The priests of Bauchi diocese have been challenged to embrace holiness of life which their calling entails even as they draw strength from the Holy Eucharist.
This call was made by the Most Rev. Plácido Rodríguez, CMF the former bishop of Lubbock, Texas, United States of America during the recent annual diocesan priests’ retreat which held recently at the Fatima Pastoral Centre, Bauchi.
Bishop Rodríguez charged the clerics to take their priestly duties seriously by embracing holiness of life and paying special attention to the mysteries of the Holy Eucharist.
Drawing lessons from Ecclesia De Eucharistia, the Bishop noted that “the Eucharist is an awesome mystery which is why we can spend eternity without fully understanding this mystery.”
He further disclosed that the greatest gift we can have is the Eucharist itself as “it transcends all times.”
Speaking on its divine efficacy, he noted, “We are participating in divine eternity for all time.”
Bishop Rodríguez maintained that, “the Eucharist puts us in direct contact as if we were present at the last supper.”
“It’s a privilege to be at Mass because it is as though we’re we are in Calvary. It invites us to offer our lives to God in sacrifice as his Son offered himself on Calvary” said he.
The one-week retreat featured penitential service, prayers for special intentions like those for deceased seminarians, priests and religious as well as daily celebration of the Holy Eucharist.
The Bishop used the occasion to visit parishes like the St. John’s Cathedral, Bauchi and Holy Family Pastoral Area, Rafin Zurfi.
Plácido Rodríguez C.M.F was born October 11, 1940 in Celaya, Mexico as the 11th born out of 14 children, to his parents, Eutimio and Maria Conception.
He disclosed that his family emigrated to Chicago, USA in 1953 when he was twelve years old.
Rodríguez was ordained a Claretian priest on May 23, 1968 became both auxiliary bishop of Chicago and titular bishop of Fuerteventura on October 18, 1983 and was consecrated on December 13, 1983.
On June 1, 1994, he was installed as bishop of Lubbock where he tendered his letter of resignation to the Holy Father Pope Francis on October 11, 2015 after reaching the canonical retirement age of 75.
Speaking to Bauchi Caritas after a galla-night organised in his honour by the diocese, the bishop said he admired the nice weather, rich faith and cultural diversity of the Church in Bauchi diocese.
He further stated that the Church in the US can learn some lessons from the diversity here as the Church in Nigeria also draws lessons from the West.