HISTORY WAS MADE Sunday 20 May as the Maronite Catholic community witnessed the installation of Most Rev. Simon Faddoul as the Bishop of the Ibadan Eparchy.

Pope Francis had on 29 February elevated the former Exarchate to an Eparchy and appointed Monsignor Simon Faddoul as its first bishop.

Most Rev. Faddoul was consecrated bishop on 7 April in Beirut, Lebanon.

In his homily, the newly installed bishop acknowledged the presence of  Archbishops Gabriel Abegunrin and Alaba Job,  vicars, monsignors and representatives of the bishops of Oyo and Osogbo dioceses.

He thanked the Lord for his grace and mercy and also thanked the Pope for honouring him with the exalted position. He said he saw the Pope three weeks ago and the latter asked the lay faithful to continue praying for the special intentions of the Holy Father.

Most Rev. Faddoul also thanked Nigerians for the warm reception given him since 2014 till date.

After the Mass, the bishop shook hands with everyone.

 Congratulating Bishop Faddoul, Archbishop Abegurin said it was beautiful to witness the ceremony as portrayed in the liturgy which was celebrated in Arabic chants. “We are all blessed to be witnesses of this ceremony. The announcement in February that the Exarchate had been elevated to an Eparchy was greeted with great joy in Ibadan and people have come to know more about the Maronite church since then.”

Most Rev. Abegunrin wished the new bishop well in the discharge of his duties, saying the people of Ibadan archdiocese are ready to work with him in true collaboration.

The prelate also encouraged all priests and lay faithful to work fully with Bishop Faddoul in order to nurture the new Eparchy and make it grow.

The archbishop said the Maronite community had been active in St Rita, Aro meta, St Richard, Eleyele, and CKC, Odo Ona before they started their own community.

Welcoming him to Nigeria on behalf of the Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria and the Metropolis of Ibadan, Archbishop Abegurin said the College of Bishops could not be fully present because of the Pentecost celebrations.

He further thanked the Lebanese faithful for their warm reception in Beirut during the Episcopal ordination of His Excellency in April.

“May God bless us all as the one, holy, true Catholic and Apostolic Church,” he said.



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