District 8 of the Owerri Grand Commandery of knights of St John International (KSJI) and their Ladies Auxiliary (LAUX) Saturday February 4, held this year’s District Muster and Grand Inspection.
The venue was the KSJI complex behind the Maria Assumpta Cathedral Owerri. It was attended by the seven local commanderies that make up the District 8 of Owerri namely: Holy Cross Commandery 422 Owerri, St. Michael’s Commandery 539 Akabo, Holy Family Commandery 560, Izombe and Assumpta Commandery 655 Aladinma. The rest are: St. Benedict Commandery 777 Uratta, Comandery St. Gregory 778 Onyeaghalanwanneya and St. Michael Commandery 824 Atta.
Speaking at the occasion, the District Commander, Major (Engr.) Fidelis Akuchie called on knights and Ladies to take the exercise seriously. He explained that since the order is a para military organization, the District needs to conduct a roll call of members, commandery by commandery to ascertain those alive, sick or incapacitated.
Mustering knights for inspection, gives KSJI the opportunity to ascertain the physical fitness of members, the quality of the uniforms and dresses such as shoes, shirts, headgears etc. they wear. Major Akuchie said during the musters, the contents of the individual KSJI kits are examined to make sure they contain the recommended catholic books such as the Bible, Vatican II and Canon Law, the rosary, candle, and other sacramentals with proof that they are effectively being used. Sir Akuchie stated that muster is mainly the function of the District, while the inspection falls to the Grand Commandery. The District ommander harped on the need for effective use of the sacramentals and generosity with one’s Time, Talent and Treasure (Three Ts).
The Grand First Vice President, Col (Prof) Remy Uche, led three other Grand officers to the District 8 muster. They are, Grand Second Vice President, Col CC Nwachukwu, Grand Secretary, Col CEJ Ibe and Grand Treasurer, Major Edwin Irechukwu. While the Chevalier Grand Master, Col Cele Ozuzu led in the inspection of the knights mustered, the Grand officers watched the way the local commanderies conducted their mock regular meeting, one after another as they were called to do so. The Grand officers offered the necessary corrections at the end of each meeting. The vital records of the local commanderies were submitted to the Grand Secretary as directed by Col Uche for inspection. The essence of the Grand inspection of the mock meetings and scrutiny of local commandery records such as minutes and financial records is to ascertain the extent they conform to the laid down rules.
It would be recalled that the District Muster/ Grand Inspection started with a Holy Mass at which Rev Fr Chibueze Opara, Assistant Parish Priest at St Benignus Catholic Church Ihitte Isi Mbieri represented the Parish Priest, Rev Fr Francis Xavier Ekwugha, who was unavoidably absent. Fr Ekwugha is the District Chaplain for KSJI District 8.
Preaching the homily, Fr Opara called on Christians to learn to show remorse for their sins and never to allow pride to keep them from confession. He cited the worthy example in that day’s gospel reading, where the prodigal son showed true repentance, while his ever loving father was waiting eagerly to forgive and welcome him back.
At the end of the mass, generous cash donations were made to assist the District Chaplain and his Assistant. Both the District 8 Commander and the Grand First Vice President thanked the officiating priest for his services and knights and ladies for their generosity.