Saints Peter & Paul Major Seminary
Bodija, Ibadan, Nigeria
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Friday, January 22, 2021

The 15th day of the month of January, 2021, accommodated the First Annual Lecture of the National Association of Catholic Theology Students (NACATHS), Seminary of Saints Peter and Paul, Bodija, Ibadan Chapter, for the 2020/2021 academic/formation session. The lecture, which is popularly referred to as the “NACATHS Lecture”, usually holds to mark the beginning of each semester, inferably, another lecture of this kind is awaited before the end of the 2020/2021 Academic/Formation session

The lecture, which was titled, “The Dynamics of Ecclesial Organization in the Pastoral Conversion of the Parish Community:  Challenges and Prospects in the Church in Nigeria”, was delivered by Rev. Fr. Charles N. Ozioko, ISch, the Rector of the SchoenstattFathers’ Community in Ibadan, and was moderated by Rev. Fr. Francis Adelabu.

During the lecture, which started at 4:00pm in the Seminary auditorium, and graced by seminarians from different religious congregations, in-house Seminarians, formators as well as lecturers of the Theology department, the speaker explained that, “Like the diocese, the parish is in its specific character an ecclesial community. To consider it simply as a territorial or administrative circumscription of the diocese or simply as a place of divine worship is a wrong concept”. It follows then that the notion of pastoral conversion is one that navigates between the personal, communal and structural dimensions of our pastoral engagements. Therefore, since the Church is mandated by Christ to be missionary, evangelizing, and outward looking, a reform of her structures is continuously required to respond to the challenges of the day. To this effect he made some recommendations which include: (1) Re-orientation and need for diocesan and parish pastoral plans;(2) the need to be able to read very well the signs of time, having our ears, however, always in the heart of God;(3) Reformation of seminary training and curriculum; and (4) Co-responsibility in the missionary relationship between key pastoral workers.

After a moment of interesting questions, reactions and contributions by all present, the event finally came to an end with the closing prayer, led by Rev. Fr. Daniel Koumah,at about 6:20pm and a group photograph, afterwards.


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