KSJI 2016 Initiation: 27 scale District screening in Owerri
A total of 27 aspirants into the Noble Order of Knights of St John International (KSJI) have passed the district screening test conducted for them by District 8 of the Owerri Grand Commandary.
The aspirants came from the seven local commandaries that make up the District, namely: Holy Cross Commandary 422 Owerri, St. Michael’s Commandary 539 Akabo, Holy Family Commandary 560 Izombe, and Assumpta Commandary 655 Aladimma. The rest are: St. Benedict’s Commandary 777 Uratta, St. Gregory’s Commandary 778 Onyeaghalanwaneya, and St. Michael’s Commandary 824 Atta.
The aspirants who had earlier passed screening at their various local commandaries, were asked questions drawn from the syllabus for First Degree Initiation. The venue was KSJI complex Owerri while the team of examiners comprised: KSJI District officers led by the commander, Major (Prof) Remy Uche.
The one-day programme started with confessions for both knights and the aspirants followed by a Eucharistic celebration at which Rev Fr Prof John Obilor, Spiritual Adviser of KSJI 539 Akabo, presided. He stood in for the District Chaplain, Rev Fr Francis Xavier Ekwegha, who was unavoidably absent.
Preaching at the occasion, Fr Obilor charged the aspirants to convince themselves that it was time to get serious with their spiritual life. “Take seriously what you are taught and regard this as a special period of grace in your life. Seek the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Queen of Nigeria and St Theresa of the Child Jesus, whose feasts coincided with the date of your screening”, he admonished them.
Fr Obilor explained to the aspirants that KSJI is based on courage, child-like spirituality and humility, as displayed by the patron saint of KSJI, St John the Baptist and St Theresa of the Child Jesus.
He said that St Theresa of the Child Jesus chose to devote her life to those little things a child does and at the same time displayed a stoic patience in the face of the agonizing illness she passed through. The type of life she lived, said the homilist, earned her recognition by the church as the “Patron of Catholic Missions” throughout the world.
In his address to the aspirants, the District Commander, Major Uche, observed that henceforth their relatives and friends will be looking forward to seeing what positive change for the better membership of knighthood has produced in them. Unless such a change is seen, their initiation into the Order would have failed to produce the desired fruit, he warned.
He reminded them that nobody came persuading them to become knights but it was entirely their own decision. They should therefore be ready to abide by all the rules and regulations of KSJI if eventually initiated.
Major Uche thanked their formators for a job well done and urged them to follow up the training till the aspirants pass the final screening at the Grand Commandary level.
He showered praises on Commandary 422 for putting in place the logistics for a successful District Screening.
In a vote of thanks to the host Commandary 422, on behalf of District 8, Noble Bro Mike Eke, Worthy President of Commandary 655 Aladimma, commended them for providing a conducive atmosphere for the screening. He told the aspirants that knighthood is all about generosity to God and humanity, hence the emphasis on members’ “Three TS” – Talent, Time and Treasure.
Noble Eke advised the aspirants to be conversant with Catholic prayers, doctrines etc. so as not to disappoint anyone who approaches them with questions believing that they know better.
Answering our reporter’s questions later, the District Commander, expressed satisfaction at the success of this year’s exercise which shows that the formators prepared the aspirants well. Moreover, from the answers they gave to the questions and reports from their parishes, it’s obvious that they are practicing Catholics.
Other District 8 officers present were: Capt. Anthony Nkwocha, 2nd Vice District Commander, Lt (Chief) Eke John Uche, Adjutant and Major Godwin Kenkwo, Immediate Past District Commander.
Noble Bros Donatus Obialor, Past District Commander, P.C. Ohaegbulam, Commander First Regment, Cele Ozuzu. Chevalier Grand Master, Leo Ozurumba, Inspector, Livinus Egwuagu, Cadet Organizer and Lt John Amadi, Quarter Master were also present.