By Staff Reporter
The Holy Childhood Association (H.C.A.) of the Pontifical Mission Society held its Diocesan Congress from Friday 25th through Sunday 27th August, 2017, at Ufua Memorial Group of Schools, Ebhoiyi, Uromi. The theme of the Congress was “Mary is My Mother”.
The theme was inspired by the on-going international and national celebrations in honour of Mary, our blessed Mother: The Centenary of Our Lady’s Apparitions at Fatima, Portugal and the National Marian Year declared by the Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria. On the first day of the Congress, activities began with the registration of participants after which the Holy Mass was celebrated. It was presided over by the Vicar General of the Diocese of Uromi, Very Rev. Fr Francis Omonlumen and con-celebrated by the diocesan Chaplain of Pontifical Mission Societies, Rev. Fr Michael Akhighu.
The chief celebrant who was also the homilist centred his homily on how to love God and our neighbours. Love of God and neighbour is at the heart of the mission of the H.C.A. He noted that this love entails sacrifice and sharing by children.
The association also helps to foster a sense of belonging and the spirit of prayer among children of the whole world that they may know Jesus and love him. At the Mass, enrolment of members was done. The children participated at some outdoor activities like Match pass, sac race, cultural dance etc. These activities were a delight to the children.
The Chief Shepherd of the diocese of Uromi, Most Rev. Dr Donatus Ogun, who is very much interested in the wellbeing of children visited and spent some time with the children during the Congress.
During the congress, various competitions were done. At the end of them all, the children of Holy Trinity Parish, Ewu came out first, the children of Mary the Queen parish, Ekpoma came out second while those of St Theresa of the Child Jesus Catholic Church, Ukoni together with those of St Benedict parish, Ubiaja came out third. The children from all other parishes that were present collectively were given the fourth position.
The following parishes were present at the Diocesan Congress: Holy Trinity, Ewu, St Theresa of the Child Jesus – Ukoni, Mary the Queen – Ekpoma, St Anthony Cathedral – Uromi, St Benedict – Ubiaja, St Patrick – Ebhoiyi, St Andrew – Emu, St Mary – Iruekpen, Annunciation – Irrua, St Anselm -Irrua, St Gregory the Great – Ekpoma, Our Lady of Lourdes – Uromi, Our Lady of Mount Carmel – Emuhi, Our Lady of Mount Carmel – Ekpoma, St Joseph – Igueben, St Mathhias – Ewohimi