The Missionary Childhood Association (MCA) recently tasked its members to write an essay entitled “My Parish, my second home.” Read part two of these essays.
‘My Church is a place where compassion thrives’
Apart from my residence, my parish has been a part of my life. It’s the place where I was baptised, where I’ve learned and continue to learn; a sanctuary of peace free from negativity. It’s not just a second home; it’s my real home, where I truly belong and aspire to share experiences and contribute to its history. My Church consists of two stations, namely; the Church of Archangel and St. Jude, both of which exude serenity and a homely atmosphere. Similar to my own home, my Church is home to great leaders who encourage my personal growth, foster positive thinking, and impart responsibility, mirroring the teachings I receive at my own residence. The book of Matthew 18:20 tells us, “For where two or three have gathered together in My name, I am there in their midst.” It’s a profound joy to perceive my Church as my home, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic when attending Mass and other Church activities became challenging. Even then, I held onto the image of my second home, my Church, within the walls of my own dwelling. Just like my residence, my Church is a place where compassion thrives, where I’m always at peace, akin to the comfort of home. There’s no pressure or stress, only happiness because of the wonderful people I find there who consider me not just a Church member, but part of their family. Similar to my own home, I’m never alone in the Church, with the youth community standing beside me and behind me, all under God’s guidance on our journey of faith towards our eternal life in Heaven, the Kingdom of God, and His Holy People.
• Eyinade Gideon, St. Patrick Catholic Church, Ipaja, Ipaja Deanery
‘The Children’s Choir, the tidy and welcoming environment makes my Parish my second home’
The name of my Parish is St. Louis Catholic Church, Egbeda and it is situated at No. 10 Orelope Street, Egbeda, Lagos. Our Parish Priest is Rev. Fr. Simon Iduh CM, and our Associate Priest is Rev. Fr. Christopher Onah CM. My Parish was dedicated on February 4, 2023, and we celebrate our feast every year on August 25. What makes my Parish my second home are the engaging activities, the Children’s Choir, and the tidy and welcoming environment that encourages both fun and prayer. The parishioners are loving and hospitable. Please, feel free to visit my Parish someday, and you will be amazed.
• Benedicta Oraba, St. Louis Catholic Church, Egbeda, Ipaja Deanery.
‘I have always felt a deep sense of joy in waking up early on Sundays and attending Mass’
Some people have that one place where they find peace, where all negativity vanishes, replaced by happiness and joy. That place, for me, is my parish. I have been attending my parish for many years. I was baptised there, received my First Holy Communion there, and my Confirmation will also take place there. While most kids might see Church as a place their parents force them to go, I have always felt a deep sense of joy in waking up early on Sundays and attending Mass. The source of this happiness and joy is the friendship, compassion, and love that everyone shares. Speaking of friendships, not all my friends from my parish attend the same school as I do, and because of this, the bonds and friendships with these friends have a unique depth that sets them apart from those at school. We grow closer during that precious hour or two every Sunday at the meeting, and when we hang out for as long as we can before our parents call us to head home, we reluctantly bid each other farewell. This closeness is what makes our parish feel like a home away from home, and I have grown so close to these people that I easily consider them my brothers and sisters.
• Ejeh Daniel – St. Joseph Catholic Church, Ishawo, Ikorodu Deanery.
‘I consider my Parish my second home because I find solace within its walls’
A home is a place where comfort and peace prevail. It may not necessarily be a physical building, but can also encompass a gathering, a group, or a family. My Parish bears the name Saints Peter and Paul Catholic Church and is located in the vicinity of Peace Estate, Baruwa, Ipaja. Initially, it served as an outstation of Saint Ferdinand Catholic Church in Boys Town, Ipaja. It was formerly known as “All Saints Catholic Church” until it was renamed “Ss. Peter and Paul Catholic Church” on October 18, 2015, by Fr. Dan Monaghan, SMA. I consider my Parish my second home because I find solace within its walls. Furthermore, I feel this way because it warmly embraces the youth. In certain Parishes, there are age restrictions for joining various societies, but in my Parish, I witness children of my age group and even younger actively serving God. Despite the challenges faced by our country, my Parish continues to support us.
• Mokele Anita – Ss. Peter and Paul Catholic Church, Baruwa, Ipaja Deanery.
‘I consider my parish my second home because Jesus Christ is present there’
The name of my parish is SS Mulumba and David Catholic Church, located at Lawanson, Surulere, Lagos. My parish is very spacious, and our parish priest is Rev. Father Andrew Edogbo, Cssp. I consider my parish my second home because Jesus Christ is present there. Besides my parents’ house, I spend most of my time at the parish by attending daily Masses and participating in other organised activities. I also visit my parish every day to be in the presence of my Lord. I love my parish because it’s incredibly accommodating, and that’s one of the reasons it feels like my second home.
• Gregory Onojigheduo, Ss. Mulumba and David Catholic Church, Lawanson, Surulere Deanery
‘I appreciate my Church for its holiness and its captivating beauty’
The name of my parish is Holy Family Catholic Church, located at 22 Road, Festac Town, Lagos State. It was founded on Sunday, 5th November 1985. The name ‘Holy Family’ in the parish’s name represents Jesus, Mary and Joseph, the Holy Family. The first Parish Priest was the Late Msgr. Michael Omisesan, and the current Parish Priest is Very Rev. Fr. Melvis Mayaki. I appreciate my Church for its holiness and its captivating beauty. Additionally, I enjoy the moral lessons from the readings during Mass and the thought-provoking questions related to the readings and gospels. My parish feels like a second home because I invest a significant amount of time as a member of the Missionary Childhood Association (MCA), the Board of Lectors, and the Holy Child Choir. Through these organisations, I have formed cherished friendships that are akin to family. This is why my parish holds a special place in my heart as my second home.
• Odiachi Anthony, Holy Family Catholic Church. Festac Town, Festac Deanery.