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August 16, 2018

2018 Father’s Day: Fathers, reason for the season

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…Be a father as St. Joseph of the Holy family

Holy Mother the Church makes out time to pay attention to the role of the family in the Church and by extension in the society. This she does through the celebration of every component of the family-father, mother and the youth.
The church has set aside May 6th, 2018 as the Day for Catholic fathers, not just as a mere ceremonial programme but a day to reconscientise the fathers on their role in the family, church and society and also bring to the fore their main role, in case there is a misplacement of priority.

Fathers Day celebration actually comes up on the 1st of May every year (Feast of St. Joseph De Worker) when the secular society celebrates “Workers Day” or in some parlance “May Day”. The universal church celebrates Catholic Fathers, whose Patron Saint is St. Joseph De Worker. But this celebration is shifted to the next Sunday following May 1st, should it fall on a week day.


Though the role of every component of the family is crucial that of the fathers cannot be over-emphasized. A father occupies a more crucial place in the life of the family, which is the domestic church and the bedrock of the society at large because a bad tree cannot bring forth a good fruit.

On this premise therefore, fathers have important role to play in the society. It is therefore pertinent that fathers should first understand their position in the lives of their wives and children, cherish that position and work in tandem with the qualities of good fatherhood as exhibited by St Joseph. Fathers should therefore not shy away or appear to be too busy regarding their divinely assigned responsibility of being a father in a Christian home.

Responsibilities of fathers go beyond the general premise of providing the daily bread for their families. There are other responsibilities such as love and care, patience and understanding mind. The love for his family; the care for the welfare of his family; the patience with which he deals with his family and understanding mind with which he administers his family. A father with these attributes will no doubt breed a healthy family.


The events of a changing world come in two folds; the positive effect and the adverse effect of the change. Whatever be the effect of the change, fathers are there as the shock absorbers for their families. Their responsibilities to their families make them gates to their homes. A situation whereby these changes bring adverse effect to the status quo ante, fathers feel more of the heat as experienced currently in our country- loss of job, irregular payment of salaries and pensions etc.

When life poses this threatening scenario before us, we are advised not to lose focus but rather adopt the adjustment and growth approach in a changing world. Adjustment, in the sense that we change our lifestyle to a more realistic one that would be able to confront the economic uncertainties of the present time and make relevant economic calculation at every step of our family life. This will no doubt lessen the adverse effects of the changing economic world. This adjustment will ultimately result in our economic stability.

There is a lukewarm attitude amongst fathers as regards joining and identifying with the organization. I have failed to comprehend why a Catholic father would rather identify happily with other organizations and sodalities than with the C.M.O designed for him. On the average, in a parish of about 500 fathers, it is a huge task to get about 200 registered members and even amongst these 200, you would hardly get 50 active members. Unfortunately you would see these non-registered and non active members chairing sodalities, becoming pillars and whatever of other organizations in their parishes because of the support which they render to them while neglecting the C.M.O.
This development has led to the few dedicated members being overworked with responsibilities meant for all fathers of a particular parish. You can’t be too busy or justify your non- membership. Recall that the church has four (4) cardinal groups one must identify or belong to:

(1) Catholic Men Organization (C.M.O.)
(2) Catholic Women Organization (C.W.O.)
(3) The Youth
(4) Mary League.

Even though we appreciate the fat donations made by fathers who are not registered members of the CMO to the church, it is very important that we all key into the C.M.O. and her activities. I appreciate parish priests who have shown keen interest in the growth of the C.M.O. by encouraging those who wish to present their children for blessing in the church to first register with the C.M.O. and also appear in the approved C.M.O. uniform during the ceremony. I plead with priests who overlook this to please support us. The church has a great role to play in the growth of these four cardinal groups.

The Owerri Archdiocesan Catholic Men Organization (OACCMO) Secretariat Prior to February 2018, the O.A.C.C.M.O. has been holding their meetings under sheds of trees or any makeshift space as a result of not having a place of their own within the Archdiocese. On 14th June, 2016, His Grace Most Rev. Anthony J.V. Obinna performed the foundation laying ceremony of OACCMO hall complex and Office block, the first of its kind. On February 24, 2018, OACCMO held her first meeting in the building, though still under construction. It was actually, a celebration as our chaplain, Very Rev. Fr. Sebastian O. Igbokwe performed the blessing ceremony “for entry and occupation.” We have continued to plead with debtor parishes to please comply to see to the completion of the project.


May I use this medium, being my last Fathers Day Celebration as the President- General of Owerri Archdiocesan Council of Catholic Men Organization with CMO parishes to thank immensely our dear Archbishop, Most Rev. Anthony J.V. Obinna, who located and picked me from nothingness and placed me in this position which I have occupied for the past six (6) years. I thank His Grace for being patient with me and tolerating my shortcomings all these years. I pray for more God’s blessings on him. To my no nonsense chaplain, Very Rev. Fr. Sebastian O. Igbokwe, you have been a pillar for me in these years, may God bless you. My indefatigable Archdiocesan Chancellor/Secretary, Rev. Fr. Dr. Alphonsus Oha, you are wonderful to me. Rev. Fr. Dr. George Nwachukwu (Director of Communications), I bless God for your life. To all our priests that touched my life and prayed for me through this journey, I pray God to be with you.

To all parish CMO Presidents and Secretaries, outgoing and still serving, I thank you all. My wonderful executive, who have been with me through this journey, the CMO awardees, be richly blessed. For those I may have offended in the course of my duties, I apologize, it wasn’t on purpose; I encourage all of us to make a statement with our PVC in the coming election.

Thank you all and God bless us all. Amen.
CMO!! Christ is our leader.
CMO!! Christ is our leader
Christ is our Leader!! CMO

Ichie Nwaora Alfred Nonyelum (KSM)
OACCMO President

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