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NIGERIA CONFERENCE OF WOMEN RELIGIOUS (NCWR) CELEBRATES GOLDEN JUBILEE

THEME: NCWR AT 50: A SHARED JOURNEY OF FAITH

 

The grand celebration of fifty years of existence of the Nigeria Conference of Women Religious (NCWR) commenced on the 20th February, 2014 at the Basilica of the Most Holy Trinity, Onitsha.

NCWR is a group of Religious Institutes of women of Catholic Church in Nigeria who in a spirit of love and unity, came together for the promotion of the work of Evangelization among other things.  Following the signs of time, they mingle among the people of God empowering them to reach their potential through enlightenment, education and holistic care.

The Archbishop of Onitsha,  Most Rev. Valerian Okeke welcomed all during the opening ceremony with the exposition and adoration of the Blessed Sacrament inside the Basilica.   The Congregation of the Sisters of the Needy led in a solemn Vespers and the Archbishop led the enthronement of the Word of God.

All the Superiors General of the Congregations lighted the Jubilee Candle and processed to the altar for a jubilee/consecration prayer.

Furthermore, Sr. Florence Nwaonuma, SSH, the National President of the NCWR read a welcome address to the entire group.  After the Benediction, all proceeded to the fireworks that sealed the welcome ceremony.

On the second day, the 21st, the celebration started with Adoration and Lauds after which a concelebrated opening Holy Mass followed.  The hosting Archbishop, Most Rev. Valerian Okeke gave an official welcome speech.  His Excellency, Archbishop Augustine Kasuja, Apostolic Nuncio to Nigeria, represented His Excellency, Most Rev. Jose Rodriguez Carballo, Secretary of the Congregation for the Institutes Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life, who could not be present.  He read his message to the Women Religious.   Also, present for the occasion were Most Rev. Ignatius Kaigama, President of Catholic Bishops Conference  of Nigeria (CBCN) and Sr. Veronica Openebo, SHCJ, Superior General and Representative, International Union of Superiors General, (UISG).

The evening section started with solemn Vespers and entertainment, where the Congregation of the Daughters of Divine Love (DDL) delivered a heart rendering play, “The Chosen Vessel” – with the message that amidst all the giftedness we can boast of, the Lord seeks out the simple and humble for His mission.  The Postulants of the IHM Sisters danced a Eucharistic dance which was unique in its nature. At Gala Night on Friday, Mother Mary Claude Oguh, IHM delivered a welcome address later to special guests followed by Candle light Rosary procession.

On Saturday, the 22nd was the grand finale of the celebration which saw more of Women Religious gather in numbers.  The Thanksgiving Mass was graced by the Bishops of different dioceses, priests, men religious, the Executive Governor of Anambra State, His Excellency, Mr. Peter Obi, Prof. Mrs. Dora Akunyili, national president of Catholic Women Organization and a host of other lay supporters. 

Different activities followed after Mass among which was the release of 9 pigeons representative of the 9 Ecclesiastical Province in Nigeria.  All present joyfully participated and expressed the joy of the day in other activities.  Mother Mary Joseph Uzoigwe, IHM said the closing prayer and declared the end of the Jubilee.  Finally, everyone sang a hymn to the Blessed Virgin Mary (Salve Regina) followed by the Jubilee Anthem.

 


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