…Confers “Extra quality leadership award on some members”
A two-day retreat, organized by the Owerri Archdiocesan Council of Catholic Men Organization (OACCMO)) has ended at the Assumpta Pastoral Centre Owerri. It was attended by Archdiocesan executives, Zonal leaders and delegates from Parishes and Chaplaincies in the Archdiocese.
The Annual spiritual exercise featured: Confessions, rosary procession, three conference talks and Eucharistic Adoration. There was a conferment of Merit Awards, Visit to the Sacred Heart Home for aged and sick Priests, as well as Holy Mass. Very Rev. Fr. Sebastian Igbokwe, Chaplain OACCMO was the Chief celebrant at the Holy Mass which took place on the second day, while the Retreat Moderator, Rev. Fr. Samuel Agu preached the homily.
Fr. Agu who reminded fathers that they are God’s chosen people, who should lead by example in their respective families, communities and parishes and therefore entertain only good thoughts in their heart.” “Because it is from the heart of man that all his actions, both good and bad emanate, nothing evil should be allowed to remain in one’s heart,” he warned. Fr. Agu urged fathers to uphold justice and equity in all their judgments and decisions to fellow men.
In his opening remark, the previous day, the Chaplain, Fr. Igbokwe thanked the retreat moderator for accepting to preach the retreat at a short notice. He advised the participants to take the spiritual exercise seriously by shutting out all distractions and to conduct themselves in a manner befitting of their status as fathers and worthy Ambassadors of those they represented.
He expressed hope that they would share their experience and gains of the retreat with those at home. He also praised the Director of the Pastoral Centre for the remarkable innovations, upliftment and facelift he has brought to the place since he assumed duties. The conferences deliberated on: Reconciliation, Eucharist and Sacrament. The Climax of the two-day retreat was the honouring of some members who have exhibited outstanding zeal in the upliftment of the CMO at various levels, with “Extra Leadership Quality Merit Award”.
In his welcome address during the opening ceremony, the Archdiocesan President of OACCMO, Ichie Nworah Nonyelum, listed the reasons for the retreat as follows: Deepening the Power of concentration and insight. He said that it is a time to reconnect in prayer with God. “Being alone and being quiet can be unappealing or even scaring for many in our fast paced divided world, despite this our spirits need this quietness. We need time to ponder, to realize to learn to listen to our deeper, inner self, I therefore implore all of us to give in our best in this retreat so as to reap the huge benefits inherent in it,” said the OACCMO President.
He thanked the Archbishop, Most Rev. Anthony J.V. Obinna and the retreat moderator, Fr. Agu, Chaplain, Fr. Igbokwe for all their encouragements to Christian fathers to grow spiritually. He commended the organizing committee, led by Sir F.O.C. Ikpe for a job well done and the awardees for their continued dedication to the work of God. Over 300 Catholic men participated in the retreat.
It would be recalled that the Director of the Pastoral Centre, Rev. Fr. Donald Anyagwa also came to welcome the retreat participants. He enjoined them to continue to carryout the leadership role expected of them in both the church and larger society. He also commended both the Chaplain and retreat moderator for their efforts to uplift Christian fathers.