Highlights of the National Council Meeting of the Pontifical Mission Societies PMS Held at DRACC Lugbe Abuja held From 17 – 20/4/2018

The annual Pontifical Mission Societies (Missio Nigeria) National Council Meeting for 2018 was held at DRACC, 17th-20th April, 2018. The first session began at about 8:30 pm (on the day of arrival) with the National Director, Very Rev.Fr. George Ajana welcoming all the Diocesan Directors to the conference. A moment of silence was observed in honour of the late Diocesan Director of Jalingo, Rev. Fr. Michael Beba who went to be with the Lord on 4th April, 2018. May his soul and the souls of all the faithful departed through the mercy of God rest in peace. Amen.

Three of the Four National Secretaries of the PMS gave their reports beginning with Rev. Fr. Solomon Zaku of the Propagation of Faith (POF) who clarified the statute and activities of the Young Missionary Movement (YOMM); and other related matters. He also spoke on the World Mission Sunday preparations for 2018. The National Secretary for Pontifical Missionary Union (PMU), also, Fr. Tobias Osigwe gave a concise presentation on the activities of his union. Finally, the Secretary for Holy Childhood Association (HCA) Sr. Sylvaline Obiezughara (OP) gave a comprehensive report of the activities of the arm; foremost of which was the Holy Childhood Association (HCA) Mission Congress coming up later in the year.

It was indeed a day of blessings to this year’s conference as the Pastoral sessions were spiced with memorable presentations. First to present his paper was Rev. Fr. Mark Obayi, the Secretary of CBCN Episcopal Youth Committee. He came along with two volunteers a Japanese, Haruna Komatsu who is volunteering at the Lanlate Youth Camp in Ibadan and Vivian Alexander Linus a volunteer at CSN Abuaj Youth office. In his presentation titled “With the Youth we proclaim the Gospel”, Fr. Obayi spoke on various ways to reach out to the youths. He maintained that the youths are catechized but not evangelized. He advised the PMS Diocesan Directors that in journeying with the youths they are to think of bringing inclusiveness in the ministry to the young people. He mentioned the issues to consider; the major challenges inherent in ministering to the youth; the goals which to aim for and 10 imperatives of efficient youth ministry. To conclude, he said that what matter most in life are the little things we take for granted and that life is not all about grabbing and getting but it is actually much about giving.

In his own intervention, The National Coordinator of Young Missionary Movement of Nigeria (YOMM), Mr Peter Oluwasanmi Adubi, clearly explained how the youths can proclaim the gospel more effectively through the missionary activities of the movement. The apostolate include: missionary formation, catechesis, Service and Communion. He concluded that the Youths through the Young Missionary Movement of Nigeria (YOMM) Have become more actively engaged in the Universal Mission of the Church.

The conference was blessed to have the Apostolic Nuncio to Nigeria, Most Rev. Antonio Guido Filipazzi, who came to have a parley with the Directors. He took time to highlight on the theme of the conference, “with the Youth we proclaim the Gospel”; as the Church is preparing for the Synod of the Bishops with regards to the youths. He stressed how the youths constitute the largest percentage of the Nigerian population and how years of neglect has impoverished and made some uneducated. He challenged the Directors to work closely with the youths by helping them to realize their vocations in life and cautioned about two attitudes to avoid. These are: need to think they do not understand and have to follow orders. In this kind of a relationship the youths follow but with fear. The second is that they are attracted to us but at the same time they want to experience life; let us not insist on our own way but let them give up their positions on their own. We have to balance between these two attitudes he ended.

Sr. Mary Bennet Ezeokoli IHM, on behalf of the National Director, Fr. George Ajana, and the Diocesan Directors thanked the Nuncio for making out the time to visit the diocesan directors, saying this will propel them to do more for the mission. She requested for the opportunity to make the Nuncio’s visit to the conference more regular.

The group went to the Church of Assumption Parish, Asokoro, where they celebrated Mass with the parishioners. The “Come and See Magazine”, a PMS publication was unveiled and good will lunching took place to support its publication. A banquet was organized in honour of the visiting PMS Directors, facilitated by the Parish Priest Rev. Fr. Peter Atsewe, the Abuja Archdiocesan PMS Director. It was a well-prepared banquet and enjoyed by the visiting Diocesan Directors and some invited parishioners.

Highlights of the National Council Meeting of the Pontifical Mission Societies PMS Held at DRACC Lugbe Abuja held From 9 – 12/5/2017

The EXCO held their administrative meeting a day earlier at the PMS National House to go over meeting proceedings.

The National Council Meeting (NCM) began in the evening of the 9th/5/2017 with attendance, setting agenda, assignment of tasks, submission of reports, setting of ground rules and reading of the previous minutes of the NCM and its attendant corrections.

Day Two began with Holy Hour and followed with the Eucharistic celebration and breakfast in that sequence.

The business of the day began with an opening prayer and the modalities of the day’s proceedings were set in motion by the National Director Fr. George Ajana. After he welcomed directors to the meeting he went on to present his report to the admiration of the house. After which inputs were made to his reports. The house went for a tea break recess afterwards.

On resumption, the Four National Secretaries of the PMS gave their reports beginning from Propagation of Faith(POF) by Fr. Solomon Zaku, he clarified the statues of the Young Missionary Movement (YOMM), and other related matters and he spoke well on the world mission Sunday preparations for 2017. The secretary for Holy Childhood Association(HCA) Sr. Bennet Ezeokoli IHM gave a comprehensive report of the activities of the arm foremost was the HCA national quiz to come up later in the year. A further clarification on the age of HCA members was made to begin from early childhood to the 13th birthday. Next in line was the secretary for Saint Peter Apostle (SPA), Fr. Stephen Dumbiri, who made passionate presentation on the Vocation Sunday and the roles of the SPA coordinators in the dioceses. Finally the National secretary for Pontifical Missionary Union (PMU), Fr. Tobias Osigwe made his concise presentation.

At the evening session of day two provinces who had typed reports presented. The evening session was rounded up with announcements and vesper after which directors went in for their dinner and rest.

Day three began with adoration of the Blessed Sacrament which was followed by breakfast. The day’s proceeding were halted largely due to the bishop scheduled to address the directors was entangled in a web of colluding appointments. However the day’s proceedings went on with a presentation on the duties of the PMS Diocesan Director by Fr. George Ajana, the National Director. After the informative presentation, the National Director called for a review of previous Vocation Sunday celebration and collections made across the dioceses of the country. Then the Diocesan directors were given a CV forms to update their data for the office use. The day’s meeting session ended afterwards. The National Director thanked all for the meaningful contributions. Animation materials were distributed at the end of the session

Lunch was served afterwards, then the group went on excursion first to the National Ecumenical Centre Abuja, then to the Papal Ground at Kubuwa and finally to Holy Rosary Parish where we celebrated Mass with the parishioners who coincidentally where holding a parish Marian retreat. A banquet was held in honour of the visiting PMS Directors facilitated by Abuja Archdiocese organized in the parish. The meal was sumptuous and scrumptious. The directors returned to DRACC to retire for the day in preparation for departure the next morning.

Day four began with an early Mass for travelers at the centre’s chapel. Those who were still around attended the Mass and prayed for all travelers and for the successful implementation of all discussed during the meeting at the dioceses. Breakfast was served after the Mass and we all headed home to meet again at the next appointed time.

Complied By
Fr. John Kekwap Migap

National Council Secretary