Desmond Mgboh, Kano
No fewer than 25 Catholic bishops and over 50 priests from different provinces and dioceses of the Catholic Church in Nigeria have stormed Kano to participate in the centenary celebration of the church in the state.
Among the bishops are the Papal Nuncio of the Holy See to Nigeria, Most Rev. Archbishop Antonio Guido Filipazzi; President of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Nigeria (CBCN), Archbishop Augustine Akubeze and the Bishop of Sokoko, Bishop Hassan Matthew Kukah.
The Centenary Mass which held at Our Lady of Fatima Catholic Cathedral, Kano, was conducted by the trio of Archbishop Filipazzi, Bishop Kukah and the host, Bishop John Namasa Niyiring. The Mass was attended by dignitaries from different walks of life and thousands of Catholics from different parishes in the state.
Speaking to the congregation just before the end of the Mass, Archbishop Filipazzi, expressed the joy of the Holy Father over the celebration, saying that it was not just for the people of Kano and Nigerian, but a thing of great joy to Catholics around the world.
He maintained that the presence of bishops from all over Nigeria was a demonstration of the oneness of the Catholic Church. He, therefore, urged thefaithful to be mindful of the divisions that might constitute an obstacle to the growth of the church.
He warned that the Catholic Church must learn from the history of the Church in North Africa, which led to the loss of her position of primacy to a rival religion largely because of her own internal divisions.
In his remarks, Archbishop Akubeze urged members of the diocese to remain resolute in their faith regardless of whatever challenges they might be facing.
He also warned them against the gospel of prosperity that is flourishing in the land, enjoining the faithful to hold on to the Catholic faith and continue to spread the teachings of Christ in all parts of the world.
He expressed happiness that the celebration had come to pass, describing the Catholic Church’s 100 years in Kano as an uncommon feat worthy of celebration.