Catholic Archbishop of Lagos Metropolitan Province, Most Rev. Adewale Martins, turning the Sod for SJMVPH project with Sanwo-Olu’s representative and other priests and dignitaries……… today at St. Agnes Catholic Church, Maryland, Lagos.
By Editor-in-Chief, Advocatenewsng.com.
THE long awaited gigantic building project conceived by the Lagos Catholic Archdiocese under the leadership of his Grace, the Archbishop of Lagos Metropolitan Province, Most Rev. Dr. Alfred Adewale Martins, kick started today, June 3, 2022 with the foundation laying ceremony performed at the project site at St. Agnes Catholic Church compound, Anthony Village, Maryland, Lagos.
Archbishop Adewale Martins spearheaded the groundbreaking ceremony, assisted by the Lagos State governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, represented at the event by his special adviser on Religious Matters, Rev. Bukola Adeleke and other high ranking vicars, spiritual leaders, traditional rulers, government officials, captains of industries, senior lawyers and the general laity.
This particular event is known and referred to within the priesthood circle as ‘Turning of the Sod’ ceremony which is a project geared towards building a befitting home for all catholic priests in Lagos who are retiring from active priesthood as part of their benefits since they have voluntarily chosen the life of sacrifice to God and humanity without wives and children of their own to take care of.
In other words, the project is called, “St. John Mary Vianney Priests Home Project (SJMVPH)”, which committee is headed by the Parish Priest of St. Agnes Catholic Church, Maryland, Lagos, Rev. Fr. Anthony Fadairo, who on the other hand, has been mandated by Archbishop Martins to raise N1billion from Parishoners from within and outside Lagos in order to complete the Home within 12 months from the date of commencement.
Speaking on the appropriateness of the project, the Chairman of the Fund Raising Committee, Chief Anthony Idigbe, (SAN), described the life of a priest as that of a life of sacrifice.
“Once ordained, a priest lives his life entirely in the service of God and his people. He owns nothing of his own and belongs entirely to the Church”, he said.
He added that the lay faithfuls should see the problem of not having a befitting home for the aged priests as their problem and therefore called on all well meaning individuals, groups, corporate bodies and friends of the Church to support the project to see to its actualization within the next 12 months.
Welcoming visitors at the venue of the Turning of the Sod, the head of the Home Committee, Rev. Fr. Fadairo, thanked the invitees for honouring the Church’s call to witness the groundbreaking ceremony and to help it raise the needed funds for the completion of the laudable project. He also urged all present to take the message home to their parishes in order to create the urgent awareness and need to join hands with his committee as co-partners to realise the building project on record time.
In his own address, the Archbishop, Most Rev. Adewale Martins revealed the reason why he conceived the idea to build a befitting home for aged priests in Lagos. According to him, it is a task for him as a bishop to make sure the welfare of all priests within his episcopal jurisdiction is taken care of, especially the aged and retiring vicars who depend entirely on the Church for their upkeep and wellbeing.
He thanked the stakeholders and the laity for buying into the idea and vision of the project and urged them to make generous contributions towards the realisation of the project especially as those who have in one way or the other benefited from the services of priests whose entire lives on earth are lives of devotion to the Church and the people.
Delivering a prepared speech, the representative of Governor Sanwo-Olu, Rev. Adeleke, said the governor would have loved to attend the event but for other pressing state matters which kept him away.
However, the governor thanked the organisers for coming up with the idea of the project for a home for retiring priests who sacrificed their lives for the services of other people who are not their family members.
He therefore urged all well meaning individuals, groups and corporate organisations to contribute selflessly to complete the project, while pledging his government support towards the realisation of the laudable work.
The event which was well attended by many parishoners and friends of the Church was also used for fund raising and bazaar where several hundreds of millions for the project were realised.
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