Rev. Fr. Dr. Benedict Oparaugo praying for the members of St. Monica C.W.O.
All roads Sunday, September 20, 2015, led to the 3-year-old vibrant St. Peter’s Station (Works Layout) of the Blessed Tansi Catholic Parish Ugwu-Orji Owerri where the St. Monica Group of Catholic Women Organization (CWO) celebrated the Feast of their Patron Saint in a grand style.
The highlight of the occasion was the presentation to the station and unveiling of the highly coveted trophy, which the women won as first prize for the second year running during this year’s Parish CWO contests. There was a drama (a satire) on the troubles that await those who claim to be too busy to participate in the work of God.
The show-casing of the “Little King and Queen” of St. Monica CWO, as well as cultural dance added glamour to the celebration. Distinguished personalities that graced the occasion included: Sir E.E. Egbuakporo parish, Pastoral Council Chairman, Sir Clifford Nwagu, President, Parish Catholic Men Organization (CMO), Mrs. Agnes Anoruo, immediate past Parish CWO President-General.
Preaching the homily at the Eucharistic celebration which he presided over, the Parish Priest, Very Rev. Fr. Dr. Benedict Oparaugo called on the Christian mothers to emulate their Patron Saint, Monica, who persisted in prayer to restore her son, Augustine to true faith in God after he had abandoned the worship of God owing to lack of understanding of implications of God’s freewill to man.
Fr. Oparaugo stated that Monica never gave up but continued praying for the repentance of her son, (once an active Catholic) who derailed from faith when he became confused about how sin came into the world and how a God that is all goodness could create a world full of sin. After listening to the homily of Bishop Ambrose on this topic, Augustine found the answer in man’s wrong exercise of the free will given to him by God. Had Monica given up praying, her son who later became priest, bishop and saint) and herself would not be celebrated today as saint, explained Fr. Oparaugo.
The homilist, drew lessons from that Sunday’s readings: The conspiracy of evil people to ruin the virtuous man, the strife, envy and rancor that result from inordinate ambition and trying to decide for God what to do with us.
A good child of God must be patient, realizing that no one can push God to hurry over a plan he had made from eternity. The priest related all these to the disappointment of Christ disciples when they learnt of his impending passion and death and the request by the mother of James and John.
The Parish Priest condemned all acts of disobedience on the part of parishioners, saying that God wants all the worshippers present to help in building St. Peter’s Station by emulating the lives of Monica and Augustine. “God wants to use each and every worshipper present to build up St. Peter’s Station, so let nobody allow satan to get a hold on his life or that of the station”, warned the Parish Priest.
In his remarks during the second phase of the celebration at the end of the Mass, the Station Council Chairman, Dr. Chima Nwosu lent his voice to urging Christian mothers to be persistent in praying for their children and never to give up. “Your prayers should shake heaven and bring succor to your children.” He advised.
He also recalled that St. Peter, the Patron Saint of the station also persisted in prayer and did not give up even at desperate times, as clearly written in the scriptures.
In an address of welcome signed by their president Mrs. Akanesebo Ucheoma Charity, the St. Monica CWO Group attributed their inability to celebrate the feast of their Patron Saint (August 27) in the past to the Annual Women August Meeting which often come up in the same month.
They expressed gratitude to God for the opportunity of this year’s feast to present to St. Peter’s Station, their husbands and fellow worshippers, the coveted trophy which they won as first prize for the second year running at the Parish CWO contest against six other CWO groups.
The Station President thanked the Parish Priest and the Station Council Chairman for their encouragement and support. She commended members of the executive, the Planning Committee and all others who helped to make t