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WELCOME ADDRESS PRESENTED BY REV. MOTHER MARY CLAUDE OGUH TO THE YOUTH

WELCOME ADDRESS PRESENTED BY REV. MOTHER MARY
CLAUDE OGUH, SUPERIOR GENERAL OF THE SISTERS OF THE
IMMACULATE HEART OF MARY, MOTHER OF CHRIST, NIGERIA ON THE OCCASION OF THE CELEBRATION OF THE DIAMOND JUBILEE OF THEIR RELIGIOUS INSTITUTE WITH THE YOUTH ON THIS DAY,
26th SEPTEMBER, 2012 AT THE HOLY ANGELS PRIMARY SCHOOL FIELD, NKPOR-AGU

Your Excellency, Most Rev. John Eyah, Bishop of Ogoja and CBCN Chairman for Youth Committee;

Very Rev. Monsignors, Rev. Fathers, Rev. Brothers and Sisters,

Distinguished Guests

Ladies and Gentlemen!

It is with immense joy and deep sense of gratitude to God that we welcome you all to this great even marking the 75th anniversary of the foundation of our Religious Family, the Congregation of the Sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, Mother of Christ. We acknowledge with great regard and respect our beloved Father Founder, His Grace, Most Rev. Dr. Charles Heerey, CSSp, of blessed memory - a great lover of the youth. Gladly, we celebrate this Youth Day in his honour.

Archbishop Charles Heerey, CSSp, an Irish Missionary, while the Vicar Apostolic of Onitsha, founded our Congregation on October' 7, 1937 at IHIALA' with only two Aspirants - Maria Anyogu {Mother Mary Bemad:tte Anyogu) and Clara Oranu (Mother Mary Magdalene Oranu), both of blessed memory. This mustard seed sown 75 years ago has grown into a mighty iroko tree and has spread to different parts of the world, - Ghana, Kenya, Sierra Leone, Tchad, Europe and America, with varied apostolic works including Youth apostolate in the field of education, social works, catechetical works, youth empowerment in vocational fiel.ds, among others. God be praised!

It is great joy, for us, Sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, Mother of Christ, to celebrate this day with our Youth as we mark this 75th anniversary of our existence in the Church. Our Father Founder, Archbishop Charles Heerey had great interest in the education, formation and all round growth of young people of Nigeria. He evidently proved that' interest by establishing many, educational institutions including seminaries towards the training and formation of our Youth. This great Missionary was the Founder of great citadels of learning 111 this part of our Country, .namely Bigard Memorial Seminary Enugu, All Hallow Seminary
Onitsha, Christ the King College (CKC) Onitsha, Queen of the Rosary Colleges at Onitsha and Enugu, St. Charles College Onitsha, College of Immaculate Conception, Enugu etc. and so many Primary Schools. He insisted on high moral and academic standards and discipline. He never accepted half-measures. Only the best, he said, is good for the Lord.

The Seminaries have helped in the increase in vocation to the Priesthood and subsequently to religious life in general among the young people in the Eastern part of Nigeria. It is worthy of note that these seminaries have in particular been the cradle for the formation of Cardinals e.g. His Eminence, Francis Cardinal Arinze, of Archbishops e.g. late Archbishop Albert Kanenechukwu Obiefuna,Archbishop Valerian Okeke; of many Bishops, Priests, Brothers and many great men of our society.

The Secondary Schools have also gone a long way in forming and educating the general populace, thus giving our country noble citizens, men and women of good repute. Most of you sitting before me are products of these mission schools founded by Archbishop Charles Heerey. May God reward him eternally. He was the first person to think of the girl-child education. He saw in the girl-child potentials for building up the Church and nation. He therefore founded our Religious Family to help him accomplish this. He therefore entrusted to us the upliftment of women, special care of the sick including maternity cases in hospitals, care of children in orphanages, the training of women for marriage and the other Sacraments, and the education of children in the schools (including girls & Youths) among others.

We, the Daughters of this great missionary and lover of young people, like our father, are also involved in works that equip young people with skills in order to prepare them to face the future with confidence. In schools, pastoral works and social works, we organize seminars and workshops for them and embark on youth counseling.

To commemorate this Diamond Jubilee Celebration, bur Religious Institute plans to build an edifying Youth Catechetical and Skill Acquisition Centre in order to enhance this beautiful work of moral training, self-development and empowermentof our young people. The project is estimated to cost N200 million Naira.

Beloved people of God and lovers of the Youth (our hope for a better Nigeria), our valued and generous Benefactors/Benefactresses, we humbly appeal to you to help us with your kind donations (in cash and/or kind) in order to realize this great project that will benefit us and our children, not only now but also in the far future. With our Igbo community spirit and philosophy, we shall realize our goal without much difficulty - "Bunu-bunu 0 0, ibu anyi danda!" Please help us to make our society better! We promise you that we shall not fail you.

We commend you all to God our Father and pray Him to shower an abundance of the diamond jubilee blessings on you as you share in the joys of this day. Happy Jubilee Celebrations!

Thank you for your attention. 

 

 

 

 

 


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