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Jan 22, 2018


Catholics have been admonished to stop activities or actions that could reduce the sacredness of the Church as a place of worship for God. This admonition was given by the Archbishop Emeritus of Ibadan Archdiocese, Most Rev. Felix Alaba Job in his opening address while facilitating the 2018 Annual Retreat for all the staff of the Catholic Secretariat of Nigeria (CSN) and other agencies of the Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria (CBCN).

Noting that these activities like taking phones to the church, charging phones in the church and going out during Mass celebration or other spiritual activities to answer calls, prevent concentration on the celebration of Mass, prayers and other spiritual programmes, Archbishop Job stressed the need to give reverence to Christ in the Blessed Sacrament and other sacred images in the Church.

The Archbishop declared: “When we are gathered together, we should be wiser. The Church is a sacred place and should be respected as such.” Noting that the sacredness of the Church was at the instance of God himself, said; “Therefore, don’t go in to the church with cell phones or go out to answer calls during Mass or any other spiritual activities. It is a sign that you are not part of what you are doing; you are only there physically.”

Archbishop Job stated: “Give reverence to Christ in the Blessed Sacrament and the Sacred Images in the Church. Jesus Christ is greater than the Pope. Cultivate the habit of greeting your Lord and master with reverence and respect.” He noted that in various places he had visited in the country, he saw respect for elders as a veritable culture of the people.

He added that the same culture of respect he saw in Rome when he went there as a young man of 25 years old and saw how Christ was been venerated during the exposition of the Blessed Sacrament on the altar by the Pope and other leaders of the Church at the Vatican. The Archbishop enjoined that respect of tradition of respect for elders must not be lost, especially in the house of God.

Urging the staff of the CBCN agencies to do the right thing at the right time, Archbishop Job identified wearing immoral dresses or dressing improperly to the Church, bringing biscuits and water to the Church or engaging in other activities that could prevent concentration on the celebration of the Mass or other spiritual programmes of the Church.

His words: “You see Nigerians now will come to Church with bottles of water. What makes you so thirsty that you can’t stay with the Lord for a few minutes? They bring their children and give them biscuits to squeeze around the church. That is wrong. Let us help ourselves.” The retreat facilitator also berated the adulteration of the liturgy and prayers of the Church by the faithful, as result of the influence of modernization.

The two-day programme which marks the beginning of work for the New Year by all the agencies of the CBCN was attended by all Staff of the Catholic Secretariat of Nigeria (CSN); Catholic Caritas Foundation of Nigeria (CCFN); Opus Securitatis , CICL; Salus Trust, the HMO of the CBCN; Veritas Travels, Yakubus agency and the Pontifical Missions Societies of Nigeria (PMS).

During the retreat which also featured: Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, recitation of the Rosary, Confession and individual recollections and prayers; the retreat facilitator focused on Reflecting on the past year to determine activities and performance for the new year. He also addressed the staff the significance of the Holy Father’s New Year Message while he described as a worthwhile sign post for good Christian life in the year 2018.

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