The Catholic Archbishop of Jos, Most Rev. Ignatius Ayau Kaigama has commended the solidarity by priests and religious whenever any of them is in need, describing it as “a strong bond and spiritual communion that is quite touching and an exemplary family bond worthy of emulation”. The Archbishop made the remark while speaking at the burial ceremony of late Mrs. Magdalene Angbalaga, at the Church of the Immaculate Conception, Zarmaganda, Jos, Plateau State.
The Archbishop declared: “I am always very edified when I see a gathering of priests and religious like this, in honour of one of their own. It is a strong bond, it’s a strong spiritual communion that is quite touching. You know priests are busy, are far away and yet in such moment they find time to come. On this note I say welcome my brother priests and religious, I welcome in a special way my brother, Bishop Dachelem of Bauchi Diocese.”
Archbishop Kaigama expressed gratitude to the over 100 priests and Religious who in spite of their various official engagements, came for the burial from long distances and different parts of the country to commiserate with one of them, Rev. Fr. Vincent Angbalaga, one of the children of the deceased.
Speaking on the life of the late Mama Angbalaga, Archbishop Kaigama described her as an embodiment of how life should be lived to impact positively wherever one lives. He noted that the deceased, despite not being an indigene of Jos, lived all her life in Jos, had all her children in Jos, and together with them impacted positively on the life of the Church in the Archdiocese.
His words: “She was from Lafia, but lived almost all her life in Jos; her children and all belong here and that is to tell you that wherever you find yourself that is where you should find your heaven.” The Archbishop continued: “Some people believe that when they are here they are strangers, it is only when they are home that they should do what they should normally do.”
The local ordinary of Jos further admonished: “I am telling you, like Mama Magdalene, wherever you find yourself apply yourself well, do all that you need to do for the church and the society so that when God calls you, you can go straight from there to heaven.”
In his homily at the funeral Mass, Rev. FR. Nelson Kwashang Daniel OSA, spoke on the reality of death, noting that life is full partings but there is need to remain steadfast in the faith. He asserted that death is not the end human life.
The homilist declared: “Many people think that the story of human life is, “Birth, life, and death.” For Christians, it’s different. The story is not “Birth, life, and death,” but rather, “Life, death, and Resurrection.” Death does not have the last word or the final say; life does. Death is not the last period after the last sentence of the last chapter of the human story”.
He added: “There’s another chapter to come. Death is not the end of the human story; it’s the middle. The end of the story is Resurrection and life that has no end. The farewell that we give to Mama Margret today is a temporary farewell; the burial we give her is a temporary burial. She will live. She will rise.”
Fr. Daniel extolled the deceased as a woman of virtue who lived an exemplary Catholic life, impacting positively on the life of many; adding that he was sure she would be counted among the angelic choir in heaven for the good life she lived on earth.
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