St. Vincent de Paul’s Parish, Ogo-Oluwa,
The Community is comprised of three confreres; Gilbert Rukundo, Jonathan Bahago, and Virgilius Kawama, and two Stagiaires; Edmond Ouedraogo and Dominic Abiriga. In the parish we have been running four Churches (St Vincent de Paul, St Gerald, St Paul and Holy Family). At the moment, St. Gerald and Holy Family are under the Diocesan Priests, remaining with St. Vincent de Paul and St. Paul only. We recently opened St. Jude Mass Centre for weekday Eucharistic celebrations. We also celebrate Mass in the Hospital, and Sts. Mary, Theresa, and Thomas Parishes run by the Diocesans.
Community And Apostolic Life
The Community had its first meeting in 2017 on the 31st January, 2017. Firstly, our purpose was to define our Mission Statement regarding our pastoral work in 2017, bearing in mind the fruits of the 2016 General Chapter on parish apostolate, the Post Capitulars Acts, the Diocesan Pastoral Mission Strategic Plan (2017-2021) and our unique St. Vincent de Paul Parish atmosphere. Secondly, we treated the possible means to achieve our 2017 goal. Thirdly, we named the expected attitudes of confreres and the laity for a successful mission. These are clearly stated below:
- Mission Statement: Inspired by the Gospel and guided by the Holy Spirit, we are living in a Community open to diversity of our origins and personality for a Prophetic Witness of Hope and Charity to God’s People.
- Community Life: Partake in Community programs, Team-work, Brother’s keepers, Planning and Evaluation, Respect for Day-Off, and Regular Community Meetings.
- Spiritual Life: Faithfulness to Community Prayer, Personal meditation and contemplation, Bible sharing, Recollections and Retreats.
- Pastoral Life: Reading the signs of the times, Collaboration with the Local Church, Participating in Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Interreligious dialogue, Justice Development and Peace Commission (JDPC/JPIC) at the grassroots, Website, Proximity, Administering sacraments, Participating in all Parish activities, Prepare well for Eucharistic celebrations and homilies, Youth ministry for empowerment, Ongoing formation of the laity, Vocation promotion, Home and Community visitations.
- Attitudes: Respect for others and their responsibilities, Sincerity, Transparency, Availability, Trust, Effective communication, Optimism, Patience, Hospitality, Acceptance, Responsibility and co-responsibility, Forgiving spirit, Unity and Fraternal correction.
The above Mission Statement, the Means, and the Attitudes define what our Community and Apostolic Life is what it is all about. As elaborated below:
Some specific responsibilities in the Community Life
The Provincial Superior has appointed some individuals for specific offices in the community to make sure that the M.Afr. Community Life spirit is well-lived. Gilbert Rukundo is the Community Bursar who looks after the well-being of the Confreres and the House. We, however, rally behind him in whichever need or assistance he desires from any confrere. Virgilius Kawama is the Community Animator whose main responsibility is to make sure that the community has monthly meetings, recollections, and help maintain the community spirit in whatever an individual confrere does. All community members freely contribute their quota for the smooth running of the community.
St. Vincent de Paul’s Apostolic Life
Our apostolic life is on various levels; Parish, Deanery and Diocese. Each confrere, nevertheless, has responsibilities in the parish except Dominic Abiriga who is busy with his local language course. Our parish is very small with an average of 210 parishioners in two churches; St. Vincent and St. Paul. We have one mass on Saturdays, two masses on Sundays and Mondays, three masses on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, and four masses on Thursdays and Fridays.
The Pastoral Team is actively involved in the following Parish Apostolates: Parish Pastoral Council (PPC), Parish Laity Council (PLC), Church Pastoral Council (CPC), Parish Health Sunday (PHS), Parish Cooperative Society (PCS), Small Christian Communities (SCCs), Jaleyemi Hospital, Parish Organizations (Catholic Men Organization (CMO), Catholic Women Organization (CWO), Catholic Youth Organization of Nigeria (CYON), Young Missionaries (YOM), Holy Childhood), Liturgical Groups (Choir, Lay Readers, Altar Servers, Church Wardens), Parish Justice and Peace/ED (Justice and Peace and Integrity of Creation (JPIC), Encounter and Dialogue with other Religions (ED), Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Widows and Widowers), Societies (Sts. Anthony, Patrick, Luke, Jude, Vincent de Paul, and Holy Family), Pious Societies (Charismatic, Legionaries, Sacred Heart), Committees (Liturgical, Finance, Building/Land, Religious/Education, Welfare, Communication, Youth/Children Affairs, Marriage/Family Life, Harvest), Doctrinal Forum, Bible Study, Divine Mercy, Youth Fellowship, Catechizers and Evangelizers, Parish Bulletin, Teach Catechesis, administering Sacraments, regular home visitations, Fridays’ Communion to the Sick and Aged, and Adoration.
Apart from our Parish Apostolic Life, we are very much involved at the Deanery and Diocesan pastoral work. Jonathan Bahago is attached to St. Theresa Parish run by a Diocesan Priest most especially for Sunday Masses and as contact person with our community. Gilbert Rukundo is Assistant Chaplain to Our Lady of Fatima Catholic Hospital Jaleyemi, and is Deanery Youth Chaplain. Virgilius Kawama has a three year appointment in the Diocesan Senate (2017-2020), and is the Deanery Altar Servers Chaplain.
In our Diocese we usually find one priest per parish. Our parish due to our missionary community life demand, we are more than one for the work that could be well managed by a single priest. As a result, we find ourselves being attached to other parishes. Nevertheless, we do not forget our Ogo-Oluwa Community and Apostolic Life for which we have been founded in the Diocese of Osogbo, Nigeria. We also find it joyful whenever we help in other parishes as it is another form of witnessing. Many faithful appreciate us especially those who were evangelized by the White Fathers. They are reminded of the good ministry of our senior confreres in the Diocese. Their previous good work challenge us to work hard so as not to change the good image of our confreres who positively touched their lives. We are trying to live a witnessing community and apostolic life spirit.