One of the commandments of the Church urges the Catholic faithful “to contribute to the support of our priests.” This means that the laity are required to see the Church as God’s gift to them, and keep it solely as theirs. Of course, one needs to be involved in the care of the Church by being generous to her, according to one’s means.
Since the earth is the Lord’s and its fullness thereof, so anywhere the faithful find themselves in the Church, whether at home or abroad, they must care for her. They must join hands with one another for her development. All of us own the Church wherever we live and are found, and individuals are not expected to claim where they come from. By being tribalistic or state-conscious to the detriment of the development of the Church is unacceptable because there will be no one to develop the Church. It means that if the Lord is good to you in Ibadan, or wherever you worship, you must show appreciation by contributing to the growth and progress of the Church there.
Ironically, some faithful still have the wrong notion of “father’s church,” not appreciating the fact that the bishop only needs to grant permission to willing faithful who are set to pick up one project or another in the Church.
In all regards, the lay faithful need to see the Church as theirs and should readily give their utmost support to her cause.
The burden of building churches and providing for temporal needs should be taken off the bishops and the priests to allow them to adequately serve the faithful pastorally and attend to their spiritual needs.
There is need to develop this new spirit of ownership of the Church among the younger ones. They should see the Church as theirs and readily invest their time and talents in her, for
she is a treasure.
Surely, the Church needs money for sustenance. She cannot go elsewhere for support but to her people. Hence the need for all the faithful to be sensitive and well disposed to her needs.
Of particular importance is the support of vocations. The Church needs priests. The faithful want priests. Priests are needed in various aspects of the life of faith. The priests are needed to administer the sacraments and bless the faithful and their articles.
For these reasons and many more, the faithful must support the training of priests. Priests do not emerge from
the blues; they have to undergo the process of thorough training which requires a lot of money.
The Church is counting on each member of the laity to support vocation; youths and children are not exempted. Those who cannot go to the seminary and convents will do well to support those who go. This is what St Theresa of Liseaux means when she says that some give to the mission by going while some go to the mission by giving.
Funding vocation is not the work of the bishop alone. Priests and religious as well as the laity must rally round the bishop in order to fund the training of priests.
Every church society as well must support vocation. How to render this support has to become part and parcel of discussions at meetings and gatherings.