Sisters of the Daughters of Divine Love Congregation have been admonished to look ahead for another Golden Jubilee celebration with focus on how to address the challenges of discernment of vocations as well as that of unity and cohesion. These were part of the five golden rules, the Auxiliary Bishop of Onitsha, Most Rev. Denis Chidi Isizoh urged the members of the congregation to reflect on as they begin the second part of the centenary of the existence of their congregation.
Bishop Isizoh gave the admonition in his homily at the golden jubilee celebration Thanksgiving Mass of the founding of the congregation by the late Bishop Godfrey Mary-Paul Okoye. The celebration which took place at Eleme, Enugu, State was attended by dignitaries from all walks of life and members of the congregation from different parts of the country.
The other areas of concern which the bishops urged the sisters to reflect on were: The challenge of old age and sickness of members; the challenge of dealing with age gap between members; and as you go to distant lands, the challenge of managing influence of many cultures and members
Bishop Isizoh who is also CBCN Episcopal Chairman for Social Communications while congratulating members of the congregation for weathering the storm of the past five decades also used the occasion to remind them that their vocation is not one of ease and luxury as “our Lord Jesus Christ assures us of reward of hard work but does not promise a life of comfort”.
Going down memory lane on the journey of the congregation since inception, Bishop Isizoh noted that it has not been all bed of roses for the founder and the pioneer members of the congregation. He described the founder, late Bishop Godfrey Mary-Paul Okoye as “A man full of ideas with great love for evangelization; compassionate with very large heart;” with an inspiration to found an institute that would help to spread God’s love.
He passionately spoke on the perseverance, dedication and devotion of the pioneer members of the congregation, the challenges of the early years of the congregation; the death of the founder which rattled the congregation to the very foundation; generosity of friends to keep the hope and dream of the founder alive, the invaluable contributions of the congregation to the evangelization apostolate of the Church within and outside the country; what the future holds and the positive impact of the love of Christ on the congregation.
Speaking on the challenges faced by the pioneer members of the congregation, Bishop Isizoh declared: “The Daughters decided to stick together and weather the storm. They remembered that biblical passage which their founder wrote on the sanctuary wall of his chapel in Port Harcourt and which he eventually gave as the motto of the Institute: “Caritas Christ urget nos”. It is the love Christ that must push them forward to face the challenges of living out the spiritual legacy which their founder wanted to pass on to them.”