Saints Peter & Paul Major Seminary
Bodija, Ibadan, Nigeria
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Friday, January 18, 2019

As part of her activities, the theology department of the seminary of Saints Peter and Paul, Bodija, Ibadan, has chosen this day to have her maiden symposium for the session. This symposium was centered on the quest for sainthood in the light of the apostolic exhortation of the Holy Father; Pope Francis I, titled Gaudate et Exultate, meaning ‘Rejoice and Be Glad. It is with this spirit of joy and gladness that three students of the department gave their presentations in three sections:

        i.            The summary and review of the document

      ii.            The implications of the document for priests and seminarians

    iii.            An assessment of the exhortation.

Full of vigour and zest, the first speaker as a summary to the document, presents the aim of the Holy Father as ‘explaining how to go about holiness in a more perfect and practical way for our time, and not to re-define holiness’. He says that the Pope in this exhortation, encourages all to strive for holiness, because holiness is not just restricted to hermits and monks but to all. Furthermore, the speaker explains how the Holy Father likened holiness to the beatitudes and provided the signs of holiness as joy and humorous. In his final words, the speaker says that the Holy Father ends his exhortation with the expression of St. Peter, to “be watchful and vigilant”.


Since the document itself is a practical application of holiness, there is need to know how to apply it to our own lives, and this is what the second speaker did. On the implication and integration of the contents of the document, he says that the best way of integrating this holiness is to find more perfect ways of doing those things that we ordinarily do. This he links with the busy life of a priest and seminarian by extension. Thus, he says that despite the tight schedule of a priest or seminarian he should find more ways of meeting with his God, because those activities tend to make us forget our call to holiness. He also highlights, according to the Holy Father, the three false forms of holiness as isolation, Gnosticism, and pelaganism. Then, he ends by saying that the greatest tragedy is not to be a saint.

The third speaker then encouraged all that it is still possible for us all to be saints, through the simple daily tasks we engage in, just as the Holy Father has explicated.


After the session of contributions, questions and answers which immediately followed the presentations, the symposium was brought to an end, and it did spur the minds of many to curiosity and quest to know more, and these were evident in the various contributions made, and the questions raised.


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