Diocesan and Religious Directors of Communication have been called upon to focus their apostolate on the spiritual renewal and true conversion of Catholic faithful in the country. The call was made by the Catholic Bishop of Ijebu-Ode Diocese, Most Rev. Albert Fasina, in his homily at the celebration of the opening Mass for the 2017 second plenary meeting of the directors, held recently, at the Louis Bautain Retreat, Conference and Catechetical Centre, Ijebu-Itele, Ogun State.
Stressing the importance of communication in the life of the Church, Bishop Fasina stated that; “God communicates with us by taking the initiative of calling us to repentance.” Using the readings of the day to buttress his point, the bishop noted that God is still with the Church today as He was with the prophets of old adding that “the Church is the voice of God for our family, our country and the world.” He added that the priests, religious and people of consecrated life are the Jonah and sanctifier of today saddled with the responsibility of conversion and bringing the people back to God.
The bishop continued: “We cannot give up on the mission of calling people to penance and repentance”; adding: “But we should ask ourselves, as people saddled with this responsibility are we living the right life with our life styles.” About 45 communications directors from all over the country were in attendance.
In the same vein, Bishop Fasina called on Catholic faithful to shun excessive hospitality by the type of celebrations they embark upon during the burial ceremonials of their loved ones and the way they shower bishops and priests with ostentatious gifts. Rather, he continued, they should rather focus on listening to the word of God and be good Christians by imbibing a life of spirituality.
Bishop Fasina regretted that the neglect of Catholic values and treasures in the present day Church and stressed the need to return to this old values, urging the priests and people of consecrated life to enhance the impact of the liturgy on the life of the people. Among other things the bishop pointed out that treasured Catholic values like renewal, devotional confessions and true knowledge of the faith among the lay faithful are very low and there is the need for clergy to re-awaken the faithful in this perspective. He added: “We must not be tired of sharing these messages with the Church community for them to extend same to the community we live in.”
Stressing that the mission of call to conversion should be taken more seriously by all, Bishop Fasina stated that life is not all about money and ostentatious living but about our soul; stressing the need for all Catholics to make their spiritual life better, so that they can inherit the kingdom of God at the end of their sojourn on earth.