Annual Pastoral Cathedraticum, Ondo deanery 1
March 17,,2016 - Nigeria
Cathedraticum as a word derives its meaning from ‘Cathedra’, a Latin word for the Bishop’s chair as the leader of the diocese. Annually, the people of God gather to give their support to the Bishop, and that support is what is referred to as Cathedraticum. It is a fund that the Bishop gets with the aim of supporting his pastoral works in the diocese. In the thoughts of the Bishop of Nsukka diocese, Most Rev. Godfrey Onah, anybody who has come for Cathedraticum has come to fulfill two major obligations. Firstly to support the Bishop in his pastoral work, and to showcase that one is under the pastoral care and leadership of the Bishop.
This was exactly what happened on the 14th day of March, 2016, when the entire faithful, priests and religious of Ondo deanery 1 gathered in St. John Bosco Parish, Ondo to show their appreciation to the chief shepherd of the diocese, Most Rev. Jude Arogundade. This yearly ceremony commenced with a solemn Eucharistic Mass at about 10:15am.
In his sermon, the bishop congratulated the deanery as one of the fastest in terms of growth. He said that the Cross of Christ which initially was for criminals, a thing of disgrace and shame has now become the Cross of victory and salvation. Consequently, in this time of ours which demand us to carry lots of crosses on daily bases, the crosses should not be undermined, but should be seen and accepted as moments of grace and of becoming stronger in faith. On education, the bishop decried the decline in the standard of education in the Western part of the country.
According to him, this anomaly is in contrast to what is obtained in the Eastern part of Nigeria where the quality of education is very high. The reason for this growth in the educational standard is because the government returned the schools to their original owners. Thus, he asked the people to join him in prayers and in all efforts that could lead to the return of schools to their original owners in the Western part of Nigeria especially in Ondo state.
There were presentation of gifts to the bishop by all the Catholic educational and health institutions within the deanery, followed by the five parishes-Sts. Matthew, Leo, Joseph, James and John Bosco-that constitute the deanery.
The celebration ended with the bishop appreciating all present for their immense support and prayers. He besought the faithful to keep supporting and praying for their priests. He announced that the Bishops’ Conference of Nigeria will be meeting in Akure by September; as such he solicited the support of all towards a befitting hosting. In addition, he said that the new Secondary school being built by the diocese in Akure will become operational in September while plans are on ground to embark on another one in Ondo deanery.
Okafor Chinedu, Ondo (14th. March, 2016)