The biological as well as agricultural concept pollination is as interesting as it is vital. It is defined as the process by which pollen is transferred in the reproduction of plants, thereby enabling fertilization and reproduction. In like manner, crosspollination is the transfer of pollen grains from the anther of a flower to the stigma of a different flower of the same species for proper fertilization and reproduction. Such biological and agricultural process captures aptly the events of the Bigard’s NATIONAL FEDERATION OF CATHOLIC STUDENTS’ (NFCS) weekend, held from 28th to 30th day of March, 2014.
However, this time around, it is not about transfer of pollen for the fertilization and reproduction of plants, but the transfer of ideas for the fertilization and reproduction of knowledge among Catholic students. The occasion afforded seminarians and other beloved brothers and sisters from other higher institutions of learning, the opportunity to interact and crossbreed ideas, for ideas rule the world.
The weekend which has the theme: ‘The Demise of Reading Culture among the Youths‘ amidst other things featured; social, intellectual and spiritual programs. Hence, it began with the Stations of the Cross on Friday 28th day of March, 2014, after which other events of the eve continued at the seminary auditorium. The opening prayer said by Rev. Fr. Anthony Attah, the moderator of NFCS Bigard Chapter, flagged off the night’s activities. This was immediately followed by the thrilling NFCS anthem. The moderator then in his welcome address , succinctly summarized the unfortunate situation of the Nigerian youths and saw the NFCS weekend, as a veritable opportunity for the youths to rise up to the challenges of development, by imbibing a reading culture.
Other activities of the night were more of social ones which featured: choreography performed differently by students of University of Nigeria Enugu Campus (UNEC) and Bigard Memorial Seminary, Enugu (Destiny Brothers), classic performance by Bigard orchestra group, cultural dance by the students of Enugu State College of Education. Furthermore, the major activities of the N.F.C.S weekend started in the morning of Saturday 29th day of March, 2014, at the Bigard auditorium. The occasion was set rolling by the opening prayer taken by Rev. Fr. Jerome Oko. The N.F.C.S anthem was chanted, after which the kola nut was presented.
The Enugu Diocesan chaplain of N.F.C.S, Rev. Fr. Jerome Oko, in his welcome address, appreciated all and sundry for their profound presence. The next was the keynote address presented by Rev. Fr. Stanley Ekwugha. He gave a synthesis of the idea of Evangelization and modernity, stating that “Christianity should balance modernity with conservatism, by bringing in digital assets in the evangelization of the people of God”.
After the keynote address, Prof. Mrs. Kate Omenugha lectured us on the theme: GOING BACK TO THE ROOTS: A CALL TO THE DIGITAL STUDENTS OF OUR AGE. According to her, “There are however, the positive side of the changing media scene of the Internet, social media and the new media vis-a-vis reading, but there appears to be some number of challenges of reading in the digital age. The bottom line is that we need to take advantages that the digital age offers, and then work assiduously to see that we surmount the challenges this age poses to reading. What comes out clearly is that while our roots – the traditional way of reading is intractable in enthroning reading culture, the digital age equally holds a lot of promises which need to be carefully harnessed”. She spelt out litany of names of great people and their conceptions of reading books. To calm our nerves, there was music entertainment after her presentation and other candid contributions.
The Rector Rev. Fr. Dr. Theophilus Ukoro Igwe, then presented a paper on behalf of Rev. Fr. Prof. Obilo Iheanyi entitled: READING: A VERITABLE INSTRUMENT FOR THE SURVIVAL OF OUR YOUTH VIS-À-VIS FIGHTING THE UNMPLOYMENT IN OUR WORLD. The Prof. affirmed that “Reading culture is a sure way to salvage the declining morals among the youths. He who never quotes will not be quoted”. Expressing his honest concern on the unfortunate dwindling reading spirits of the youths, he made a clarion call on those present for them to always make books their companions wherever they find themselves.
The president of N.F.C.S Bigard chapter in the person of Mr. Duru Henry on behalf of the Bigardians, meticulously expressed our heartfelt gratitude to all who amidst tight schedules, attended the intellectually, socially and spiritually enriching weekend. Similarly, the President of N.F.C.S Onitsha province rendered officially the vote of thanks. The event was brought to a close by the closing prayer taken by Rev Fr Stanley Ekwugha.
In honor of the mothering Sunday celebration and that of the NFCS weekend in Bigard, there was a football match encounter which ended in a 2-2 draw between Bigard and Godfrey Okoye University football teams, later in the evening of Saturday 29th day of March, 2014.
The whole activities of the NFCS weekend were brought to a close by the Holy Mass of thanksgiving, on Sunday 30th day of March, 2014.
NFCS: KEEPING THE FAITH!