Ibadan Archdiocese to get new secretariat building

By Adewale Kupoluyi and Simon Senaya

The Catholic Archdiocese of Ibadan is set to get a new secretariat building to house the chancery and important offices. To make this possible, a number of activities has been lined up for the next few weeks. To start with, the maiden edition of the ‘Luncheon With the Archbishop’ get-together has been fixed for Saturday, June 8, 2024, at the Church of the Ascension, Bodija, Ibadan, Oyo State, starting at 11am, which is to be chaired by a media mogul, Mr. Abiola Layonu.

According to the President, Archdiocese of Ibadan Laity Council, Mr. Olujide Oladokun, and Chairperson, Planning Committee, 2024 Lay Apostolate Harvest, Mrs. Adeyinka Folorunso, the luncheon is put together to raise funds for the new Archdiocesan Secretariat Building Project, of which the Archbishop of Ibadan, Most Rev. Dr. Gabriel ‘Leke Abegunrin is the Special Guest of Honour while the Oyo State governor, Engr. Seyi Makinde; and Speaker, Oyo State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Adebo Ogundoyin and dignitaries form all walks of life – have been invited to grace the historic event.

The duo also informed that access invitation card of N10,000 admits one person only, while that of N15,000 card can be used by two persons at the luncheon. It was further disclosed that this year’s Lay Apostolate Harvest thanksgiving would he held on Saturday, July 13, 2024, at St. Leo’s Catholic Church, Orita-Challenge, Ibadan, beginning from 10am, which would have the Archbishop as the Chief Celebrant alongside other co-celebrants including the laity chaplain, Very Rev. Fr. Paul Asawale.

Oladokun disclosed that since the council came on board close to a year ago, ”we have participated in both national and provincial meetings and conferences. We have also organised seminars for our people where we trained them on how to make solid and liquid soaps as a means of generating income and as small and medium entrepreneurs. We have put in place an effort to secure a business plan to generate funds. Hence, the need to have a secretariat, which led to our intention to complete the Ibadan Archdiocesan Secretariat Building. We have continued to help the poor through laity week programmes. Also, the laity bus that was repaired by the last administration continually generates income into the purse of the laity council”.

The laity President added that the challenges they (laity council) have been facing had to do with the inability of the lay faithful to recognise laity programmes as their own and work for their eventual success. There is also a need for presidents of parishes to give necessary information to their members to get maximum support. On information dissemination, he said a platform of presidents of parishes was created for more access to information. Through this method, as well other programmes, it will make them (laity), to see the council as their own. Oladokun affirmed that the event, is a unique harvest by the reasons of having two programmes this year for the same harvest.

On her part, Folorunso informed that the planning committee members are working tirelessly to ensure that this year’s edition was taking a different shape unlike how it’s being done in the past years. “For the first time in the history of the Ibadan Archdiocese, we’re celebrating the harvest in two different ways”, noting that the reason for this year’s innovation was because “when we realised that this our beloved Archdiocese does not have a secretariat of its own; and with this in our heart, we decided to use this year’s Lay Apostolate Harvest to raise funds for the completion of the Archdiocesan Secretariat Building Project, which will house the Chancery, Laity Office, Catholic Men Organisation (AICMO), Catholic Women Organisation (AICWO), Catholic Youth Organisation of Nigeria (AICYON) and other key offices in the Archdiocese”.

The chairperson said that the major challenge had to do with since we began this planning is that we do not have enough getting enough financial support. “We expect all lay faithful within and outside Ibadan, home and abroad, to support this project financially to bring the secretariat building to completion. We need your presence. We need your support to make the Catholic Archdiocese of Ibadan great”, Folorunso said.