A bishop in Nigeria has thanked Catholic charity Aid to the Church in Need (ACN) for helping him put a roof on a university chapel – a key part of his diocese’s evangelization program.
Bishop Anthony Ademu Adaji of Idah praised ACN for helping to finish construction work on the Chapel of St. Augustine at Kogi State University.
In an interview with the charity for persecuted and other suffering Christians, the bishop explained how he had turned to ACN for help after discovering that delays over the completion of the chapel had caused Catholic students to drift away from the Church.
The bishop said, “In 2008, I came to Königstein when I was still an auxiliary bishop and spoke about this need which lies deep in my heart – and got a very positive response.”
Aid to the Church in Need provided a grant of more than $18,800 to put a roof on the otherwise finished Chapel of St. Augustine.
Paying tribute to the charity, he said, “I want to thank the staff and donors of ACN for their help. Without this effort there would be a lot of difficulties in evangelization. I thank you.”
Highlighting the importance of Christian outreach in the state in central Nigeria, Bishop Ademu Adaji added, “Now if the roof is there, the work of evangelization will grow.”
With their chapel finished, the chaplaincy is planning to hold daily Mass, regular Benediction, student missions and other activities.
The bishop, who visited the university shortly before Pentecost to confer Confirmation, stressed the importance of evangelization and catechesis to the developing ministry of the Church in Kogi State.
He also described how at one Catholic secondary school he confirmed 118 students this year and spent time instructing them in the faith.
“I made it a point of duty to spend at least three hours on major issues of doctrine and faith so they, in the future, will pass on this either to their families or to other young people.”
He went on to say: “The university chaplaincy of Kogi state is a potential avenue for evangelization of young people.”
“We have to evangelize our youth if we are to have a future for the Catholic Church in our country.”
Bishop Ademu Adaji said, “Our schools are teaching them not only knowledge of the arts and sciences but moral education – forming them character-wise.”
In a country that saw religious violence in the north earlier this year, schools are also important for building inter-faith relationships, enabling Muslims as well as Christians to study together.
The bishop thanked Aid to the Church in Need for its support for the diocese.
He said, “We are praying for you, for the work you are doing, and ask God to bless you for the work you are doing in mission dioceses, like the diocese of Idah.”