The second Tuesday of November annually has been set aside by Uromi Diocese as a special day dedicated to prayer for the departed souls of all Priests, Consecrated Persons and Catechists, who have ever worked in Esanland right from the earliest times of the White Fathers up to these times. This is in line with the Catholic faith of Communion of Saints.
The event for the year 2016 took place on Tuesday, November 8, 2016, at the Brother Roman Catechetical and Renewal Centre, Ekpoma, which also is house to the diocesan cemetery for deceased Priests of Uromi Diocese.
At 10:00AM, the diocese had gathered for memorial Mass in their honour. The Mass was presided over by Bishop Ogun in the company of Priests and Consecrated Persons, Catechists and laity of the diocese. Within the Mass, the Office of the Dead was offered for the souls of the deceased in question.
In his homily, Bishop Ogun praised their sacrifices for Esanland in sowing the seed of the Gospel and their immense work of evangelization, particularly at those times when there was not one Christian in Esanland to give them moral support at least; those times when they were totally strangers and the pains and inconveniences they had to bear because they were strangers. Many of them left Europe, a place of comfort for Esanland and faced so many challenges and pains leading to the death of many of them. Despite all this, they were not deterred. He also appreciated the diocesan priests and priests of Uromi Diocese, who in no small measure helped to evangelise Esanland and the Catechists who helped in great deal to interpret homilies and teachings; they too contributed greatly in evangelizing Esanland.
Bishop Ogun dwelt on the first reading from Isaiah 25, where the Scripture says: “On this mountain, the Lord shall prepare for his people a feast of rich food”. With this, he admonished all present that the Lord has prepared reward for his people. However, he noted that the imagery of a mountain is significant, in that it is a hard task to climb a mountain. He interpreted this to mean that the Christian life is not for mediocre; it is not a life of comfort. Only those who work hard to climb to the top of the mountain shall get the reward at the mountain top. He encouraged all to men and women of great courage and resilence in the tedious walk to the kingdom of God.
At the close of the Mass, all embarked on a solemn procession to the cemetery, where a decade of the Rosary was prayed for the deceased missionaries.