KSJI Owerri Grand holds memorial Mass for departed Knights, Ladies
Knights and Ladies of St. John International – KSJI Owerri Grand Commandery and their ladies auxiliary, have celebrated a memorial Mass for the peaceful repose of their departed members who passed on to the great beyond in 2016.
This was one of the major activities that took place during the 2016 Annual General Meeting of the Grand Commandery held at the KSJI Complex Owerri from Thursday 8 – Sunday 11 December.
The Mass which was presided over by the Grand Spiritual Director, Rev. Msgr. Anthony Njoku started with the submission of the registers of their deceased members by local commandries and auxiliaries, through the Grand Secretary, Col. T.K. Nwachukwu, who handed same to the chief celebrant.
Worthy Presidents and Respected Presidents took turn, stepping forward, in a slow march, corresponding to the background music, to light a candle for the departed souls. While this most solemn phase of the ritual was on, the Grand Choir led by Sir Iheanyi Ochor continued to render soul-touching songs which enhanced sober reflection.
In the homily he delivered at the occasion, Msgr. Njoku called on knights and ladies to realize that what makes one great in the life to come is avoidance of pride and arrogance, a life completely given over to humility. He said that Christ saved mankind from its worst enemy, “death”, which had kept terrorizing man and causing him to take stupid decisions and actions: “Death is only a passage which should longer be perceived as a disaster but a transition. Christ died and resurrected that we may know that death is not the end of life. Be mindful how you live now because, how you live now will determine what happens after death. So take your spiritual life and the sacraments seriously” advised the Spiritual Director.
Msgr. Njoku called on knights and ladies to cultivate holiness of life as a habit now adding that all those participating in the 2016 memorial Mass, should regard themselves as people given another opportunity to begin afresh on holiness.
In his remarks at the end of the Mass, the Grand President, Brig-Gen (Prof.) Ezechiel Ihionu, reiterated the Spiritual Director’s admonition, urging Christ’s faithful to start practicing going to heaven while still in this world.
He stressed on the giving of charity to the needy but insisted that for charity to be worth its salt, the amount being given out must be substantial and therefore hurt the giver.
The four-day activity-packed AGM also featured welcome addresses, committee reports, confessions and a courtesy call on Archbishop Anthony J.V. Obinna.
Investiture of 59 Knights in KSJI Full Dress and Marching Uniforms, Drill competitions and AGM Dinner also took place.