The Catholic Bishop of Otukpo Diocese, Most Rev. Michael Apochi, has called on all Catholic Bishops in Nigeria, to courageously and steadfastly hold on to the faith they profess even in the midst of the prevailing crisis and persecution of the Christian faith in the country and should be ready to die for the faith, because it is better to die for the Lord.

“The Lord is with us, and with the Lord, we can do greatly by holding fast to him, by leading our people in faith, so that in the face of all these troubles, and crisis or anything that borders on religion, we will be able to hold on to our faith and even die for it, since it is better to die for the Lord, because what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and suffer the loss of his soul?”

Bishop Apochi gave this encouragement as part of his homily during the Mass on Monday 11 September, 2023, in the ongoing second 2023 plenary assembly of the Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria (CBCN) in Abuja.

At the Mass, which was specially celebrated for the ill and aged Bishops in the Conference, the homilist who was also the Chief Celebrant at the Mass, called on his brother Bishops to encourge themselves and aspire to do more by deriving inspirations from the example of St Paul and from the words of the Psalmist, as captured in readings of the day.

“Already, without telling you, we are doing much, but we need to do more, you know how some of our brothers here, who are directly in the face of some of these troubles, are doing greatly, but together, supporting one another, encouraging one another, we can do greatly in the service of the Lord at this particular time, to be the Daniels of our time, to be the Shedrach, Meshach and Abednego for people of God entrusted in our care.”

The Mass and lauds which came after the Eucharistic adoration, was followed by the first session of the Bishops for the day alongside other activities scheduled for the day-4 of the plenary assembly.