Zaria on fire for God as Fr Isek deploys newly commissioned witnesses

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By Olivia Obijiaku

No fewer than one hundred and thirty participants were commissioned at the end of the first batch of the ‘Life in Spirit Seminar’ which took place in St Mary’s Catholic Church (The City of God), Samaru Zaria between Thursday, 21st and Saturday, 30th April 2022. 

Orienting the witnesses at the Mass for their commissioning on Wednesday, 4th May, 2022, the Parish Priest Rev Fr Augustine Isek explained that the spiritual exercise was a response to Pope Francis directive to all Catholic parish priests to organize ‘Life in Spirit Seminars’ in their parishes as a way of evangelizing the world anew through the Power of the Holy Spirit.  

The priests in a group photograph with the newly commissioned

“Friends in Christ, more than any time in the life of the Church, there is a need to go out and evangelize again.”  Fr. Isek intimated. “That is why the Church brought about the concept of new evangelization. Yes, we have been evangelizing but more challenges have risen and new things have come, so we have to re-strategize and begin another dimension of evangelism. That is what is going on in the Church. The new evangelization is characterized by the charismatic and the ability to exercise the gifts of the Holy Spirit even at home, in the market and everywhere. That is why the Pope insisted that Life in the Spirit seminar should be organized for everybody.”

“The Church is talking about collaborative ministry. In other words, priest, religious, laity becoming co-labourers. It is not possible for the priests to be everywhere – the reason why you are empowered to go. This means that the work that you do is valuable. It is not only the priests who should evangelize but you have to begin from Jerusalem (your family). Be the priest in that house and in that market. That is what the Church mean by a new vigor to win souls.” 

The participants receive lighted candles from the priests

Reminding them that Christ is the one touching people while they are only agents of evangelization, the clergyman cautioned against claiming ownership of the power of God. “Don’t ever think you are the one doing it. Go in the strength and glory of God. Go on the integrity of God. You will not be lost if you do that.” He summed.


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