Friday, October 18, 2019. The 1-week Retreat climaxed with an extensive penitential service a day before, Thursday, October 17, to be precise. The moderator, Most Rev Michael Patrick Olatunji Fagun, the Bishop Emeritus of Ekiti diocese, directed it personally. It was both renewing and marked a new beginning for all.
We must note that the octogenarian Prelate, throughout this period of spiritual rebirth, in which he unquestionably demonstrated his knowledge of the Claretian story and its norms, never showed any sign of tiredness. Indeed, he is only retired but never tired. As a first-class historian, he reminded us of the history of the Church and that of the Congregation. He enjoined us not to fail in our mission and life of consecration in the Church. The three Theological virtues of faith, hope and charity he alluded to the tree of life (root, stem and fruits) that holds every Christian. These virtues are interlinked by prayer, which is the water that refreshes the tree of life and nurtures its growth.
The moderator’s sagacious style, to drive home his message, being a professional educator, was full of history and concrete examples channeled via humour and proverbs (delivered in Yoruba, English and Latin). In this line, he reminded the retreatants of the old Latin adage, “Corruptio optimi pessima” (the corruption of the best is the worst of all).
Accordingly, having studied the Claretian documents, he insisted that we must live, pure and clean, the virtues of the life we have chosen. With all the special training acquired during the formation years, we are held high by the society, thus, called to holiness and must be wary of scandals presently ravaging the Church. Mistakes in nature and aberrations (like homosexuality, same sex-marriage etc.) presently expressed in deceitful euphemisms must be treated as such, human illnesses, which must be tackled with proper diagnosis and holistic healing.
At the end of the retreat the Delegation used the opportunity to celebrate with our silver jubilarians: Frs Michael Eke and Rebecca Igirigi on their 25 years of Priestly ordination anniversary.
We celebrated, also, the life and work of VR Br Isaiah Olarewaju who recently clocked 50 years.
As we departed from this annual retreat, we remain guided by the legendary spiritual purity encapsulated in a postmedieval motto commonly applied to the Carthusians: “numquam reformata quia numquam deformata” (never reformed because never deformed [failed]).
With our Mother Mary by our side, we shall never fail.
>>> +Baba Fagun has been a longtime admirer of the Claretians. And the Claretians love him. When in office, as the Bishop of Ekiti diocese, he specifically invited the Claretian Missionaries to minister to the Igbo Community in Ekiti State, South West of Nigeria. That gave rise to the Igbo Chaplaincy in the diocese by name Blessed Cyprian Michael Iwene Tansi Igbo Caplaincy, Ado-Ekiti. It is the first of its kind. To cement this Mutuae Relationes, he ordained two of our priests Frs Moses Musa Okpanachi and Augustine Medaiyedu, who posed with him after the retreat as depicted in two of the pictures below<<<