By Ifeoma Ezenyilimba
The three-day long activities marking the 2019 Triennial Convention of Catholic Women’s Organization (C.W.O), Awka Diocese, have ended with the women’s organization calling for donations in support of her N250M launch for the renovation/refurbishing of the C.W.O Skill Acquisition Centre at Agu Awka, and the completion of her Peter University Hostel Project at Onneh, both in Anambra State.
The convention which was held at Cana House Complex and St Patrick’s Catholic Cathedral, both in Awka, from November 14-16, had, “Catholic Women in the Practice of Their Faith”, as its theme.
In her address of welcome at the grand finale of the 15th Triennial Convention, held at St Patrick’s Catholic Cathedral Podium, Awka, November 16, the Director, C.W.O, Awka Diocese, Lady Theresa Chinyere Azodo, identified financial constraints as one of the major challenges of the organization.
She said the C.W.O was in dire need of funds for the refurbishing of her old skill acquisition centre for the continued empowerment of the members and the youth with skills so as to make them self-reliant.
She said funds were also needed for the completion of the 144-room hostel block for would-be students at the Awka Diocesan-owned Peter University; as well as renovation and empowerment of the women, especially the needy.
The director, while highlighting the organization’s achievements, noted that since April 2018 that she assumed office, the C.W.O. had launched her Mystical Rose Magazine in December 2018, as well as built a house for an oppressed widow at Owerre-Ezukala at the cost of N900, 000; while empowering 70 indigent women with N50, 000, through the assistance of a politician.
She appreciated all others who had supported the Catholic Women’s Organization, including the Catholic Bishop of Awka Diocese, Most Rev Paulinus Ezeokafor; the Auxiliary Bishop, Most Rev Jonas Benson Okoye; the former Catholic Bishop of Ahiara, Most Rev Peter Ebere Okpaleke; the Governor of Anambra State, Dr Willie Obiano, and his wife, Dr Mrs Ebelechukwu Obiano.
Earlier in his homily, when he led in the concelebrated Holy Mass for the grand event, Most Rev Paulinus Ezeokafor, in his homily, described the convention as worthwhile, which according to him, would keep the members abreast of their guiding rules, activities, and their roles in the vocation of responsible motherhood.
The bishop called on all to donate in support of the CWO’s N250M fund raising for their projects, especially the skill acquisition centre and the hostel project. He stressed the need to keep the skill acquisition centre very functional so as to create opportunity for all, especially youths and women, to learn skills for their development.
According to him, emphasis currently, was on skills, and not white collar jobs.
Speaking further at the Mass which was also for the 2019 Annual Young Catholic Students (YCS), Awka Diocesan Day Celebration, the Catholic prelate reminded the mothers of the need to live up to their primary responsibilities in the family. According to him, mothers played an important role in the proper training of the children.
Pointing out that the gains of well-trained children were enormous, the bishop charged the fathers to support the mothers in what he described as the collaborative duty of proper parenting, even as he urged the children to dispose themselves to the proper training and formation they were being given in their families and schools so as to be responsible persons.
Earlier at the opening ceremony held at Cana House Complex on November 14, the former Catholic Bishop of Ahiara, Most Rev Peter Ebere Okpaleke, tasked the Catholic mothers on the need to understand and live out their faith in their daily activities and membership as Catholic mothers.
The bishop, who based his reflections on the Book of Acts of Apostles Chapter 18, from verse 24, urged the mothers to emulate Priscilla in an ideal life of faith.
Highlights of the event which had High Chief Obiora Okonkwo (Dikeora Idemili) as the chairman of the occasion for the grand finale, were a paper presentation on the theme of the convention, “Catholic Women in the Practice of their Faith”, by a former Sister Adviser of CWO, Awka Diocese, Rev Sr Raphael Therese Okeke, IHM; Holy Mass candle light prayer; installation of patrons and patronesses of the CWO; conferment of awards and various competitions, among others.
In the Latin song choir competition, Adazi Region won the 1st position with 92.3%; Achina Region, 2nd position with 87.1% and Ekwulobia Region, 3rd position with 85.3%.
In the drama display on the appearances of Holy Mother Mary, Awka Region won the 1st position; Ekwulobia Region, 2nd position and Adazi Region got the 3rd position.
This was even as Queen Chekwube Muodebelu of Umuchu Deanery, emerged the champion in the queen contest, Queen Dr Amaka Mary Okafor of Awka 1 Deanery won the 2nd position, and Queen Chisom Ike of Isuofia Deanery, got the 3rd position. Ebenebe Deanery emerged the champion in the march past competition. Awka 1 Deanery won the 2nd position, and Isuofia Deanery, 3rd position, leaving other 20 deaneries behind.