Nigeria Delegation of the
Oblates of the Virgin Mary (OMV)
 Mariam Cogita,  Mariam Invoca
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Word & Life Seminar

The “Word & Life” Seminar is an annual one-day event. Began in 2004, it proposes to examine a theme of particular importance and topicality in the life of the Church and/or Nigerian society. The seminar is called “Word and Life”, because of the convictions that:


(1)   It is always and everywhere necessary to proclaim the Word of God, which is alive and active. The Word of God concerns all spheres of human existence and activities. Therefore, it must enlighten and guide, nourish and sustain the life and activities of men and women. Cfr. 2 Tim. 3:14 - 4:2. At the same time, life events and experiences, the history of individuals and communities who open themselves to the Holy Spirit can enrich and help to deepen our listening to and discernment of God’s voice, our understanding and interpretation, transmission of and faithfulness to the Word of God in our times and places;


(2)   The concepts and value of “Word” and “Life” are essential and have decisive and unique importance and roles in African cultures and in African philosophical, religious and moral traditions. The fundamental place, value and power of “word” and of “life” in traditional African cultures and society ought to be further discerned, respected, promoted, purified where necessary, integrated and harmoniously expressed in all spheres of human life, as Christians and African citizens, in various vocations and professions both in the Church and in Nigerian society.


The aim of the “Word and Life” Seminar is, among others, to offer relevant information and formation, to sensitize, educate and orientate participants on the contemporary issues and problems that affect people in the light of the Gospel and Magisterium of the Church and of the authentic African values. The theme chosen is critically examined as comprehensively as possible; and its presentation is intended to be mainly practical, life-oriented, and participative.


The hope, therefore, is that participants would be able to more clearly:

• See the situation, challenges and opportunities present today in the Church and in the society in relation to the theme;

• Comprehend the relevance, guiding principles, orientations and practical implications of the Word of God, in judging the situation, for the life of the people in the Nigerian church and society.

• Understand and judge the discourse or official statements and the life situation of individuals and communities, and therefore contribute to advance a critical and coherent understanding of what the Church or the State says.

• Promote coherently a moral practices and honest policies enlightened by Word of God and faithful to authentic African values.


The seminars held so far examine the following topics:

-          1st “Word & Life” Seminar, 23 October 2004: Basic Health Care in Pastoral Ministry.

-          2nd “Word & Life” Seminar, 12 January 2006: Spirituality and Social Commitment in Nigeria Today.

-          3rd “Word and Life” Seminar, 9 January 2007: Music and Liturgy in priestly formation.

-          4th Word and Life” Seminar, January 19, 2008: The rights and protection of the child and youth against sexual abuses.


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Nigeria Delegation of the Oblates of the Virgin Mary (OMV)