Category Archives: St John’s


Theme: THE JOY OF GOD’S PRESENCE {Nehemiah 8v10}

Dearly Beloved in Christ,

We thank the lord God for leading us thus far through this life of holiness. First and foremost, I would like to encourage all those who have been contributing in one way or the other towards the growth of our Parish. May God continue to bless you and grant success to all the work of your hands (Amen)                                                                      


Christmas literally means the Mass of Christ.

You will agree with me that when we were young, we tend to see the season of Christmas only as a time for merriment. We believe it is the time we must buy new clothes, eat chocolate, drink more wine and a host of others. Then, Christmas was perceived as a social event.   

However, Christmas goes beyond eating and drinking. There is a spiritual dimension to it. It is this spiritual dimension that gives meaning to it and is the essence of the whole celebration. It is a time of spiritual reflection on the true meaning of Christmas which is the celebration of the Incarnation of Jesus Christ, the Eternal Word of God: The Second Person of the Blessed Trinity.

Hence, there is no doubt that Christmas is a time of joy and happiness because at Christmas we celebrate the birth of our Lord and Savior. We commemorate that time when the Incarnate Son came to dwell among us. Christ took human nature to reconcile man to his Creator.

The four weeks of Advent before the celebration of Christmas is to prepare us adequately for the joy of Christmas.

Commenting on the joy of Christmas, St. Leo the great wrote ‘This is the day our Savior is born; It is not a season for sadness; this is the birthday of life, which

eliminate the fear of death. This is a time of joy for all. Let the saints rejoice for

he hastens to his crown; let the sinner be filled with joy, for pardon is offered him’.


Beloved let us offer thanksgiving to God our Father through His Son, in the Holy Spirit.

Let us then be quit of old self and the habits that went with it. Let us share now in the birth and joy of Christ, let us break with the deeds of flesh. O Christian, be aware of Your nobility — it is God’s own nature that you share: do not then, by an ignoble life, fall back into your former baseness.” (Saint Leo the Great).

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year in advance.

Rev.Fr. Matthew ‘Gbenga MADEWA.

EASTER MESSAGE: The Resurrection: Our Hope of Final Victory!

Dear People of God as I thank you for your commitments throughout the Lenten Season and more importantly the period of Triduum, it is important to retrospect a little on our collective journey and faith expressions over time.

The last two years, and especially the last two months, have surely felt like Good Friday as our world continues to battle with the COVID-19 pandemic and watches with sadness the dehumanising cruelty unfolding amid Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine. Yes, there can be no doubt that evil has its hour.

This seemed to continue with the silence that was cast upon us from Holy Thursday night till Saturday morning – a moment of hopelessness. A great silence where earth trembled because God has fallen asleep in the flesh. Suddenly, today hope is ignited. We all followed at Easter Vigil that light in procession as it was in the voyage of the Israelites – the chosen people of God. We the new people of God enchanted: Lumen Christi, Deo Gratias. The gate of silence was shattered by the chorus of Alleluia, an indication that He has truly risen. What a cosmic connection with the spring of our time-all the plantations that have withered at winter are now back to life.

Easter celebration is therefore a moment of regeneration. A time to move from hopelessness to hopefulness. A time to be reassured, and to reassure others about the final victory. A season to know that our faith transcends every fear and trepidation. A moment when we are liberated from physical and spiritual squalor unto salvation. Let us trust in this reality and extend it to others.

May I use this opportunity to thank all those who sent in cards and expressed their felicitations in one way or the other. My gratitude goes to all the functionaries in the Church throughout these past days. May our Post-Easter experience help us to keep singing Alleluia unto the final victory.

Rev.Fr. Matthew Gbenga MADEWA

Christmas Message 2021

Happiness to the World by Self-Donation: The Reason for this Season

The season is here; the moment has come. What do we hear people say? Happy Christmas…. same to you. Really? Yes, with emphasis we say, happy Christmas. Despite the raging conditions around us and across the globe that seem to tear apart the comforting screen of normality of our being and while we are here on earth we cannot forget to rejoice and be happy. But for us not to individualise this happiness we need to ponder on one of the admirable signs that Christmas is here which is the crib. We have it (the crib) in our homes, on the streets, in the malls and all over the towns and cities.

Concurrently, we have the Christmas lights, the tree, the decorations coupled with the frenzy and flurry of activities all over the places too. However, the community dimension of this season of happiness shifts our attention to the beauty of the crib which makes us reflect deeply and in a particular way: the nativity scene has invited us to “feel” and “touch” the poverty that God’s Son took upon himself in the Incarnation.

Implicitly, it summons us to follow him along the path of humility, poverty and self-denial that leads from the manger of Bethlehem to the cross. It asks us to meet him and serve him by showing mercy to those of our brothers and sisters in greatest need (cf. Mt 25:31-46 & Admirabile Signum). Herein lies within our hearts an attitude towards our neighbours and downtrodden beyond the externalities of Christmas ornamentals, this is the reason for this season, a profound sense of shared happiness with one another, a self-donation.   

Fr. Matthew MADEWA

Parochial Administrator, St. John the Evangelist Mongeham & St Andrew’s Catholic Church, Sandwich