It was excitement galore at Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph Parish Amauburu Ubomiri in Mbaitoli LGA Imo State, as friends and well wishers were on Saturday August 2018, entertained with a cultural festival organized by the youths of the area Catholic Youth Organization of Nigeria (zone 4 CYON). The occasion attracted dignitaries particularly parents and children.
In his introductory remarks, the CYON Chaplain, Fr. Raymond Madu congratulated the youths for their large turnout. He also wished them God’s guidance and protection as they celebrated their day.
The occasion started with a Holy Mass in which the chief celebrant Rev. Fr. Ferdinand Ihekire, concelebrating with Fr. Raymond Kojo Madu, Fr. Henry Opara and Fr. Chibueze Opara.
In an emotion-laden homily, Fr. Kojo started with a heart lifting praise song. He thanked the Lord for the gift of the day. He described youths as the followers of Christ. The homilist underscored the importance of discipline and obedience in the life of all Christians especially the youths. He told them to bear authentic witness to God and reminded them of the charge Jesus gave to his disciples: “You shall be my witness,” stressing that youths must practice what they preach. He reminded them that their lives and behaviours will prove whether they are truly the followers of Christ.
Fr. Raymond advised youths to guide their tongues and utterances always because the tongue could be both an instrument of peace as well as weapon of destruction. He encouraged them to be in Christ because from sin we sink into nothingness. He advised them to imitate the virtues of the Blessed Virgin Mary and seek God through her intercession alos desist themselves from Naija Bet, pool, bet9ja, lotto etc. He charged the youth to always emulate the strong faith of the two apostles, St. Peter and Paul.
He congratulated the awardees and prayed for God’s blessing on them. He thanked his brother priests, Very Rev. Fr. Thomas Agaziem, the Episcopal Vicar of Zone 4, Fr. Ferdinand Ihekire, the parish priest of JMJ, Fr. Henry Opara, the Archdiocesan Chaplain, Fr. Nicholas Chinweze, the parish priest of St. Dominic Afara, Rev. Fr. Vitalis Anyanwu, parish priest of St. Patrick’s Idem Ogwa, Fr. Chibueze Opara the Assistant parish priest of St. Mary’s Ubomiri the Deacons, choir, youth and all who came to grace the occasion.
The Catholic youth of zone 4 conferred on their priests, Rev. Fr. Ferdinand Ihekire, Fr. Raymond Kojo Madu, Fr. Thomas Agaziem, meritorious award for their spiritual care to them and to the entire parish, asking the Good Lord to protect them and give them more grace to work.
The event featured welcome song, drama, and wrestling. The youths were full of gratitude to their chaplain, who they thanked for his strong support and efforts at encouraging hard work, commitment and unity among the youths, through inspiring teachings at Masses and other gatherings.