1. Pastoral visit to a parish begins at about
4.p.m on the Saturday unless pastoral needs necessitate a change.
2. Saturday Program may include but not restricted to these;
a. Visit to the traditional ruler
b. Visit to 2 or 3 bedridden parishioner
c. Visit to any other place according to the discretion of the parish priest.
E.g out stations
d. Benediction at about 6.p.m.
e. Addressing the confirmation candidates
f. Meeting with the parish council
3. Sunday Program:
a. Open the chapel at 6: 00a.m
b. Joint morning prayer at 6:30 a.m.
c. Breakfast at 7: 00 a.m.
d. Holy mass is at 9:00 a.m.
4. The schedule for pastoral visits is in the diocesan calendar of pastoral
events. There is enough time to get all parishioners involved both those living
outside the diocese. It is both social and spiritual event for the bishop to
know his flock so publicize it and invite them home.
5. Please see to it that candidates are properly instructed and prepared for
Confirmation, this may be our last opportunity to catechize them.
6. Ozioma and offertory dances are appropriate but the participants have to be
7. Reception for the bishop is after Holy Mass and not in a dedicated church
unless serious reasons necessitate it.
8. Reading of the Welcome Address in Igbo is encouraged.
9. Kindly submit the parish welcome address and program to the secretariat at
least four days to the visit.
10. Cooking is to be finished in time to allow those involved in it to begin
mass with us at. 9. a.m. The bishop is eager to celebrate with all the faithful.
11. If the bishop’s room needs to be repainted it is better to do it at least
one week before the visit.
12. Canon Law and Practice requires that the following books be examined during
pastoral visit, kindly leave them in the bishop’s room:
a. Mass register.
b. Baptism register.
c. Confirmation register
d. Marriage register.
e. Death register,
f. Holy Communion register,
g. Sick call register
h. Rectory Account books.
i. Diocesan and Universal Church Collection record book.
j. Last parish monthly account.
k. Parish Journal
13. Endeavor to be debt free from the diocesan levies and your ministerial fund
remittance to the diocese. This is the diocesan regulation and an indication of
your good will towards the diocese. Non compliance may be interpreted as
disregard for the diocese and will affect bishop’s behavior in the parish during
14. Without over stretching the people kindly encourage them to be generous and
support the Diocese. Remember it is once in three years.
OTHER PRACTICAL PASTORAL ISSUES:
15. No priest may take a
loan from a bank, company or individual on behalf of the parish without
reference to the secretariat.
16. Priests may not embark on the erection of a new structure or major
renovation in the parish facilities without reference to the secretariat.
17. According to church law only the bishop of a diocese may invite a religious
congregation for apostolate in the diocese.
18. If you will be out of your parish or place of ministry for over a week,
kindly submit to the secretariat the name of your substitute and a phone number
through which you may be reached in case of emergency to the secretariat before
19. Creation of a new parish. If a parish priest sees the need for the creation
of a new parish out of his parish he should do the ground work and apply in
writing to the bishop. This application must be signed by at least four
representatives of the community whom the new parish will serve.
20. Building of a convent. If parish priest sees the need for a convent to be
built in his parish he should apply in writing to the bishop. The bishop must
give a written permission before the commencement of any structures.
21. Only the bishop approves the plan for a convent and Father’s house.
22. Assignment as a parish priest is not automatic or based on year of
ordination but on a priest’s ability to provide spiritual leadership to the
parish. Consequently, he must the physical capacity, emotional maturity, strong
moral and spiritual foundation and above all pastoral zeal.
23. A priest who proves himself unable to provide responsible pastoral
leadership and accountability may be reassigned.
24. The parish priest is responsible for the parish, that is, “the chief
accounting officer” for the parish and should be ready to account for things
happening in the father’s house and the parish.
25. The parish priest should give specific assignment to the assistant living
with him, this will give him a sense of belonging and engagement in the affairs
of the parish.
26. Assistants should work hand in hand with the parish priest to see to the
smooth running of the parish. Priests should not shy away from giving fraternal
corrections to fellow priests.
27. Priest leaving in the same house should at least eat lunch together; say
the evening prayer together at 7.15 p.m. followed by supper. Eating in your
rooms or at separate times are signs of personal problems.
28. The bishop may officiate at weddings of the faithful; in all cases the
parish priest will advise the bishop to avoid embarrassing the church. E.g.
pregnancy before wedding etc.
29. Inform the bishop of events involving prominent individuals in your parish.
30. Maintain a functional parish office with relevant documentation in files
well arranged. Don’t operate from your room.
31. Bind the weekly bulletin at the end of the year and keep in the office for
32. Every priest in the diocese of Orlu must be part of the health insurance for
priests. Details will soon be worked out with the CBCN for details. We must take
off from January 2009. It is the responsibility of the parish priest that it be
33. Retirement fund for priests. Priests retire at 75 years of age, therefore,
we must plan for retirement. I am bringing the management of diocesan retirement
fund directly under the office of the bishop. I will have a meeting with the
committee you will set up today on Monday Nov. 17 at 10 a.m.
34. Home for priests is a priority for us action must begin now. OPUS
SECURITATIS is worldwide retirement fund for priests demands each priest pay
N30,000.00 yearly. This will be looked into and see other
1. The current requirement for parish priest to remit 25% twenty five percent of
ministerial fund for the upkeep of the secretariat still holds. It may be
reviewed if necessary.
2. For proper planning and prompt payment of salaries and other commitment this
remittance has to be made not later than one week into the new month. Not doing
so will be retarding the progress of the Diocese.
3. Diocesan and universal church collections are to be made as indicated in the
diary and submitted to the office before Friday of the same week. The parish
priest should delegate someone else to take care of the collections.
4. A priest who fails to remit appropriate dues to the diocese after two months
may be summoned by the finance office, after the third month the mater should
be referred to the bishop.