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Guild of St. Anthony inaugurated at Alvan Chaplaincy

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Christians have been reminded that they were called by God through baptism to be the salt and light of the world.  This reminder was made by the Owerri Archdiocesan Chaplain of the Guild of St. Anthony of Padua, Rev. Fr. Cosmas Onukwugha in a homily he delivered during Holy Mass that marked the inauguration of the Guild in Christ the King Catholic Chaplaincy, Alvan Ikoku Federal College of Education (AIFCE), Owerri on Sunday, June 30, 2013.

According to the homilist, Christians should fulfill the mind of God in Christ, which he said, demands they live holy and righteous lives.  Describing the life of St. Anthony of Padua, Fr. Cosmas said that the saint had the fear of God in him, sacrificed his life for the work of God.  The clergyman in the Holy Mass which chief celebrant was Rev. Fr. Lawrence Okwuosha, pointed out that St. Anthony is teaching Christians to feed, clothe and give assistance to those who cannot repay them.  He pointed St. Anthony as the salt of the world who worked hard to see that the poor ate and lived a happy life.  Fr. Cosmas Onukwugha urged students to join the guild for their spiritual growth.

The inauguration Mass was also featured by the induction of new members of the guild who took the oath of allegiance to the Catholic Church and to the guild.  Another highlight of the Holy Mass was the blessing of “St. Anthony’s bread”, which according to the Chaplain of the guild in Owerri, signifies one of the works of St. Anthony of Padua – feeding the poor and the hungry and never allowing the poor to go hungry.

In a welcome address at the reception held after the Holy Mass in the CKC Alvan Hall, the President of the Guild of St. Anthony of Padua of the Chaplaincy, Brother Amanze Ekenedirichukwu opined that the occasion offers the guild a moment for serious reflection on the life of the prayerful and miraculous saint who lived a life worthy of emulation, a recast of mind on their journey so far in impacting positively on the lives of their fellow human beings and a time for more efforts in witnessing to the faith.

Highlighting the activities of the guild, the president said that since the revival of the guild by the efforts of St. Joseph’s Chaplaincy, Imo State University Chapter of the guild about two years ago, the guild at CKC Chaplaincy has been functioning effectively, adding that it has had it as a tradition to be paying regular visit to orphanages and as well participate constantly in the activities of the guild at the archdiocesan level.

Bro. Amanze however pointed out that the young guild has been heavily constrained financially, which he said affects her evangelization responsibilities, especially in making available prayer books to her ever-growing membership and provision of “petition box” and plan to have a big statue of St. Anthony erected in the chaplaincy.  At the foregoing, the president made an appeal for financial support for the programmes of the prayer body.

Concluding, Bro. Amanze appreciated the support from the CKC Alvan Chaplain, Rev. Fr. G. Alaribe and Assistant, Rev. Fr. Temple Nwaneri and the support given to the guild by the new Archdiocesan President of the guild, Mrs. Nma Rose Okoro, the Patrons and Patronesses of the guild in the chaplaincy and other benefactors of the guild who were presented with an “award of honour”.

In his opening remarks at the occasion, the Chairman of the occasion, Associate Prof. Ikediachi said that he is always glad to see young people striving to embrace Christ.  He pointed out that Christians would be better off if they take time to remodel their lives to reflect that of St. Anthony of Padua, whose powerful intercession, he said, would see them through in life.

In his own speech, the outgoing Archdiocesan President of the Guild, Bro. Emma Uzoechi expressed his gratitude to God for enabling them achieve the feat of inaugurating the Guild in Alvan Chaplaincy.  He encouraged the Alvan Chapter of the guild to persevere in the apostolate, promising that the support of the guild at the archdiocese is assured.

The Archdiocesan Chaplain of the Guild of St. Anthony of Padua, Fr. Cosmas Onukwugha in his closing remarks said that the inauguration and induction ceremony is a blessing to both the Church and the AlvanIkokuFederalCollege community as they have youths who decided to join St. Anthony’s Guild rather than becoming cultists.  According to the clergyman, no time or resources committed by the members into the guild’s activities would be wasted but rather be multiplied by God for them.

Those presented with the “award of honour” at the occasion included Mrs. Chinyee Azike, Dr. Pat Nwamuo and Asso. Prof. Ikediachi.

Other highlights of the event include the launching of St. Anthony’s stickers, cutting of St. Anthony’s cake and cultural dance by “Ibu umu ogaranya” cultural dance of the St. Anthony of Padua Guild of the St. Joseph’s Chaplaincy, ImoStateUniversity.

In attendance to the occasion were the guilds from Federal University of Technology Owerri, Federal Polytechnic Nekede and Imo State Polytechnic Umuagwo.

 

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CATHOLIC WORLD

Killing of Christians: Buhari lied to Trump – CAN fumes

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Killing of Christians: Buhari lied to Trump - CAN fumes

The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has reacted to President Muhammadu Buhari’s revelation of his conversation with United States President, Donald Trump, on the massacre of Christians in Nigeria, saying President Buhari was economical with the truth.

President Buhari had on Tuesday, revealed that at the heat of the bloody clashes between herdsmen and farmers in Nigeria, the United States President, Donald Trump, unequivocally accused him of killing Christians.

Buhari said these in his closing remarks at the two-day ministerial performance review retreat held at the Presidential Villa, Abuja on Tuesday.

At a point, the President digressed from his prepared speech and narrated his encounter with Trump on the bloody clashes.

He said he managed to explain to the American leader that the clashes were not about ethnicity or religion.

He said, “I believe I was about the only African among the less developed countries the President of United States invited.

“When I was in his office, only myself and himself, only God is my witness, he looked at me in the face, and asked, ‘Why are you killing Christians?’

“I wonder, if you were the person, how you will react. I hope what I was feeling inside did not betray my emotion, so I told him that the problem between the cattle rearers and farmers, I know is older than me not to talk of him. I think I am a couple of years older than him.

“With climate change and population growth and the culture of the cattle rearers, if you have 50 cows and they eat grass, any root, to your water point, then they will follow it. It doesn’t matter whose farm it is.

“The First Republic set of leadership was the most responsible leadership we ever had. I asked the Minister of Agriculture to get a gazette of the early 60s which delineated the cattle route where they used meager resources then to put earth dams, wind mills even sanitary department.

“So, any cattle rearers that allowed his cattle to go to somebody’s farm would be arrested, taken before the court. The farmer would be called to submit his bill and if he couldn’t pay, the cattle would be sold, but subsequent leaders, the VVIPs (very important persons) encroached on the cattle routes. They took over the cattle rearing areas.

“So, I tried and explained to him (Trump) that this has got nothing to do with ethnicity or religion. It is a cultural thing.”

However, CAN’s Vice President and Chairman of the association in Kaduna State, John Hayab, was not impressed with Buhari’s submission, saying “Buhari and his government will never stop from amusing us with their tales by moonlight because what is happening in Zamfara, Sokoto, Katsina, Birnin Gwari, Southern Kaduna, Taraba, Plateau and others cannot be described as a cultural thing.

He told Punch correspondent in an interview: “President Buhari’s weak story about his conversation with President Donald Trump further confirms why his government does not care about the killings in our country by calling them cultural things.

“Just this (Tuesday) evening, I received a report from the Kaduna Baptist Conference President about the number of their members that have been killed by bandits in Kaduna State from January 2020 to date to be 105 and our President will call it a cultural thing? All we can say is may God save our Nigeria.”

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Nuncio tasks clergy, laity on good stewardship

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Nuncio tasks clergy, laity on good stewardship

The Apostolic Nuncio to Nigeria, Archbishop Antonio Guido Filipazzi, has urged the clergy, religious and lay faithful to be trustworthy, transparent, selfless and generous stewards in the discharge of their duties in the Church, following the way of Jesus.

Archbishop Filipazzi made the call during the opening ceremony of the maiden General Assembly of the Abuja Archdiocese, which was held on at Our Lady Queen of Nigeria Pro-Cathedral, Friday September 4.

The General Assembly, with the theme “Catholic Archdiocese of Abuja: Together in Evangelization,” saw Bishops, priests, religious men and women, and the laity gathered together to discuss means of strengthening the faith of God’s people amid the ongoing Covid-19 health crisis.

Addressing participants, Archbishop Filipazzi said that “an administrator is neither a master nor a slave who cannot decide anything, but one who is given a responsibility by the Master.” In this light, the faithful are called to be “true administrators of divine mystery” entrusted to them by Our Lord, according to their varying roles in the Church.

The Apostolic Nuncio also said “differences must not lead to division,” as everyone, though different, must strive for unity since there is no room for divisions in the body of Christ.

Archbishop Filipazzi, speaking on the upsurge in violence in northern Nigeria in a Vatican News interview on 29 August, had also called for shunning divisions along religious and ethnic lines.

Rather, he appealed for “general respect of the law and general intervention of the government” in the violent attacks which have claimed many lives and caused massive material damage.

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Assumpta CMO raises fund to roof “St Joseph’s Hall of Faith”

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Assumpta CMO raises fund to roof “St. Joseph's Hall of Faith”

The Catholic Men Organization, CMO, Maria Assumpta Cathedral Parish Owerri, joined their counterparts in the Archdiocese to celebrate Father’s Day on Sunday, August 30.

The celebration earlier scheduled for May 10 this year was differed because of Covid-19 pandemic.

The occasion began with a Pontifical Mass presided over by His Grace, Most Rev. Anthony Obinna, Archbishop of Owerri cum Parish Priest of the Cathedral Parish.

In his homily, Archbishop Obinna called on Christians to live a life of witnessing to Christ at all times. He said that the zeal to preach the word of God is like a fire that burns inside the heart of a Christian and will not abate until one bears witness to Christ. This, he said, must be done in the course of our daily lives, in our places of work, in our families, among our friends, through living life that is Christ-like.

He congratulated the Christian fathers on the occasion and appealed for support to enable them complete their building project in no distant time. His Grace also appreciated the performance of the CMO choir during the Mass.

The theme for the parish celebration is: “Catholic Men As Spiritual Heads of the Domestic Church: Implications in the Family.”

The parish CMO used the celebration to raise fund for the roofing of their building project named: “St. Joseph’s Hall of Faith.”

In his brief remark at the occasion, the Parish CMO President, Arc. Anthony Emeka Ozoude said, “We have been able to complete the block work,” adding that, “the task before us now is to put a roof on the building.”

He therefore made a passionate appeal for generous donations from members and well wishers, assuring donors that every kobo donated will be prudently applied for the purpose.

Arc. Ozoude recalled that early this year, the parish CMO executive identified a three-prong programme of focus, namely: Membership revalidation, Debt recovery and Fund raising for the roofing.

He advised members not to sit on the fence anymore as there is so much to gain spiritually, morally and even intellectually from participating in the CMO activities both at the parish, stations and prayer groups levels.

“The committed members who attend our programmes regularly have discovered this and have remained resolute in their participation,” he said.

Activities marking this year’s celebration included Retreat, visit to ailing members in their homes, thanksgiving Mass blessing of the mini altars for the 5 prayer groups of CMO etc.

Arc. Ozoude thanked in a special way, Archbishop Obinna, the Cathedral Administrator and priests working in the Cathedral for their support. He also commended the various stations and prayer groups for their cooperation.

The CMO president acknowledged the good work and sacrifice of the Planning Committee, headed by Dr. Uche Ukozor and thanked them for a job well done.

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