The Chaplaincy in every catholic institution serves as a veritable instrument for the actualization of the set objectives and mission of the institution. Veritas University Chaplaincy has as its primary objective to engage and support members of veritas university family-staff, students and the host communities in their spiritual, moral and socio-cultural development. This is in consonance with the call by Pope John Paul II on the entire Church to show interest in Catholic Universities as they are "essential to her growth and to the development of Christian culture and human progress" (Ex Corde Ecclesiae, no.11) The office of the Chaplain is responsible for articulating a vision as well as acquiring and developing the necessary resources for implementing this vision.
The responsibilities include:
1. Convening the community for prayer and worship
2. Providing a pastoral presence n campus
3. Facilitating social justice, community service and outreach activities
4. Offering catechetical instructions for faith building
5. Providing pastoral counseling, spiritual direction and retreat oppurtunities.
These are embedded in our monthly and weekly chaplaincy activities.
The Board of Lectors (Lay Readers)
The Board of Lectors (Lay Readers) breaks open the treasure of God’s word to the people in order for the word of God to take flesh in their minds & hearts. It proclaims the word at all liturgical celebrations in the Chaplaincy. Membership is open to every baptized and practicing catholic who is a communicant.
Sacred Heart Of Jesus And Immaculate Heart Of Mary
Sacred heart of Jesus and immaculate heart of Mary meeting holds every holy Thursday while the normal meeting hold every first Thursday, Friday and Saturday of every month and when there is feast of sacred heart. And our uniform is red and white but will have sacred heart uniform which we wear it occasionally.
Divine Mercy Devotion (Motto: Jesus I Trust In You)
Divine mercy from its origin, has it that the devotion / prayer should be said at 3.00 am and 3.00pm every day, why? Because in the Catholic Doctrine this time is the hour of mercy, where we beg pardon for our sins, and also make our
petitions to God who is the ultimate and the overall ruler of mankind.
VERITAS UNIVERSITY, ABUJA (The Catholic University of Nigeria)
NOTES ON CHAPLAINCY
Catholic Universities world-wide are academic communities which, in a rigorous and critical fashion, assist in the protection and advancement of human dignity and cultural heritage through research, teaching as well as service offered to the local, national and international communities. The main objective of these institutions is to infuse Christian presence into the University world, thus ensuring effective confrontation of the problems of our modern society. To be in a position to grapple with such problems, Pope John Paul II, in his Apostolic constitution (Ex Corde Ecclesiae), clearly established four features that are basic to all Catholic Universities. These include:
“A Catholic inspiration not only of individuals but of the university community; 2. A continuing reflection in the light of the catholic faith upon the growing treasury of human knowledge, to which it seeks to contribute by its own research; 3. Fidelity to the Christian message as it comes to us through the Church; 4. An institutional commitment to the transcendent goal which gives meaning to life”. (Ex Corde Ecclesiae No. 13) The acquisition of the characteristics enumerated above and the eventual realization of the objective(s) of any catholic university, depend on the effectiveness, efficiency and viability of its chaplaincy. For this reason ‘Veritas’ as catholic university requires such a chaplaincy which should function in the following manner.
As a matter of convention, the chaplaincy is organized and coordinated by a chaplain. Such a chaplain is nominated by the local ordinary and appointed by the Council. The office of the chaplain is saddled with the responsibility of articulating a vision as well as the acquisition and development of necessary resources for implementing such vision. Other responsibilities include: I. Convening the community for prayer and worships; II. Providing a pastoral presences on campus; III. Facilitating social justice, community service and outreach activities. IV. Offering catechetical instructions for faith building V. Providing pastoral counseling, spiritual direction and retreat opportunities.
2. PRIESTS ON CAMPUS
In discharging these responsibilities as outlined i-v above, every priest serving on campus is a part of the chaplaincy and has spiritual responsibilities to the university community. The implication therefore, is that they shall be available for: I. Eucharistic celebration (masses) II. Confessions III. Celebration of other sacraments; etc.
3. CHAPLAINCY COMMITTEE
The chaplaincy requires the assistant of the entire university community if it must function optimally. The need for a chaplaincy committee cannot therefore, be over emphasized. Such a chaplaincy committee is a parochial structure which will consist of representative members of the university community. The members are primarily concerned with offering special assistance to the chaplain with whom they constitute one body which sees to the realization of the aim and objectives of the church’s ministry on campus.
4. UNIVERSITY STRUCTURE AND THE CHAPLAINCY
The chaplaincy is the hub of spiritual life of any catholic university. It is therefore part and parcel of the university structure. To this end, there must be a high degree of mutual consultation between the management of the university and the chaplaincy and full awareness on both sides of the chaplaincy programmes alongside University programmes. Against this backdrop, financial and every support to the chaplaincy should form part of the university budget. It is good to note, both Sunday and daily Masses are compulsory for all students.
5. SPIRITUAL LIFE AND FAITH FORMATION
Evangelization no doubt, is the primary task of the chaplaincy. This is why the chaplaincy endeavours to offer many opportunities for spiritual development and faith formation. The Catechetical instructions are provided for those who are seeking initiation into the Catholic Church. Opportunities for faith sharing and prayers are available. There are classes and discussion groups on religious topics, etc. Management’s decision directs that Masses would be available every (day) at 12noon, compulsorily for students. We believe that the members of Veritas community will continue to take advantage of these opportunities.
6. RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN THE UNIVERSITY CHAPLAINCY AND THE ARCHDIOCESE OF ABUJA
There is a wonderful relationship between the University and its host the Catholic Archdiocese of Abuja. A relationship that is characterized by support and solidarity from the local ordinary and gratitude from the University.
Indeed, the chaplaincy occupies its rightful position in the life of the University as its serves as a focal point in the promotion of the spiritual life of the community