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 published: 2006-05-30

The Day that the Lord has Made

Annual Convention of the Schoenstatt Pilgrim Mother Campaign in Nigeria


Misioneros de la Campaña de la Virgen Peregrina en Nigeria

Missionaries of the Pilgrim Mother Campaign in Nigeria

Missionare der Kampagne der Pilgernden Gottesmutter in Nigeria

Foto: Desch © 2006


Entrega de la Peregrina

Commissioning of the Pilgrim MTA

Übernahme der Pilgernden Gottesmutter


Participantes de la Jornada frente del Santuario de Ibadan

Participants of the Convention in front of the Shrine in Ibadan

Teilnehmer der Tagung vor dem Heiligtum in Ibadan


En el Santuario

In the Shrine

Im Heiligtum


Santa Misa

Holy Mass

Heilige Messe

Fotos: Ozioko © 2006




NIGERIA, Charles Ozioko. Are you surprised? You would immediately ask, is there a day that is not made by the Lord? But then you will agree with me that Today was one such day that the Lord has made. There was life, vigour and burning hearts for the mission. What was it all about? It was nothing other than the annual convention of the co-ordinators of the Pilgrim Mother Campaign. For the 37 co-ordinators (out of about 70) who were present it was so evident that today had something distinctively peculiar about it: here are days and there are days!

The guiding topic was 'burning with love for Mary's mission in Nigeria'. Already the day before, 10 co-ordinators arrived from Benin. Benin is one of the big cities in the middle-belt of Nigeria. It is about 300km away from Ibadan (where the Shrine is). This city has proved to be for now the place where the Pilgrim Mother Movement is most fruitful. After they had made a pilgrimage to the Shrine, they were also privileged to have some time of sharing with Fr. Peter Locher, who at the moment is in Nigeria to conduct the Propedeuticum of our novices. This morning, the other co-ordinators from Ibadan andAbeokuta joined in the convention.

Burning with love for Mary's mission in Nigeria

The convention started officially with a Holy Mass at 9.00am presided over by Fr. Klaus Desch. The entire community was present, philosophers, novices and theologians. During his homily which was centred on the theme from the Gospel of the day, 'I am the vine, you are the branches', Fr Klaus developed the thought of how we may apply these words to Jesus on the one hand but also to our Blessed Mother and also the Church. He showed how our involvement and belonging to the Pilgrim Mother Campaign is a way of being a 'branch of the vine'.

After the Eucharistic celebration the convention proper began in the Shrine with some Marian hymns and a short introduction by Fr Klaus. At about 11.10am Brother Claudius gave a talk on the theme of the convention: 'burning with love for Mary's mission in Nigeria'. He tried to re-enkindle their zeal by recalling for them what Mary wants to do in Nigeria, urging them to become Pozzobons of our time by offering their shoulders, legs, eyes, and hands as Pozzobon of old did. He also told of how the Pilgrim Mother Campaign began and about the beginnings in Nigeria.

Exchanging experiences

The co-ordinators thereafter formed themselves into seven smaller groups. They had as their topic of discussion, 'how can we become involved in the co-ordination and animation of the Pilgrim Mother Campaign'. When they came together again in the larger group they shared the fruits of the group work. They also exchanged their experiences in the different places they were coming from. Part of the discussion at this time was also the practical ways of making the 'tomorrow' of the Pilgrim Mother Movement in Nigeria better.

At 3.30pm the renewal of the commitment as a missionary: 'Nothing without you, nothing without us' took place in the Shrine. The other highlights of the renewal also included singing, reading of a text from the founder, reception of the pictures, exposition of the Blessed Sacrament, prayer of renewal and benediction. Finally, all those present joined in group photographs in front of the Shrine after which they departed filled withnew life and zeal for our Mother's mission in Nigeria.

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