Igbo Catholics celebrate Mother’s Day

Igbo Catholics celebrate Mother’s Day

Photos by James A. McBride

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Women pray as Holy Family Igbo Catholics in the Camden Diocese held a Mother’s Day Mass and celebration at Sacred Heart Church, Cedar Brook, on May 18. Right, Father Joachim Oforchukwu poses for a photo with mothers after the Mass.

Each year, we celebrate Mother’s Day to honor mothers for the important roles they play in the Igbo families, Catholic community and society. The Holy Family Igbo Catholics in the Camden Diocese celebrated the 2014 Mother’s Day on May 18 in a unique way.
We live in a challenging world. We live in a world where most family members are confused. We even live in a world where children ask important questions about God and their faith. In my catechism class with children of the Holy Family Igbo Catholic community, I noticed that children asked questions that only mothers who are true to their faith and can express the word of God can answer. Mothers, indeed, play important roles in shaping the hearts and souls of their children to become true children of God, because the Word of God is all.
On May 18, the Holy Family Igbo Catholics had the opportunity to tell mothers how much they admired them, how much they loved them, and how much they appreciated the sacrifices and services they provide for us – both children and husbands.
The fathers in the Holy Family Igbo Catholic community made preparations for this year’s Mother’s Day celebration in a remarkable way. They held several meetings to fashion out a way to make mothers happy. In one of their meetings, they agreed to cook for mothers on this wonderful day. In the Igbo culture, we take it for granted that mothers usually prepare delicious food for important celebrations. However, on May 18, fathers and children served mothers, to show them how much they care, appreciate and love them. Mothers on this memorable day were lavished with precious gifts from their husbands, children and friends. Children, led by Amanda Onyeyemla, expressed their appreciation to mothers.
We had visitors from within and outside the Camden Diocese who came to honor our dedicated mothers. We appreciate the presence of James Andrews, Dr. Oliver Anusionwu, Dr. and Mrs. Ralph Ugorji, Denise Calletta and Barbara Doelling, as well as other visitors for worshipping with the Holy Family Igbo Catholic community.
In my homily, I admonished mothers to teach their children by example. Children are the leaders of tomorrow and therefore should properly be guided. They live their lives by watching their mothers. The greatest legacy mothers can give to their children is to teach their children through exemplary lives. An Igbo adage has it that, “Ewu na-ata igu, umu ya anaele ya – When the mother cow chews, its children watch.”
I ended my homily with a reference to Our Lady, the Mother of Jesus Christ – the Blessed Virgin Mary. The Blessed Virgin Mary is my favorite mother. She is a model to all mothers. She is a symbol of love. I challenged all present in the Holy Family Church to draw inspiration from Our Blessed Virgin Mary, who is a model to mothers and the heart of love.
In his address, the leader of the Holy Family Igbo Catholic community, Engr. Sir Kenneth Mbah thanked mothers for the exemplary sacrifices they make every day for the Holy Family Igbo Catholic community. He also thanked the organizers: Chief Joseph Okafor, Dr. Jacob Nwosu, Barrister Damian Anyanwu, Chief Dave Akumuo, Chief Remy Odoemene and Ifeanyi Azodo, as well as other fathers for making the Mother’s Day celebration a unique one. The choir, led by Rosemary Awagu, sang so beautiful that all within the church were moved. Everybody had plenty to eat. The DJ of the occasion, Chief Dave Akumuo, provided Igbo music to the taste of everybody. The women organizer, Lady Uche Ezeh, went to Nigeria to procure CWO uniform for mothers. Their appearance in this uniform, no doubt, helped to make the 2014 Mother’s Day celebration an amazing one.

Categories: Practical Theology

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