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death_anniversary On Monday, the 12th day of February 2018, the congregations of Sons of Mary Mother of Mercy (SMMM) and Daughters of Mary Mother of Mercy (DMMM), celebrated the 18th death anniversary of her Father Founder, late Bishop Anthony Gogo Nwedo, CSSp., at the DMMM Generalate, Ahiaeke in Abia State, with an Exposition/Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament by 9:00am, Holy Mass at 10:00am and other social activities. The Holy Mass was presided by the Superior General of SMMM, Very Rev. Fr. Dr. George Okorie, with other SMMM priests as concelebrants and in the presence of different categories of DMMM family – Sisters, Novices, Postulants, Aspirants, some staff and students from DMMM schools, as well as SMMM Novices, at the DMMM Generalate Chapel. This event is properly branded Sons and Daughters Day.

death_anniversary The homily preached by Fr. Sylvanus Njurum, SMMM, highlighted that an event like this calls for a reflection on the life of the one whose memorial we are gathered to celebrate. In this direction, he pointed to life of simplicity, humility, abandonment to the will of God, dieing that others may live, dedication, prayerfulness, sacrifice and penance in the life of late Bishop Anthony Gogo Nwedo, CSSp. Thus, he challenged all SMMM and DMMM members to emulate the Father Founder, while positing how we bear witness to the mercy of God as the standard for weighing our effectiveness. Again, he stated that our apostolate flows from the community and hence emphasized the need for us to live the community life, and to make it wholesome and fulfilling, a place where love reigns, just like in the Trinity, because a religious truly belongs to the community. In this vein, he exhorted us to eschew discrimination in our communities, and to privately ponder on these questions: do I encounter myself in the community? Do I live in the community or do I separate myself from the community? In all, he encouraged all that if we truly belong to the community, we must always give our Time, Treasure and Talent in love, and this moves the community forward.

death_anniversary Moreover, after the Post-Communion Prayer, on the one hand, Mother Angeleen Umezurike, DMMM, Superior General of DMMM, said a word of welcome to everyone present, and on the other hand, the Superior General of SMMM in union with the Councilors on behalf of the congregation offered to pay the school fees of the student that conducted the choir during Mass for one term to appreciate her wonderful performance. After the final benediction to end the Mass, there was group photograph.

Further, the social dimension that took place at the DMMM Generalate Hall was inbued with such activities as Breaking of kolanut, Welcome Address by the Superior General of DMMM, Brief History of our Father Founder by St.Theresa’s Girls Secondary School, Olokoro, Paper presentation on Mental health and its impact on Community life by Sr. Mary Chizobam Muomah, DMMM, Song by SMMM Novices, Recapitulation of Popular expressions of late Bishop Nwedo and song by DMMM Novices, Drama by Compassion Home, Ahiaeke, Song by DMMM Aspirants, Refreshment. Nonetheless, in her Welcome Address, the Superior General of DMMM, highlighted a little on the life of our Father Founder while reminding us that he founded the two Religious Congregations for fostering holiness of life and work of evangelization; and that the primary purpose of every Religious Congregation is not that particular work, such as teaching, preaching or nursing, which is peculiar to each, but the sanctification of each individual member. So, each individual religious has an obligation to tend to perfection, and this is the primary duty which comes before all others.

death_anniversary Furthermore, she reminded us that Religious vocations are precious gifts from God, and there is a tremendous responsibility in our call. Hence, exhorted us on the dangers of modernism and the need to maintain our Spirit and Charism even amidst the whirlwind of modernism, for if we are not religious enough, we are doing harm to the society. Again, in challenging everyone to reflect on how one is personally bearing witness to the mercy of God, she prayed that God should help us maintain our initial zeal in order to make our Congregations what they were planned to be - “A training group for Saints, workers for Christ and a Spiritual Power house”. Also, very specially, she thanked God and expressed her appreciation to us for our prayers during their captivity in the hands of kidnappers.

Finally, she requested us to keep praying for the Cause Beatification of Our Father Founder, late Bishop Anthony Gogo Nwedo, CSSp.