By Arnold Neliba
IBADAN, JULY 1, 2022 (CISA)-The Catholic faithful in the Ibadan Ecclesiastical Province will on July 5 hold special prayers and fasting in commemoration of the Owo Pentecost Massacre, which claimed 40 lives.
In a statement, the bishops of the ecclesiastical province of Ibadan in southwestern Nigeria comprising Ekiti, Ilorin, Ondo, Osogbo and Oyo dioceses called for special prayer involving a reading of the Bible and reflection, a meditation on the Rosary, if possible in procession, a prayer against corruption in Nigeria, a prayer for the country in distress and the conclusion with eucharistic celebration or adoration and blessing.
“We must do all in our power to bring our country back to the path of justice, peace and the fear of God. This cannot happen without an unflinching commitment to prayer,” said Archbishop Gabriel ‘Leke Abegunrin of Ibadan.
“We earnestly urge all the faithful in our Ecclesiastical Province, therefore, to join this prayer crusade for the mercy of God and strength for the Church and all the faithful,” he added.
The metropolitan archbishop of Ibadan invited Catholic clergy, religious and lay faithful to observe the day of prayer in commemoration of the tragic event and to pray for the departed souls.
On June 5, Pentecost Sunday, St. Francis Catholic Church, Owo, Nigeria, was attacked by unknown gunmen who stormed the Church and shot at the congregants indiscriminately while Mass was going on claiming over 40 lives.
The Ibadan Bishops are also encouraging the faithful to make an effort and attend the forthcoming National Eucharistic Congress to be held in the Archdiocese of Benin from 11 November to 13 November 2022.