The Catholic Archbishop of Lagos, Most Rev. (Dr.) Alfred Adewale Martins has tasked Catholics on adding value to spiritual assets that have been handed over to them, by supporting the Archdiocesan project of upgrading the facilities in the Marian Shrine, so as to protect people from the elements. Archbishop Martins made the call during the blessing of the foundation and launching of the 250 million naira 700-seater pavilion of the Marian Shrine held April 22 at the Marian Shrine, St. Agnes Catholic Church, Maryland, Lagos. According to the Archbishop, the blessing of the foundation and launching of the 700-seater pavilion of the Marian Shrine marks the beginning of the process of adding value to a spiritual facility that was handed over to the people in Lagos over 40 years ago. He said: “What we have just done is to begin a process of adding value to what has been handed over to us 40 years ago. Over 40 years, the Shrine was brought into existence, and it has served so many people spiritually over the years.
But of course, with the years, there is need to upgrade the facilities there, and that is why we have had this event of today, of the beginning of the construction of a pavilion. A pavilion that will house offices, that will have conference room, that will also provide shade for people when there is rain or the sun. “So, this is the kind of value that is been added to what has been handed over to us, and many people have shown a measure of generosity in helping to bring this project to a successful completion. But this is a project that is Archdiocesan in nature, and so, we expect even those who are not here physically today to recognize the need for supporting this project, and for giving whatever the Lord place upon their heart, to ensure that this project comes to a successful completion. Speaking on the significance and benefits of the Marian Shrine, Archbishop Martins said that it is the home of Mother Mary that avails Catholics the opportunity to go there and tell her whatever it is they want her to present to God. “Of course, the Marian Shrine is like a home of Mary among us.
It is like a home of a mother among her children, and therefore, to be able to have Marian Shrine is to be able to go into the mother’s house and tell her whatever it is you want to tell her. If it is praise of God, tell her. If it is problems and challenges you have, tell her. And we know that she has the greatest opportunity of presenting our needs to God, as the mother of God. So, the value of a Marian Shrine is beyond expression because of the motherhood of Mary, who is in the Shrine”, he said. Very Rev. Msgr. Phillip Hoteyin, Chaplain of Marian Shrine, in his remarks said that the reward of service to God and people, should not be for material gains, but satisfaction that one was part of the establishment of something done for a good cause. He said: “Our service should not just be for material gains. Our reward is that we see a well done job.
Any job you do that is well done, when you look back, you are happy. Many of us are looking for money as reward, no, that is what is destroying our country. Are you satisfied with the job you are doing? What people have given today is definitely what they have given from the heart, nobody is forcing them. Can you see how they were giving willingly to God? So, when they look back, as I said, they will surely say, ‘Thank God that I was part of it.’ “Some people started this place, and I quote the Yoruba proverb that says that the biological father doesn’t worth more than the guardian who takes care of you because without your guardian, you cannot exist as yuo should. Every biological father is not a real father. So if foundation has been laid, and there is no continuation, things wont go the way they should. That is one thing Nigerians should focus on.
Do we remember that our children’s children will inherit from us? We are all moving away, and then to God only will be the last that we can rely on.” On his message to Catholics concerning the Marian Shrine project, he said: “Well, the message is very clear, we have heard foundation about shrine. Shrine is a place dedicated, hallowed ground through the name of Mary God; Jesus her son and to God the Father. So, that’s what the Catholic should know that many of us are running up and down to other places, looking for miracles from there, but there’s only one thing, the Word. Jesus is the Word. If you don’t hear the Word, all you are looking for is nothing. Present at the event were clerics and lay faithful of the Lagos Archdiocese including the Dean of Surulere Deanery, Very Rev. Msgr. Anthony Erinle, Very Rev. Fr. Anthony Fadairo, Coordinator, Marian Shrine, among others.