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PASTORAL VISIT: Archbishop commissions N8m St. Charles New School in Kaduna

…Calls for prayers over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. 

by Achadu Gabriel, Kaduna

His Grace, Most Rev. Dr. Matthew Man-Oso Ndagoso

The Archbishop of Kaduna Catholic Archdiocese, His Grace, Most Rev. Dr. Matthew Man-Oso Ndagoso, has commissioned St. Charles new school built for N8 million by St. Charles Lwanga Catholic Church, Angwan Sunday, Kaduna.

The Archbishop, who performed the commissioning ceremony of the school during the two days’ Pastoral Visit to the parish on Sunday, also called on the entire Catholics to pray “very hard” over the Russian invasion of Ukraine, saying, “The action may lead to Third World War, if prolonged.”

Archbishop Ndagoso, who disclosed this, while speaking to journalists at the end of the commissioning ceremony, said the two days’ Pastoral Visit was meant to encourage members of the parish. 

He also said that during the period of his visit, 14 parishioners were wedded, while 92 others received their confirmation, among other things. “The first day, I had 14 weddings; meaning that, 28 full practicing Catholics entered into full communion. It was wonderful,” he said.

“The second day I had 92 confirmation and 24 commission lectors. All these are clear signs that the church is growing, dynamic and moving. And, if these things are happening, that’s my joy as a Bishop, because my work is to enhance and proclaim the Gospel. 

“And, if I see progress, I can be very happy. So, I can say that last two days have been very exciting and revealing. I thank God for the community. You see that I crowned it with commissioning of school; 14 couples. I come to encourage them for the good things they are doing,” he added.

The Archbishop, however, expressed dismay over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, noting that, “What’s happening in Ukraine is unfortunate and frightening. There are fears that, if this war prolongs, it can lead to Third World War. And only God knows what will happen, with the kinds of sophisticated weapons available in the world today – nuclear weapons that can go thousands kilometres away. 

“We can only hope and pray that it doesn’t escalate; although, it is not too late to find diplomatic solution, because nobody is safe anywhere, including Nigeria here. If NATO and America (who is also a member of NATO) and others get involved, only God knows what will happen, if war of this nature is sustained.

“I encourage everybody to pray in the Catholic Churches. Since the revolution of 1917 – when Russia was Russia – our Lady gave a message that we should pray for the conversion of Russia; and, you know, it worked.

“30 years ago, Soviet Union collapsed, the world experienced a bit of cold war; it ended. We don’t want another cold war and, therefore, we turn to our Mother again. Pray the Rosary; the wonder of what happened that time will happen again. It started with Russian invasion of Ukraine.”

On the school, he said, “The community were renting it from the owner, and arrangement was made to buy it. I was informed and supported the arrangement to buy it and the church bought it with N8 million. They made sacrifices and it’s now the property of the church,” the Archbishop noted.

Also, in an interview, Rev Father Antony Okelue, who is Parish Priest of St. Charles Lwanga, said “We are happy seen the Archbishop. We don’t see the Archbishop every day. He rarely comes here. His coming will bring about progress in our community. 

“We sat him down and told him what we are doing outside of worship inside church. And when he saw it, he was encouraged the more to give us support by way of advice, financial and otherwise. 

“So, apart from the sacraments he conferred on some of our members, we told him some of the things we feel that affect us as a community, and he helped us to do better. 

“Interestingly, it was bearing his Grace. So I’ll say it was his Grace’s school but now we have renamed it to ‘St. Charles School.’ The structure, with land and everything you we have here, is about N8 million. We are happy that with the support of good-spirited people, we are sure that we will make progress,” the Parish Priest remarked.

Church Council chairman of St. Charles Lwanga, who expressed happiness over the Archbishop’s visit to their parish, thanked the parishioners for their contributions towards the success of the two-day visit and for active performance.

He exclaimed that, “The visit is a very important thing that has happened in our parish. I’m very excited. I’m happy about the turn-up of our parishioners,” he said, and promised that the church will take good care and maintenance of the school. He noted also that, “Although, we have very few numbers of pupils in the school for now, the church comes in to maintain the school.” 

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