At Chrism Mass, Catholic Bishop of Yola, Nigeria, Urges Priests “never to relent” in Ministry amid Persecution

Bishop Stephen Dami Mamza with members of the Clergy of Nigeria’s Catholic Diocese of Yola. Credit: Yola Diocese

Bishop Stephen Dami Mamza of Nigeria’s Catholic Diocese of Yola has urged Priests in his Episcopal See to remain relentless in their Priestly ministry despite security challenges due to “activities of terrorists”. 

In his Tuesday, March 26 homily during Chrism Mass in Yola Diocese, Bishop Mamza also emphasized the need for fraternity among Priests.

“As you continue to work in one of the most difficult regions in Nigeria where we are constantly being persecuted by the activities of terrorists, I urge you all my Priests never to relent in your service to God who has called you to His service,” he said during the March 26 event that was held at St. Theresa's Catholic Jimeta Cathedral of his Episcopal See.

He underlined the need for love and care among the Priests, saying, “We should also be our brother's keeper in all we do. Let us look out for each other’s welfare.”

Bishop Mamza went on to emphasize the attitude of service among his Priests. He said, “No matter the position you hold in this Diocese, you are there not by right but it’s a privilege and this should be used to serve God, your brothers and the entire humanity at large.”


Turning his attention to the Laity in his Episcopal See, the Nigerian Catholic Bishop highlighted the “spirit of Synodality” as important and advocated for collaboration.

“I wish to enjoin the lay faithful of our Diocese to collaborate and cooperate with the Clergy and the leadership of the Diocese in the spirit of synodality to promote development,” the Local Ordinary of Yola Diocese since his Episcopal Consecration in April 2011 said. 

He went on to announce plans for the Diocese of Yola to host the 2027 Plenary Assembly of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Nigeria (CBCN) during the March 26 anticipated Chrism Mass that is traditionally marked on Holy Thursday

“Preparations for the conference starts from today,” the Local Ordinary of Yola said.

The Chrism Mass is a significant liturgical celebration that holds great symbolism and importance, including the unity and mission of a Diocese, the anointing of Christ, and the power of the Holy Spirit in the life of the Church. 

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It is a significant event that enriches the faith of the Clergy, women and men Religious, and the Laity, and serves to strengthen their commitment to serving God and one another.

Celebrated during Holy Week, Chrism Mass serves as a prelude to the Easter Triduum, the pinnacle of the liturgical year. It is a reminder of the Paschal Mystery – the passion, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ – which is at the heart of the Church's life and mission. 

The blessings and consecration of the Holy Oils connect the celebration with the saving work of Christ and anticipate the Sacraments that will be celebrated during the Easter Vigil and throughout the year.

Abah Anthony John is a Nigerian Journalist with great enthusiasm and interest for Catholic Church Communication and Media Apostolate. He holds a Bachelor's degree in Mass Communication from Benue State University, Makurdi, Benue State Nigeria. He has vast experience in Print,  Electronic and Multi-Media Production.