Bishop Jude Arogundade of Ondo visits ahead of 'Red Wednesday'
We were honoured to welcome the Most Rev Dr Jude Arogundade, Bishop of Ondo, southern Nigeria, ahead of ‘Red Wednesday’, a campaign led by Aid to the Church in Need (ACN) to break the silence on the persecution of Christians and minority faith groups around the world.
As Paul Stubbings, Headmaster, commented in his welcome remarks for Bishop Jude: ‘As we look ahead to Red Wednesday, we reflect on what it really means to be a Christian and the immense hardships faced by some who simply want to practise their faith. Here in the UK, we’re in a privileged position that we can gather to pray here in our school and local parishes without fear of threat or violence. Our extended Christian family around the world is sadly not as fortunate.’
Bishop Jude has first-hand experience of the horrific & violent persecution of Christians in his home country of Nigeria. He told his audience of how earlier this year heavily armed men entered St Francis Catholic Church in the Nigerian city of Owo, killing 40 worshippers and further injuring up to 70, in a scene he described as being one of ‘unimaginable horror.’
Despite such suffering, Bishop Jude delivered a message of faith and hope which was as inspiring as it was deeply moving. Concluding his remarks, he implored pupils to take responsibility to use their faith to help end persecution, saying: ‘We need to make the world a place of peace and love, where no one has to suffer for their faith. We all need to take responsibility. The world is beautiful, how can we make it even more beautiful? Let us all work hard on our faith together.’
Those who like to support ‘Red Wednesday’ may be interested to know that there will be a special event at the Ukrainian Catholic Cathedral on Binney Street, W1 this Wednesday (23 November). Bishop Jude wanted to extend the invite to the entire Vaughan community, with attendees encouraged to wear red as a symbol of solidarity with all those facing religious persecution.
Mr Stubbings and Bishop Jude at The Cardinal Vaughan Memorial School