to God in prayer and adoration.
While noting that the period of retreat enables the participants to abandon themselves to God who in turn speaks to them in the inner self, it also provides an opportunity for the Holy Spirit to speak to us, Archbishop Ndagoso declared. He stressed: “Retreat is a moment of encounter with the Lord. If we open up to God on this wonderful mountain as a team, He can transform us for the common good of the Church, CBCN and the CSN.” He urged all the workers to take advantage of the reflection period to renew themselves in all facets of life.