By Sam Eyoboka
Serra Club of Maryland in Lagos has again been commended for its continued support for priests and religious vocations within and outside the Catholic Archdiocese of Lagos.
The commendation was made penultimate Sunday by Rev. Father Chigozie Marykemdi Nwigwe of Holy Spirit parish, Nnewi, Anambra State in his keynote address at the annual dinner with Priests and Religious at St Agnes Catholic Church, Maryland, Lagos.
He thanked God for the initiators of Serra Club International in Washington, US in February 1935 which, he claimed, is committed to the overall development of the priests and the religious in the Catholic Church
Serra Club, a global lay apostolate for vocations in the Catholic Church which was introduced to Nigeria in 1989 by Archbidhop Emeritus of Lagos, Anthony Cardinal Okogie, with a mandate to advance the cause of Catholicism through lasting friendships among Catholics and continuing education in their Catholic faith.
Speaking on “I am the Good Shepherd, a Good Shepherd lays down His life for His sheep”, Nwigwe urged priests and the religious to emulate the sterling examples of Jesus Christ who epitomizes the qualities of a good shepherd by equipping themselves for the task of feeding the sheep under their care.
“We must tend to give direction to this generation. As a shepherd, we must not allow our sheep to roam and feed wherever they pleased unguided, we must not allow anything else other than the purity of God’s word to be taught in the church,” he said noting that modern day feeding methods have caused diseases in sheep and “in a sense this illustrates the sad fact that some ministers offer their flock secular diet and desert the word of God proper.”
Soliciting for financial assistance to enable the club achieve its laudable objectives, its president, Mrs. Rose Nzenwa said the club didn’t come to Nigeria early enough and when it did it didn’t generate the interest needed for expansion.
“We have about three districts now in Nigeria and we want to go to other parts of the country beginning with Awka and Ahiara dioceses in the South East for the fourth district,” adding that the greatest challenge they have is the dearth of strong, quality and committed members.
She desires to see club established in all parts of the country, noting that a Nigerian has been voted the Vice President of the Serra Club International in recognition of the country’s standing in the church universal.