Activities marking the CMO Day Celebration by the Owerri Archdiocesan Council of Catholic Men Organization (OACCMO) were rounded off on Saturday October 18, with special awards to deserving Catholic faithful.
The event held at the Maria Assumpta Cathedral Owerri, attracted an unprecedented number of Christian Fathers, beautifully dressed in their CMO Uniform.
The occasion began with a Pontifical Concelebrated Mass presided over by the Most Rev. Anthony J.V. Obinna, Catholic Archbishop of Owerri, assisted by Msgr. Kevin Akagha, Rector Assumpta Spiritual Year Ogbaku, the OACCMO Chaplain, Rev. Fr. Sebastine Igbokwe, the Chancellor of the Archdiocese, Rev, Fr. Alphonsus Oha, the Administrator of Maria Assumpta Cathedral, Rev. Fr. Andrew Nkwocha, Rev. Fr. Dr. Longinus Chinagorom of the Imo State University Owerri among other priests.
In his sermon, Archbishop Obinna charged Christian fathers to spread the word of God in their kindreds, villages and towns, denouncing all forms of idolatrous practices, including the Osu/Diala/Ume segregation, adding, “In this way the gospel will permeate our rural areas.”
“However, to Christianize your communities, you must be strong in faith, and live exemplary life,” he said.
He also charged Christian fathers to think of political parties that will protect Ndigbo and their religion as the 2015 elections draw near.
In his remarks at the occasion, the Chaplain of OACCMO, Rev. Fr. S.O. Igbokwe said the organization will carry the message of evangelization home. He appealed to the Archbishop to insist that the CMO Day in the parish is respected by Parish Priests. He announced the availability of CMO Uniform and advised Christian fathers who have not purchased the new uniform/badge to do so without further delay. Similarly, parishes who have not registered with the OACCMO should do so immediately, he added.
Later, In his welcome address, the OACCMO President, Nwora Alfred Nonyelum, on behalf of the organization, thanked Archbishop Obinna for donating a parcel of land to the organization for their Secretariat Complex.
He announced that the needed materials for the take-off had been done and appealed to guests and friends for donation for the actualization of the project, assuring that every Kobo given would be accounted for.
He announced the resolve of the OACCMO to assist the Archbishop in the training of priests and pledged an endowment fund of N250.000 annually for Assumpta Spiritual Year Seminary Ogbaku, beginning from 2015.
Though Nonyelum acknowledged improvement in the participation of Christian Fathers in CMO activities, he said more effort was still needed.
He appealed to the Archbishop and parish priests to assist the OACCMO executive in sensitizing recalcitrant Christian fathers on the importance of joining CMO in their parishes and Chaplaincies and participating actively in their activities.
On the achievements of his regime in the past three years, the OACCMO President said he would not like to blow his trumpet, adding that every achievement belongs to God who makes all things possible.
“But if it must be told, may I humbly leave it in your good hands who knew where we were before and where we are now. I am only asking for your prayers to reach where Our Lord would want us to be,” he said
On the role of Fathers, the OACCMO boss recounted several efforts made through retreats, publications and seminars, reminding fathers of their role in the family, church and society “but unfortunately, many heard the call but very few are seen following.”
Our reporter said the OACCMO gave three categories of awards to committed Catholics, including Recognition of their Pioneer Chaplain, Rev. Fr. Sabinus Ikea, Investiture of Grand Patron/Patrons and Pillars.
The occasion was chaired by Hon. Ikechukwu Amuka, representing Ideato South State Constituency while HRH Eze Sampson Okwudinma, Igwe Ohazurume 1, Obi of Nneato Obibi–Ochasi autonomous Community, was the Royal Father of the Day.