Dominican Brothers Receive Papal Medals

"Remain Good Examples to God's People" ---Archbishop Felix Alaba Job tells Papal Medalists.
Peter Martin Otillio, Justus Pokrzewinski, and Edward Riley

Saturday, September 15, will forever remain a memorable day in the Archdiocese of Ibadan (Nigeria) and the Dominican Province of Nigeria and Ghana. It was a three-in-one celebration for the archdiocese.

Firstly, it was the grand finale of the week-long Archdiocesan Eucharistic Congress. Secondly, it was the priestly ordination of three young men of the Archdiocese. Thirdly, it was equally a celebration of the investiture of new monsignors as well as the recognition of the Papal Honours (pro ecclesia et pontifice) conferred on sixteen consecrated persons, among whom were three of our Dominican brothers, namely Frs Peter Martin Otillio, Justus Pokrzewinski, and Edward Riley.

Addressing the consecrated persons honoured by the Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI, the Archbishop, Rev Dr. Felix Alaba Job, admonished them never to lose steam in doing the work of the Lord. He thanked them for the several years of service to the local church in Ibadan to the glory of God and the salvation of God's holy people. In the same vein, he encouraged them to remain good examples to God's people so that at the end each of them would be able to say like St. Paul: "I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith."

Bros. Peter Otillio (81), Justus Pokrzewinski (80) and Edward Riley (79) are originally from the Province of St Albert the Great, USA but they have been missionaries in Nigeria for over 50 years. They are among the pioneer brothers from the Chicago province to open up the Dominican mission in Nigeria. They took active part in the establishment of the Province of St Joseph the Worker, Nigeria and Ghana, the growth of vocations in the province and the formation of the abundant vocations. There is hardly a brother from the province who did not pass through them during his formation.

Also, for over 50 years they have been involved in various pastoral works and in the opening of mission grounds within Nigeria especially in the Northern part  which is predominantly Muslim. The formation house of the Province of Nigeria is located within the Archdiocese of Ibadan and our brothers have been very active in the archdiocese. Fr Justus Pokrzewinski has been the Diocesan Vicar for Religious for several years.

We felicitate with and congratulate our brothers for all they have done for the Province of Nigeria and Ghana and for the Nigerian Church as a whole. As an African proverb says, "you can tell a ripe corn from its look", our brothers deserve to be commended for their immense contributions. May the good Lord at the end, crown their good works here on earth with a crown of glory in his heavenly kingdom. Amen.

Bro. Samuel Onyiba, OP