Nigeria. The 24th day of October, 2007 was an important day in the history of the our Congregation particularly in Nigeria. It was not just the celebration of the feast day of our founder but also the birthday of a New Organism: the Independent Delegation of West Nigeria.
The day’s ceremony started at 9.00a.m with the Lauds in commemoration of the feast of our father founder at St Augustine’s Catholic Church, Ikorodu, Lagos. After, the Lauds was the laying of the foundation stone of a new fathers’ house of the parish by his Eminence, Anthony Card. Okogie. The mass began at 10.45 am, presided over by the Cardinal; The President of the Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria, (CBCN) and the Archbishop of Ibadan Archdiocese, Most Rev Dr Felix Alaba Job was also in attendance as a concelebrate.
The Vicar General VRF Rosendo Urrabazo who represented Fr. General preached at the mass underscoring the growth witnessed by the Claretian Missionaries in their thirty-five years presence in the Nigerian Church and how that growth coupled with the demands of mission in Nigeria and Africa as a whole has been a challenging experience. The Newly appointed Major Superior, VRF Henry Omonisaye, cmf made the Profession of faith at the mass.
There was entertainment after the mass with various traditional dances from various cultural groups in Nigeria.
Geographically, this Delegation covers the following Nigerian states: Delta, Edo, Ekiti, Kogi, Kwara, Lagos, Niger, Ogun, Ondo, Osun, Oyo and the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.
The Delegation is vibrant with twenty young priests, a Deacon, a Brother, a Perpetually professed student, nineteen temporally professed students and three postulants. We also have eight priests on mission from the Eastern Province of Nigeria.
The missionary activity of the members of this Delegation is mainly Parochial work which we plan to have a more Claretian outlook. There are also other challenges which include building our lives around the community life style and more importantly, the training of Formators who will accompany our students in their initial Formation.
We entrust this New Delegation to the maternal care of Our Blessed Mother. May our Father Founder intercede for us all. Amen.