We were fortunate to be able to welcome Father Terkura Igbe, visiting the Parish for the weekend of 29th & 30th September. Father Terkura belongs to the 'Spiritans', previously known as the Holy Ghost Fathers. This is a brief summary of Fr. Terkura's warm, engaging and compelling homily, and his brief biography and appeal for support, at the 9.30am Mass at St. Pius.
[If anyone happens to have a photograph it would be good to put it here - please email StPiusInPrint.co.uk @gmail.com. Thank you!]
In his homily, Fr. Terkura contrasted the features of the Capitalist system (capital, competition, profit motive) with the way the Spirit works (sharing, co-operation, love). He said that in the first reading, the Spirit in Moses was imparted to 70 Elders, including Eldad and Medad who were absent from the tent but still received it, and then began prophesying. Moses rebuked Joshua who wanted him to stop them, saying ‘If only the whole people of the Lord were prophets’. Fr. Terkura then recounted the parallel story from the Gospel, with John saying to Jesus ‘Master, we saw a man who is not one of us casting out devils in your name; and because he was not one of us we tried to stop him’ and noted Jesus’ rebuke to John. He said that Jesus’ words ‘Anyone who gives a cup of water…’ are an invitation to share. “Don’t possess that Spirit, share it”, he added.
He came next to Jesus’ exhortation to remove eyes, hands and feet which cause us to sin, commenting that this was not to be taken literally (which would make us fanatics, no longer operating in the way Jesus demonstrated by his life) but that we should try our best to avoid occasions of sin.
Fr. Terkura concluded by suggesting that the challenge of the readings is to let go of our fears, and start building the language of “we”.
At the end of Mass, Fr. Terkula told us something about himself. He comes from central Nigeria, where Spiritan missionaries from England, Scotland, Wales and in particular from Ireland had “raised us up”; he spoke very warmly of them. After his ordination, he served in The Republic of Guinea in West Africa from 2005 until 2015, when he was asked to join the British Province of the Spiritans; he has been living and working here since October 2015.
He went on to make an appeal in three parts:
Fr. Terkula thanked Maureen and Bob Durston who had looked after him during his stay in Guildford, saying that he had a wonderful time. He said that if he could, he would be here prophesying until the end of his days! But he said he had to return to St. Michael’s Catholic School in Garston, Watford, where he has served as Chaplain since 2017, and where the students know him affectionately as “my G”, which he kindly interpreted, for those of us needing it, as “my Guy”!