For the victory of the Mother Thrice Admirable
Blessing of the first Shrine in Nigeria on October 23, 2004
NIGERIA, Fr. Johnson Nellissery. The blessing of the first Shrine in Nigeria (with the name Pro Victoria Matris Ter Admirabilis – For the Victory of the Mother Thrice Admirable) is only a few days away. This new divine initiative has continued to generate a lot of inquisitiveness, questions and reactions from the people. Nevertheless, many await this day with so much eagerness and expectation. The first Nigerian member of the Schoenstatt Fathers' Community, Peter Chukwuma, will be ordained a Deacon on 23rd, together with the blessing of the Shrine and the formation house. He has just finished the first tertianship and returned from Germany.
In between the invitation card reached many people in Nigeria: The Schoenstatt Fathers cordially invite you to the Dedication of the Shrine of the Mother Thrice Admirable, the Blessing of the Formation House and the Deaconate Ordination of Peter E. Chukwuma, Isch by His Grace, Most Rev. Dr. Felix A. Job, Metropolitan Archbishop of Ibadan at 10am on Saturday, 23rd October, 2004.
Fr. Francis Bruegger, Provincial Superior, Fr. Alfred Kistler, Superior
Bring baskets full of love
Many baskets of contributions to the capital of grace are being filled, both from within and outside of Nigeria. The Schoenstatt Fathers received many letters of felicitations, congratulations and promises of accompanying in prayers.
As part of the immediate preparation for the forthcoming celebrations, a general committee was set up which comprises of different sub-committees of liturgy, publicity, reception, technique, finance and finally a committee for the spiritual preparation which include reading of selected texts of Fr. Kentenich and the daily procession from the house chapel to the Shrine. It is also interesting to point that lay persons involved in the Pilgrim Mother Campaign are also part of these different committees. The preparations have intensified the last days.
The Noviciate moves
Until now, the Noviciate had been in Umuahia- East of Nigeria- in a house of the diocese. Since the Bishop wanted to have his house back, they have to move from there, thus causing the shift of the Noviciate to Ibadan- West of Nigeria- where the Community has already two houses, one for the Philosophers and the other for the Theologians.
Because of the lack of the financial means, they were forced to put together the two Communities of 13 Philosophers and 13 Theologians in the new house in Ijokodo, Ibadan.
As the Philosophers moved from Villa Maria- the House of the Philosophers- to the new house in Ijokodo, the Novices took possession of Villa Maria.
The New House
The project for the new study house started at the same time with the Shrine project. This new study house has been completed and will be blessed alongside the Pro Victoria Matris Ter Admirabilis Shrine. However, the students and seminarians have since taken possession of it. This study house is housing two house communities with their respective Rectors. While Fr. Alfred Kistler remains the Rector of the Theology house, Fr. Johnson Nellissery is the new Rector of the Philosophers and the Spiritual Father to the Theologians.
The academic year has since started for the students of Philosophy who study in the Dominican Institute with the Holy Mass and the inaugural lecture of the academic year done on the 4th October. As well, the academic year has also started for the Theologians who study in the SS. Peter and Paul Seminary with the inaugural Mass celebrated on the 7th of this same month.
The Community of the Philosophers plans to plant a tree close to the Shrine and name it, ‘The Tree of Everyday Sanctity.’ It symbolises their longing and also their contribution to the cause of victory of the Mother in the Shrine.
New Noviciate started
The fourth novitiate in Nigeria started on the Feast of St. Francis of Assisi (4. 10. 2004) with an evening Mass under the guidance of Fr. Roman Haronska as the Novice Master. There are 8 Novices. Since they are in Villa Maria, the maintenance work and rearrangement of the rooms go on and it takes a few days until the classes can start.
The Coming of Fr. Johnson Nellissery to Nigeria brings the number of our Fathers to four. Fr. Roman Haronska, the Novice Master who was alone for many years in the East now joins the Fathers in the West.
The Pilgrim MTA brings people to the Shrine
Near the house of the Schoenstatt fathers, five Pilgrim MTA's are visiting families; those receiving the Pilgrim MTA, actively prepare themselves for the Dedication of the Shrine. Some of them completed now a 9-day of pilgrimage to the Shrine under construction, others collected an amount of Nairas 9,000 to help with the construction.
The Picture of MTA that accompanied Frs. Alfred Kistler and Klaus Desch on their missionary enterprise to Nigeria from the Original Shrine (1997) and now is going to be installed in the Shrine arrived Ijokodo on 10th October after a long pilgrimage from the Claretian Institute of Philosophy through Villa Maria (former Philosophy House and present Novitiate House in Ibadan). The Community received the picture from the new Novices in a solemn liturgical celebration marked by music and dance.
On October 18, the "Victory", the news-bulletin from the Schoenstatt Fathers’ Community in Nigeria appeared for the first time.
Congratulations to the Schoenstatt Fathers and the Schoenstatt Family of Nigeria can be sent to: email@example.com
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