…As Fr. Umeorjiako Advocates Adoption of a Patron saint as Model
By Chioma Ndife
The chaplain of Christ the King Chaplaincy, Federal College of Education (Technical), Umunze, Orumba South LGA of Anambra State, Rev. Fr. Benjamin Odika, has called for mutual co-operation among members of staff of the College.
Fr. Odika made the call at the 2018 Annual Retreat of the Christ the King Catholic Chaplaincy which lasted for 4 days from Sunday, November 11-14, 2018 at the chaplaincy premises, Umunze.
Fides gathered that the four days’ retreat was in preparation for the Christ the King celebration, the chaplaincy’s patron saint.
Speaking to Fides, Fr. Odika noted that the retreat was organized for the spiritual uplift and renewal of members of the chaplaincy in accordance with the canonical directives which required every Catholic to go on retreat at least once a year.
He appreciated God for the inspiring retreat anchored by Rev. Fr. John Umeojiakor and expressed optimism that the retreat would yield fruit which would be evident in the lives of the chaplaincy members as it concerned mutual co-operation.
He emphasized the importance of co-operation among members of the college, saying that such co-operation would enable the chaplaincy as a body and individual members to attain maximum unity for steady growth.
Addressing the retreat participants, the Retreat Moderator, Rev. Fr. Dr. John Umeojiakor, currently on Special Duties at Peter University, Achina/Onneh, tasked the chaplaincy community on committed Christian lives, not minding the difficulties associated with such life style.
Fr. Umeojiakor who anchored the retreat on the theme, ‘Courage to be a Christian and God’s Relationship with his people’ disclosed the expectation which was required from every Christian, noting that Christians should be proud of the divine mandate and have the courage to live out the virtues of one’s Christian calling.
He noted that such Christian virtues were summarized by God as love of God, love of self and love of one’s neighbour. He acknowledged the challenges inherent in the observance of Christ like life, noting that courage and God’s grace were required to live out such Christian calling.
He identified solid faith, belief in God’s power, observance of Christ’s law and praying without ceasing as the major things which Christians must do to live above the various setbacks that came in their quest to live a good Christian life.
He expressed belief that the retreat participants at the end of the spiritual exercise would resolve to cut down on certain habits, take a saint as their patron whose life style would be challenging to them, cultivate the habit of reading the scripture always and find a passage in the Bible that would be encouraging them in their struggles in life.
He beckoned on them to have the mind of forgiveness and to always go for confession when necessary.
Speaking to Fides, the Vice Chairman of the Chaplaincy, Dr. Adolphus Ugwuanyi, described the retreat as a spiritual pilgrimage to enable members to mediate on their past lives in order to make amends where necessary. He noted that the 2018 retreat was apt, saying that the moderator took the participants on a journey into the Bible.
Ugwuanyi who shared his retreat experience with Fides, said that the need to do little things in extra ordinary ways had been inculcated in the minds of the Chaplaincy family and thanked God for the exposition given to them through Fr. Umeojiakor, saying that the seed of unity, forgiveness and peace had been sowed in their lives.
For their part, the College Bursar, Mr. Patrick Omile, thanked the Chaplain, Fr. Benjamin Odike, for organizing the retreat for the members of the chaplaincy, noting that the fruits of the retreat would soon be evident in the chaplaincy.
The pioneer chairman of the council, Sir Augustine Udensi, alongside his wife, Dr. Mrs. Ukamaka Udensi, underscored the importance of the retreat, noting that it would help the chaplaincy members to curb the laziness with which they approached things of God. They said that the retreat would help in altitudinal change and improvement in member to member relationship.