Saint Francis Catholic Church, Owaluwa Street, Owo, Ondo State, re-opened for worship 10 months after the devastating terrorist attack of June 5, 2022, that left 41 innocent worshippers dead and over 60 injured.
Since the tragic event, the church has been shut for security concerns and as a sign of respect for those murdered.
The Bishop of Ondo Catholic Diocese, Revd Father Jude Arogundade, who led hundreds of worshipers in the reopening during Easter Sunday service, praised the worshippers for their dedication to God and encouraged them to pray for the souls of the deceased as well as for their families.
Arogundade, who lamented the massacre in his sermon, declared that the incident will go down in Yorubaland history as the worst thing that could have happened in a church.
He asserted, however, that the tragic event cannot be used to frighten the church or its adherents.
The bishop explained that members can partake in the resurrection of Jesus Christ by growing in their trust in God and serving Him.
Arogundade said the government failed to protect the lives and property of her citizens.
“I have never seen a nation that is comfortable watching her citizens being killed every day. It never happens anywhere in the world. A government that cannot protect its citizens is not worthy of being called a government. This government has failed,” he said.
Despite having permanent scars that would never go away, some of the victims of the attack and survivors expressed gratitude to God for keeping them alive.
Josephine Ejelonu, whose legs were severed by explosives, expressed gratitude to God for her continued survival.