The Catholic Archdiocese of Lagos recently recognised the humanitarian and selfless service of 126 of its parishioners in churches across the state with the St Thomas More Awards 2023.
The parishioners were recognised during the maiden edition of St. Thomas More awards by the Lagos Archdiocese at the Holy Cross Cathedral, Lagos.
“Thomas More was just a professional just like many of you here; he was just a professional whose faith and loyalty to the teachings of the church could not be bought either by his office or by money or anything else,” Adewale Martins, Catholic Archbishop of Lagos, said as he admonished the recipients to live life that pleases God the way Thomas More did.
Martins equally urged politicians, professionals and other individuals to strive to obey God first. According to him, Thomas More was a man with a high reputation for honesty and integrity, who insisted that God must be honoured in spite of his position. He More insisted that God must be obeyed even if it is inconvenient, even if it is not politically expedient.
“Like many of you, he was a married man; he was an English lawyer, judge, social philosopher, author, statesman, and a noted Renaissance humanist. He also served Henry VIII as Lord High Chancellor of England; that was the highest ranking traditional ministerial position in England, directly appointed by the King himself,” Martins said.
In congratulating the honorees, Martins said: “You have the honour of being the first set of recipients of Lagos Archdiocesan St Thomas More Awards. You have given generously, your time, your treasure and your talents in the service of God and his Church for the purpose of evangelisation and expansion of the kingdom of God in this world.”
He also admonished the congregants to strive to take part in the development of the church using their time, talent and treasure no matter how little it is. According to him, everybody is required to take active part in the church, using their talents and different means.
“God has given us talents, he has given us gifts that are inherent in us; each of us has a duty to find a space to use their talent and ability to work for God,” Martins said.
The Catholic Archbishop of Lagos also told the congregation that time has gone when the church is described as the Reverend Father’s Church. According to him, God expects all His children to be active according to their states in life, either as priests, lay or religious.
“The scripture tells us that if we give, we give for the lord, if you die, you die for the lord. What do we have that is not given to us by God? Dear friends, giving to the lord means using all that we have; all that shall ever be, all the things that we do, that you use them in the service of God, that is what giving to the lord means,” Martins said.