One thing I like about the Church in Eastern Nigeria is that parishioners take appropriate care of their parishes. They do all they can to be sure that their parishes have the latest model of everything:
latest alter with Italian White Carara Marble,
the best tabernacle in the town,
the latest Church building,
the largest church halls,
the most beautiful perpetual adoration chapels,
the best-decorated grottos and the biggest houses in the town as the presbytery, etc.
And in certain parishes, pious societies compete with each other on who constructed the biggest church hall.
But in some of those parishes, children who attend their schools sit almost on the ground to study. Don’t get me wrong here. I have nothing against parishes constructing five grottos or both perpetual and temporary adoration chapels at the same time. I even believe that those structures develop the community where they are situated. But I am wondering if our parishes invest much in human development structures too. Our schools are seldom the best, and when they are, they are often not always affordable for the poor children of the parish. So,
- What is the need to invest almost 1 million Naira in the construction of a perpetual adoration chapel when the children are taught by teachers who receive peanut salaries?
- How do we explain that a grotto worth N500,000 is languishing in the parish compound when the children of those who feed the parish priests are writing on their laps?
- What is the need of multiplying church halls and interlocking the church compound when the children in the mission school do not even have a decent blackboard?
And as I said, I have nothing against developing a parish. My preoccupation is how far should the spiritual development of a parish prime over its socio-educational advancement?