It was indeed a moment of joy to all in the Nigeria Delegation as the Rector Major (RM), Rev. Fr Luis Costantino, OMV, visited the Delegation together with one of his Councillors, Rev. Fr John Idio, OMV, during the General Assembly of the Delegation which took place from 15th to 18th of May, 2023 at the Daughters of Divine Love Retreat and Conference Center, Lugbe, Abuja, Nigeria. All the confreres working in Nigeria and the representatives of those working outside Nigeria were in attendance to examine the past, present and discuss a way forward for the Delegation and recommendations for the Congregation in general. Actually, the visit of the RM to the Delegation was a remarkable one as it brought back hope to the delegation whose some of her members were in despair due to the recent happenings. The four sessions of the Assembly were arranged for two full days, which witnessed reports from our various places of apostolates. The confreres presented reports from their various realities. It was amazing hearing from brothers, and from the reports, we gathered that the Lanterian spirit is high in our various places of Apostolates. The basic fact from the various reports shows that the confreres are willing to work even more to keep the OMV flag flying high. Though this is not without challenges being faced by the confreres, however, sentiments of hope were more than that of despair. Apart from the Parish apostolate that most of the confreres are into, the Agricultural or farming and school (education) Apostolates presented a brighter hope for the future of the Delegation.
The high point of the first day was the donations made by confreres towards the building of the House of Formation. Those working in Parishes resolved to make contributions to the delegation, and all our parishes are committed to the tasks ahead in the delegation as the bursar was asked to follow up with the various financial commitments made by the confreres....
During the assembly, the financial account of the Delegation was presented, clarifications were made and the concerns raised were fraternally addressed and a way forward was made to keep the spirit active. Impression that the Nigerian OMV is not accountable was corrected as it appeared to be false. Individual may be bad, but that does not justify the impression that all Nigerians are bad. We demanded that such impression needs to be corrected. The Nigeria Delegation is blessed with good spirited personalities and if well tapped into by the larger Congregation the entire Congregation will be a vibrant one in the Church. We observed that some of the confreres working outside Nigeria are not treated fairly in some of the communities, the understanding is, we all belong to the OMV family and that should be respected and promoted by all. The OMV in Nigeria is not in anyway different from that of the rest in the world. The RM presented a hopeful address, and expressed his willingness to support the projects and apostolates of the congregation in Nigeria. The major concern we have in the delegation is the building of the House of Formation. While we appreciate every efforts and contributions made by the past Government, we equally ask and appeal to all through you to help us build the formation house for the service of the entire Congregation. During our deliberations, the RM requested from us to start reflecting on how to consider foreign mission outside Nigeria especially French Speaking African countries. The assembly was a great moment of reunion and that was acknowledged by all the confreres.
After the assembly, the RM continues his visit to other places in Nigeria to see the various projects of the Delegation.
By and large, it was a fruitful assembly and we entrusted every deliberation to the Blessed Virgin Mary and Ven. Lanteri for adequate but successful implementation....
Fr Oviemuno I Obi, OMVVicar Delegate/Director of CommunicationsNigeria Delegation
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