Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu has called on Christian faithful to prioritise the welfare of elderly priests.
The Governor spoke at the unveiling and inaugural dinner of St. John Mary Vianney Priest Home at Our Lady of perpetual Help Catholic Church Event Centre, Victoria Island.
Governor Sanwo-Olu hailed the initiative of the Catholic Archdiocese of Lagos to build a home where elderly priest who have devoted their lives to God and humanity, will be care for at old age.
He called on Christian faithful to donate to the project, meant to provide a quality living for the priests.
Secretary of the Archbishop of Lagos Rev. Paul Ariole said the Archdiocese is blessed with 163 indigenous priests and few of them have got to the retirement age of 75.
Others, he said, have health issues which need special care.
“In time past, through approval of the Archbishop, many elderly and frail priests resided with Rev. Raphael Adebayo at St. Agnes Catholic Church, Maryland, and this practice has also been maintained by the parish priest, Anthony Fadairo.
“With the growing nature of the Archdiocese, we look forward to a future where our elderly priests…will be specially catered for in their time of need and not simply resident in any parish,” he said.
Chairman of St. John Mary Vianney Priest Home (SJMVPH) project, Otumba Yemi Ijamakinwa thanked the Archbishop for naming the home after St. John Mary Vianney.
He said the life of a priest is a life of sacrifice. “Once ordained, a priest lives in the service of God and his people. He owns nothing of his own and everything belongs to the church.
“There is need for the church to support the priests as they journey through this life of sacrifice that they have embraced. It is in line with this that we plan to embark on this project that will serve as a conducive living environment for the priests.”
Chairman of the planning committee Rev. Fadairo hailed the Governor and his wife for the warm reception when the group visited the Governor.