Bishop William A. Avenya

Mar 21st 2020 20:23

In December 2019, a cluster of pneumonia cases were reported in the City of Wuhan, China. Investigations found out that it was caused by a previously unknown virus now named 2019 novel Corona Virus (nCoV). The outbreak has now become a pandemic as it keeps spreading at an alarming rate. Therefore, while the government is doing all that needs to be done to ensure that this virus does not spread into our country, as we have been assured, it is important that information about the virus and factors relating to it are brought to the attention of everyone. 

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Mar 13th 2020 10:19


By Kuha INDYER CSSp:
People from all walks of life across the nation descended on the town of Katsina-Ala in Benue State like locusts from Tuesday, the 10th of March to Wednesday, the 11th of March, 2020, to bid goodbye to the first Catholic Bishop of Katsina-Ala Diocese, Most Rev. Peter Iorzuul ADOBOH.

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Mar 09th 2020 20:49

By Fr Benjamin Akem.

The Via Christi Society today Registers her heartfelt condolences to the Apostolic Administrator of Katsina/Ala Diocese and Bishop, Catholic Diocese of Gboko Diocese, Most Revd William A. Avenya over the passing onto glory of Late Most Revd Peter Adobo.

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Mar 06th 2020 07:34

A Communiqué issued at the end of the First Plenary Meeting of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Nigeria (CBCN) at the Catholic Secretariat of Nigeria (CSN) Resource Centre, Durumi, Abuja, 29 February to 6 March 2020

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Mar 04th 2020 22:16

Lent is a season of repentance, prayer, and fasting. The season lasts for 40 days, beginning with Ash Wednesday and ending on Holy Saturday. The season reflects the 40 days Jesus spent in prayer and fasting in the desert before starting his public ministry.  Lent is also observed by many other Christian denominations.

Mar 04th 2020 19:51

The Catholic Church in Nigeria has been thrown into mourning following the death of Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Katsina-Ala, Most Revd. Peter Iornzuul Adoboh at the age of 62 after a brief episcopacy.

Bishop had a long struggle with ill-health and was at various times given medical treatment in the US, Canada and Italy. He died at the Daughters of Charity Hospital, Abuja in the early hours of February 14, 2020. 

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PRAY FOR HOLY FATHER, POPE FRANCIS 

Updates From The VATICAN

  • CNA Staff, Jun 4, 2020 / 03:40 am (CNA).- Pope Francis on Wednesday called Bishop Mark Seitz of the Diocese of El Paso, Texas, after the bishop joined a demonstration against racial discrimination to pray for George Floyd. 

    Seitz told local news website El Paso Matters that he received the two- to three-minute call from Pope Francis on the morning of June 3.

    They spoke in Spanish, Seitz said, noting that Francis “said he wanted to congratulate me.”

    “I expressed to the Holy Father that I felt it was imperative to show our solidarity to those who are suffering,” the bishop added.

    Floyd was killed May 25 during an arrest by Minneapolis police. He was arrested for attempting to use a counterfeit $20 bill. Footage of the incident circulated widely on the internet. It showed Floyd subdued and laying on his stomach, saying repeatedly, “I cannot breathe,” and groaning as a police officer knelt on his neck for almost eight minutes, while other officers stood nearby and watched.

    Floyd was taken to a local hospital, where he died. His death has spurred widespread protests, which were followed by looting and riots in numerous cities. 

     

    The first Catholic bishop to do so, @BishopSeitz, surrounded by his #ElPaso clergy, takes a knee to lead #nineminutes of silence to remember #GeorgeFloyd and pray for peace and justice. ? #BlackLivesMatter #ICantBreathe pic.twitter.com/x8da0fhIft

    — HopeBorderInstitute (@HopeBorder) June 2, 2020  

    Seitz was the first U.S. Catholic bishop to join the protests and demonstrations against racial injustice and police brutality which spread across the country after Floyd’s death.

    Along with a group of priests of his diocese, Seitz knelt for nine minutes of silent prayer in memory of Floyd June 1. The bishop held a sign reading “Black Lives Matter.”  

    The same day Pope Francis phoned Bishop Seitz, he also made a call to Los Angeles Archbishop José Gómez, the president of the U.S. bishops’ conference.

    Pope Francis called Gómez on Wednesday, June 3 to convey his prayers and solidarity for Americans during the period of national unrest.

    “The Holy Father said he was praying, especially for Archbishop Bernard Hebda and the local Church in Minneapolis-St. Paul,” Gómez wrote in a June 3 letter to bishops obtained by CNA.

    “He thanked the bishops for the pastoral tone of the Church’s response to the demonstrations across the country in our statements and actions since the death of George Floyd. He assured us of his continued prayers and closeness in the days and weeks ahead,” Gómez added.

    Wednesday morning Pope Francis addressed U.S. Catholics via livestreamduring his weekly general audience. 

    The pope said he was praying for the soul of George Floyd and for all victims of racism. He also said nothing was gained by violence.

    “Let us pray for the comfort of families and friends who are heartbroken, and pray for national reconciliation and the peace we yearn for,” he said.

  • CNA Staff, Jun 3, 2020 / 02:53 pm (CNA).- Pope Francis called the president of the U.S. bishops’ conference on Wednesday to convey his prayers and solidarity for Americans during the period of national unrest that began with the death of George Floyd, a black man who was killed May 25 during an arrest by Minneapolis police.

    “The Holy Father said he was praying, especially for Archbishop Bernard Hebda and the local Church in Minneapolis-St. Paul,” Archbishop Jose Gomez wrote in a June 3 letter to bishops obtained by CNA.

    “He thanked the bishops for the pastoral tone of the Church’s response to the demonstrations across the country in our statements and actions since the death of George Floyd. He assured us of his continued prayers and closeness in the days and weeks ahead,” Gomez added.

    On May 25, Floyd was arrested for attempting to use a counterfeit $20 bill. Footage of the incident circulated widely on the internet. It showed Floyd subdued and laying on his stomach, saying repeatedly, “I cannot breathe” and groaning as a police officer knelt on his neck for almost eight minutes, while other officers stood nearby and watched.

    Floyd was taken to a local hospital, where he died shortly later. His death has spurred widespread protests, and looting and riots in numerous cities. President Donald Trump sparked controversy Monday when he said he would deploy federal troops to quell riots if state governors did not mobilize the National Guard.

    Derek Chauvin was arrested and charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter on May 29. The officers present at Floyd’s arrest were fired from the Minneapolis police force. On June 3, Minnesota’s attorney general announced that Chauvin will be charged with second-degree murder, and the other officers charged with aiding and abetting.

    U.S. bishops in numerous states have since expressed their support for protestors, prayed for healing, called for police reform, and decried racism.

    On May 29, several members of the U.S. bishops’ conference said they were “broken-hearted, sickened, and outraged to watch another video of an African American man being killed before our very eyes.”

    “What’s more astounding is that this is happening within mere weeks of several other such occurrences,” they said. “This is the latest wake-up call that needs to be answered by each of us in a spirit of determined conversion.”

    “Too many communities around this country feel their voices are not being heard, their complaints about racist treatment are unheeded, and we are not doing enough to point out that this deadly treatment is antithetical to the Gospel of Life,” they said.

    Archbishop Bernard Hebda offered Mass for Floyd’s soul on for his family May 27, has led or attended numerous prayer services, and marched June 2 with other area faith leaders to place where Floyd died, for a moment of prayer.

    Gomez said that on behalf of the U.S. bishops, “I expressed our gratitude for his concern for the people of the United States,” and assured him that bishops are praying for him.

    “In this challenging moment for our ministries and our country, I hope we can all take comfort and gain strength from our Holy Father’s prayers and encouragement.”

     

     

  • Vatican City, Jun 3, 2020 / 09:30 am (CNA).- The Vatican Museums are offering free entry to medical workers in appreciation for their work on the front line of Italy’s coronavirus outbreak.

    Doctors, nurses, and all other staff members of Italy’s public and private health facilities will have free entry to the museums on June 8-13. 

    The announcement June 3 came as Italy opened its regional borders, allowing doctors throughout the country to visit Rome.

    The Vatican is also offering free entry for the next two weeks to the Pontifical Villas and gardens at Castel Gandolfo, which are due to reopen for weekend visits starting June 6. 

    All visitors to the Vatican Museums are required to make online reservations in order to limit the number of people in the museums and stagger entrance times. Visitors will only be admitted if they wear a face mask and undergo a temperature check.

    The daily number of new documented cases of COVID-19 in Italy rose this week after Italy lifted many of its coronavirus restrictions in May.

    There were 318 new cases of COVID-19 recorded in Italy June 2, up from 178 confirmed new cases June 1. More than 50% of the new infections were recorded in Lombardy, the epicenter of Italy’s coronavirus outbreak.

    To prevent the spread of the coronavirus, group visits to the Vatican Museums will be capped at a maximum of 10 people.

    To accommodate local visitors, the museums have extended their hours to encourage afternoon and evening visits, especially over the weekend.

    The museums will be open Monday through Saturday beginning at 10 a.m. each day. On Friday and Saturday the museums and gardens will stay open until 10 p.m. with an option to purchase cocktails in the museum courtyard.

    Visitors to the Vatican Museums will be able to see the newly restored frescoes in the Raphael Rooms’ Hall of Constantine, which were unveiled to the public when the museum opened its doors June 1. 

    Italy opened its international borders to visitors from Europe’s Schengen area June 3. It is the first European country to open its international borders in the hope that tourist visits during the summer months will boost the country’s economy.

    The Italian Ministry of Health has reported 39,893 current positive cases of COVID-19 in Italy as of June 2. More than 160,000 Italians have recovered from the coronavirus and 33,530 have died, including at least 125 healthcare workers.

  • Vatican City, Jun 3, 2020 / 08:10 am (CNA).- Cardinal Peter Turkson on Wednesday decried the existence of racism around the world, urging people to seek justice and fraternity, and to forgive those who have hurt them or others.

    Speaking to Vatican News June 3, the Ghanaian cardinal said racism was a widespread social phenomenon, and could be found not only in the United States but in many other parts of the world.

    “For us as a Church, it goes against the basic thing we believe about the human person right from Creation. We are created in the image and likeness of God. Every person is imbued with human dignity that is precious in the sight of God, which doesn’t come from any human person,” he said.

    Turkson responded to questions about racism in the context of widespread protests taking place in the U.S. after the death of George Floyd in police custody. Some protests have turned to nights of rioting, and conflicts with police. At least five people have died amid the protests.

    The cardinal, who is the prefect of the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development, spoke about justice as a “positive virtue.”

    “Justice is actually the mending of relationships, the restoration of ties. In a situation like this, the cry for justice means the cry against what hurts brotherhood, what keeps brotherhood from happening,” he said.

    “When we have situations that go radically against human dignity, that stymy it or kill it, it becomes a big source of concern,” he continued.

    Turkson pointed out two examples of acts of injustice toward God and man which took place soon after creation.

    “The first was disobedience of God’s word. The second was the killing of a brother,” he said, referencing Cain’s murder of his brother Abel. “The first instance of violence in the human person is the killing of a brother.”

    In the video of the May 25 arrest of George Floyd, an officer with the Minneapolis Police Department can be seen kneeling on Floyd’s neck for several minutes after he was taken into custody. Floyd could be heard saying “I can’t breathe.” He died soon after.

    In the face of racism, the Church must promote the dignity of the human person, Turkson said in the interview.

    “It is in this context,” he stated, “that the President of the U.S. Bishops’ Conference, reflecting on this situation, says that the riots in U.S. cities reflect the justified frustration of millions of brothers and sisters who, even today, experience humiliation, indignity, unequal opportunity only because of the color of their skin.”

    The cardinal also noted the Catholic Church’s praise for calls by George Floyd’s brother for non-violent civil action, and said: “I would add to the call of non-violence also the call to forgiveness. This, I think, is the way we can dignify the memory of George Floyd.”

    The cardinal also urged bishops, priests, and other Catholic leaders in the United States to unite in prayer, especially in the many cities experiencing violence, proposing that they hold an ecumenical or interreligious prayer event in an open park.

    “As a Catholic Church, that’s what we can do: pray for George now. And it would be great if there could be some organization of a big prayer event to bring people together,” he added. “It would give them the chance to express their pent-up anger, but in a way that is wholesome, in a way that is religious, in a way that is healing.”

  • Vatican City, Jun 3, 2020 / 06:00 am (CNA).- Pope Francis pointed to an experience of 17th-century mathematician and philosopher Blaise Pascal as an important testimony of how one can sense the living presence of God in personal prayer.

    The pope called a small handwritten note that was discovered sewn into Pascal’s coat at the time of his death “one of the most original texts in the history of spirituality.”

    “It begins thus,” Pope Francis said. “‘God of Abraham, God of Isaac, God of Jacob not of the philosophers and of the learned. Certitude. Certitude. Feeling. Joy. Peace. God of Jesus Christ.’”

    Pope Francis said June 3 that in these lines from Pascal’s “Memorial,” the philosopher “expresses not an intellectual reflection that a wise man like him could conceive of God, but the living, experienced sense of his presence.”

    “Pascal even notes the precise moment in which he felt that reality, having finally met it: on the evening of November 23, 1654,” Pope Francis said. 

    The experience of Pascal, who was known in his time as a mathematician and a scientist, on that night in 1654 led him to more fervently practice his Catholic faith with asceticism and written apologetics.

    This was not the first time Pope Francis has spoken of his admiration for the French thinker. In an interview in July 2017, the Jesuit pope said that he believes that Pascal, who was at times a harsh critic of the Jesuits, “deserves beatification.”

    For Pascal, Pope Francis said, God is not an abstract cosmic concept: “No, he is the God of a person, of a call, the God of Abraham, of Isaac, of Jacob, the God who is certainty, who is feeling, who is joy.”

    “The God of Abraham becomes ‘my God,’ the God of my personal history, who guides my steps, who does not abandon me; the God of my days, the companion of my adventures,” the pope said.

    He said that Abraham was so familiar with God that he was capable of arguing with him, while remaining faithful. 

    “I wonder and I ask you: do we have this experience of God?” the pope asked in his weekly catechesis offered via livestream.

    “‘My God,’ the God who accompanies me, the God of my personal history, the God who guides my steps, who does not abandon me, the God of my days. Do we have this experience? Let’s think about it,” he said.

    The pope encouraged people to learn to pray with faith by listening to the Lord and having a discussion with him, even if this discussion is about something that angers us. 

    “We are not afraid to argue with God,” he said. “This is a form of prayer because only a child is able to get angry with his father and then meet him again.”

    Pope Francis encouraged people to read the Book of Genesis to see “how Abraham lived prayer in continuous fidelity to that Word.”

    “We learn from Abraham to pray with faith, to dialogue, to discuss, but always willing to accept the word of God and put it into practice,” he said.

    “When God speaks, man becomes the receptor of that Word and his life the place where he asks to become incarnate,” he said. “This is a great novelty in man’s religious journey: the life of the believer begins … as a call, as a place where a promise is fulfilled; and he moves in the world not so much under the weight of an enigma, but with the strength of that promise, which one day will come true.”

    After his catechesis, in his greeting to English speakers, Pope Francis addressed the ongoing protests and riots happening across the U.S. in response to the death of George Floyd.

    “We cannot tolerate or turn a blind eye to racism and exclusion in any form and yet claim to defend the sacredness of every human life. At the same time, we have to recognize that the violence of recent nights is self-destructive and self-defeating. Nothing is gained by violence and so much is lost,” Pope Francis said.

                

Gboko Diocese

On 29th December 2012, the Holy See announced the creation of Gboko Diocese by the Holy Father Pope Benedict XVI. The territory of the diocese covers 10,692 square kilometres, with a total population of 1,847,660. Catholics in the diocese are 1,269,012, representing 53.1% of the total population.

CONTACT US

BISHOP'S HOUSE
Villa Emmanuel
P.M.B 1955
Gboko, Benue State
Nigeria
Tel:+2348062858752

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