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May 28, 2018

KSJI 422 Owerri ends 2018 Retreat

KSJI 422 Owerri ends 2018 Retreat
Swift Share!

 

… Fixes Lenten period for annual retreats


This year’s Annual Retreat for Knights of St John Interntional (KSJI) Holy Cross Commandery 422, Owerri, and their Queen of Heaven Ladies Auxiliary (LAUX) 350 has ended. The three day spiritual exercise, Thursday to Saturday March 22 to 24, which was mandatory for all knights and ladies took place at the KSJI Complex behind the Maria Assumpta Cathedral Owerri.

Rev Fr Moses Chikwe, of the Education Commission, Catholic Archdiocese of Owerri, preached and moderated the retreat. It featured Holy Masses, confessions, Euchaistic Adorations, Stations of the Cross and talks on vital aspects of the Christian life. Each day started and ended with the official Catholic prayers (from the breviary) conducted by senior seminarians.

The Spiritual Adviser of the Commandery, Rev. Fr. Kizito Onyeka, concelebrated the opening Mass on Thursday evening (March 22, 2018) with Fr. Chikwe. In his introductory remarks, he described Christian Retreats as a dsesert experience, which provides one with the opportunity to remain alone with God in a secluded environment. He urged knights and ladies to listen attentively, eschew all forms of distractions from within and outside the venue, including problems at home. He assured them that they will benefit immensely if they take the retreat seriously as it would transform their lives for the better as true soldiers of Christ.

 

Fr Chikwe blesses KSJI LAUX officers at the end of the offertory procession2

Fr Chikwe blesses KSJI LAUX officers at the end of the offertory procession

 

The spiritual talks delivered by Fr. Chikwe did justice to Theme: “Jesus Christ, Priest, Prophet and King.”

He posited that every baptized Christian is challenged to participate in these Three-fold vocations by witnessing with a true Christian life. By speaking out courageously and condemning evil without fear, knights and ladies would become the mouth-piece, legs, hands etc of God to fellow men. He emphasized the importance of unshakable faith, like that of Abraham, which is able to overcome the crises associated with life. This is especially so in the face of life’s threatening and overwhelming challenges and persecutions by those without any fear of God. He said that this was the case with the Prophet Jeremiah, who couldn’t stop condemning evil, even when he would have chosen to stop for his own safety. “How do you hold on in the face of life’s threatening challenges when everything seems to be against you? asked the priest. The retreat moderator lso stressed on the importance of the Christian family. According to him, being the primary place of learning and socialization, parents must work together, and pray together so as to share and transfer their faith and right values to children. The African culture of training children up as the highest investment of parents should be encouraged. He said that eventhough Jesus, Mary and Joseph were the Holy Family, they still encountered challenges, but were able to overcome because they worked and prayed together.

Preaching the homily at the closing Mass on Saturday morning (24/3/2018) the retreat moderator warned on the right use of the free-will God has blessed man with. He said that eventhough God does not interfere with one’s choice, nothing justifies anyone to do harm or papetrate violence on fellow man, no matter the level of grievance, as every man is God’s image. “Even when you are so shattered that you begin to question why God allowed such harm to befall you, still realize that God can use such evil experiences to achieve his own devine purpose”, warned Fr. Chikwe.

The closing Mass featured offertory procession by the officers – Knights and LAUX led by the Worthy President, Major Fabian Osuji and Respected president, Lady Patience Ocho, respectively. The Grand Respected President, Noble Lady Vero Iwu was among dignitaries present.

The retreat was wrapped up with the special blessing usually given to retreat participants. Thereafter, everyone went outside for the burning of the written prayer petitions submitted by knights and ladies.

Commenting on the success of this year’s retreat, the Worthy President, Major Osuji expressed delight at the way participant conducted themselves. He was grateful to Fr. Chikwe for the way he enriched the spiritual lives of members.

The Worthy President, on behalf of knight and ladies thanked the two seminarians who also served as resource persons, especially in assisting during prayers with the Breveary.

 


 

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