…As Fr Ohajunwa, Chaplaincy faithful rally in merriment
“I’m exceedingly delighted with the way children are handled in this Chaplaincy. My children enjoy coming to Mass here. Periodically they come back with gifts like rosary, sacramentals and many other useful items. I hear them retelling stories they heard during the course of their program at Mass. They relive these experiences with joy and excitements.”
That was the voice of Dr. (Mrs.) Chidimma Okoro, mother of three and a member, Christ the King Chaplaincy, Alvan Ikoku Federal College of Education Owerri. She was reacting to the 10 years anniversary of the Children’s Mass at the Chaplaincy, held last Sunday, August 29.
The Children’s Ministry, as it is called at the Chaplaincy came to being in 2011, with the quest to give children in the chaplaincy a liturgical sense of belonging.
The FMC Owerri medical doctor, who expressed gratitude to God that the program has come to stay, noted with high sense of relief that parents of the chaplaincy no longer worry about their children’s Catholic faith and safety.
“From what I observe from my children, the program is worth sustaining. The homilies are different from what we hear at adult Mass, as they are fashioned to suit the children. In fact the entire program is designed to take care of the children in very many aspects including their safety and security,” observed the wife of Ehime-Mbano UK based, who also thanked the former chaplain, Rev. Fr. Dr. Gilbert Alaribe for his pastoral ingenuity, the priests who assisted him in attending to the children as well as the lay chaplaincy members, who took it as a vocation in organizing the children.
The colorful event, which took place at a combined Eucharistic celebration, presided by their Chaplain, Rev. Fr. Dr. Martin-Ed Ohajunwa, attracted scores of children, their parents as well as other chaplaincy faithful.
Aside Dr. Okoro, other parents and guests were also in joyful mood as the children used the occasion to showcase both the spiritual and social impact the 10-year program had in them.
First, they took part in animating the Mass, thrilling the entire congregation with the Holy City song (Jerusalem, Jerusalem) by Stephen Adams.
Their offertory procession at the Mass was breathtaking as they dazzled in their made in Nigeria wax uniform.
As the event, after Mass shifted to the reception, the children in style and artistry brought Igbo culture and tradition to a standstill with the Orji presentation.
Other features at the event included welcome song, cultural dance, callisthenic, souvenir presentation, among others. was assisted at the Mass by Rev. Frs. Kenneth Ameke, Franklin Opara, Francis Ikpamezie and Norbert Opara, spoke glowingly on the program, thanking his predecessor, “those who initiated it and all those in whose hands the children are being nurtured.”
He welcomed the priests and other guests to the event, while introducing Fr. Ameke as a new member of the chaplaincy with the status of “Sacramental Presence.”
Preaching at the Mass, Fr. Ameke, who reflected on the day’s readings, made a marriage between what he termed as: The hearers of the word and the doers of the word.
According to him, for Christian religion to bear good fruits in society, Christians should do well to internalize the word of God they hear by putting them into practice.
“Religion is all about doing the will of God,” he stated, adding that Christians should always do the right things, even when their work and actions “are not in public glare.”
Dr. Mrs. Ifeoma Ewurum, Mrs. Ngozi Olefolu and Mss Chiemena Nnokwe are among those in charge of the Children’s ministry. As the event lasted, the young ladies were at duty posts, painstakingly ensuring a hitch-free anniversary.
It should be recalled that the children also visited Motherless Babies Home Uratta as part of activities marking the event.