June 16, 2024
Diocese News News Nigeria Uyo Diocese

UYO DIOCESE CELEBRATES 2023 WORLD DAY FOR CONSECRATED LIFE

– Bishop Ayah lays credence to Pope Francis analogy of ‘Mission as the oxygen of the Christian life”

– Urges the faithful to support, pray for Consecrated persons

– Fetes with Religious and the Lay persons

By: Cosmas Michael Essiet

Usually celebrated Feb. 2nd, the world over, but marked today, 7th February, 2023, in Uyo Diocese, because of Pastoral reasons, World Day for Consecrated Life is an opportunity to celebrate the gift of consecrated life and pray for men and women, discerning a consecrated vocation with the global Catholic Church.

Instituted by Pope John Paul II in 1997, World Day for Consecrated Life is a day of prayer for women and men in consecrated life. The celebration is attached to the feast of the Presentation of the Lord on Feb. 2. This feast is also known as Candlemas Day; the day on which candles are blessed symbolizing Christ who is the light of the world. Similarly, consecrated men and women are called to spread the light and love of Jesus Christ through their unique witness of selfless service, such as caring for the poor, the contemplative work of prayer, or through their professional careers.

Consecrated life takes many forms. It includes Catholic brothers and sisters who are members of religious institutes, are hermits or consecrated virgins, in apostolic life, or are members of secular institutes.

With the faithful gathered at the Christ the King Cathedral, Uyo, the event started at 9:50am with the Catholic Bishop of Uyo Diocese, Most. Rev. Dr. John Ayah as the Chief Celebrant.

In his homily, Bishop Ayah first and foremost, thanked those who attended the Mass, in solidarity with the religious. Making reference to Pope Francis analogy of the Mission during his General Audience on 11th January, 2023, he re-echoed the Pontiff’s assertion that ” the mission is the oxygen of the Christian life: it invigorates and purifies itโ€ To live mission in Godโ€™s way as consecrated persons, we need the breath of the Spirit, who oxygenates our consecration, who widens our tent, who does not allow the desire to go out and reach out to others to proclaim the Gospel fade or be eclipsed, who rekindles the missionary fire in us. He is the real protagonist of the mission and at the same time the one who maintains the freshness of our faith so that it does not wither away.

Stressing further on the significance of the day, Ayah noted that, “we gather here to pray for our religious men and women who have given themselves to God, choosing the consecrated life and forfeiting the material things of the world”. He appreciated the Religious for the many works they do, in propagating the goodnews of Christ, tracing it to when he was a little boy, growing up in Obudu, Cross River State.

Noting that, they are humans, having their own crisis and difficult times, he encouraged the faithful to be remembering them in their prayers, and supporting them financially and otherwise, in the propagation of the Gospel, while also urging and encouraging young men and women to embrace the Religious life.

After the homily, the religious renewed their commitments.

The part two of the celebration witnessed a paper presentation on the topic “Intergenerational Dialogue; Towards Building Synergy in our Society”, by very. Rev. Fr. Emmanuel Efiok Effiong, cultural displays, even as the Bishop fetes with the religious and the faithful present. In her remarks, Rev. Sr. Uzoamaka Moneme thanked God and every person who contributed towards the success of the event.

The Religious Groups in Uyo Diocese include; The Capuchin Order, Congregation of the Mission, Daughters of Charity of St. Vincent De Paul, Congregation of the Handmaid’s of th Holy Child Jesus, Medical Missionaries of Mary, School Sisters of Notre Dame and the Witnessing Members of the Holy Family.

Present at the event were the Host Parish Priest, and the Vicar for Priests, Very Rev. Fr. Ehpraim Asanausung, the Uyo Diocesan Director of Communications and CWON Chaplain, Very. Rev. Fr. Dr. Justin Udomah , Very. Rev. Fr. Emmanuel E. Effiong, the Diocesan CWON President, Lady Imelda Otong (LSM), amongst a host of others.

To God be the glory.

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