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Klieglights, honours at Maryhome, Arida

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Parish Priest, Our Lady of the Holy Rosary Catholic Church, Ikotun, Rev. Father, Jacob Usman (right); Chairman, Award Committee, Michael Mayaki; Editor, Guardian Newspaper, Abraham Ogbodo, his wife, Precious Eferigho Ogbodo, during presentation of Award of Excellence to Ogbodo on the occasion of publication of 7th Edition of Virgin Magazine and the Parish award ceremony in Ikotun, Lagos… recently. PHOTOS: FEMI ADEBESIN-KUTI

From Fatima to Rome, Lagos to Lisbon, Barcelona to Yamoussoukro, Catholics have been celebrating this year. Inspired by a century anniversary of the appearance of the Blessed Virgin Mary (BVM) to three kids in the village of Fatima in Portugal, members of the church have been burning with satisfaction about the singular event that catapulted the relatively rustic and sleeping village to the epicentre of Catholic doctrinal landscape.

On May 13, 1917, the Blessed Virgin Mary had revealed herself to Jacinta and Francisco Marto, and their older cousin, Lucia de Jesus dos Santos, in the insignificant village, where she is known as Our Lady of Fatima.

She had given timely messages for mankind of catastrophic collapse of governments, justice, religion and morality, which started in early 20th century and continuing in forms to affect humanity till date.

A week after the epochal anniversary celebration and canonization of Jacinta and Francisco, May 20, 2017, Our Lady of the Holy Rosary Catholic Church, Maryhome Arida, Ikotun, a parish dedicated to BVM, gathered men and women from all walks of life to celebrate a milestone, which is its maiden awards ceremony, as well as the unveiling of its seventh yearly parish magazine, Virgin.

With ‘Virgin Mary, our mother and comforter,’ as theme of this edition of the magazine, the ceremony celebrated the gift of Mary as the mother of Jesus Christ, and comforter of the afflicted.

The event offered a dollop of reassurance to anyone who believes in the Catholic faith. Though, it rained heavily, the excitements of the day warped the torrents that threatened the programme.

Tightly choreographed dances performed by fresh-faced boys and girls in Catholic Youth Organisation of Nigeria (CYON) and Missionary Childhood Association (MCA) of the parish gave everybody present something to cheer.

As the saying goes, it is easy to spot a man without a leg, but not one with a large heart, this was especially the case in Holy Rosary, where among the hundreds, who worship in the parish, less than a hundred were recognised for their enormous roles and contributions to the parish.

On the Excellence List of the awards is the Executive Editor of The Guardian, Mr. Abraham Ogbodo. Also accorded the honours were, Sir Paul Ibe (KSJI), Sholeye Hughes, Chief Johnson Modida Barovbe and Mrs. Benardine Eloka. There were 27 of them in that category. Twenty-seven members of the church were also considered in the Recognition List, which had Chief Anthony Onyebunie (KSM) and Eric Gbagi, while 38 made the Merit list. Those who made the Merit List were nominated by their societies.

In his message, the parish priest, Rev. Fr. Jacob Usman, said, “the award is a recognition, a call, a task, further responsibility, a challenge for you to live beyond the level where you are.”

He continued, “as a builder in the church, contributor, leader, follower or whoever you are in the presence of God, you are to be personally involved in building for the sake of His kingdom. The building involves human being and structures, using our interest, time and resources.”

For some of the awardees, it’s not the greatest aspiration in the Catholic Church, but a beginning of greater recommendations for the knighthood.


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Abraham OgbodoVirgin Mary

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