In line with the directive from the Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria, CBCN, Bigard Memorial Seminary Enugu joined the entire Catholic Church in Nigeria to observe a nationwide prayer and peaceful protest against incessant killings and attacks going on in various parts of the country. The procession and prayers are also in solidarity with the two priests and 17 worshippers who were killed in Benue State on 14th April 2018 and buried on 22nd May 2018. The entire Bigard family, comprising of the Rector, the College of Formators, the Seminarians and Lay Workers began the solidarity prayers with a Rosary Procession which kicked off at exactly 5:30 pm. It was concluded with a celebration of a Holy Mass for the Dead in the Bigard Main Chapel.
In his homily the principal celebrant of the Mass, Rev. Fr. Dr. Clement Obasi observed that almost every Christian in Nigeria feels threatened, terrorized and insecure because of the incessant killings of Christians in Nigeria and a widespread belief that Nigeria is on her way to being Islamized. As a possible way out, Fr. Obasi stated boldly that “there is no other cogent and coherent solution apart from following the footsteps of the master, Jesus Christ”. According to him, in spite of all the tortures, agony, sufferings and final hanging on the cross, Jesus still forgave those who killed him. Likewise, the founding fathers of Christianity, like Peter and Paul, also faced persecutions as both were tortured and killed because of their faith. The homilist recognized and maintained that the gospel of the day, taken from the Beatitudes (Mtt 5,1-11), is a sure hope to all Christians. Knowing what is at stake, Jesus encourages all his followers with a sure hope of reward. ”Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven”
Finally, Fr. Obasi concluded by encouraging all and sundry to be at peace with one another and to follow the principles of the master in the strong faith that God is ever steady with His Church.
May the souls of;
Rev Fr. Joseph Gor,
Rev. Fr. Felix Tyolaha,
Judith Tyolaha Bee,
and Saaondo Zahemen, rest with the Lord Amen.