By: Joy Odor/Kaduna
The Catholic Bishop of Sokoto, His Lordship, Most Reverend Mathew Hassan Kukah has observed that the story of the catholic church especially in the areas of health care and education primarily will definite never be the same without the massive contribution by the Reverend Sisters who continue to turn out many people who are now Presidents, and Governors.
His Lordship, Bishop Hassan Kukah who is the Guest Speaker at the 60 Years Diamond Jubilee celebrations of Saint Gerald Catholic Hospital made the observation during his key note lecture on the History of Saint Gerald in Kaduna, North-West, Nigeria yesterday.
According to him, the church primarily decided that education and health are the principle ingredients for measuring what God really ordained for his children.
Bishop Kukah Lamented that it is the hospital fault for not keeping record of history that would have used to track down people who are in the key positions today and was born in Saint Gerald hospital and urged the management to embrace the modern technology of data keeping.
His Words…“it is the hospital faulty for not keeping record of history and tracking people who are in key positions today in most part of the north because majority of them will trace their root in Saint Gerald hospital. Let not talk about Saint Gerald in 1957 because it was at the level of physical structure but let talk about 19100, 1930 or 1940 or even before 1956 or 1955 when there is really nothing.
“We have to be internally grateful because before the coming of the missionaries, we were likely slaves and the world was divided in northern Nigeria between the Muslims and non Muslims. Now there is a book about slavery in Africa, there is a Professor in Canada who has spend about 30 years studying about slavery and l got to know him and he said that from his studying, apart from the United States of American, there is no part of the world that have the kind of slaves that Sokoto Caliphate has.
“The point l am making is that Saint Gerald became the major gate way for our appreciative and humanity and we should be internally grateful to Catholic Church for focuses on the centrality of message of Jesus Christ, l have come so that you may have life and have it to the full which is the dilemmas of the catholic churches in Nigerian today.
“I am convince that for now we are the most luck group of people in the world because the Muslims do what they want when they cast their votes, the New Generation Churches do what they want and cast their votes but is only the catholic churches cast its votes and hoping that everything will be nice but we should not feel sorry for ourselves and we will always be there celebrating our common humanity and l think this is the story of Saint Gerald Hospital.
“Yes, it came in 1957 but before then, at the level of education, because the church primarily decided that education and health are the principle ingredients for measuring what God really ordained for his children.
“So when we say for a example, that Jesus said l have come so that you may have life and have it in full, what does a full life mean, what will a full life mean without education and health because a full life is an appositive side, if you don’t have health, you can’t have a full life” he stressed.
His Lordship was of the opinion that Catholics have built all the school and it was taken over by the government, saying that it is no body’s fault that the leadership of the church did not put up a fight which to collect the schools back.
Bishop Kukah informed that one of the beautiful stories about Saint Gerald is that, its establishment in the 5 years is a story of incredibly level of collaboration, pointing out that special attention must therefore be given to the government of Kaduna state because without them and their co-operation, the theory of Saint Gerald would have been different.
“That Catholics have built all theses school and it was taken over by the government. I often ask my Muslims friend in honest, but l stand to be corrected if there is evident to the contrary; l don’t think there are any Muslims schools in the northern region outside south west in Nigeria that has been build for Christians to attend and get adequate education.
“Will it really be possible like you have Sultan Bello Secondary School and now taken and turn into Saint Thomas secondary school but this is what has happen to all the catholic school across the north and it is no body’s faulty that we have not put up a fight that is because we largely living in church we believed that if Bishop, Priest do not talk, nothing will happen.
“But this is a different story, but one of the beautiful stories about Saint Gerald is that it establishes in 5 years, a story of incredibly level of collaboration.
“To this end, special attention must therefore be given to the government of Kaduna state because without them and their co-operation, the theory of Saint Gerald would have been different” He ended.