Osun State Deputy Governor, Pledges Government Support For The New Bishop Of Osogbo Catholic Diocese

THE Deputy Governor of the State of Osun, Her Excellency, Mrs. Titilayo Laoye--Tomori on Thursday 30th June 2016, at St. Benedict Catholic cathedral church Osogbo, expressed her joy and happiness at the installation of Most Rev. John. Akinkunmi Oyejola as the new Bishop of the Catholic diocese of Osogbo.

In her speech at the ceremony, she on behalf of the state governor, Engineer Rauf Adesoji Aregbesola, congratulated and welcome the new bishop and pledged the support and cooperation of the government and people of the state to work with him for the success of his mission and the missions of other Christian ministries or organizations in the state.

Beaming with smiles and gaze fixed at the mammoth churcuh congregation she said, “ We are friendly and God fearing in Osun state, we love God and also believe in the efficacy of prayers, today is a special day in the history of the state, I am grateful to God that we now have a new bishop.” “You came at a time when Nigeria is facing challenges of all kinds. I pray that the Lord will make your stay peaceful and use you to bring blessings to Osun State,” she further said.

She joyfully as a mother thanked the parents, particularly the mother, now of blessed memory, who brought him up and impacted the love of Christ in him, she also thanked all those who one way or the other was helpful to him in his formation years and today are part of the success story of his accession to the throne as a bishop.

She expressed sincere appreciation to the numerous dignitaries who honored the New bishop with their presence and particularly to Archbishop Gabriel Abegunrin and members of the diocesan episcopal ordination committee for their hard work and support for the success of the installation ceremony.

At the episcopal ordination church ceremony, Archbishop Abegunrin, the host and principal coordinating bishop after reading the Pope’s letter of his appointment by a priest, called the bishop elect to the altar where he anointed him with blessed oil of prism, presented him with a ring as a sign of his marriage with the church, a Mitre as a crown to wear on his head and the Crosier, the pastoral staff of office as a shepherd of God for the people.

Individual bishop lined up and in turn, laid hand to pray for the new bishop. He was accorded the traditional church kiss of peace as a welcome sign to the fold of bishops. The new bishop blessed the entire congregation before been led to his official seat in the church. The concelebrated ordination mass with more than 30 bishops was led by the celebrant. Dignitaries and guests were entertained after the mass at different locations specially organized by the church.

The epoch making ceremony was attended by the state Chief Judge, Head of Service, Royal fathers, traditional chiefs, top government functionaries, representative of the Pope in Nigeria, a large number of top hierarchy of the catholic church( Bishops, Archbishops, Cardinals, Reverend fathers, Reverend Sisters, laity, church societies, Knights of St. John and St. Mulumba of the catholic church, other civil and religious leaders from within and outside the country. The ceremony was covered by men and women from different media organizations in the state and security was provided by men and women of the Nigerian police force.

The post of a bishop in the Catholic diocese of Oshogbo has been vacant since 2014, when the incumbent Bishop, Most Rev. Abegunrin was elevated to the rank of an Archbishop and transferred to the Archdiocese of Ibadan Metropolitan see.

The persistent prayer of the church for a shepherd was however answered when Pope Francis I early in April, 2016 approved the appointment of Rt. Rev. Monsignor Oyejola as the second bishop to be installed in the history of uu the catholic diocese of Osogbo since creation in 1995. Until his appointment as bishop, Monsignor Oyejola was the parish priest of St Stephen’s catholic church in the catholic diocese of Oyo.

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Articles by Babatunde Joseph Oduntan