From the Archbishop\’s Desk – 27th February, 2022

Dear Sisters and Brothers in the Lord:


1. ARCHDIOCESAN PREPARATION FOR THE 2023 SYNOD OF BISHOPS: The preparation for the synod is already on the way with the discussions at the society levels in the parishes and we commend all parishes that are faithful in organizing the discussions. We encourage everyone to keep up the enthusiasm.

The timeline for the activities for the Diocesan phase of the preparations were communicated during the webinar held in December 2021 for Priests and Religious and the seminar for facilitators. We enjoin everyone to pray for the success of this phase of the synod and to participate actively as required of them.

2. THE NEW OMICRON VARIANT COVID-19: As we did in the last few circulars, we advise everyone to take the COVID-19 vaccine and all parishes to continue to observe the COVID-19 protocols and encourage the faithful to wash their hands or use hand sanitizers regularly, wear their face-masks, observe the physical distance required and keep attendance at large gatherings to the barest minimum.

3. LEADING FOR MISSION FOR PARISH LAY LEADERS: we are grateful to the Deans, Parish Priests, Deanery and Parish Laity Council Executives that have contributed to the successful launch of this MANDATORY training programme for ALL CURRENT Parish EXECUTIVE OFFICE HOLDERS and Council Members. Kindly be informed that all concerned persons are expected to complete this training in 2022. We also solicit the assistance of all concerned in providing the conducive environment and facilities needed to enable us achieve our goal of empowering people to participate effectively and efficiently in the task of advancing God’s kingdom in our Archdiocese.

4. PAULINE FOODS EMPOWERMENT PROGRAM: There would be an empowerment program/training on food processing and packaging organized by Pauline Foods. Batch 2: June-July 2022. Batch 3: September-October 2022.
A 2-weeks crash program is also available for those who might take advantage of that. Interested persons are encouraged to register. For further details call Benjamin- 09044946744 or Joseph- 07037673899.

5. ASH WEDNESDAY: the special season of Lent wherein we are called to deepen our relationship with God through prayer, fasting and almsgiving begins early next month, 2nd March, 2022. With the Ash Wednesday the Church ushers all into the solemn season of Lent to experience the profound call to repentance and renewal.

6. A FEW THOUGHTS ON LENT: As we approach the season of lent, may I remind all of the following regarding the season:
a. 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 (March 2) and Good Friday (April 19) and all the Fridays of Lent.
b. 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.
c. Parents and teachers are responsible for helping young persons, who are not bound by the norms regarding fasting and abstinence to recognize what constitutes a genuine sense of penance and self-denial. Everyone is required to also 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 so as to benefit from the graces of the season:
i. Avoid Sin: Keep yourself away from all occasions that could lead to sin. Repent and return to God by a good sacramental confession and do appropriate penance if you fall into sin.
ii. Practice self-control; 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.
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 organised in your parish. Take full part in the Holy week ceremonies.
viii. Pray your Rosary daily.
Note: Bear in mind that all other Fridays of the year remain Days of penance in prayerful remembrance of the passion of Jesus Christ.

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