The Pope of Catholic Church, His Holiness, Pope Francis has conferred Monsignor title to three Priests of the Catholic Diocese of Sokoto while 21 others were honoured with the titles of Knights of St Gregory the Great, Knight of St Sylvester, Pro Exxlesia et Pontifice Medal and Benemerenti Medals.
Speaking in his goodwill message, the Catholic Bishop of Sokoto Diocese, Bishop Matthew Hassan Kukah, who represented the Pope, prayed God that has made it possible for the recipients to be so honoured to bless, increase and open new pages in their spiritual journey towards heaven.
“My dear Mosingnori, Papals Knights amd Medalists, it is necessary for you to know that your choice for these honour does not mean that you are the best; it rather demonstrate that you represent the best in the Diocese. It is a recognition of your selfless services to the Church, and by extention, humanity”.
“Over the years you have made voluntary contributions to the growth of the Diocese by putting at the disposal of the Church, your resources, prayers and leadership skills. You have also excelled in your spiritual amd family life; you have mentored and guided other Catholics and assisted them to reach Christian maturity”. Kukah said.
While appealing to them never to denounce Christ for whatever material benefits, Bishop Kukah also urged those honoured never to oppress the ordinary people just because God elevated them.
He therefore stressed that as Christians, they should practice humility, fairness and Godliness in their private and public lives.
The Bishop who decried that Nigeria is severely broken, added however that as Christians, they must strive to be agents to reconciliation to be able to bring it back to normalcy.
‘Prayer is important but we also have to work for peace. We will continue to pray that full peace return to our country”
The respected outspoken Bishop, further, noted that people must be careful with the languages they use, adding that no matter the difficulty, we must work hard together.
“Ours is a country of peace but our problems will not be solved through prayers alone, but also working for the peace, ensuring justice and love for all irrespective of creeds, religion, region and political affiliations.
Those honored as Monsignors include Rev Fathers Joseph Keke, Rt Rev Eugene Nwachukwu and J.C Atado while celebrated media guru and former National Director of News with the NTA, Mr Matthews Otalike Ameh and 5 others were honoured with Knight of St Sylvester, 5 other awardees got Pro Ecclesia et Pontiffice Medal, 7 people including Mr Matthew Luka, the personal driver of Bishop Kukah all got Benemerenti Medals.
NATIONAL ACCORD reports that the investiture ceremony which was held at the Holy Family Cathedral, Sokoto is the first of its type with such a huge number of awardees by the Catholic Pope.