Dinner reception for Most Rev. Vincenzo Paglia (President of the Pontifical Council of the Family) held in Cathedral's Community Centre.
In attendance was the Director of the Family and Human Life Unit (FHLU)of the Archdiocese, Mrs Bridget Itsueli. Also the CMO, CWO, CYON, Laity and other societies in the archdiocese was duly represented.
The opening speech came from Mrs Bridget Itsueli, and she applauded Archbishop Alfred Adewale Martins for being in the for-front of sex education. She further spoke on marriage enrichment and urged the laity to support the FHLU in the counselling of families, widows and youths. She ended her speech by saying that her greatest joy came from the fact that our lord Jesus Christ raised Marriage to the degree of a sacrament.
Olumide a baritone singer and parishioner of the Cathedral offered an Ave Maria rendition.
It was followed by a cultural dance by the CYON of the Cathedral themed “Warrior Dance”, Our Archbishop danced along with them. The Cathedral administrator raised the spirit in the hall when he interpreted the meaning of the dance in Italian to the visiting President of the Pontifical Council of the Family, Most Rev. Vincenzo Paglia.
The Archdiocesan Laity Chairman presented on behalf of the archdiocese, gifts to Most Rev. Vincenzo Paglia, who in turn returned the gesture by presenting a medal and book to our Archbishop. He expressed his joy in his speech below:
My day has been very eventful and fruitful in Lagos.
Right from the Airport, I have felt the warmth and love of the people of Lagos.
We had a short but important stop at the Airport Church, Catholic Church of the Ascension where the Archdiocesan Lay Leaders Seminar was taking place. They were glad to receive us, and we were happy to meet with them.
We also had a good time at the Monastery of Mater Ecclesiae, Songotedo, Mother Benedicta and her Nuns treated us to a sumptuous banquet.
She took us round the Monastery. We saw the serene atmosphere of peace and tranquil environment conducive for prayer, meditation and contemplation.
As I stand before you this evening for this dinner my heart is full of joy. As the plane from Port Harcourt was landing in Lagos, I saw the beautiful city of Lagos and immediately I thought of its evangelical needs. The question that kept nagging at my soul was: Who can give the gift of the Gospel to this people? Who will bring Christ to this children and families of Nigeria?
My dear people, the onus rest on you. You have a mission to spread the Gospel of Love to the people of Lagos.
Jesus created among us one Church in this Archdiocese and we who will go out and bear witness to the people. We must bring Jesus to them and bring them to Jesus.
You families are the one to testify to the importance of the family and be the light among the people of Lagos. Without you, Lagos will be worse off and wrapped in the darkness of sin and error. With you, Lagos can become an important city, the city of God.
God didn't create family for themselves. He gave this family of his people the world, to be the salt and light of the world.
We are to capture the Spirit of Pope Francis. It's better to be a family than to be alone. It is better to love than to hate. He used the word love 385 times in the document.
Africa has an image of family that is more solid than Europe. This I have seen in my apostolate in Africa and especially during this visit to Nigeria. This was further witnessed at the Meeting of Families in Philadelphia in 2015. You all came out in Mass, in your unique colorful attire and convivial spirit.
My heart and the heart of Rev. Andrea fill Lagos today.
Thank you for your love and I'll convey it to the Holy Father.
I wish to announce the next meeting of the families. It will come up in Ireland and I expect to see you in droves there.
I also wish to present the Medal of the Family to Archbishop Martin and also the document, Amoris Laititia to the couple beside me ( Mr. & Mrs. Anthony Madichie) on behalf of all families.
God bless you all. God bless Lagos State. God bless Nigeria.
The Cathedral Band entertained guest with series of beautiful songs
Vote of Thanks was delivered by Monsignor John Aniagwu
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