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Maiden Chapter [Dec.2010]

Superior’s Message 

“Quidquid initium habet, finem habet,” whatever has a beginning has an ending, so says the Latin sage! Our maiden chapter as a nascent Foundation has come and gone. We remain immensely grateful to God and all confreres who actively participated both as delegates as well as guests. My special thanks go to Fr. Peter Kofi Laast, Provincial of Ghana, who moderated this chapter. We all can bear witness to the fact that he did an excellent job. I also extended my sincere gratitude to Fr. Mike Onwuemelie, Generalate correspondent to USCN, whose presence at this chapter remains quite inspiring. Once again, I cannot thank enough all the confreres who worked tediously before and during the chapter. Your commitment is our pride!

Although, our maiden and landmark chapter is over, yet its end is neither a call to slumber nor an invitation to chant victory song. Rather and very importantly, this is just the beginning of a new beginning. Our challenge-packed journey as a nascent foundation has just kicked off. Seemingly tough our paths may be, yet our optimism of a solid and progressive future remains undaunted. We began and ended the Chapter with the theme “Fear not, little flock….” This means that ab initio we have chosen hope over fear; we have chosen unity over division and we have chosen love over hatred. Therefore, our journey forward must take off from the perspectives of courage, determination and profound commitment to the decisions of the chapter. It is the implementation of these decisions that will lead us to our promise land of a vibrant and united Foundation of confreres who love and cherish one another.

Differences in ethno-cultural leanings notwithstanding, let us work together and keep our hope of a dynamic Foundation alive. Again, the tasks and challenges may be enormous but with love and unity, we will definitely peep and stare into the future with our heart telling us something better awaits us if we have the courage to work and reach for it.

Fraternally Yours,
Hyacinth OGBODO, CSSp
Foundation Superior

Chapter Delegates...after the Closing Eucharistic Celebration

==================================================

Chapter Delegates

Special Guests

Name Status Address
Peter Kofi LAAST, CSSp Moderator Ghana Province
Mike ONWUEMELIE, CSSp Correspondent Generalate, Rome
John ATOBA, CSSp Observer Superior, Northeast Province

Other Delegates     

1)        ADAYI Daniel, CSSp

2)        ADENIYI Sylvester, CSSp

3)        AGBAPAJURUCyriacus, CSSp

4)        AKABUEZE Emeka, CSSp

5)        ALABI Lawrence, CSSp

6)        ANYANWU Kingsley, CSSp

7)        ANYANWU Patrice, CSSp

8)        EDOGBO Andrew, CSSp

9)        EGBETU George, CSSp

10)    EKWEDIGWE Kennedy, CSSp

11)    ENEHIZENA Moses, CSSp (Isienu students’ delegate)

12)    IKEDE Dominic, CSSp

13)    ITIMI Festus, CSSp

14)    KPOOH Raphael, CSSp

15)    NIKORO Victor, CSSp

16)    NJOKU Paul Ndubueze, CSSp

17)    NNATUANYA Vincent, CSSp

18)    NWABOR Obinna, CSSp (Assistant Chapter Moderator)

19)    NWANERI Lawrence, CSSp

20)    NWODO Augustine, CSSp

21)    NZE Christopher, CSSp

22)    OBIOHA Evaristus, CSSp

23)    OBIOMA Paschal, CSSp

24)    OFOEGBU Bartholomew, CSSp

25)    OFOEGBU Bernard, CSSp

26)    OGBODO Hyacinth, CSSp (Foundation Superior)

27)    OJILERE Chibuike, CSSp (Chapter Secretary)

28)    OKPARA Dominic, CSSp

29)    OKONKWO Vincent, CSSp

30)    ONYEJIUWA Chika, CSSp

31)    ORILUA Victor Femi, CSSp (SIST students’ delegate)

32)    OSUJI Achulike, CSSp

33)    OTUONKPAIKHIAN Peter, CSSp

34)    UGWO Boniface, CSSp

35)    UZOEKWE Modestus, CSSp

===========================================

Chapter Functionaries

Chapter Preparatory Committee
Hyacinth Ogbodo, CSSp (Foundation Superior)
Achulike Osuji, CSSp (chairman)
Chibuike Ojilere, CSSp
Daniel Adayi, CSSp
Secretariat:     
Chibuike Ojilere, CSSp (Chapter Secretary)
Sylvester Adeniyi, CSSp
Dominic Okpara, CSSp
Moderators:
Peter Kofi Laast, CSSp (Moderator)
Obinna Nwabor, CSSp (Assistant Moderator)
Retreat Moderator:
Chika Onyejiuwa, CSSp
Central Commission:
Peter Kofi Laast, CSSp
Obinna Nwabor, CSSp
Chibuike Ojilere, CSSp
Hyacinth Ogbodo, CSSp
Paul Ndubueze Njoku, CSSp
Vincent Nnatuanya, CSSp
Daniel Adayi, CSSp
Obioma Paschal, CSSp
Lawrence Nwaneri, CSSp

Drafting Committee
Daniel Adayi, CSSp
George Egbetu, CSSp
Patrice Anyanwu, CSSp
Kingsley Anyanwu, CSSp

Editing Committee
Hyacinth Ogbodo, CSSp
George Egbetu, CSSp
Chibuike Ojilere, CSSp
Achulike Osuji, CSSp
Lawrence Alabi, CSSp

Liturgy
Patrice Anyanwu, CSSp
Vincent Okonkwo, CSSp
Dominic Okpara, CSSp

Tellers:
Victor Femi Orilua, CSSp
Moses Enehizena, CSSp

Finance/Logistics
Daniel Adayi, CSSp
Andrew Edogbo, CSSp
Augustine Nwodo, CSSp
Dominic Ikede, CSSp
Generalate Representative
Mike Onwuemelie, CSSp

Observer
John Atoba, CSSp (Superior, Northeast Province)

Chapter Theme projected on Screen

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Cross section of Delegates...in deep concentration

===================
CHAPTER DIARY

DAY 1, 6th December, 2010, ARRIVAL

The First Chapter of the Foundation of Nigeria South-West kicked off in the afternoon of December 6, 2010 at the beautiful and serene premises of Louisville Retreat and Conference Centre in Itele-Ijebu, Ogun State, Nigeria. The arrival of thirty-five delegates instantly created an atmosphere of fun as confreres fraternized and exchanged pleasantries while expressing great feelings of excitement over the first chapter of our new Foundation. In attendance too was Fr. Peter Kofi Laast, CSSp, who, apart from being the Provincial of the Province of Ghana, is also the Moderator of the Chapter. Others attending the chapter as observers were the Generalate Representative/Correspondent of USCN, Fr. Mike Obi Onwuemelie, CSSp and Fr. John Atoba, CSSp the Provincial Superior of Province of Nigeria, NorthEast. Other Superiors of USCN, however, sent apologies for their unavoidable absence at this epoch-making chapter.

DAY 2, 7th December, 2010, RECOLLECTION

As customary to Spiritan Chapters, a day of recollection was observed to properly dispose the minds of the participants to the chapter. The recollection which started by 9.00am was animated by Fr. Chika Onyejiuwa, CSSp revolving round the theme of the chapter “fear not, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom” (Luke 12.32). He drew the minds of the participants to Mark 3 where it is recorded that Jesus called his disciples to first be with him and then be sent out. In his exposition, our ministry should flow from that intimate relationship with the Lord. He underscored the indispensability of authentic community spirit if we are to make head way. When we are organized and unified, great things happen, he remarked.

The recollection ended with a Mass presided over by Most Rev. Dr. Albert Ayinde Fasina, the bishop of Ijebu-Ode diocese at 5.30pm. In his homily, the amiable bishop enjoined all to continue to uphold the traditions of the Congregation and endeavour to preserve the legacy of our founding fathers. He wished us God’s sublime blessings as we begin the maiden chapter of our nascent circumscription.

 OPENING SESSION

The opening session of the chapter began at 8.30pm with a solemn invocation of the Holy Spirit followed by opening prayer led by Fr. Barnabas Nwabor CSSp. This was followed by a welcome speech by the Foundation Superior, Very Rev. Fr. Hyacinth Ogbodo, CSSp.  In his brief address, the Superior welcomed the delegates and thanked God for all His favours on all and on the Foundation. He stated in bold terms his appreciation of every confrere as gifts from God and as such mysteries to be celebrated. He prayed God to send His enabling Spirit to see us through our maiden chapter. It was at this juncture that he formerly presented the moderators of the chapter in the persons of Very Rev. Fr. Peter kofie Laast, CSSp, the provincial superior of Ghana Province and Fr. Barnabas Obinna Nwabor, CSSp. Both were unanimously accepted. With this, the Chapter was officially declared open by the Foundation Superior.

The moderator, Fr Peter Laast in his opening speech, raised the consciousness of time constraint. Thus, in his view time has to be greatly maximized if we are to satisfactorily accomplish what we are about in the chapter. In it he led the house to number the documents earmarked for consideration at the chapter. Prior to that, the Chapter timetable was, after slight modifications, adopted with motion for adoption moved and seconded by Frs. Emeka Akabueze CSSp and Vincent Nnatuanya CSSp respectively. Further, Fr. Laast called on capitulants to finally specify the voting modality on propositions. The house in this wise agreed to employ the 2/3 majority as the modality for voting on propositions and a simple majority for amendments which though must be moved and seconded.

Similarly, the provisional rules of procedures was equally read out and discussed. The entire documents for the chapter were then adopted with motion for adoption moved and seconded by Frs. Paschal Obioma CSSp and Emeka Akabueze CSSp respectively.

Day 3: 8th December, 2010

The day began at 6.15am with the Mass cum Lauds, with Fr. Vincent Nnatuanya as chief celebrant. Thereafter, we had breakfast followed by the first session of the day. The following reports were presented within this session:

¨      Superior’s keynote address, Very Rev. Fr. Hyacinth Ogbodo, CSSp
¨      Financial Report by the Bursar of the Foundation, Fr. Andrew Edogbo, CSSp
¨      Report from the Generalate by Very Rev. Fr. Mike Onwuemelie, CSSp.

Second Session 11.00am

Within this session, the presentations were made by Fr. Achulike Osuji on

¨      Organization and Structure
¨      Community and Religious life

At 3.30pm, the house converged and had an exploratory vote for the vacant slot in the number of councilors. This was followed by the presentations on Finance & Self-Reliance, Development/Projects by Fr. Daniel Adayi CSSp at about 4pm-4.45pm. With apt references to Church and Spiritan documents, he emphasized that self-reliance is a sine qua non for the growth and sustenance of our nascent Foundation. There is need therefore to, among other things, properly re-position the Holy Ghost Vocation Movement in the dioceses under South-West Foundation. He also stressed the need for a projects’ committee as well as the need for a project coordinator.

Next presentation was on Mission and Vocation and Formation, which was well delivered by Fr. Chibuike Ojilere CSSp.  Fr. Chibuike stated strongly that the Spiritan Mission is fundamentally “evangelizare pauperibus” (evangelization of the poor). Yet in our world of today the term “poor” refers to all kinds of people and not just the financially poor. Among other categories of the poor are the marginalized, the migrants, the prisoners, the unemployed youth, the urban poor etc. Thus, he succinctly concludes that Spiritan Mission today can take place anywhere because the poor can be found everywhere, even in the streets of New York! Regarding vocation and formation, he warned that care should be taken regarding the number of candidates to be admitted for qualitative formation to be achieved. In addition, Vocation to brotherhood should be given extra push.  Thereafter, there was group discussion on Organization & Structure, community & Religious Life. The discussion extended till 6.40pm. There was break till 7pm when we had vespers followed by dinner at 7.15pm. We had our compline at 8pm. The central commission met by 8.30pm and then lights out.

DAY 4: THURSDAY, 9TH DECEMBER, 2010

We started the activities of the day by 6.15am with a holy mass combined with lauds. The chief celebrant was Very Rev Fr Peter Kofi Laast, CSSp, the chapter moderator. The homilist was Fr Emeka Akabueze, CSSp, the regional Superior emeritus of the defunct Ekiti region. In his homily, Fr Emeka emphasized the need for us to be courageous in the discharge of our duties following the admonition of Prophet Isaiah in the first reading that says “do not be afraid…” With courage and confidence in God, he said, we can achieve a lot individually and collectively as a Foundation. After the mass, there was breakfast at 7.30am.

The first plenary session of the day commenced at 8.00am with presentations on the Generalate visitation on “Ekiti Region” and Statutes of Union of Spiritan Circumscriptions of Nigeria (USCN) by Very Rev Fr Hyacinth Ogbodo CSSp. In the visitation report, the Generalate rightly observed: there is no confrere in any specialized work except parish work, there is need for better community living, the Lagos archdiocesan Episcopal legislation is a challenge to Spiritan life, there is need for more Spiritan presence in Benin and Ekiti zones, there is no educational project in the region, need for stability of confreres in the region, contracts with Bishops to be revisited, Escravos mission revived and so on. By 8.45am, the second session kicked off with group discussions on Finance & Self-Reliance, Development & Projects. More so, after a 15minutes tea break at 9.45am, the third session started by 10am-11am with yet another group discussion on Mission Priorities, Vocation & Formation. Nevertheless, at about 11am-12noon group discussions on Generalate Visitation Report on “Ekiti Region” and USCN Statutes continued.

The fourth session commenced with the presentation of reports from students confreres from Isienu and SIST Attakwu at about 12nn-12.40pm.  Jude Enehizena CSSp presented the Isienu report while Rev. Femi Orilua CSSp presented that of SIST. It was clear in both presentations that our scholastics need better accompaniment. The scholastics cried out for better welfare as well as for the presence of formators from our Foundation in both Isienu and SIST. The Midday prayer was said by 12.45pm followed by lunch and rest at 1pm-3.30pm. Fifth session started at 3.30pm with commission secretaries’ reporting (in propositions) to the General Assembly which was followed by clarifications from the assembly. At this juncture, we paused for 10minutes break at 5pm. The reports of the commission secretaries continued at 5.15pm till 6.45pm. Vespers was had at 7pm followed by dinner at 7.15pm. The group discussions continued on Student-confreres report from Isienu & SIST at 8pm till 10.55pm. Having worked into the night, the compline was in private. The central commission had their session afterwards. Lights out.

 DAY 5: FRIDAY, 10TH DECEMBER, 2010

Today’s Eucharistic celebration at 6.15am was presided over by Fr. Bernard Ofoegbu with Fr. Paschal Obioma as homilist. This was immediately followed by breakfast. Then at 8.00am the day’s plenary session began with the first statutory vote for a councilor, wherein Fr. Barnabas Nwabor was voted in with a (2/3) majority. At 9.00am the Commission Secretaries’ presented their group reports on Isienu and SIST students reports. Thereafter, there was tea break at 10am. But by 10.30am the voting on propositions began earnestly. This continued till 12.45pm when we went for midday prayer. From the chapel we proceeded to the refectory for lunch at 1.00pm, followed by siesta. Then at 3.30pm we converged again to continue voting on propositions. After long debate of presentations, amendments and voting the Chapter proposals became Chapter decisions – decisions that will guide the South West Foundation for the next six (6) years. This was an historical point of the Chapter.

Chapter observers were then given time to express their feelings of the chapter. Fr. John Atoba CSSp, Provincial of North-East, was full of praise for the organization and execution of the chapter. He expressed profound appreciation over the maximum and effective use of modern information multimedia technology. This, he said, made the chapter an exciting, enjoyable and memorable one. He, however, prayed that the decisions of this maiden chapter will be put into practice so that the Foundation can realize its dream of a happy and bright tomorrow. Another very important observer, Fr. Mike Onwuemelie CSSp, whose presence and contributions immensely enriched the chapter, was full of praises for the chapter. He thanked all and encouraged all hands to be on deck. The running of the Foundation, he said, should not be left to the Superior and his council. Rather, all confreres, differences in ethnic backgrounds notwithstanding, must unite and solidly work together for the common good of the Foundation. Fr. Mike also commended the steering committee members who planned the chapter as well as thank the ‘hi-tech’ chapter secretariat for a wonderful handling of the chapter proceedings. Fr. Mike did not forget to sincerely appreciate the presence and role of Fr. Peter Laast, the Provincial of Ghana and moderator of this maiden chapter.

The day was gloriously cherished with a soiree of food and fun held from 8pm till almost dawn!

Day 6: Saturday 11th December 2010

This is the last day of the Chapter. It began with Mass presided by Fr. Hyacinth Ogbodo CSSp with Fr Mike Onwuemelie CSSp concelebrating. In his homily, Fr. Hyacinth Ogbodo encouraged confreres to see themselves as complimentary to one another. We all have our good and ugly sides. We ought therefore to cherish one another and encourage one another to improve for the better. There is need for all to discover his own giftedness and use it for the good and wellbeing of the Foundation.

With this, the Superior officially declared the Chapter closed. Thereafter, there were individual and group photo shots outside. Then, it was sayonara (goodbye) to all!

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2 responses to “Maiden Chapter [Dec.2010]

  1. emeka

    June 14, 2011 at 4:54 pm

    more grease to your elbow. it is a fantstic website. keep it up.

     
  2. okereke chinonso emmanuel

    October 21, 2013 at 3:25 pm

    i am happy to be surfing this site .i pray that the good work our good Lord has began in the southwest provinciate would continue to multiply at every mini seconds of every day. In Jesus name .

     

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