The people of God in Bauchi Diocese comprising of priests, religious and laity were thrilled by the soft-spoken words of the Bishop-Elect of Bauchi, Msgr. Hilary Dachelem, C.M.F when he assured that he had come to work with all as a companion.
He gave these assurances at his First Public Presentation to the People of God in Bauchi by the Diocesan Administrator, Very Rev. Fr. John Keane, SMA on 20, June 2017.
At the august event which took place at the St. John’s Cathedral Hall, Msgr. Dachelem noted that he was coming as a Bishop, Chief Shepherd and leader of Catholics in Bauchi Diocese but added “please always keep in mind that much more than anything else, I am your brother, your friend and I am your companion.”Calling for the cooperation of all, he noted “we ought to journey together in peace, understanding, dialogue and in sincere and true love” while stressing on the need “to work together in His [God’s] Spirit not our spirit.”
“As we have all come together in this manner, let us not forget that Jesus is at the centre of all. For us in Bauchi, Jesus will always be at the beginning, in the middle and at the end of all we do. Our Blessed Mother Mary will remain mother of our diocese to whom we would always fall back to in good and bad times” the Bishop-Elect stated. “I will really want us, together, to make Bauchi Diocese ‘A Home for All’ – to create an atmosphere where all of us working in this part of the Lord’s vineyard called Bauchi would actually feel at home” he further stressed.
Earlier, narrating how he took the news of his appointment and later developments, he stated: “The Holy Father, Pope Francis appointed me as Bishop of this diocese Bauchi on 13, May 2017, on the centenary of Our Lady of Fatima. “For me, that day was an experience I never had before. That news was news I never imagined before. But since God works in mysterious ways and his ways are not necessarily our ways, I said to myself, who am I to stand on the way of the almighty God who made heaven and earth? I thought deep inside of me that the only thing to do is to cooperate with the dictates and grace of God operative in our world.”
He continues: “Now that I have accepted His divine will, I have made up my mind to sincerely and wholeheartedly journey with you in Bauchi diocese.” The prelate used the occasion to thank the Diocesan Administrator and Chairman of the Priests’ Council, Very Rev. Fr. Cyril Shu’abu for calling to congratulate him and assuring him that he was in safe hands and that he was coming home. With the words, “thank you all for hilariously welcoming me in your midst,” Msgr. Dachelem ended his speech while praying God to grant all in the diocese the wisdom and love to live and work together to the glory of his name.The highpoint of the event was when Msgr. Dachelem prayed over the tomb and tombstone of Bishops Malachy Goltok and John Moore, SMA of blessed memory.
The Bishop-elect also visited the Immaculate Conception Secondary School (ICSS), Gubi Dam road, the proposed venue for his Ordination and Installation and the Bishop’s house which will be his home after taking canonical possession of the diocese. In the entourage of the Bishop-elect were priests from the Claretian Fathers, Makurdi, Lafia and Shendam dioceses as well as Jos Archdiocese who were treated to a meal at the Cathedral rectory.