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Monday, April 6, 2020

A 5 Day Programme Of Prayers /Annual Archdiocesan Lenten Pilgrimage

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A 5 DAY PROGRAMME OF PRAYERS IN PREPARATION FOR THE 2020 LENTEN PILGRIMAGE: Wednesday, 4th March, 2020
 Meditate on: Acts 1:5-8 and 2:1-8
 Memory Verse: Acts 1:8
 Prayer Intentions: for a new Pentecost in the Church; the renewal of the Clergy,
Religious and Laity; for a fresh outpouring of the Holy Spirit on pilgrims and yourself.

“The annual Archdiocesan Lenten Pilgrimage will be organized by the Archdiocesan Evangelization Commission and hosted by the Lekki Region.

Date: Saturday 7th March, 2020

Venue: Ave Maria Grotto, Lekki

Time: Begins at 8:00am.

Theme: “Your word is a lamp to my feet” Psalm 119:105.

All Priests and Lay Faithful are expected to attend and participate actively in this spiritual exercise. Parish Priests & Priests-in-Charge are requested to encourage and arrange for the participation of their Parishioners to come in large numbers. In view of the above, we expect that all Parish Priests/Priests-in-Charge would have organised Confessions for the Lay Faithful in their various parishes so as to ensure that the time spent at the pilgrimage is maximally utilized.”

COVID-19: Osun State Intends To Extend Lockdown Due To Coronavirus

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The lockdown order issued in Osun state owing to COVID-19 may be extended for another two weeks, if necessary says the State Governor; Gboyega Oyetola.

He disclosed this on Sunday while adding that 109 out of the 127 Abidjan returnees quarantined and tested to determine their status have been released from the isolation centre. The governor said one of the first two cases in the state has fully recovered, also tested negative twice and have been released. The remaining 18 that tested positive are receiving treatment and are in good condition.

Oyetola said the lockdown in the state may be extended if necessary as he appealed to the people of Osun to endure the lockdown. The governor said the 21-member relief committee he set up was working on modalities for the distribution of relief materials to the people of the state. The governor said one of the infected patients who absconded from the facility did not mingle with the residents, adding that there’s no fear that the patient infected anyone within the period she left the facility. The governor said[b], “that patient that left our facility in Ejigbo couldn’t infect anyone because the people of the community shut their doors against her. They didn’t allow her to enter their homes. That was why it was easy to apprehend and return her to the treatment facility.”[/b] Oyetola said the 127 returnees were from different parts of the country and Osun saved Nigeria from major disaster by ensuring that the 127 returnees did not go to their respective state.

“Upon profiling, we realised that many of the returnees are from different states. For instance, two of them are from Abia state. But we took responsibility and treated all of them. “It would have been disastrous if the 127 people were allowed to move to their various states and mix with people in their respective communities when they came into the country”, he added. Oyetola debunked the rumour that the federal government has released N5billion to Osun to manage COVID-19, saying “I wish I could have that. But I don’t have it. I’m just hearing about it”.

The governor urged the federal government to assist Osun in its efforts to prevent the further spread of the disease. Meanwhile, the Oluwo of Iwo, Oba Abdulrasheed Akanbi has debunked the insinuation that there was panic in his domain when the Iwo indigenes among the Abidjan returnees that were released from the isolation were reintegrated with their relatives. He said the returnees who are indigenes of Iwo were welcomed home and received with joy. He commended the state government for the proactive steps taken to prevent the spread of the virus in the state.

BREAKING NEWS: Nollywood Actress; Funke Akindele & Hubby Sentenced To 14 Days Community Service, Fined N100,000 Each

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Popular Nigerian Actress; Funke Akindele and her husband, Abdul Rasheed Bello popularly known as JJC Skillz, have been sentenced to 14 days community service.

Funke Akindele and her husband were charged to court for violating restriction orders in Lagos.

Funke Akindele Bello and her husband Abdul Rasheed Bello were arraigned at the Chief Magistrate Court 1 Ogba on one count charge on the 6th of April, 2020 at about 11 am. They were brought to Court by detectives from the State Criminal Investigation Department Yaba led by the Deputy Commissioner of Police in charge of the investigation, DCP Yetunde Longe.

The prosecuting team was lead by the Hon Attorney General of Lagos State, Moyosore Onigbanjo, SAN.

The charge was read to the accused persons by the Court and they pleaded guilty.

Having been found guilty as charged, they were sentenced as follows:

The defendants are to pay a fine of 100,000 each, sentenced to 14 days community service, three hours per day, excluding Saturday and Sunday; each Defender shall visit 10 important public places within Lagos State to educate the public on the consequences of non-compliance with the restriction order, and they must submit the names and phone numbers of every person who attended the party.

They shall be placed on isolation by the State Government to determine their COVID-19 status. Failure to abide by the above directives shall attract more severe punishments.

The brief facts of the case as contained in the charge are:

It would be recalled that on the 4th of April, 2020, the two accused persons held a party at their residents with over twenty persons in attendance contrary to the social distancing directives made in pursuant to Regulation 8(1)(a) and (b) & 17(1)(i) of the Lagos State Infectious Disease (Emergency Prevention) Regulations 2020 and therefore committed an offense under Section 58 of the Public Health Law Cap P16 Vol. 9, Laws of Lagos State 2015.

The suspects were arrested by operatives of Lagos State Police Command following a viral video showing a large number of persons mainly in the entertainment industry in an Estate, along Ajah, Ibeju-Lekki axis, Lagos celebrating a birthday party organized by Funke Akindele Bello and her husband Abdul Rasheed Bello.

In a statement on Monday, Police Spokesman, DSP Bala Elkana noted that Azeez Fashola a.k.a Naira Marley is now in police custody.

According to DSP Elkana, the singer will also be charged to Court for violating the restriction orders. He further revealed that the command has launched a manhunt for the remaining persons who attended the party.

The Commissioner of Police Lagos State Command, CP Hakeem Odumosu, expressed his profound gratitude to Lagosians and other well-meaning Nigerians that speak up against the violations, stressing that together the nation can stop the spread of COVID-19.

Do you guys think this is appropriate or excessive?

Covid-19: Nigerian Couple Get Married In Their Living Room

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Despite the statewide restriction of movement and social gatherings due to the coronavirus pandemic in Nigeria, a couple in Taraba state defied all odds to have their wedding on April 4th, 2020.

The couple had initially planned months ahead for their wedding and insisted they had to go ahead with it despite the restriction. Their wedding took place in their living room with only close members of their family in attendance.

For now, Nigeria has recorded 232 coronavirus infected patients, 33 discharged and 5 deaths.

Love, Thanksgiving, Greed, And Hate.

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“I am the LORD, I have called you in righteousness, I have taken you by the hand and kept you; I have given you as a covenant to the people, a light to the nations.” (Isaiah 42:6)

As Lent gradually draws to a close, we are presented with the very significant events of the last moments our Lord Jesus spent on earth. A few days ago, we read about the raising of Lazarus from the dead. Jesus, who loved Lazarus as well as his sisters, Mary and Martha stayed behind when he was told of Lazarus’ illness. Jesus allowed a dear friend to die because He had a plan; a plan that would eventually bring glory to God.

Mary and Martha must have felt betrayed when Lazarus died and Jesus failed to show up but in the end, they realized that God is like a loving mother who sometimes gives us bitter medicine to heal us. Today, Jesus was again in Bethany to celebrate what we would call ‘Thanksgiving.’ A great miracle had just happened, Lazarus is back to life. People come from all over the place to eat and drink to the new life of Lazarus.

Amongst this crowd were those who heard but wanted to see for themselves if it is true that Lazarus is alive again. In any celebration or gathering, there would always be different kinds of people, some who are genuinely happy with you and some who are wishing things were bad for you. There would be some who come just to eat and drink and some who come to transact business. There would be some who come to make new friends and some who come with very evil intention; to kill and destroy.

As her thanksgiving and to express her love, Mary brought out a pound of costly ointment of pure nard and anointed the feet of Jesus wiping his feet with her hair and the house was filled with the fragrance of the ointment. Is anything too much to offer to God? In giving thanks, we should not forget that God owns everything in this world and He cares more about the content of our heart than the content of our offering. God loves a “cheerful” giver not necessarily an “expensive” giver.

The business-minded Judas Iscariot felt Mary was wasting the oil. He protested the thanksgiving not because he cared for the poor but because as John puts it: “he was a thief.” We are not who we say we are, we are what we do. To those who heard him, Judas was a philanthropist, a lover of the poor but in reality, he was just a thief. Greed makes us place money above God and when money becomes more important to us than God, we are ready to disobey God (and even sell God) because of money.

The chief priests who were at the Thanksgiving party started plotting how to kill Lazarus because, on account of him, Jesus was gaining more followers. This is what hatred does to us; it prevents us from thinking straight. Once we hate, we are ready to do anything to bring people down. They were supposed to be priests (holy people) yet they were plotting to kill someone who had just been raised from the dead just to get at Jesus.

The same thing happens in business, in academics, in politics, in all walks of life. When we see others doing better than ourselves, instead of us to look inwards and try to correct our faults, we start plotting how to bring that person down. It is such a sad world.

Let us pray: Lord Jesus, teach me to be content, to love and to appreciate those I consider to be better than me. As Isaiah says, may I be a light to the nations, not a hypocrite. Amen.

Happy. Live Positive. Have Faith. It is well with you. God bless you. (Monday of Holy Week. Bible Study: Isaiah 42:1-7, Psalm 27 and John 12:1-11)

Fr. Abu

Nigerians Criticize Funke Akindele And Hubby For Holding A Birthday Party Despite The Coronavirus Pandemic (video)

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Despite the Coronavirus pandemic in the world and a total lock down in Lagos, Nigeria, Nollywood actress; Funke Akindele and her husband JJC Skillz still went ahead and organised a birthday party with a group of people.

The birthday party took place on Saturday at their home in Amen Estate with singer Naira Marley in attendance.

In a video which has gone viral online, JJC Skillz and Funke were seen dancing with their guests who came to celebrate with them at the crowded house party.

The couple are now being dragged on Twitter for failing to observe social distancing which was put in place to contain or stop spread of Coronavirus.

Watch video below

COVID-19: One Coronavirus Patient Discharged In Osun State

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Osun state governor; Adegboyega Adetola, has announced the discharged of one of its COVID-19 patients today April 5 during his press briefing.

In a statement posted on its verified Twitter handle today, the government said the discharged patient is one of the early cases of Coronavirus in the state.

”One of the early cases in Osun has been discharged after testing negative twice to the Virus, in line with the prescribed protocol of the NCDC. This was disclosed during the Press Briefing of Mr Governor today, Sunday 5th April,2020.” the tweet read

Oyo state has 9 confirmed cases of Coronavirus. The total number of Nigerians diagnosed with the viral disease as at April 5, is 224.

Jesus The Messiah, The King And Lamb Of God

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This Sunday, we begin the celebration of the Holy Week, which will reach its climax in the final three days – Holy Thursday, Good Friday and Holy Saturday (Triduum), the Crown of the Church’s liturgical year. On this day, the Church recalls the triumphant entry of Christ the Lord into Jerusalem to accomplish his Paschal Mystery. We celebrate today the immeasurable love of Christ for us: Greater love no man has than to lay down his life for his friends (John 15:13).

Jesus entered Jerusalem as the Messiah, the King and Lamb of God. As the Messiah, He gave instructions for Unused Donkey to be brought to him, for the prophecy of Zechariah 9:9 clearly states: “that a donkey is the beast of the Messiah”. As a King, the people revered him with palms as befitting of a king. As a Lamb of God, He was the victim for the great Passover; He was the Passover lamb who by his death and his blood would atone for our sins. Thus when the people sang “Hosanna, Hosanna” which in Aramaic means saves us, they recognise that He was the Messiah, the King and the Lamb of God
 
After his triumphant entry, the mood of this celebration is dominated by the reading of the Passion – that is, the Gospel narrative of the Lord’s capture, sufferings and death. The passion, death and resurrection of the Lord are a constant reminder that if we wish to share in the glory of the risen Saviour, we must first work to resemble him in humility, meekness and self-denial, for “The Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many” (Matthew 20:28; Mark 10:45). As we get set for the Easter Mystery, may we learn to carry our crosses with perfect resignation to the will of God; knowing that after Good Friday, comes Easter Sunday. The crosses of self-isolation and Church closures are quite daunting already, but our Lord who tells us to unload our burdens and worries unto him would be there to support us in this challenging times. There will always be light at the end of the tunnel for us who trust in him. Happy Sunday . FR.CY

Happy Birthday To Our Adorable Son, Chidubem Arnold Eze

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Born to Mr Anthony Chikaodili Eze and Mrs Nkiruka Winifred Eze on the 4th of April, 2018, Master Chidubem Arnold Eze has been a source of great joy and happiness to his family, relatives and friends.


Bubbly, feisty and full of life even at this critical moment of isolation caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, Chidubem continues to show great promise as he turned two on the 4th of April, 2020.

We celebrate a child of promise and whilst congratulating the worthy parents, wish the celebrant a glorious future in good health and happiness.

Do have a good one Master Chidubem Arnold Eze.

With love from Chidera, Mum and Dad

Singing Hosannas With The Palm Branches Of Our Lives.

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_“Most of the crowd spread their garments on the road, and others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. And the crowds that went before him and that followed him shouted, ‘Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest!’” (Matthew 21:8-9)

Dear friends, I welcome you to Holy Week, 2020. This year would go down in history as one year that God’s Children could not gather physically due to the pandemic. That notwithstanding, no atom of holiness should be removed from our Holy Week spirituality. Even though we cannot see the physical drama we are used to, we are to participate fully by allowing that drama take place within our souls.

One word that readily comes to mind at the beginning of the Passion Narrative is Betrayal. Have I betrayed people’s trust, told lies against them or leaked out certain secret information for the sake of money, fame, position or some privileges?

Do Have I acted like Peter; bragging before people only to let them down in their absence?

Jesus took the disciples to the Garden of Gethsemane to pray but instead, they started sleeping. How deep and serious is my prayer life? Am I able to watch for one hour with Jesus every day? Do I command God to do my will in prayer instead of simply praying as Jesus prayed: “Let your will, not mine be done.”

Judas betrayed Jesus with a kiss, a symbol of love. Do I pretend to love people whereas I am killing them? Am I a friend by day and an enemy at night?

Jesus told Peter not to fight with his sword. How do I treat my enemies?

Eventually the disciples fled for their lives. Do I stick with my friends when things become rough or abandon them when it seems I can no longer benefit from them?

The Sanhedrin judged Jesus and convicted him of blasphemy. As an authority figure, how do I judge cases? Am I concerned about the truth or do I simply bow to the pressure of the crowd?

Both Peter and Judas realized their sins but while Peter came back to ask forgiveness, Judas went off to hang himself. Do I feel that my sins are too much or that God cannot forgive me? What I have done about my guilty conscience?

Before the Governor, Jesus was silent. When I am accused of something I am innocent of, do I rush too quickly to defend myself?

The Governor asked the people to choose between Barabbas and Jesus but they rejected Jesus forgetting all the good things they had received from him in the past. When faced with temptation, do I reject Jesus by choosing Barabbas (by consenting to sin)?

Then comes Simon of Cyrene who was forced to carry the Cross with Jesus. How often have I helped others to carry their crosses? Do I delight in making sacrifices for the benefit of others?

Many joined in mocking Jesus. Do I respect God and holy things? Do I insult God when I don’t get answers to my prayers? Jesus cried: “My God, my God why have you forsaken me.” If God, the Father could forsake Jesus, who am I to assume I will always get what I want?

Even after the death of Jesus, the chief priests and Pharisees (knowing that Jesus had predicted his resurrection) gathered before Pilate to ask for soldiers to guard the tomb. Do I believe more in military power than in the power of God?

Isaiah prophesised about Christ how he would not speak or attack his persecutors. Indeed, Jesus Christ humbled himself like a sheep being led to slaughter. As St. Paul tells the Philippians, let us learn to be humble, to empty ourselves and allow God’s will prevail in our lives.

Dear friends, in the end of this reflection, one question we should ourselves ask is: “What would I have done differently?” Better put; “How am I different from those who killed Jesus?”

This year’s Holy Week will be unique because we are not able to gather physically in our churches. We surely miss the old days, we miss how we would dramatize the whole activities of Holy Week, how we would sing “Hosanna” and try to rub ourselves on the ground during the procession. Perhaps we are too used to turning everything into mere entertainment. Perhaps, God allowed all this to happen because he is tired of our hypocrisy.

This is time now for us to be real. This is the time for us to spread the palm branches of our very lives for Jesus to pass. It is time for us to allow our good deeds speak louder than our church attendance. It is time for us to repent.

Let us Pray: Lord Jesus, as I reflect on your death, help me also die to my sins. Amen.

Happy Sunday. Be Happy. Live Positive. Have Faith. It is well with you. God bless you. (Palm Sunday. Year A. Bible Study: Matthew 21:1-11, Isaiah 50:4-7, Philippians 2:6-11, Matthew 26:14-27:66)

Fr. Abu

The Catholic Daily TV Mass – For The Sick, The Aged & Others – Sunday April 05, 2020

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The Catholic TV Mass is one of the ways the Catholic Church reaches out to a lot of people that does not have the means to attend the Holy Mass within their physical location.

The Priest celebrates Mass daily online, on-demand, over-the-top, and on-the-go viewing. The Eucharist is the source and summit of the Roman Catholic faith we share in the Sacrifice of the Mass, the center of The CatholicTV Network’s mission. Hear the words of the Gospel, reflect on the daily homily, and worship God with us. 

May the grace of the daily mass abide in our lives as we watch the video below: