Bigard Memorial Seminary, Enugu, joined the universal church in marking the World Mission Sunday in its traditional way of dedicating the weekend to discuss the universal theme as mapped out by the Holy Father. It was a remarkable two-day event, meticulously crafted with a profound missionary spirit with Pope Francis’ 2023 mission Sunday theme, “Hearts on Fire, Feet on the Move” (Luke 24:13-35), as the guiding light.
The Mission Weekend celebration at Bigard Memorial Seminary commenced with a thought-provoking roundtable discussion on the night of Friday, October 20, 2023. The opening prayer for the night was said by Rev. Fr. Dr. Clement Obasi. Mr. Abah Isaiah, in his role as the moderator of the night’s roundtable discussion, then delivered an impactful opening remark. His words resonated with the audience, emphasizing the importance of the central theme of the mission weekend, “Hearts on Fire, Feet on the Move” and how it embodies the core ethos of the seminary. The roundtable discussion, involved participants from all the classes ranging from 1st-year philosophy to 4th-year theology. These diverse voices came together to explore the profound meaning of mission, delving into the challenges and opportunities that lie in their path. The participants answered a range of thought-provoking questions, offering insightful contributions that illuminated the concept of mission from various perspectives. This dynamic exchange of ideas showcased the intellectual and spiritual growth that the seminary fosters. As the discussions concluded, Rev. Fr. Dr. Ohajuobodo Oko delivered the closing remarks, underscoring the significance of the discussions and their impact on the seminary’s mission. His words served as a call to action, motivating all to translate the shared insights into practical, transformative actions. The evening ended with a closing prayer, said by Rev. Fr. Dr. Christian Agala.
The second day of the Mission Weekend Celebration at Bigard Memorial Seminary commenced on Saturday morning, the 21st of October 2023, in the seminary auditorium. The morning began with a soulful opening prayer, said by Rev. Fr. Dr. Christian Agala.
After the prayer, the Vice Rector I, Rev. Fr. Dr. Kelvin Udenwagu, delivered the opening remarks. He emphasized the significance of the Mission Weekend and the pivotal role it plays in the spiritual formation of seminarians. His words served as a reminder of the purpose and mission of the seminary.
The highlight of the morning came with the keynote addressdelivered by the Moderator of the Seminary Mission Club, Rev. Fr. Dr. Ohajuobodo Oko. His address focused on the profound importance of mission in the life of the Church and, more specifically, the role of the Mission Club in seminary formation. He stressed the need for seminarians to embrace their responsibility in carrying the message of love, service, and salvation to the world.
After the keynote address, Msgr. Obiora Ike took the floor for another paper presentation, titled “Hearts on Fire, Feet on the Move: Towards Authentic Missionary Activities – A Clarion Call to All Christians.” His presentation not only explored the central theme of the Mission Weekend but also provided a detailed account of the history of the Church, Bigard Memorial Seminary and her global mission of evangelization. Msgr. Ike’s words were a source of inspiration, encouraging seminarians to strive for excellence in their missionary activities.
Following the illuminating paper presentation by Msgr. Obiora Ike, the Mission Weekend’s proceedings had a musical and artistic interlude. Talented seminarians showcased their skills with performances on instruments like saxophones and flutes. This interlude not only added a touch of artistry to the event but also served as a moment of reflection and relaxation
After the interlude, there was another paper presentation, this time by Rev. Fr. Dr. Josephat Ekor represented by Fr. Charles Ekum Bissong on the theme “Jesus Christ who Teaches and Feeds: An Exegetical Study of John 6:1-15; 34-59.” In his presentation, Fr. Bissong offered a comprehensive and insightful summary of the topic. He delved into the exegesis of John 6:1-15; 34-59, shedding light on the profound teachings and spiritual nourishment that Jesus Christ provides. His presentation emphasized the importance of understanding the Scriptures in the context of the mission, as it serves as the foundation of our faith and our message to the world.
Immediately after the enlightening paper presentation by Fr. Charles Ekum Bissong, there was room for questions and contributions.
In his closing remarks, Rev. Fr. Dr. Ohajuobodo Oko expressed gratitude to all who had contributed to the success of the event, emphasizing the importance of teamwork and collective effort in making the weekend a reality. He encouraged the seminarians and other guests to embrace the role of being good missionaries in their respective ways. The closing prayer which brought the Mission Weekend to an end was said by Rev. Fr. Patrick Malo.