Nachrichten - News - Noticias
 published: 2004-11-02

People trooped into the shrine by hundreds …

The Shrine in Nigeria was dedicated October 23

Ibadan, Nigeria, 23 de octubre: últimas preparaciones para la bendición del Santuario

Ibadan, Nigeria, October 23: Final preparations for the dedication of the Shrine

Ibadan, Nigeria, 23. Oktoner: Letzte Vorbereitungen für die Einweihung des Heiligtum


Ordenación diaconal de Peter Chukwuma

Peter Chukwuma is ordained deacon

Diakonatsweihe von Peter Chukwuma


El celebrante principal: Monseñor Felix Alaba Job

Main celebrant: Bishop Felix Alaba Job

Hauptzelebrant ist Bischof Felix Alaba Job


Procesión con el cuadro de la MTA

Processon with the MTA picture

Prozession mit dem MTA-Bild


P. Klaus Desch coloca el cuadro en el Santuario

Fr. Klaus Desch attaches the picture in the Shrine

P. Klaus Desch bringt das Bild im Heiligtum an


Lleguen las familiares del nuevo diacono para ofrecerle regalos

The relatives of the new deacon come to offer their gifts

Die Familie des neuen Diakons kommt mit Geschenken


Peter Chukwuma con sus padres y familiares

Peter Chukwuma with his parents and relatives

Peter Chukwuma mit Eltern und Angehörigen


El Obispo lleva el Santisimo al Santuario

The Blessed Sacrament is brought to the altar

Der Bischof überträgt das Allerheiligste ins Heiligtum


En nuevo diacono

The new deacon

Der neue Diakon


Momentos de festejo

Moments of celebration

Freude muss gefeiert werden


El interior del Santuario

The interior of the Shrine

Inneres des Heiligtums nach der Einweihung

Fotos: P. Johnson Nellessery  © 2004




NIGERIA, Fr. Johnson Nellissery. "It was really amazing to see the number of people from all walks of life that came for the celebration. The number of priests, seminarians and religious that came was more than expected. With this triple celebration, I’m convinced that Schoenstatt has come to stay in Nigeria," said Kingsley Okereke, one of the students of the Schoenstatt Fathers in Nigeria. October 23, the first Schoenstatt Shrine in Nigeria was dedicated. At the same time, Peter Chukwuma, first Nigerian to study for the Schoenstatt Fathers, was ordained deacon, and the Formation House of the Schoenstatt Fathers' was blessed.

Although the 23rd was the peak of the celebrations, the two days before 23rd served as days of preparations marked by the historical moments. On the 21st, the Schoenstatt Fathers' community took spiritual possession of the Shrine. During this ceremony, the different course groups of the Philosophers, Novices and Theologians, presented their spiritual contributions, signed the Dedication Document and surrounded the Shrine with candle light. The celebration was accompanied by joyous singing and dancing by the Brothers.

On 22nd, Peter Chukwuma was the first Nigerian member of the Sion Community to seal the Final Contract Consecration.

This feast is the moment for which we prepared, a day of great longing and joy…

October 23rd had come. The weather was warm and sunny, even though it had rained very hard the day before the dedication of the Shrine. Though the weather had overshadowed and affected the immediate preparation, there was still a festive mood throughout the week.

Holy Mass was at 10:00am with Most Rev. Dr. Felix Alaba Job, the Metropolitan Archbishop of Ibadan presiding, while being assisted by Frs. Francis Bruegger and Alfred Kistler. After the Gospel reading, the Ordination Rite followed immediately, after which the dedication of the Shrine took place. In a solemn and festive procession, the MTA picture was brought in procession by the students of the course "Pillars of the Shrine", while Schoenstatt Youth carried weaved baskets with the words ‘Contributions to the Capital of Grace’. Then, the house was blessed. During his homily, the Archbishop stressed the need to come to the Shrine with love and humility as means to receive the graces of God. At the end of the Eucharistic celebration, the social aspect of the celebration, as well as the reception of the new Deacon followed.

It remains a mystery to all that Mr. Anselm Chukwuma Ezema, the father of the newly ordained Deacon, Peter, died immediately after the great celebration in front of the Shrine while celebrating with all the members of the family and relatives who had come ca. 650 km. (from as far at 400 miles) to rejoice with Deacon Peter and the Schoenstatt Community. He died of a heart attack at the age of 65.

Rush to the MTA

Immediately after the Mass, the people trooped into the shrine by the hundreds. This is a sign of excitement and acceptance of this new Divine initiative in Nigeria. It must be said that this is entirely new for the people, hence there was also in the background some awesomeness and surprise. "The rush into the Shrine of our MTA by the people after the dedication of the Shrine is a sign of people’s readiness to come and draw graces from the Shrine," commented Gregory Ojukwu.

Generally, it is estimated that about two thousand people attended. Among this number were a huge number of relatives and friends of the newly ordained deacon.

There were six Fathers from the community present (the Fathers working in Nigeria including Frs. Francis Bruegger and Michael Hagan who came from South Africa particularly to express the African solidarity). Present too, were about thirty priests The number of Religious and Seminarians was well into the hundreds. Worth special mention is Fr. Aloysius Nwabekee - the man who took the fist initiative to invite the Schoenstatt Fathers to Nigeria. Other important dignitaries were the Consul of the Republic of Poland, Mr. Przemyslaw and his wife; the Austrian Architect, Mr. Damblin and his wife who drew and donated the plan of the presently blessed house. Also, the resident Representative of Euroafrica Shipping Line for West Africa, Mr. Darius. This is the Shipping Line that took care of the importation of the Altar. The Commissioner for Police of Oyo State, Nigeria was also present. In attendance were different groups; those related to the Schoenstatt Pilgrim Mother, the Catholic Youth from the Higher Institutions, youth from parishes and communities, the Federal Road Safety Division and the Police etc.

"This new Shrine fills us with joy…"

The Schoenstatt Fathers received many congratulatory messages and good wishes for the day’s occasion. Among the messages received were letters and e-mails from Fr. Heinrich Walter, Sr. Mary Jacoba Kesselheim (General Superior of the Secular Institute of the Schoenstatt Sisters of Mary), Fr. Juan Pablo Catoggio (Regional Superior, Argentina), Fr. Edwin Germann (Provincial Superior, Switzerland), Fr. Roy (Delegate Superior, India), Fr. Paul Zingg, Burundi and many more from The Schoenstatt Fathers’ Community. Congratulations came in from Schoenstatt members and groups from Argentina, Germany, Chile, USA, Bolivia.

"It is a ‘dream-come-true’ to witness the dedication of the Victory Shrine and most importantly the Diaconate Ordination of Rev. Peter", said Dominic Anozie. Innocent Mkparu adds, "Mine is an impression of a heartfelt appreciation of the enthusiastic entrustment of the children present to the care of MTA by their parents."

 Deacon Peter Chukwuma wanted to thank "all those who in one way or the other have sacrificed and helped in molding and nurturing my vocation to this present height. I also thank in a special way all those who have prayed for the eternal rest of my Dad and consoled me and my family in different ways. May we not relent in praying for him and for one another and may the MTA continue to grant us her maternal care."

Edition: Paula Dudgeon, Minnesota, USA

More photos

Zurück/Back: [Seitenanfang / Top] [letzte Seite / last page] [Homepage]

Last Update: 05.11.2004 Mail: Editor /Webmaster
© 2004 Schönstatt-Bewegung in Deutschland, PressOffice Schönstatt, hbre, All rights reserved, Impressum