What would make the Catholic Church build a mosque?
By Abdullahi O Haruna (Haruspice)
The above question swims in curious crescendo in the minds of people who witnessed the commissioning of a mosque built by The Missionary Society of Saint Paul of Nigeria (MSP), a Society of Apostolic Life of Diocesan Right in the Roman Catholic Church, in a village called Pagada in Gwagwalada Area Council of Abuja, Nigeria.
The community predominantly carved in Muslim inhabitants got the gesture from this church group at a time battle for religious supremacy was rift with the two dominant faith group in Nigeria are embroiled in a mouse-cat game of outdoing themselves of who controls dominance. More illustrative is the realisation that Pagada village has no intimidating church presence. At a time, the nation is greeted with the fear of ‘Islamization’, a catholic group is building a mosque and not a church, what could be the reason?
The Superior General of The Missionary Society of Saint Paul of Nigeria (MSP) Reverend Father Callistus Isara provides answer to our burning curiosity. In his words, captured in record, he says;
‘As missionaries, we are ingrained with the zeal to ensure the wellbeing of the society, first, we identified this beautiful community and built them a school. The greatest gift you can give humanity is education, followed by other needs. The decision to build a mosque, health center and palace for Pagada village is in furtherance of our philosophy of touching lives. Nothing guarantees a beautiful world than giving to those in need. The yearnings of the people of this village were provided by the missionary society of Saint Paul of Nigeria of course with support from individuals and groups. We are happy to be part of building a worship center for the worship of God and providing learning opportunities for the people and giving them a place to attend to their health needs. These gestures are mutual as it adds more to humanity than any other considerations’.
This is the story that should trend because it speaks to tolerance that will foster unity and pluralism. In a clime where the Christians and Muslims are mutually inclusive, expect nothing but peace and harmony, a connecting rod that has been rustic in recent. We are first humans before we are religious, therefore, we must learn to see ourselves in line of humanity as division in whatever forms wreck humanity than anything. And we must applaud the Catholic church for leading this harmonious voyage. It takes a godly conclusion for this kind of a rarity to happen especially in a clime that has been wrecked by religious distrust.
The Missionary Society of St. Paul of Nigeria, a Society of Apostolic Life of Diocesan Right in the Roman Catholic Church, guided by the Spirit, is present in ten African countries, in four European countries, in two countries of the Caribbean Islands, in Canada, and in the United States of America, spreading the good news of God’s salvation through parish ministry, social justice, hospital chaplaincies, schools, and spiritual formation.
Present at the occasion was the Sarkin Pagada, Alhaji Umar Salihu, Representative of the Onah of Abaji, Aliyu Usman, Jarma Gabas Ona, Honourable Jafaru Damulak, Former Member ,Federal House of RepresentativesChairman,, Priests of Missionary of St Paul, leadership of Fulani Community amongst other dignitaries who also visited The St. Paul Nursery, Primary, and Junior Secondary School, Pagada equally established by the group.
Abdullahi Haruna Haruspice writes from Abuja