THE INSTALLATION OF Lectors and Acolytes, and the blessing and opening of the two- storey building for the newly professed of Oblates of St Joseph took place at their community at Ogbere, Ibadan on 23 June.

The event also witnessed the blessing of the grotto of Our Lady of Sorrows (Pieta) sponsored by Mr and Mrs Bartholomew Ujah.

The Lectors are Bros. Ascom Cephas, OSJ; Chukwuemeka Benedict, OSJ; Famodimu Peter, OSJ; Okoh Stephen, OSJ, and Bonaventure Ukwueze, OSJ. The Acolytes include Bros Adedeji Stephen, OSJ; Lorkumbur Dennis, OSJ; Okwarachukwu Philip, OSJ; Onyilimba Charbel, OSJ; Ordam Simon, OSJ, and Osabohien Luke, OSJ.

Delivering his homily at the concelebrated Mass, Most Rev. Emmanuel Badejo of Oyo diocese, described the installation as a call to discipleship to which the newly installed said yes.

According to him, as Christians, we are all called to discipleship and service in various capacities and levels. Our response to the call, he added, is primarily for our salvation and thus whatever service we render that is not God-centred is detrimental to humanity.

He, however, lamented the paucity of genuine services and discipleship.

Bishop Badejo described the newly installed as a fraction of those who said yes in obedience and responded to the call.

To be worthy of this call, the bishop said, you must be prepared to obey and follow the rules. Christ has the rules and whoever follows them and make compromises with Him wins and is taken.

He cited the episode of feeding of five thousand men who the disciples decided to send away.  By obeying Jesus command, he said, the disciples made them sit down making way for the miracle.

Thus, he added, those who make their own rules or arrogate to themselves are not worthy even if they were earlier called.

Addressing the newly installed, the chief shepherd urged them to be diligent in the performance of their duties. To Lectors, who are officially saddled with the responsibility of reading at Masses and all other liturgical activities in the Church, he said, like the disciples whom Jesus asked to calm the multitude down, they are to calm people down with soothing words when they are faced with the challenges of life.

He emphasised that words of assurance would prevent them from walking away in despair. Lectors, he said, must equip themselves for the future.

Bishop Badejo told the Acolytes, who officially are called to assist at Mass, to be extra-ordinary with ordinary things in order to make the world a wonderful place. There is no excuse as God has made everything available, thus they must reach out to all people of different culture, custom and tradition with the word of God and the Eucharist without which the world will be empty and void, according to him.

Rev. Fr Benedict Uwanaka, OSJ,  rector of OSJ community, had earlier welcomed  Bishop Badejo, V. Rev. Fr Ethelbert Arua, OSJ, and guests to the event.


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