By Most Rev Francis Adesina

The Catholic Bishop of Ijebu-Ode, Most Rev Francis Adesina has charged priests in the diocese to be more dedicated to their priestly calling.

Bishop Adesina handed the charge recently in a remark titled “Dedication to Priestly Ministry” at the monthly recollection by the clergy of the diocese held at Holy Trinity Catholic Church, Imomo, Ogun State.

He said, “I would like to reflect with you today on the theme “Priestly Dedication.” One thing that made St. Johnbosco stand out in his ministry was his dedication to the youths around him. His dedication made him go extra length to look for ways to help the youths and make them grow and overlook the various challenges and setbacks. This same dedication is what we are expected to have in our Priestly ministry”.

According to the Local ordinary, to be dedicated means to be committed, focused, steadfast, sustain positive enthusiasm, to be disciplined, to make sacrifices, to be resolute, to be an achiever and not a quitter and so on. “We need to be dedicated to a particular or valuable cause and the cause here is our Priestly ministry. How dedicated or committed are we to our Priestly work in the Diocese of Ijebu-Ode? Everyone is dedicated to something. The question is what are you dedicated to?

“Being dedicated to the Priestly duty is a sign that we know truly the work we have accepted. To be dedicated is to fulfil the mission of Christ in looking for the lost souls and bringing them back to the fold. There is certainly a great reward for Priestly dedication”.

The Bishop reiterated that the monthly recollection of Priests working in Ijebu-Ode Diocese is a valuable tradition that must be sustained and that the monthly recollection is a time to re-connect with God and re-examine our Priestly work and call.

“Aside the fact that we are able to socialize by meeting ourselves regularly, it offers us opportunities to be reconciled back to God through the acts of Penance and prayers. For those Priests who have made it a point of duty to always absent themselves from this gathering, we must re-awake in them the spirit of recognizing the importance of such gatherings and event. It must never be heard that the zeal of attending such gatherings has gone down in some priests. Nobody should attend such a prayer gathering with the hope or desire of impressing the Bishop. The purpose of coming is a personal one – to reconnect with God, who we are working for in his Vineyard.

“It is a pity that some priests are so committed to other tasks and duties that brings in money to their personal pockets. As Catholic Priests, Is the pastoral care of the people of God under your care a concern to you or all you care about is self?  Salvation of souls or damnation of souls? To build, unite and heal the body of Christ or to inflict more injuries to the Body of Christ? We need to examine ourselves and ask the above questions”.



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