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JDPC empowers pioneer students

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JDPC empowers pioneer students

The Skills Acquisition Institute of the Justice, Development, Peace and Caritas Commission (JDPC), Owerri Archdiocese graduated and empowered her pioneer students who completed their one year skill acquisition training on modern Fashion Designing on “Pro-bono” basis, ie free of charge.

The event which took place at Obiri Odenigbo Pavillion, Maria Assumpta Cathedral Owerri was graced by dignitaries including; Hon. Noble A. Atulegwu (Commissioner for Skill Acquisition and Entrepreneurship, Imo State), Hon. Chidiebere Onyebuchi (SSA on Skill Acquisition to the Governor of Imo State), Dr Kachiside Dike of Catholic Relief Services, Barr. Eddy Onyema, Dr. Mrs UkaUkachi (Human Rights Commission), Rev. Sr Stella Ewa (ISMV), and host of others. The memorable event had Dr. Kachi Nwoga as its chairman.

the JDPC Director, Rev. Fr. Dr. Gerald Njoku, traced the origin of the JDPC skill acquisition institute, as well as appreciating the collaborative gesture of his German friends.

He highlighted the need to help young people to acquire knowledge in different skills and be independent as the reason for this initiative. He said that Archbishop Anthony J.V Obinna gave his blessings and with the financial support of his German friends, the training was established in the year 2018. He congratulated the graduands and encouraged them to always strive to ascend higher no matter the challenges.

JDPC Owerri – Presentation of empowerment items

The Imo State Commissioner for Entrepreneurship and Skill Acquisition in his speech tasked the beneficiaries to utilize the work equipment given to them after their training. Hon. Sir Noble Atulegwu commended the church for making such investment in their youths and stated that the church is an important stakeholder in assisting the present Imo state government to discourage idleness among youths in the state. He further opted for a symbiotic relationship and synergy between the government and the church to ensure that the dividends of democracy gets to the grassroots.

He stated that one of the challenges the youth are facing is “Lack of zeal to function” which makes them very unserious with their work and therefore used the Igbo phrase “Ngangabuteuzo, odidaesoteya”. He challenged the graduands to aim at reaching the highest level in life with their profession stating that “Onye aka oru, aguuanaghiegbuya”.

The Chairman of the occasion, Dr. Kachi Nwoga in his remarks stressed that Skill is the answer to employment which creates room for jobs while education gives us the right sense of value and right management of self. He thanked the Archbishop, Most. Rev. Anthony J.V Obinna and Rev. Fr. Dr. Gerald Njoku for moving people from being dependent to independent.

Before the commencement of the exhibition, the Manager of the Skill Acquisition Institute, Mr. Kingsley Ohaeri thanked God for his sustainability and grace to actualize the dream of Rev. Fr. Dr. Gerald Njoku at a record time. He further advised the graduands to always know that there is dignity in labour and prayed God to bless their newly acquired skills.

He used the medium to present to the JDPC board members and the audience the graduands in the persons of: Jacqueline C. Uche, Chinonso Owuamanam, Chigozie Obi, Nkechinyere Opara, Ann Nwaosu, Emmanuella Ikedinko, Loveth Ogbonna and Lillian Ohamara.

There were exhibitions of the graduand’s sewed clothings of different designs. A certificate of participation was given to each of the graduands with a complete set of sewing machine and a purse of twenty-five thousand naira each.

The parents of the graduands thanked the management of JDPC for a work well done and prayed for God’s continuous blessings upon them.

Miss Ikedinko Emmanuella (Class leader) on behalf of the graduands thanked the JDPC management for their numerous care and support throughout their training periods, especially the tea breaks and transport allowance which was a very big motivation to all of them.

A group photograph was taken and the Catholic Youth Organization of Nigeria(CYON) presented a cultural dance.

Representing the Catholic Archbishop of Owerri at the occasion, Rev. Fr. Njoku extolled Gov. Hope Uzodinmma for creating the novel ministry of Entrepreneurship and Skill Acquisition to empower Imo Youths. He equally commended the Hon. Commissioner piloting the affairs of the ministry for his vibrant and laudable efforts. He prayed God to strengthen them to sustain the good work.

A closing remark was made by Rev. Fr. Dr. Gerald Njoku in which he advised the new students to emulate the good behaviours of the graduands and thanked all and sundry especially His Grace, Most. Rev. Anthony J. V Obinna and his Auxillary, Most. Rev. Moses Chikwe for their unalloyed support and prayers.

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Knights urged to speak out against injustice, oppression in society

Photo: Rev. Fr. Norbert Opara flanked by Sir Cyriacus Akotibe GK and Lady Maria Otolehi (LSM President) and other retreatants.

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Knights urged to speak out against injustice, oppression in society

…As Holy Rosary Sub- Council ends Retreat

Knights of the Church have been called upon not to be indifferent to what happens in the society, rather they are expected to be attentive and show a sense of concern about events and incidents in their communities, state and nation.

This is part of a resolution reached at the end of a one-day retreat by the Knights of St. Mulumba, Nigeria, Holy Rosary Sub-council, Owerri, held at Mulumba Hall Owerri.

According to the resolution, “To show interest in what happens in the society entails speaking out against human rights abuse and violations, hatred, dehumanization, injustice, etc”.

The Sub-council raised the case of Leah Sharibu, the Christian girl from Borno State who has been in the enclave of Boko Haram terrorist group for three years now, for refusing to denounce Christianity, noting that her case should attract intense physical protests by Christians to complement their prayers.
The Sub-Council also advised the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) “to stop being the toothless bulldog it has always been, but to come out visibly against any form of human rights abuse”.

On the theme of the retreat – “Filled with His Goodness,” the participants said, “it was most appropriate for the period and thanked the resource persons and the leadership of the sub-council for endeavoring to hold the retreat in spite of some drawbacks.

The resolution also advised the Knights and Ladies to revisit the core aims and objectives of the Order which include, Charity, Solidarity, Discipline, Evangelization etc.

Rev. Fr. Dr. Longinus Chinagorom, who was the resource person, had earlier elaborated on the main theme of the Retreat – ‘Filled with His Goodness’, saying that he was inspired to use the theme from the content of Assumpta Hymnal No 332, “Blessed Assurance”, picking from the 3rd Stanza.

He expanded the theme further with the last line of the stanza – “Lost in His Love”. He explained how humans get lost in God’s love, quoting Vatican II document Lumen Gentium. The Vatican Document Nos. 9 – 13 that has been translated into lgbo in Chapter 5 of the 2019 Odenigbo Lecture, lays emphasis on the path of grace granted us in God through the Church – the Mystical Body of Christ, our Mother and Teacher, for us to save the wounded world.

Fr. Chinagorom, who is also the chaplain of the Sub-Council, observed poor recruitment in the Order and advised them to attract more youthful members.

Another resource person, Rev. Fr. Norbert Opara, Assistant Parish Priest of St. Mulumba Parish, Owerri, dwelt on “Forgiveness and Love” as a way to be good children of God. He gave numerous references, citations, quotations and examples adding that Forgiveness and Love work together for a good Christian life. The Retreat was concluded with a Holy Mass.

In his vote of thanks, the Worthy Grand Knight, Sir Cyriacus C. Akotibe thanked the resource persons, noting that, it was one of the best retreats they have had in recent times.

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Be exemplary fathers – OACCMO President charges members

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Be exemplary fathers - OACCMO President charges members

The President of Owerri Archdiocesan Council of Catholic Men Organization (OACCMO), Prince Faith Uche Iwuorisha has reminded fellow members the need to live by example and emulate the virtues of their patron, St. Joseph who is a father per excellence and head of the holy and most noble family.

According to him, there is every need for Catholic men to rise up to their calling as head of families especially now the Igbo land and Nigerian society at large is being confronted with unprecedented security challenges.

The charge was contained in a message to CMO members in the Archdiocese in commemoration of this year’s Father’s Day Celebration, made available to newsmen at OACCMO Hall of Faith, Owerri.
While wishing members fruitful celebration in this year’s CMO Day, Prince Iwuorisha reminded them the daunting task of sustaining the faith and need to build a virile CMO organization. He urged them not to relent in their social and spiritual efforts, even as he pointed out the need to maintain the Covid-19 safety protocols as they celebrate.

Father’s Day is a day set aside by the Catholic Church for honouring fatherhood, paternal bonds and influence of fathers in the society.

Today, Sunday May 9 CMO members all over the Archdiocese and even beyond will converge on their respective parishes and worships centres to mark the feast of St. Joseph.

To make the day unique and colorful, they will adorn their CMO uniform and expected to carry out not only soul-edifying events but also social activities such as march pass, football and singing competitions, cultural dance and lots more.

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Violence against ourselves weakens Igbo land – Archbishop Obinna laments

Archbishop Obinna made the observation at a one-day Theological Seminar organized for Owerri Catholic Archdiocesan priests, held at the Jubilee Hall, Maria Assumpta Villa Owerri, Friday April 30.

Gozie Ukasoanya

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Violence against ourselves weakens Igbo land - Archbishop Obinna laments

Following the increase in spate of insecurity across the South East states, with unprecedented dimension witnessed recently in Imo, the Eastern heartland, the Catholic Archbishop of Owerri, Most Rev. Anthony J.V. Obinna, has warned that killings, violence, threats to life and property among the people of same region might threw up a series of repercussive effects, if not quickly nipped in the bud.
The repercussions, according to him, would include, not being able to speak with one voice and not being able to stand united against external aggression.

Archbishop Obinna made the observation at a one-day Theological Seminar organized for Owerri Catholic Archdiocesan priests, held at the Jubilee Hall, Maria Assumpta Villa Owerri, Friday April 30.
The remark followed a keynote address presented at the event by Most Rev. Moses Chikwe, auxiliary bishop of Owerri, with the theme: One Church, One Teaching, One Praxis: Strengthening the Catholic Foundation, Authenticity and Fidelity of our Priestly Apostolate in the face of threatening Subjectivism, Sectarianism and Liberalism (SSL) of our Time.

Though security was not the thrust of the seminar, but since the gathering was exclusively for priests in the Archdiocese and the society the priests found themselves, currently facing an unpredictable security challenges, the chief shepherd reasoned that it was proper to remind the priests their primary spiritual function of mediating between God and the people.

Cross section of priests at the seminar
Cross section of priests at the seminar

“These killings and violence witnessed in recent weeks here in Igbo land is something that should worry all of us. I’m saying this with every sense of concern because it may affect the faith of the people we’re called to serve and again affect Ndigbo as a whole towards securing the region against any further attack or aggression from outside.

“As priests, the expectations are now high more than ever. So we shall continue to preach, pray and comfort our people, reminding them the need to give peace a chance,” noted the Archbishop.
Bishop Chikwe had anchored his address on the word: “aggiornamento,” while appraising the pastoral efforts of Pope John XXIII, who he said brought the word into the Church’s lexicon during the Vatican Council II.

He reemphasized the universality of the church both in character and mode of worship, observing that “aggiornamento,” which means “updating, continuous, changing and improvement,” was never aimed at “jettisoning anything truly basic to Catholic tradition in exchange for more modern ideas.”

But commending the organizers of the seminar for the choice of the theme, particularly at a time the church in Europe and America were caught in the ugly web of Subjectivism, Sectarianism and Liberalism (SSL), Bishop Chikwe beckoned on the priests to guard against the three negative phenomena, adding that due to the decrease in number of Catholics in the two regions the world is looking up to Africa as “Centre of gravity of the Catholic Church.”

“The danger for us is to relax because the numbers are good. But before we become like Europe and America, we need to take concrete steps to keep the momentum, the bishop noted, adding that “the big question for us today is how can we sustain and improve what we have? How can we strengthen the Catholic faith in our part of the world?”

Earlier in his opening speech, when Archbishop Obinna, his auxiliary, Monsignori and other priests, were welcomed, Msgr. Innocent Osuagwu, on behalf of the Archdiocesan Theological Commission, disclosed that the theme of the event was chosen based on the “priestly-pastoral experience and exigencies” of the bishops, priests and lay faithful.

Noting that the forum, which also featured workshops on topics concerning the church, the priests and priestly life, was intended to address some of the threats posed by SSL, Msgr. Osuagwu described the seminar as a “clarion call challenging us to take our priestly and ecclesiastical destiny into our hands, to retreat in true grace-driven examination of conscience and insightful spiritual discernment in order to take stock of how it has been hitherto with us – individually and collectively.”

Rev. Frs. Stephen Egwim and Keneth Amaeke were among the moderators of the event.

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