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Pope Francis Gives Cardinal Okpaleke  new Appointment




  His Holiness, Pope Francis has appointed His Eminence, Peter Ebere Cardinal Okpaleke, to serve as a member for the Dicastery for Laity, the Family and Life.

The Catholic Bishop of Ekwulobia’s appointment was among some recently created Cardinals to be members of different dicasteries of the Roman Curia, the Vatican announced.

This is contained in a statement on Saturday through Fr Mike Umoh, the National Director of Social Communications,  Catholic Secretariat of Nigeria, Abuja.

“The Dicastery for Laity, Family and Life was established by Pope Francis on 15 August 2016 with the ‘Motu Proprio’ ‘Sedula Mater’, which describes the responsibilities and functions that previously pertained to the Pontifical Council for the Laity and the Pontifical Council for the Family,” It stated.

According to the  statement, the Cardinal’s  new responsibility came among other Cardinals appointed as announced by the Vatican.

Cardinal Okpaleke was among the 20 prelates welcomed into the College of Cardinals by Pope Francis on Aug. 27.(NAN)

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More than 1m Faithful Expected at Papal Mass in Kinshasa




 A day after his arrival in Congo, Pope Francis is scheduled to celebrate a public Mass on Wednesday morning, with more than one million faithful expected to attend.

The service with the pontiff, expected to be one of the highlights of Francis’ pilgrimage to Central and East Africa, takes place on the grounds of a military airport.

Already after landing in Kinshasa on Tuesday, hundreds of thousands of people cheered the Pope along the roadside as he drove in a convoy from the airport to the city centre.

After the morning Mass, Francis in the afternoon was due to meet victims of violence brought to Kinshasa from the east of the country.

Violence has recently escalated in the border region with Rwanda, where rebels are repeatedly carrying out attacks.

Afterwards, Francis plans to meet representatives of aid organisations.


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Catholic Archbishop Tasks Christians on Unity, Cooperation




Catholic Archbishop of Calabar, Most Rev. Joseph Ekuwem, on Sunday at the FCT urged Christians to shun divisions in the body of Christ and embrace unity for national development.

Ekuwem made the call at the 2023 annual Lecture and Merit Award of the National Missionary Seminary of St. Paul in Gwagwalada.

The lecture was entitled: “Missionary Cooperation and Integral Development’’.

Ekuwem said the essence of the lecture was to reposition the Church and its members on its outreach and services to people within and outside the Church, especially in Nigeria.

According to him, the greatest achievement of the Church is not about structure and properties acquired, but consistent drive on evangelism and converting people to Christianity through words, prophetic impartation and counselling.

“Being Missionary implies bringing the good news of salvation to the people by preaching the proclamation among those who have not known Jesus Christ.

“People of God are expected to cooperate with one another in the exercise of missionary activities for an effective realisation of the mission of Christ entrusted to them.

“The aim is to examine the concept of mission and missionary cooperation and its theological and missiological ramifications, theological principles for missionary activities and apply them for integral development,’’ he said.

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Missiology is the academic study of the Christian mission history and methodology. It began to be developed as an academic discipline in the 19th century.

Ekuwem enjoined Christian leaders and their congregations to always examine issues that promoted cooperation and better understanding among different denominations in Nigeria.

He noted that: “where there is unity there is progress’’ and stressed that Christians should walk together in love and purity as it would assist in national development.

In his address, Mr Hyacinth Ichoku of Veritas University, Abuja, said the Church, as an agent of peace, reconciliation and healing has to contribute in addressing the political, cultural, ethnic and other fractures within Nigeria.

He said theologians must begin to think of adopting the approach of social scientists, if they were to address fully, the limitations of human responses in the society.

Ichoku emphasised the need for denominations to jettison competition among themselves and embrace cooperation.

“We should emphasise things that will unite the Church and shun things that can divide us,’’ he stressed. (NAN)

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Adeleke Holds Prayer Session for Successful Tenure in Office




Gov. Ademola Adeleke of Osun, on Tuesday began the New Year activities with a prayer session in the Governor’s Office, Abere, the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports.

The events witnessed the presence of religious leaders across several religious groups and royal fathers with party faithfuls, including citizens to pray for the peaceful, tranquillity and political stability of the state.

Adeleke said he is working assiduously with a view to presenting greater achievements for 100 days in office.

He urged citizens of the state, especially civil servants, not to relent in their prayers for him to succeed as governor.

According to him, the state is moving to its promised land with new governmental policies aimed at delivering dividends of democracy.

“We shall get to the promised land, you see that we have renovated the governor’s office.

Also, you have not seen anything yet.

“I want to assure you that I will rule with the fear of God.”.

Adeleke further urged civil servants to be active in the discharge of their respective duties while in office.

“I will be paying offices unscheduled visits and if I find out that your surroundings are dirty, you will be questioned.

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“Our offices must be clean because you are representing Osun state.

Earlier, Rev. Amos Ogunrinde, Chiarman, Osun Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), prayed that God grants the governor the required wisdom and knowledge to lead the state well.

Ogunrinde urged civil servants and citizens to support the present governor in prayers in fulfilling his campaign promises.

The CAN chairman further advised the governor to be peoples oriented, focused and never allowed any form of distractions that could hinder him from fulfilling his promises to the state.

Also, some Islamic clerics, including the Imams of Edeland, Ile-Ife, Iwo and Ila-Orangun, all prayed that God should open doors of opportunities for the development and actualisation of all the campaign promises of the governor.

The Imams also prayed for peace, unity, safety and dedication by the Government and citizens in 2023.

“We appreciate God for His goodness and support over his Excellency on his election and subsequent inauguration as the 6th executive governor of Osun.

“We pray God to grant him Divine wisdom to govern the state well.

NAN further reports that other religious leaders present at the event are Dr Michael Akande, Christ Apostolic Church (CAC), Osun Region, Bishop Jimmy Ajayi, Osun CAN financial secretary, Imam Lere Yusuf, President, League of Imams in Osun among others. (NAN)

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