Nimo Deanery, winners of the 2017 Holy Childhood Annual Day Celebration Match Past Competition during.
Holy Childhood Association (HCA) of Awka Diocese on Saturday, 13 May, 2017 during the 2017 Annual Diocesan Day joined their counterparts all over the world to celebrate the 100 years of Fatima Apparition and Canonization of the two Fatima Visionaries Blessed Jacinta and Francisco Marto by the Catholic Pontiff, Pope Francis.
Bishop Ezeokafor presents first runner up prize to Igwe Somoto Ugwuoke and Lolo after the Igwe and Lolo competition
In his homily to mark the celebration at St. Andrew's Catholic Church, Adazi-Nnukwu, Anaocha LGA of Anambra State, Bishop Ezeokafor enjoined the children to imbibe the life style of the saints as they can also attain sainthood at their young age like the two Fatima Visionaries, Blessed Jacinta and Francisco Marto, if they live a good Christian life.
He noted that the remembrance which the church has organized for the visionary children of Fatima was a thing of encouragement to the entire Catholic faithful as it would propel people to keep doing good. He advised the children to endeavour to discover their spiritual gifts and talents in life saying that such talents should involve being charitable to others.
He tasked fathers and mothers to be more committed in discharging their individual duties to their children, advocating that good parental training should guide children at their formative stage. He explained that the society would benefit greatly from a well trained child as such a person becomes responsible to himself, his family, town and the nation.
Holy Childhood Association, according to Bishop Ezeokafor was a platform created by the church to bring together children from 0-15 years of age in order to channel their potentials rightly and inculcate moral discipline in them. He maintained that the diocesan day celebration of HCA has both the spiritual and physical aspect saying that all children in the Catholic faith are meant to be members of the association.
Bishop Ezeokafor decried the formative gap in the life of young Catholics between the reception of the sacrament of confirmation and Holy Matrimony as they are not seriously engaged in any spiritual program by the church. He revealed that the church has plans on how to breach the gap.
Speaking at the occasion, Rev. Fr. Tobias Osigwe said that the year's annual day celebration was special as it coincided with the monthly 13 congress and 100 years apparitions of the Blessed Virgin Mary to the three Fatima children. He explained that children who are members of HCA are also Block Rosary members saying that the day's event were interrelated and concerns children.
He unveiled plans of Catholic Church in Nigeria through the pontifical Mission society (PMS) to develop the Young Missionary Movement (YMM) an association that would absorb young Catholics above the formative age of HCA. He said that YMM when inaugurated would help to breach the gap already created in the lives of young Catholics above the HCA age as it would help their spiritual life. He described HCA as a statutory, prayer and formative group in the church.