PLATEAU STATE: Shendam gets new Bishop

The Catholic Archdiocese of Jos has ushered in a newly-elected Bishop of Shendam, Mgr Philip Davou Dung. The grand “Send-forth” ceremony was presided over by Archbishop Ignatius Kaigama on Wednesday.

Mgr Philip Davou Dung was elevated to the status of Bishop, following the death of the former (and first) Bishop of Shendam.

President of the Laity Council of the Archdiocese of Jos, Sir Boniface B. Gwotbit (KSM), made known details of the Send-forth and Prayers organized by the Archdiocese of Jos on Wednesday, at St Joseph’s Parish, Du, to mark the activities lined up for his Mgr Dung’s ordination as the Bishop of Shendam, scheduled to hold on 11th January, 2017, in Shendam.

He commended Archbishop Kaigama for his good leadership qualities, which has enabled him to embrace all his flock without discrimination, saying, this has shown the sign of humility.

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Archbishop Ignatius A. Kaigama saying prayers of blessing over Mgr Philip Davou Dung during the Send-forth Prayers at St Joseph’s Catholic Church at Du.

Sir Gwotbit described the Archbishop as an intelligent formator of Seminarians at the St Augustine’s Major Seminary for several years, attesting that, “many of whom you tutored and mentored have become Priests, and are doing very well in the Archdiocese of Jos, Pankshin, Shendam and beyond, which we are proud of you.

“We recall with joy your eventful years as the Chairman of the Priests in the Archdiocese, among which were the now Shendam and Pankshin dioceses – a fact, which we can attest to, apart from your being a sincere Procurator of the Archdiocese for many years.

“This tract records in all the Parishes where you were posted to, are there for all to see,” describing him as a man of few words but with high test for quality.”

He prayed that the Lord, who has bestowed on Archnishop all these qualities, will no doubt double them for him as he sits on the seat of the apostles to shepherd the people of his Archdiocese.

While urging the newly elected Bishop to take on a decisive position in his new status, Sir Gwotbit said, “You are be a father to all and be punitive only if that is the last resort, as you are going to occupy an office that you will meet with all manners of people – the Clergy and Religious – who are your immediate collaborators, to the divers lay faithful with different understanding and interests.

In his speech, the newly elect Bishop of Shendam, Mgr Philip Dung, solicited for prayers from the people, for God to grant him the virtues and wisdom for the journey to lead them.

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President of the Laity Council of the Archdiocese of Jos, Sir Boniface Gwotbit, reading his speech during the Send-fourth Prayers in Du on Wednesday.

Mgr Dung said, “It is not easy; since I got the news, it has not been easy for me. I am still nervous; I am not still sleeping, but I thank God for everything by strengthen me through the prayer to our Mother, Mary.”

He thanked the Archdiocese of Jos for its support and prayers, which has made everything to be calm and has gone well. “I am grateful and overwhelmed,” he said.

Archbishop Kaigama described Mgr Dung as a Priest of rare qualities: intelligent and with simple life, easy going, detribalized and an achiever in all assignments given to him.

The Archbishop also observed that, “It would have been a joyful moment by singing and dancing, but it has rather been a sober moment,” saying that, “we are here to pray and beg God for his mercy on this servant he has chosen. Pray to God to accept our prayers because he needs our prayers – for his success, wisdom and strength,” he said.

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