By Fr Anthony Adetayo
The 4th episcopal ordination anniversary of the bishop of the Ijebu-Ode Diocese, the Most Rev. Francis Obafemi Adesina, took place on 25th April 2023 at St Sebastian Catholic Cathedral, Odo-Egbo, Ijebu-Ode. The programme started with a lecture, titled “Confessional secrecy and confidentiality in the Church”, delivered in the cathedral hall around 10 a.m. by the Very Rev. Paul Ijesan of the Archdiocese of Lagos to the priests of the Ijebu-Ode Diocese. Another lecture, titled “Guidelines on the pastoral administration of independent stations”, was delivered by the Very Rev. Albert Igbodipe.
After the interventions, questions and answers session, the bishop and all the priests of the diocese and some who came from outside the diocese proceeded to the celebration of the anniversary Mass around 1 p.m. Many members of the laity were in attendance.
The bishop in his remarks before the end of the Mass noted that he was a product of grace and he was not taking this grace of God for granted. He said: “Looking forward, I can only say it’s God’s grace and favour that’s at work in each of us. It was God’s favour that located me 4 years ago in the classroom in Ibadan. My brother priests, deacons, consecrated men and women, laity, you are the testimony of God in my life. Your love for Jesus, your positive and negative criticisms are all I have enjoyed that kept me going.
“I’ve come to realise that the word grace and favour are used interchangeably. As I celebrate God’s favour and grace in my life, I also celebrate it in your life. I can only say thank you, Lord. Whenever we welcome God’s grace, only God is honoured and glorified.”
The bishop made an appeal to summarise his appreciation, saying, “I beg you today to help me in your prayers so I can be focused on the mission of Christ and leave the glory for Him.”
The Mass ended around 3:10 p.m., while the reception took place immediately after in the cathedral hall. Priests and the religious together with the laity present were entertained with food and music, and the bishop showed some dancing steps after the cutting of the cake.