At Chrism Mass, Catholic Archbishop in Nigeria Emphasizes Priests’ Role as “ministers of hope, divine assurance”

Archbishop Mathew Man-Oso Ndagoso of Nigeria’s Kaduna Archdiocese. Credit: Kaduna Archdiocese

The Catholic Archbishop of Nigeria’s Kaduna Archdiocese has highlighted the place of Priests among the people of God, emphasizing the role of giving hope and “divine assurance” inspired by the Gospel. 

Archbishop Mathew Man-Oso Ndagoso who was presiding over the anticipated Chrism Mass on Tuesday, March 26 at St. Joseph’s Cathedral of his Metropolitan See said many Nigerians have lost hope in life, a phenomenon demonstrated by increased cases of suicide in the country.

“Priests are ministers of the Gospel. Priests are ministers of hope. Priests are ministers of divine assurance,” Archbishop Ndagoso said.

He also identified Priests as “weightlifters”, and explained, “This is what we are called to do: to lift up the heavy burdens that our people carry and give them hope; to lift off the weight from people’s shoulders, to give them the assurance that our master gave when he said come to me all you who labour and are overburdened.”

In Nigeria, the Catholic Archbishop said, “things are very hard; a lot of people have lost hope. Many are taking their lives. In the last one year, the rate of suicide in our country has increased simply because people have lost hope.”


This requires that Priests give hope to the people, the Nigerian Catholic Archbishop, who started his Episcopal Ministry in May 2003 as Bishop of Nigeria’s Maiduguri Diocese said, and added, “Hope is a poor person’s income.”

“If that is the case, then our work as Priests is to increase the volume of that income,” Archbishop Ndagoso said during the anticipated Chrism Mass marked on Holy Thursday.

He expressed his awareness of the fact that giving hope is not an easy task and urged Priests seek the grace of God in their role as ministers of hope.

“We cannot give what we do not have. When we give our people hope they must be able to see it in our faces; they must hear it in our voices; they must see it in our own lives. This is indeed our challenge,” the 64-year-old Catholic Church leader said.

He added, “Mindful of the fact that you did not call yourself to be a Priest, that the one who has called us gave us the assurance that He will be with us always, therefore it is for us to have constant recourse for Him knowing that it's not you who called yourself but that the one who called you is able.”

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“Keep on praying for us (Priests) that in spite of who we are, the grace of God will continue to support us,” Archbishop Ndagoso told the women and men Religious Laity during Chrism Mass at St. Joseph’s Cathedral, where he also presided over the blessing of Holy Oils.

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