The night of 28th June, 2016, found the entire Bigard family celebrating the 2016 end of the year/send off party of the 2016 graduands from both philosophy and theology faculties, and some of Bigard’s formators who would be departing either for sabbatical leave or studies. The delightful occasion which took place in the seminary auditorium, started at exactly 8:40pm, and had in attendance, virtually all the formators, seminarians and domestic staff, as the auditorium was filled to the brim.
The occasion started with an opening prayer said by Rev. Fr. Johnbosco Okoye, which was followed immediately by the breaking of kola nut done in its traditional style. The Rector of the Seminary, Very Rev. Fr. Dr. Albert Ikpenwa delivered his welcome address where he wholeheartedly welcomed all to the send off party of the 2016 granduands and two worthy Bigard formators Rev. Fr. Dr. Cletus Umezinwa (Vice Rector II/Music Director), who would be going on sabbatical leave, and Rev. Fr. Edmund Onah (Bursar I), who would be going for further studies.
He thanked the two departing formators earnestly for their relentless efforts towards the progress of the seminary, especially in their areas of assignments in the seminary, hence, prayed for God’s blessings and favours on them. To the 2016 graduands of the both faculties, the Rector expressed satisfaction and appreciation for making themselves available for formation; he hence, admonished them to be good ambassadors of Christ and the Seminary.Farewell gifts were presented to the departing formators, in appreciation for the distinctive and sincere services they unremittingly rendered to the Bigard family.
To add feather to the occasion, the seminary main choir rendered one traditional and two classical songs in honour of the departing formators and the 2016 graduands of the seminary. Some other groups performed to the excitement of the audience, they are; “Great Interpreters of Bigard” by Jude Nnabugwu and co, “Saxophone Performers” by Onyishi Maximus and Faith Ugorji, and an exhilarating drama display from the “Bigard Theatre and Art Club.”
In response, Ndukwe Emmanuel, the Secretary of the Philosophy graduands, on behalf of his classmates expressed his thankfulness and satisfaction to the seminary for the historic farewell party organised in their honour, also he thanked the Bigard family for the loveand care they have received, and for painstakingly nurturing and nourishing them throughout their philosophical pursuit in the seminary.
In concretization of their heartfelt appreciation, the class presented a token to the seminary. Representing the theology graduands, Rev. Anthony Okoye, the first Auxiliary of Bigard thanked the seminary for moulding and shaping them into what they are. He also thanked the seminary for granting them the enabling environment that helped in internalizing the formation values being impacted on them.
Rev. Fr. Dr. Cletus Umezinwa, speaking for himself and Fr. Edmund Onah, expressed his deepest gratitude to God whose initiative it was and always is that he works in the seminary. He applauded Bigard formators for the team and collaborative spirit, with which they work to the spirited growth of the seminary. Fr. Umezinwa also commended the quality of seminarians being trained in Bigard, addressing them as challenging, unique, mature, and inimitable.
As the occasion gradually came to its end, Rev. Fr. Dr. Cajetan Iyidobi gave the vote of thanks, where he appreciated the efforts of all who saw to the success of the event, and also asked for God’s blessings on all in attendance.
The event was brought to a successful end with a closing prayer said by Rev. Fr. Hyginus Mba, as all retired for the night.