The annual celebration of the Founder’s feast took a different turn this year as it was not only merged with the Family Day celebration (as usual) but also Silver Jubilee celebration of the 1990 set and the parish feast day of the St Anthony Mary Claret Catholic Parish New Owerri.
It was an event that brought together scores of Claretian Missionaries who converged at the St Anthony Mary Claret Catholic Parish
for the annual family celebration. Among those who graced the occasion were also the lay Claretians of the different regions. Worthy of
mention are the students from all our schools (nursery, primary and secondary) who stormed the arena in their numbers.
While introducing the Mass the Provincial Superior described the tripartite event as an occasion of thanksgiving to God and reunion
as a family in the Church. He therefore called on all present to joyfully participate in the Mass. In his homily, VRF Emmanuel Edeh,
CMF drew inspiration from the readings.
He described the joy that was announced in the first reading as not only proper for the day’s celebration but ought to characterize the life of the Christian. He said Jesus brought joy into the life of the blind Bartimaeus in the gospel and so urges us to do the same. Meanwhile he called for introspection as to discover where each one is blind and needs urgent attention from Jesus.
Finally, the second reading drawn from Heb 5:1-6 provided the platform for his in-depth reflection on the theology of the priesthood as
he thanked God for their twenty five years of active service in the Lord’s vineyard. Presenting the plaque of apostolic blessing to each of the celebrants, VRF Wence Madu, CMF extolled their virtues and encouraged them to keep serving God and His people faithfully.
At the end of the Holy Mass, the second phase of the celebration commenced with the opening prayer led by Fr Anselm Amandikwa, CMF ( Superior of Provincialate Community). In his word of welcome, the Provincial Superior urged all the members of the Claretian family to be agents of evangelization and to radiate the joy of the gospel. The celebration featured dances, calisthenics, drama, cultural dance and other presentations by different groups. It was indeed a memorable one.