…As St. Gerald celebrates silver Jubilee
Resounding joy and jubilation rented the air at St. Gerald Catholic Church, Soluyi, Gbagada, Lagos, last weekend, when the parish celebrated its 25th anniversary and confirmation of catechumens in grand style. The event which saw the people dressed in their colourful parish attire, thronged to the church in their numbers, was also attended by priests, religious, friends and well-wishers who came from far and near to be part of the festivities. Delivering the homily at the Mass, most Rev. (Dr.) Alfred Adewale Martins, Catholic Archbishop of Lagos, giving thanks to God for the growth and development of the parish, commended the priests, past and present, as well as lay faithful who have been part of the life of the parish. Archbishop Martins praised the people for their hard work, as he assured them that their efforts have not been in vain, as they gather to offer the greatest sacrifice and thanksgiving to God. Noting the spiritual and structural developments of the people and parish, Archbishop Martins urged them to renew their commitment towards attaining holiness of life and the perfection that guarantees the joy of eternal life. The Archbishop urged the people to be united in fellowship, in sharing the Eucharist and sincerity of heart, for the growth of the community. He said: “Share with one another. Take care of one another. The community as a whole should ensure that nobody is in need. When one needs work and another is able to help to get the work, let him do it. When a parishioner is sick and somebody knows, let them take care, let them tell the parish priest so that he can give the person the prayer that he needs. Let no one be anonymous.
That is what will make this community to grow daily like the early Christian community”. He urged those being conferred with the Sacrament of Confirmation to use the gifts of the Holy Spirit they have received in a manner that others will know that God has done something wonderful in their lives as they bear the fruits of the Holy Spirit. Very Rev. Fr. Jude Anyaehie CMF, the Parish Priest said the silver Jubilee celebration is a great event recalling the pioneering spirit of collaboration by the priests, religious and lay faithful who laboured through the years to build and shape St. Gerald Catholic Church to become a vibrant parish. Fr. Anyaehie gave gratitude to God for the zeal and grace He gave the men and women who toiled selflessly under pastoral guidance and direction to grow a congregation of faith, both structurally and sacramentally as evidenced in the confirmation of members on the occasion. He said: “All put together, reminds us of the words of Jesus in the Parable of the Mustard Seed, which though a tiny one, grows from strength to strength, becoming a mighty tree (Mt.13:31- 32). The huge transformation from beginning to the present could not have been possible without the priests who pastured the church at different times of its growth, as well as the lay faithful, some of who may have either relocated or passed on; for these we remain thankful. “While we pray for the repose of our departed parishioners, we hope and pray that by God’s goodness and mercy, our post jubilee efforts will advance our parish all the more.” Over 50 catechumens received the sacrament of Confirmation on the occasion.