Acceptance and Appreciation of Pallium Imposition on Archbishop Ignatius A. Kaigama

Pallium imposition on Archbishop Ignatius A. Kaigama, at the Our Lady Queen of Nigeria Pro-Cathedral, Abuja, 27th August, 2020.

I am very grateful to God for allowing us to witness the very significant ceremony of the imposition of the Pallium on me as the Archbishop of Abuja Catholic Archdiocese and the Metropolitan of the Ecclesiastical Province of Abuja. It is providential that the conferral instead of being done in Rome has taken place in an exceptional way among my people of the Archdiocese of Abuja, brother Bishops in the Province, senior government officials, other dignitaries and revered brothers and sisters, in accordance with the COVID-19 protocols.

My very deep appreciation goes to the Holy Father, Pope Francis, who personally blessed the Pallium in Rome on the Solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul, and has given it to me today through the Apostolic Nuncio as a symbol of service to communion, unity and peace.

I will continue by the grace of God, my pastoral mission in Abuja Archdiocese where His Eminence, John Cardinal Onaiyekan, building on the excellent foundations of his predecessor, His Eminence, Dominic Ignatius Cardinal Ekandem, together with the clergy, religious and generous laity have brought what started as a mission to what is today Abuja Archdiocese.

I am grateful to the Apostolic Nuncio, Archbishop Antonio Guido Filipazzi. In December 2019, he presided over my installation and today, he represents Pope Francis in this Pallium ceremony, marking the first time a Pallium is being conferred in such a ceremony in Nigeria. Thank you Your Excellency.

To the President of the CBCN, thank you so much for coming to represent the CBCN. Very warm regards to my brother Bishops of Abuja Ecclesiastical Province. May we sustain our fraternal disposition and inspire greater understanding, unity and peace in our Province.

I heartily thank you the priests, the religious and laity of Abuja Archdiocese for receiving me so warmly and for your positive collaboration since my assumption of office.

Many thanks to the organizers of this event who as usual, have been well animated by the Auxiliary Bishop, Most Rev. Anselm Umoren MSP.

Dear distinguished personalities present here; you made so much sacrifice to come. May the good Lord bless and reward you in abundance and help you to give sustained, positive, generous and selfless service to Nigeria and Nigerians; to make our people happy and our country among the best.

Forty years of growth in the Archdiocese of Abuja is a call to do more. A General Assembly, which will become an annual event, will this year, take place from the 4th to 5th of September, bringing together representatives of the priests, religious and laity to reflect on the way forward.

As part of effort to sustain pastoral growth, and after due consultations, I hereby declare and decree with effect from today, the creation of thirty (30) new pastoral areas in the Archdiocese of Abuja.

Some of these areas have no Church land, priests’ houses or Church buildings, but we hope they will be groomed to become full parishes. I therefore request generous individuals to kindly adopt any of the thirty new pastoral areas or join with others to adopt one area and nourish it to a full parish.

Thank you security agents. Thank you gentlemen of the Press. I have asked individuals and families to buy and install the decoder of the Catholic Television (CTV) so as to be in touch with the spiritual, catechetical, liturgical and pastoral activities of the Archdiocese and indeed the Province and beyond. We appeal to Bishops of the Province to kindly promote the pastoral activities of their dioceses in the CTV.

The choir led by Dr. Jude Nnam as usual, has been fantastic. To the Papal Knights, KSM, KSJ, CWO, CMO, CYON, MOD, Church wardens and other Church societies, I say, well done.

To all, I say in French, Bon voyage (safe journey); in Italian, Arrivederci (till we see again); in Latin, Deo gratias and in Gbagyi, Mwamwa zhin Shewonya nu (to God be the glory).

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