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Archbishop Martins charges Catholics on practical love
…As St. Dominic Catholic Church celebrates 70th anniversary

By Constaincia Uruakpa

Catholics have been urged to express love, the commandments of God in practical ways, by paying attention to the less privileged in their midst, and ensure that they make life better materially and spirituality for the needy. The charge was given by Most Rev. (Dr.) Alfred Adewale Martins, Catholic Archbishop of Lagos, at the grand finale of the 70th anniversary celebration of St. Dominic Catholic Church, Yaba, Lagos, held last Sunday in the church premises.

Archbishop Martins asked the parishioners to pay attention to the youths, and those who are disadvantaged in one way or the other, especially in terms of material or spiritual needs as they plan for the next 70 years and beyond. He said: “If you have any leverage that will make life better for any of our brothers and sisters, please don’t fail to do it. I believe that it’s a way to show that our love of God and living out the commandments of God will find expression in those practical ways.”

The Archbishop congratulated SMA and Dominican priests, as well as leaders of the lay faithful and members of the Catholic community of St. Dominic who have worked over the years to lift the name of St. Dominic to what it is today, “Our treasure and our pride”. Thanking God for blessing the community, the Archbishop said the green-colour uniform dressing of the people was appropriate because it shows that the church has been fruitful in many ways in its 70 years of existence as a canonically erected parish. He said as much as it is a privilege to be part of the celebration, it is also a responsibility that the Lord is placing upon the parishioners’ shoulders that they chart a course of greater fruitfulness for the parish as they journey into the future.

Delivering the homily on the occasion, Very Rev. Fr. (Prof.) Anthony Akinwale OP, recounted the history of the parish, which he said started as St. Patrick Catholic Church and later renamed St. Dominic Catholic Church by Dominican priests. Thanking God for the monumental achievement, Fr. Akinwale said the parish continues to enjoy the patronage of Saints Patrick and Dominic. For his part, Very Rev. Fr. Charles Onwordi, OP, the Parish Priest thanked God for sending a priest from the United States some years ago who became the Pastor, motivated and internalised the words that nothing is impossible if you put your trust in God.

He said the people celebrate 28 years of the dedication of the church and grand finale of 70th canonical election, made possible by men and women of faith, who put their trust in God and gave their best and all. He prayed that these men and women of faith who worked relentlessly to bring about the realisation of the dream and vision of the people rest in peace.

On priests who have worked in the parish, he said: “I have the privilege as the 10th Pastor of St. Dominic Catholic Church, in her 70 year history to have four out of my immediate predecessors here today: Very Rev. Fr. Thomas McDermott, OP, the 6th Pastor; Very Rev. Fr. Bola Oye, OP, the 7th Pastor and the first Nigerian to be Pastor of St. Dominic sends in his message because of his present assignment in the United States, he couldn’t take out time to come, so he is with us in spirit and he sends his greetings. Then came number eight, Very Rev. Fr. MaryVin Ubili, OP, and of course number nine, my immediate predecessor, Very Rev. Fr. Felix Onemheghie, OP. “Being appointed the 10th Pastor by His Grace, I knew I was stepping into very large shoes. St. Dominic has a history; St. Dominic has a proud heritage.”


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