… As Shaibu, Wife, Betsy Obaseki, Join Procession
The Fifth National Eucharistic Congress has been held in Benin City, the Edo State capital with a call on catholic faithful and pilgrims in the Benin Metropolitan See to live as one and serve the weak.
The Archbishop of Jos Catholic Archdiocese, Most Rev. Matthew Ishaya Audu, in his homily on the theme: ‘Becoming the Eucharist We Celebrate’, is a call to live as one and to serve the weak.
“The Eucharist is a general call to confirm our belief and eucharistic miracles that are happening in different parts of the world through the sanctuary”.
“It is a call to acknowledge our brokenness, ask God for forgiveness and to be reconciled with one another, to commit our lives, family, archdiocese, cities and our country, Nigeria to God’s mercy, care and protection”, Bishop Matthew added.
Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Nogheghase Obaseki who was also in attendance noted that our country, Nigeria today, needs serious prayers and God’s intervention.
According to him, “We are going through many challenges that we have not experienced in our lives but as Christians, we know that there is nothing God cannot do”.
“With God, we can resolve the problems of our dear country, because God has given us everything needed to resolve the challenges we face”.
“I believe the catholic church has this huge responsibility, because in the world today, there is no doubt that the catholic church is the most organized institution. So, when I say we rely on the catholic church, is because the church is adept at resolving challenges. Help us on how to govern our country, Nigeria”, Obaseki said.
Earlier, Edo State Deputy Governor, Rt. Hon. Comrade Philip Shaibu, said “the holy eucharist is a call to rededicate our lives to God. It is not about going to mass to spend the time saying the rosary, but the doctrine of the holy eucharist is the real presence of the body and blood of the Lord Jesus. It follows naturally that the celebration of the Eucharist is the most sacred and holy act of the highest level”.
He said, “as Catholics, the eucharist belongs to the church; it is not for us to treat as we like. Indeed, we must always pray to God that we never are found guilty of disrespecting the body and blood of Jesus. We must fully participate in the eucharist celebration and keep our hearts and minds fixed on what is happening”, the Deputy Governor added.
The catholic pilgrims, however, embarked on a eucharistic procession, joined by the Deputy Governor, his wife, Maryann and the First Lady, Mrs. Betsy Obaseki with the blessed sacrament through the popular Airport and Akenzua Roads in Benin metropolis.
The Bishops, led by the Catholic Bishop of Nigeria, Most Rev. Lucius Ugorji and some Priests at different stages, carried the monstrance in the palanquin, a duty reserved for the clergy.
Amid singing and dancing, the pilgrims through the procession of the eucharist, promoted Christ’s real presence in the Eucharist, as in the light of the example of Pope John Paul II, who took the annual Corpus Christi procession from St. Peter’s Square to the streets of Rome.
After the procession, a Eucharistic Durbar was held on the congress ground at Saint Paul’s Catholic Church Sports Complex, Airport Road with the adoration of the blessed sacrament.