The Catholic Archbishop of Abuja Diocese, Ignatius Kaigama, has implored Christians to have intense faith and be resilient, to serve God and humanity.
The cleric’s admonition is contained in the message he delivered at the Redemptorist Spiritual Centre, Oyo, Oyo State at the weekend at the ordination of some priests and deacons.
He urged Christians to pray for the gift of a deeper faith, that nothing would separate them from the love of God.
The archbishop advised Christians that whatever might be the reason for the assault on the church, they should remain strong in this perilous period.
“We must remain strong, vigilant and prayerful, with our faith remaining solid and rooted in Jesus Christ.
“As St. Paul said, we are afflicted in every way but not crushed; perplexed but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken,.“ Kaigama said
He wished the new priests and deacons a spiritually fulfilled ministry.
“Borrowing the apt words of John Wesley, I urge you to do all the good you can, by all the means you can.
“In Wesley words, do your best in all the ways you can, in all the places you can, at all the times you can, to all the people you can, as long as ever you can,” he said
Kaigama said the ordination of a redemptorist priest was a happy conclusion of a 10-year journey that began with an application and interview.
He told them to continue Christ’s redemptive work by bringing the message of salvation to all people, especially the neglected people.
He appealed to the priests to be convinced and be happy about their priestly vocation.
“You become priests not to please anybody but God. You are no longer your own; you belong to God.
“Your priesthood is not a career with the prospects of promotion or material privileges.
“You can only be promoted in the service of the poor and most abandoned, “ he said.
The archbishop urged them to protect, defend and preserve their priesthood from invasion, harassment and assault by people who would want to lead them into the temptation of seeking the kingdom of this world.
“Your major duty as priests and deacons is to grow spiritually and to serve selflessly beyond borders.