Claretian Missionaries Embrace Fellowship and Renewal in the East Nigeria Provinces’ Quinquennium Program

Jun 14, 2023 | East Nigeria, Ongoing Formation

Nekede Owerri, Nigeria. In a heartwarming gathering at the Claretian Institute of Philosophy Maryland Community, Nekede Owerri, young Claretian missionaries from the first five years of priestly ordination (those ordained from 2018 to 2022) recently concluded their annual provincial on-going formation program, known as the quinquennium. The event, held from June 4th to June 9th, 2023, was a joyous occasion filled with reunion, camaraderie, and personal growth.

The quinquennium served as a much-needed break for these dedicated missionaries of East Nigeria Province, offering them a chance to rest and rejuvenate their minds and bodies. It provided an opportunity to share the joys, hopes, and challenges they encountered in their missions and various apostolates. The personal experiences shared during the gathering fostered learning and a deeper connection with the dreams of the Province.

In addition to the young missionaries’ reflections, seasoned and veteran missionaries from the Province also contributed by sharing their own experiences. Drawing upon an African proverb, which states that “one who started cooking before the other will definitely have more broken pots,” the elder priests provided valuable guidance and reassurance to their younger confreres. Their stories of overcoming challenges in the ministry left the young priests consoled, energized, renewed, and motivated to continue their service.

The program included workshops where the participants studied and discussed Church documents, Congregational documents (cf. GPF 511-512), and the letter from the Provincial Superior. This interactive approach facilitated a deeper understanding and internalization of the valuable information contained within these texts. The quinquennium also created an opportunity to explore the exhortation of the VIII Provincial Chapter, focusing on the Provincial dream and its practical application to the lives and ministries of the young missionaries.

As part of the program, the missionaries paid a courtesy visit to the Claretian University of Nigeria (CUN), where they were given a tour and updated on the university’s progress. This visit strengthened the bond between the missionaries and the educational institution.

The spirit of togetherness and fellowship was further enhanced during a day of relaxation, where the young missionaries enjoyed a delightful lunch and engaged in various activities that fostered fraternity and strengthened their bonds. Throughout their stay, the missionaries participated in daily Eucharistic celebrations with the Maryland community and took the opportunity to share their missionary experiences with and inspire the students in initial formation.

Source: Fr. Dominic Ukpong, CMF, Secretary, East Nigeria Province.

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