Aftermath Of Ebola, Catholic Church Resumes ‘Signs Of Peace’ Handshake

By Timothy Agbor, Osogbo

About three months after the World Health Organisation (WHO) declared Nigeria free of the deadly Ebola Virus, the Catholic Church has resumed the exchange of sign of peace involving handshakes.

The leadership of the church in the country had last year, while the country was battling the scourge of the virus, advised its faithful against handshakes during mass as a means of avoiding the possibilities of contacting the Ebola disease.

To this end, Catholics had adopted other gestures of making the sign of peace by waving at each other.

But on Sunday, 11th January, 2015, during mass at Saint Mary’s Catholic Pro-Cathedral, Oke Padre, Ilesa, Osun state, southwest Nigeria, the congregation gladly exchange the sign of peace by shaking hands after the officiating priest, Reverend Father Joseph Ochonogor had asked the faithful exchange the sign of peace.

This is coming as the church has been considering returning to the usual way of administering holy communion on the tongue.

Father Ochonogor, who is the Associate Priest while rendering his homily said the Catholic Church all over the globe was celebrating the feat of the Baptism of the Lord.

The cleric, who had read from the Gospel of Mark, chapter 1, verse 7 to 11 urged the faithful to renew their baptismal promises and be more fervent in prayers.

Speaking on the church’s return to its tradition of handshakes for sign of peace, one of the parishioners, Miss Lawrita Chinonyerem expressed happiness at the development thanking God that the Ebola Virus was contained in the country.

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