YOMM of Onitsha Ecclesiastical Province Holds 2023 Congress

By Valerian Ejiofor

The Young Missionary Movement of Nigeria (YOMM) of Onitsha Ecclesiastical Province held her 2023 YOMM Provincial Congress at Archbishop A.K. Obiefuna Retreat, Pastoral and Conference Centre, Okpuno, Awka. The three-day event, with the theme, ”BURNING HEART, FEET ON THE MOVE” (LUKE 24:32-33) started on 29th August, 2023 and ended on 1st September, 2023.

Speaking during the Mass to the representatives and directors of YOMM from Awka, Awgu, Aguleri, Abakiliki, Ekwulobia, Enugu, Nnewi, Nsukka Dioceses and Onitsha Archdiocese, the Catholic Bishop of Awka, the host diocese, Most Rev. Paulinus Ezeokafor, thanked the organizers for choosing the Diocese of Awka for such a great spiritual and holistic exercise.

In his homily, the visibly excited Bishop urged the young missionaries to acquire the virtue of discipline which he describe as a great tool for being useful to their parents, society and the Church. ‘Man and woman are composites of body and soul; and young people, especially, must learn to train both because one can be intelligent and yet lacking in mannerisms; intelligent but criminal – and this is the bane of our society,’ the prelate said.

Fides recalls that the Young Missionary Movement of Nigeria is an arm under the Pontifical Mission Society (PMS) for the Propagation of Faith (POF) and it is designed to be the missionary arm of all Catholic Youth Organizations in Nigeria (CYON).

It has its vision as making the youths aware of the missionary dimension of the Church and to be ready to contribute to the work of evangelization in Nigeria. Thus, the youths in YOMM must have sufficient interest in being missionaries and must be between the ages of 15 and 25 years.

The Provincial Chairman of Onitsha PMS Provincial Council, Rev. Fr. Chukwuma Nnajike, in his address of welcome, explained the theme of the Congress thus: ‘Our hearts were made to be alive and on fire for God…at the end of this congress, we shall be enlightened by the encounter with the Lord and be animated by the Holy Spirit. That is the best way we can set our feet on the move…,’ Fr. Nnajike said.

The highly edifying and spiritually enriching event featured spiritual exercises, paper presentations and lectures from experts and resource persons; song and poem presentations, presentation of annual reports by the different dioceses; film show on the life of Blessed Michael Iwene Tansi; beauty pageantry and contest which aided the selection of Mr.  YOMM (Benjamin Abuchi Awka Diocese) and Miss. YOMM (Agu Chinwendu Jennifer of Enugu Diocese); group discussions, choreography, cultural dance, presentation of awards and many more.

On another note, the Pontifical Mission Director of Awka Diocese, Rev. Fr. Tobias Osigwe, thanked the event organizers for a good job, noting that the event promised to yield the required fruits of creating missionary spirits in the youths.