New Owerri, Nigeria. With pomp and pageantry, the Claretian Missionaries East Nigeria Province on Sunday 24 October 2021 celebrated the Feast of their Father Founder St Anthony Mary Claret. This year’s feast was combined with the Claretian Family Day which usually is celebrated on the following Sunday after the Feast of St. Anthony Mary Claret. The celebration took place at St Anthony Mary Claret Catholic Church Area A, New Owerri, Imo State.
The occasion began with a Eucharistic celebration presided over by the Provincial Superior, Very Rev Fr Simeon Nwobi, CMF while scores of priests concelebrated. In his homily, the Provincial Superior, described St. Anthony Mary Claret as “a man who was deeply rooted in spirituality and audacious in his ministry to people of God. He remained focused in life right from his childhood and was not distracted for any reason. Linking the life of Claret to the Gospel reading taken from Mark 10: 46-52, the Provincial Superior said: “Bartimaeus was not distracted from what he wanted from the Lord, even when the crowd tried to discourage and distract him. He still maintained his stance of trying to encounter the Lord.” He further urged Christians to remain resolute in the face of challenges in life like Father Claret.
During the Eucharistic celebration, the Congregation specially prayed for missionaries in the peripheries, for growth in vocation and for deceased members.
After the Eucharistic celebration, the audience was treated to different kinds of cultural display and presentations on the life of Claret. The highlight was the presentation of the pen picture of the Claretian by the students of Claret Academy Area A New Owerri.
The event was attended by members of the Claretian family from different parishes, the Claretian sisters, consecrated persons, and the Lay Claretians.