Emulate life of St John Bosco Assumpta CMO prayer group told
Members of St. John Bosco Prayer Group of the Catholic Men Organization, Maria Assumpta Cathedral Owerri have been enjoined to emulate their patron saint, John Bosco.
The Cathedral Administrator, Rev. Fr. Gerard Onyekwere gave the charge on Sunday, when members of the prayer group celebrated the Feast of John Bosco
Fr. Onyekwere said John Bosco was a priest of humble origin, who devoted his life to helping the youths, boys and girls who roamed the streets.
The priest urged members of the prayer group and indeed all CMO members to help our youths especially in this period of hardship.
“Find a way of assisting our youth either to secure jobs or learn some trade.
In his own remarks, the leader of the prayer group, Nnaoha F.O. Njoku KSM, said that he was already familiar with St. John Bosco long before he joined the prayer group at the Cathedral.
He said as a young person, he was a member of St. John Bosco Club in CKC Port Harcourt, where they devoted time to clean the church premises and pray for the sick.
Describing St John Bosco as lover of the youths, Nnaoha Njoku said their prayer group, has a duty to assist the young ones, especially the poor. “This is one way of living out the life of our patron saint,” he said.
Speaking at the occasion, Chief Hartley Egbulefu KSJI, a member of the prayer group expressed satisfaction with the commitment of members. He however challenged them to extend the commitment and support to the Parish CMO, the umbrella body of the five CMO prayer groups in the parish. He observed that the parish CMO needs support to enable her build the CMO House and discharge other obligations to the Archdiocesan CMO.
“So, let us integrate our talents – businessmen, academics, professionals in various fields, let us bring our talents to move CMO forward, let us unite to save CMO. We all remain indicted if the Parish CMO is not doing well both in the Parish and in the Archdiocese because if CMO fails at the parish level, we too have failed at the prayer group level.” He suggested that members and groups donate materials like rods, blocks, trips of sand, cement etc for the building of the CMO house.
The chairman of the Parish Pastoral Council, Chief Sylvester Obasi Ajaelu commended the activities of the various prayer groups in the parish and advised them to show similar commitment in parish activities. In his vote of thanks, another member of the group, Chief Kizito Ajhelu said jokingly that there are only two prayer groups in Assumpta, “St John Bosco and others” and that they will continue to demonstrate in words and action that they are the prayer group to beat. He paid glowing tribute to the chairman of the organization Committee, Barr. Jude Ogamba and his members for a job well-done.
The Secretary of the prayer group, Barr. Isaac Okoroafor had earlier read a brief history of St John Bosco, According to him, St John Bosco also known as Don Bosco was a Priest, an educator, a writer. Born on August 16, 1815 in Becchi Italy, poverty prevented his early education as he lost his father at the age of 2. His mother played strong and a great role in Bosco’s early formation and personality. In 1830, Bosco met Joseph Cafaso who saw some natural talents in him and supported his schooling. He entered the seminary in 1835 and in 1814, he was ordained Priest. He died on 31st January 1888 and was canonized in 1934. His feast is January 31. He will be remembered for his love for the youth and the unemployed many of who helped to go to school, learn a trade and ensure that instead of being street urchins, they have decent means of livelihood.
Earlier in his sermon at the Cathedral, Rev. Fr. Gerard Onyekwere advised Christians to be truly the light and salt of the earth in action and not through lip service. You are the salt and light of the world when you visit the sick, feed the hungry and clothe the naked. “Many of us visit the hospital unless only when a relation is hospitalized. He appealed to the parishioners to show compassion to others through random acts of charity. “If God gives you wealth use it to help others. Just think of one good thing to do for another person who is in need or indigent. This is how to be salt and light to others.”