Archbishop\’s Desk – 16th February, 2020


Dear Brothers and Sisters in the Lord:

The month of February is also the month in which we begin the Holy Season of Lent, a season in which we are called to deepen our relationship with God through prayer, fasting and almsgiving. With the Ash Wednesday (February 26), the liturgical colour changes to violet; and this Holy Season offers us the unique opportunity of repentance and interior conversion.

A Few Thoughts on Lenten Observances: As we begin the season of lent, we hereby remind everyone of the following regarding the season:

  1. Abstinence: All the faithful who have reached 14 years of age and above are required to abstain totally from meat or favorite dish or drink on Ash Wednesday (February 26) and Good Friday (April 10) and all the Fridays of Lent.
  2. Fasting: All the faithful between the ages of 18 and 60 years are obliged to fast. In practice, fasting involves limiting oneself to a single full meal or two smaller meals a day. Those who are sick, pregnant or nursing or whose health would adversely be affected by fasting should not consider themselves bound by this norm.
  3. Parents and teachers are responsible for helping young persons, who are not bound by the norms regarding fasting and abstinence to recognize the value of genuine acts of penance and self-denial.

We are also required to pray fervently for the catechumens who will receive the Sacraments of Initiation during this period.

  • Please find below some of the other ways we can observe this period of Lent in order to receive the graces of the season in full:
  • Avoid Sin: Keep yourself away from all occasions that could lead to sin. If you fall into sin, repent and return to God by receiving the Sacrament of Reconciliation, doing appropriate penance and making a firm resolution not to fall into sin again.

ii. Practice Charity; be more generous especially in giving to the poor and needy and in contributing to the works of the church, remission of debts and payment of just wages.

iii. Pursue and achieve reconciliation with anyone with whom you are not at peace or with whom you have a quarrel of misunderstanding.

iv. Read the Scriptures in order to deepen your intimacy with God, spread the kingdom of Christ and help others to know and return to Christ.

v. Pray before the Blessed Sacrament, go to Mass often, if possible, daily.

vi. Be regular at the Stations of the Cross on Wednesdays and Fridays and do it every day if you can.

vii. Take part in the Lenten Programmes and retreats that will be organized in your parish. Take full part in the Holy week ceremonies.

viii. Pray your Rosary daily.

Bear in mind that all other Fridays of the year remain Days of penance in prayerful remembrance of the passion of Jesus Christ.

Small Christian Communities’ Leadership Workshop: There shall be a Leadership Workshop for Leaders and Facilitators of the Small Christian Communities in the Archdiocese on 14th March 2020 by 10.00am at Holy Cross Cathedral.

JDPC LENTEN CAMPAIGN FOR 2020: The Annual Lenten Campaign for the JDPC will take place on the first Sunday of Lent (1st March, 2020).

Admission into the Catholic Secondary Schools: This is to inform everyone that admission into JSS 1 for the 2020/2021 Academic Session in all Catholic Secondary Schools in the Archdiocese is in progress. The Entrance Examination comes up on 29th February 2020 at the selected schools.

Forms can be obtained from the school of choice, any of the Catholic Primary Schools in the Archdiocese, selected parishes and electronically on or on any of the following schools’ website:

1. St Gregory College, South-West, Ikoyi

2. Holy Child Girls College, Ikoyi

3. St Finbarr College, Akoka

4. Bethlehem Girls College, Abule-Ado

5. Mater Ecclesiae College, Epe

6. Sacred Heart College, Apapa

7. Maryland Comprehensive Secondary School, Maryland

8. Our Lady of Apostles Secondary School, Yaba

9. Marywood Girls College, Ebute-Metta

10. St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic College, Okomaiko

Sale of forms close one week to the exams. Let us give our children a sound upbringing in the Catholic Faith.

2020 IDDS (Inter-Denominational Divine Service): The 2020 Inter-Denominational Divine Service of the Christian Association of Nigeria, Lagos State Chapter will take place on Saturday, 15th February 2020 at the Shepherd Hill Baptist Church, Obanikoro Bus stop, Ikorodu Road by 9am. As a Catholic Community in Lagos State and an active bloc of CAN, we humbly request each Deanery Laity Council in the Archdiocese, Lay Organizations, Societies and Associations of the Archdiocese to mobilize and take active part in this program as always.

St. Raphael Divine Mercy Specialist Hospital, Ijede: This Archdiocesan Catholic Hospital calls the attention of the Priests, Religious and lay Faithful of the Archdiocese as well as the general public to their World Class health care services at the Archdiocesan 300-bed purposely built hospital. The hospital boasts of exquisite private and semi-private wards in a serene and safe environment ideal for complete recuperation. The hospital offers the following services:

Diagnostic Services: which include, but not limited to; Complete Hormonal Profile, Full Laboratory Service, Scan, E.C.G, X-Ray. Well Equipped Theaters: for different specialized surgeries for Eye, General, Obstetrics and Gynecology and Urology. St. Raphael also has dedicated Labour Ward, Children’s Ward with Incubators.

Other Services available include: Circumcision, Childhood and Adult Immunization, Ambulance Services, Mortuary Services.

Available Clinics with Consultants Include: Obstetrics/Gynecology, Ophthalmology/EYE, Pediatrics, Dental, Cardiology, Urology and Nephrology.

N:B: All these are in addition to our round the clock Out-Patient, Pharmacy, and Nursing Departments manned by warm and friendly professionals. Also, St. Raphael is a recognized primary and secondary service provider by NHIS and other reputable HMO\’s. Call Us Now: 08093878456, 08122360765, 07050949223, 09054465257, 09097370915, 08162916669.

St. Raphael Divine Mercy Specialist Hospital… Caring with Compassion!!


Our attention has been drawn to the message being circulated across various social media platforms concerning the Prayer procession scheduled for Ash Wednesday, 26th February, 2020; as a mark of solidarity with the many kidnapped and murdered victims in the wake of the current security challenges that we are facing in the country.

After prayers and due reflection on the circumstances of Ash Wednesday, we hereby direct that the Ash Wednesday liturgy as arranged by the various Parishes should be maintained. 

However, the faithful are enjoined to dress in black or at the least wear black arm bands as a sign of mourning and solidarity with the victims of kidnapping and other violent crimes that betray the high level of insecurity in the land.

The Statement of the Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria shall be read at all Masses on Ash Wednesday. Please find below the Statement.

We shall participate in the National prayer procession that will come up later, on a date to be announced.

Finally, let us continue to keep up prayers for our beloved country Nigeria that God will have mercy on us and save us from this evil that is ravaging our people.


 + Alfred Adewale MARTINS 
Archbishop, Metropolitan See of Lagos.