Bwari-Abuja, Nigeria: Tuesday, October 05, 2021. A day to remember. The long-awaited dream of the Claretian Missionaries in Africa of having an Institute of Consecrated Life has finally been realised today. Indeed, as Padre Claret would say, ‘a great work has begun’ in the Church for the Consecrated persons, lay faithful, and for the Claretian Missionaries, especially, in Africa.
The landmark event started with the Holy Mass presided by the Nuncio, His Excellency, Archbishop Antonio Guido Filipazzi. The Archbishop of Benin, Most Rev. Augustine Akubueze, who is the President of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Nigeria (CBCN), also graced the occasion as well as Bishops Wilfred Anagbe, CMF of Makurdi Diocese and Hilary Dachelem, CMF of Bauchi Diocese. Very Rev Fr Henry Omonisaye, CMF, the Vicar General of the Congregation, represented the General Government of the Claretian Congregation. Many Claretian confreres and consecrated persons were present in their various habits clearly manifesting their charisms and indicating the bright nature of the new establishment as an All-Religious affair. The traditional rulers and local chiefs, where the institute is located, were not left out. They were proudly there in their speckled glamorous traditional regalia to confer, ab initio, the necessary African traditional authority on the Institute.
After the Eucharistic Celebration, the Archbishop of Benin, Most Rev. Augustine Akubueze blessed and opened the new administrative block, while the Nuncio, Archbishop Antonio Guido Filipazzi, blessed and opened the hostel. Bishop Anagbe Wilfred, CMF, on the other hand, blessed and unveiled the beautiful statue of our holy Father Founder, St Anthony Mary Claret, imposed at the entrance to welcome every visitor to the Institute.
We pray that the great work that the Lord started today in the life of the Claretian Missionaries in Africa and the Church in the world, will be a great medium for Consecrated Persons in Africa to appreciate their special vocation and, most importantly, deepen their knowledge of their religious call and, accordingly, live as Christ wants.
The occasion, however, begins the 4th International Theological Conference on the Consecrated Life and Mission from October 05 to 07, 2021 at the same venue. We are all invited!
Immaculate Heart of Mary – Be our Salvation!
St Anthony Mary Claret – Pray for Us!