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Father’s Day Celebration – Faith and good works

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(Being text of the message of the President of Owerri Archdiocesan Council of the Catholic Men Organization (OACCMO) on the occasion of this year’s Father’s Day celebration.)

 

There is no gain-saying the fact that apart from its magnetic attraction, the Catholic Men Organization (CMO) has proved itself a veritable instrument of the Church and an indispensable catalyst for the spiritual growth of the family of Christ, the Church.

 

This year’s annual event of the Catholic Men Organization Day celebration has been slated for 4th May 2014, at the parish level. The reason for this celebration is to bring to the fore the role which our Patron Saint, St. Joseph played in the life of our Lord Jesus Christ as the foster father and also to inculcate into us the Catholic fathers, that same role of St. Joseph as the father of the Holy family.

The Catholic Men Organization has ever, since its formation been organizing this same celebration on yearly basis not just for the fun of it but as a means of upholding to the virtues of a good Christian life and also as an honour to our Patron Saint on whose legacy we stand.

 

The Catholic Men Organization is an organization of spirited Catholic fathers who profess one Baptism and doctrine of the Holy Mother the Church. The essence of this organization cannot be over emphasized as it is the platform on which faith, hope and trust in God through the teachings of the Holy Roman Catholic Church is impacted on the fathers to live a good Christian life as fathers of the church and of their respective homes.

 

This celebration thus affords us the opportunity not just to merry but to be able to squeeze out of the celebration the reason d’etre of the feast. It also creates for us avenue for interaction of members of this great body, reiterates our roles in the positive upbringing of our children, good care of our wives among other good parental responsibilities expected of us as fathers. Being heads of our families, we should also show example in the society.

 

It is therefore pertinent to say that, this celebration in its entirety celebrates the Catholic Fathers. It is also aimed at uplifting the spiritual lives of the Catholic fathers. As members, we have been engaged in activities such as retreat which was organized to reconscientise us on the roles we play as fathers, visits to destitute homes, the less privileged, visits to our bed-ridden members as a means of showing the C.M.O. responsiveness towards the needs of others.

 

The thrust of this year’s celebration is anchored on faith and good works.

 

“FAITH AND GOOD WORKS”

Whenever the differences between Catholicism and Protestantism are enumerated, one of the common issues is “Faith and good works”. The role of good works in human salvation was one crucial issue of the protestant Revolt of 1517.

Faith simply means, being sure of the things we hope for and knowing that something is real even if we do not see it or feel it.

 

In the Christian theology, good works or simply works are a persons (exterior) actions or deeds, in contrast to inner qualities such as grace and faith. The New Testament exhibits a tension between two aspects of grace the idea that grace is from God and sufficient to cover sin (except the unforgivable sin) and the idea that grace does not free humans from their responsibility to behave normally.

 

The battle between “Faith alone” vs “Faith and Works” for salvation has been going on ever since the protestant revolt of the 16th century. However, one has to remember that, it is not enough to simply say “I believe”, and then do nothing the Bible says. “Not everyone who says Lord, Lord will enter the Kingdom of Heaven, but rather he who does the will of my Father” (Mat 7:21). Therefore, it must be assumed that works are indeed a necessary component of one’s faith.

 

Why is good works important?

In the story about judgement day, (Mat 25:31-46), where Jesus separates the sheep from the goats, the only question that Jesus asks the multitude concern works: (1) Did you feed the hungry? (2) Did you clothe the naked? (3) Did you give a drink to the thirsty?

 

These are the corporal works of mercy which the Catholic Church holds in high esteem and which the Catholic Men Organization attends to in her works of charity and evangelization.

 

If they answered “No” to these works in Matthew 25, then Jesus said that they were going to hell. Nowhere does Jesus ask, “Did you accept me as your personal Lord and Saviour”? so, you can infer me from all these that just confessing with your lips that Jesus is your personal Lord and Saviour is NOT ENOUGH, although it is a great start on your salvation journey!! James 2:24 says that, your faith must be justified by works. Thus, once you have faith and are justified by it, then your faith in turn must be justified by your good works.

 

A Christian doesn’t get more faith by merely saying that he believes in Jesus. He has to actually do something like performing good deeds as a result of his faith, in order to please God. So think of the reason of doing good deeds or works for the glory of God in three ways: (1) To prevent yourself from perfuming evil (2) To build up your own faith (3) To build up the Kingdom of God.

 

The last one is the most important. After all, if we are to imitate Jesus who performed many good works, then it is a natural thing to do good works as a true Christian. There is one cautionary note about performing good works. If our motive is for personal praise and not to build up the kingdom of God, then Jesus says that we are already rewarded in this world and will not be rewarded in Heaven (Mat 6:1). Since the Bible warns against this, make sure your motive is pure.

 

Sometimes Catholics are accused of trying to “work our way into Heaven, by doing good deeds”. Nothing could be farther from the truth. They have to put their cart before the horse. The grace one gets from the sacraments enables Catholics to do more good works. We don’t do good works to receive more grace.

It is against this exhilarating backdrop therefore, that I, with immense pleasure and profound gratitude warmly wish all the Catholic fathers a fruitful Catholic Men Organization Day Celebration. “Congratulations”.

 

Today, we remember our deceased members and pray God to grant them eternal rest. We ask their family members not to lose faith rather to always trust in God.

Let me also use this opportunity to thank His Grace, Most Rev. Dr. A.J.V. Obinna, Catholic Archbishop of Owerri Archdiocese for donating a parcel of land to OACCMO for the building of their Secretariat this particular gesture has encouraged us a great deal and we promise to make the best use of this precious offer.

 

We are equally very grateful to our Chaplain, Rev. Fr. S.O. Igbokwe, who is always conscious of our spiritual growth. We thank him and others who have in one way or the other assisted us.

 

 

NOTA BENE

OWERRI ARCHDIOCESAN C.M.O. UNIFORM CODE: It is still very regretting that good number of our fathers do not know or have blatantly refused to respect the uniform rule which is Black Cap or (no cap). The chieftaincy style gold colour with approved logo. Black Shoe or Black Sandal. “Please comply”.

In a special way, I wish to use this medium to remember and pray for some of our recalcitrant and stone heart Catholic men who have vehemently refused to register or participate in the C.M.O. course, that God may touch them to see how important it is for them to pull resources with the C.M.O. which is one of the four cardinal pillars on which the Catholic Church is built. (C.M.O., C.W.O., Youth Boys and Mary Leagues).

 

C.M.O. = Christ is our Leader

 

Mr. Nwaora Alfred Nonyelum (KSM)

OACCMO President

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USAID begins Covid-19 testing in Imo rural areas

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USAID averts 25,000 unwanted pregnancies in Ebonyi, Kogi

…Umuagwo Varsity of Agric kicks-off October

The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has begun Covid-19 testing in the 27 Local Government Areas of Imo State, “in a bid to reduce the impact of community spread of the virus in the rural areas of the state.

The Imo State Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Chief Declan Mbadiwe Emelumba disclosed this in Owerri while briefing newsmen on the outcome of the Weekly Executive Council meeting presided over by Governor Hope Uzodimma on Wednesday.

Chief Emelumba said so far, the USAID officials have carried out reasonable number of testing in Njaba LGA and reported that all those tested came out negative and that the council prayed that the result from other Local Government Areas will be the same.

He announced that the Nigerian Universities Commission (NUC) has approved the take off of the Imo State University for Agriculture and Environmental Sciences Umuagwo in October this year.

According to him, the approval underscores the efforts which the Imo State Government ably led by Governor Hope Uzodinma has made towards the establishment of a second university for the state.

Recently, the NUC panel was in Imo State to carry out the necessary verification exercises on the state facilities, human and physical infrastructures.

Mr. Declan Emelumba, who was flanked by the Commissioner for Education, Prof. Bernard Ikegwuoha, Commissioner for Health Dr. Damaris Osunkwo and the Chief Press Secretary/Media Adviser to the Governor Mr. Oguwike Nwachuku, informed that the Executive Council is happy that something new is happening in the Education Sector of the State.

Emelumba said that the Imo State University of Science and Environmental Sciences, Umuagwo will take off by October when other universities would be resuming for a new academic session.

In the same vein, the Council has approved the immediate relocation of Faculty of Engineering Imo State University Owerri to its permanent site at Okigwe, stressing that Government has put all processes and facilities on ground to ensure the immediate take–off of the faculty.

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Imo Governor’s aide visits Oziza FM Staff, Ogechi Iwu in hospital

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Imo Governor’s aide visits Oziza FM  Staff, Ogechi Iwu in hospital

The Chief Press Secretary and Media Adviser to Governor Hope Uzodimma of Imo State, Mr. Oguwike Nwachuku has visited Mr. Ogechi Iwu, a journalist with Osiza FM.

The media man is hospitalized at the Federal Medical Centre (FMC), Owerri over complications from diabetes that led to his right leg being amputated.

Mr. Nwachuku said the visit was to show solidarity on behalf of Governor Uzodimma to his professional colleague, assuring him of their prayers, particularly that of his principal, and the prayers of Mr. Iwu’s numerous friends and well wishers who are touched by his plight.

“I am here on behalf of my principal to associate with him in this time of health challenge and to encourage him not to see the sickness as a death sentence.”

Oge Iwu at fmc

L-R: Chief Akaraonye, Mr. Oguwike Nwachuku with Ogechi Iwu during the visit

Mr. Nwachuku urged Mr. Iwu to continue in the high spirit he saw him and trust God for his total recovery “because healing is a thing of mind and when a sick person is in high spirit the patient gets recovered quickly.”

The spokesman of the Governor promised to bring the plight of the journalist to the attention of his principal, and assured that the Governor will, in his usual manner of one with milk of human sympathy, show concern over Iwu’s plight.

Earlier, Mr. Iwu thanked the CPS/Media Adviser, the State Chairman of NUJ, Imo State, Chief Christopher Akaraonye and other journalists who were on the entourage, for coming to identify with him on his sick bed, and assured that God in his infinite mercy will quicken his recovery.

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Bishop Ugorji heads IMSU Governing Council

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Bishop Ugorji heads IMSU Governing Council

Imo State Governor, Senator Hope Uzodimma has inaugurated a new Governing Council, for the Imo State University, IMSU, Owerri.

At the inauguration ceremony on Monday, August 31, the governor named Most Rev. Lucius Ugorji as the Chairman of the Governing Council and Pro-Chancellor of the University.

Other members of the Council include: Chief Leo Stan Ekeh, Chief Tony Ezenna, Prof. (Ven.) Chinedu Nebo, Sir. Louis Ezeigwe, Chief Engr. Ernest Nwapa, Dr. (Mrs.) Uwandu Uzoma, Ugoeze Victoria Adaku Ekezie, Prof. Adaobi Obasi (Vice Chancellor) and others.

Speaking at the inauguration, Governor Uzodimma said the choice of the members is to infuse fresh air into the university because “It is in dire need to bounce back to reckoning.”
He added that the choice of the members was because they have carved a niche for themselves in their chosen fields of endeavour and that they have earned solid reputation as men and women of substance in their individual trade, indices that qualified them for the appointment.

He challenged the members to bring their reputation to bear on the University, bearing in mind the task for good quality scholarship in Imo State University as well as service to humanity.

The Governor urged the members to deploy their individual accomplishments, excellence, expertise, passion for service as effectively as necessary to actualize the dream of his administration of having a highly reputable University comparable to the best Universities in the World.

He also requested the Council to “restore in words and deeds the motto of Imo State University, which is Excellence in Service”.

“Imo State University currently is a classical example of a failed University,” Governor Uzodimma said but strongly believed that “with a star studded Governing Council such as the one inaugurated there is no doubt that Imo is on the track to realize the dreams of her founding fathers.”

He further enjoined the Council members to quickly hit the ground running and come up with policies and programmes that will reassure Imo people that the University that made them proud 20 years back is on track as he assured them of Government partnership in this regard.

In an acceptance speech, on behalf of the Council, the Chairman, Most Rev. Ugorji who is the Catholic Bishop of Umuahia thanked the Governor for the absolute confidence reposed in them by giving them the assignment and acknowledged that though the task is daunting he has a strong belief that with the calibre of members of the Council and support of the management, staff and students the University will be returned to a centre of excellence which was the dream of the founding fathers.

He said that Imo State University deserves the best and that he and his members as inaugurated will work acidulously to ensure that the target of the governor in making Imo State University one of the best universities in Africa is realised.

He congratulated fellow members and promised that God’s willing, they will not fail the government and people of Imo State.

Present at the inauguration were the Deputy Governor, Prof. Placid Njoku, the Speaker Imo State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Chiji Collins, the Secretary to the State Government, Chief Cosmas Iwu, and other members of the expanded State Executive Council.

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