Bigard Compound wore a different yet amazing look as the seminary played host to numerous Nigeria Federation of Catholic Students members who gathered for the 2016 NFCS weekend.More than 300 Students from about fourteen tertiary institutions within Onitsha ecclesiastical Province were in attendance. The weekend lasted from the 11th – 13th of March 2016
FRIDAY 11TH MARCH
The evening of Friday 11th March, was the arrival of the members of the NFCS from the various institutions that participated. In a usual manner, the night of Friday was a Social Night. The occasion of this memorable night which took place in the Bigard Auditorium, kicked off with an opening prayer said by the NFCS moderator (Bigard Chapter), Rev. Fr. Remigius Ibudialor. This was followed by the National and NFCS Anthems.
In his opening remarks, Fr. Remigius Ibudialor welcomed all who were present, especially the students from different tertiary institutions, and advised all to develop the life of prayer and be sincere in witnessing to Christ.
The social night was coloured with several rib-cracking events which included; choral presentation by the Consideration Group, Comedy show by the Great Interpreters of Bigard, Cultural Dance by students of Enugu State College of Education Technical (ESCET), Stand-up comedy by Odo Charles and group,drama presentation by students of Nwafor Orizu college of Education Nsugbe (NOCEN), Saxophone performance/rendition of “The Prayer” by Leo and group, and dancing contests among the various institutions present, accompanied by Band of Bigard.
Mr. Ahanotu Humphery, the first Auxiliary of Bigard Memorial Seminary Enugu, who doubles as the NFCS Onitsha provincial Vice President, in his closing remarks, acknowledged the sincere dedication of the executive members of NFCS, and appreciated the efforts and patience of all who were present for the social night. Fr. Ibudialor brought the occasion to a successful end with a closing prayer.
SATURDAY 12TH MARCH
THEME: YOUTH AND DEVELOPMENTAL CHALLENGES IN THE 21ST CENTURY
The events of Saturday 12th March, were mostly intellectual. The Opening Prayer was led by Rev. Fr. Simon Areji, who also was the moderator of the day’s event. This was followed by an opening remark by the Rector of Bigard Memorial Seminary Enugu, Very Rev. Fr. Dr. Albert Ikpenwa. His remarks dwelt on the advent of ICT as a welcome innovation to facilitate human development.He also revealed and condemned its negative effects on the youths. Speaking to the members of NFCS present, he admonished all not to join the crowd, but to live out the Catholic faith through sincere witnessing to Christ.
The keynote address was given by the Commissioner for Education Enugu State, Hon. Uchenna Ezeh. The Commissioner admonished all present to see Education as the catalyst for human and national developments. He also advised that being a youth entails self-discipline, which, however, should not be imposed, but should come from individual conviction. He also decried the devaluation of values imminent in the lives of youths today.
The first paper presenter, and the Director of NFCS Bigard Chapter, Rev. Fr. Richard Okafor, in his lecture titled “The Revitalization of Faith-Based Morality in the Morally Decadent Society”, admonished all to see faith as a gift from God, and to allow all moral judgments and actions be guided by same faith. He expounded the concept of morality and its decadence, proffering solutions through scriptural guides, papal documents and the directives of the magisterium.
The Second paper presenter, a lecturer of psychology in the Benue State University, Makurdi, Mrs. Chinelo Helen Eneogwuche, in her lecture titled, “Nature – Nurture Interaction, Influences of Family on the Formation of the Youths”,exposed the influences nature and nurture have both distinctly and commonly on the upbringing of a child. She explained that the environment contributes a lot in the development of a child, and as a result of this, she advised the youths to be mindful of the influences they receive from their environments, especially through socialization.
The event also featured the installation of NFCS Patron and Matron for Bigard Chapter in the persons of Chief Hon. George Chukwudi as the Patron, andEzinne Grace Ukah as the Matron. This installation is the first of its kind in the history of NFCS inBigard.
The event was as well coloured with a sensational musical display by Jude Ugwuanyi
In his Closing remarks, the President of NFCS Bigard Chapter, Mr. Valentine Edeh, thanked the Rector of Bigard Memorial Seminary Enugu, Very Rev. Fr. Dr. Albert Ikpenwa, whose simplicity and love for the youths have in no small measure, contributed to his allowing the NFCS programme to be hosted in Bigard, irrespective of the unusual massive population that attended this year’s episode.
He also thanked the entire formation crew of the seminary for their support and encouragements. The efforts and contributions of the guest speakers were in a great measure, appreciated. Mr. Valentine admonished all the members of NFCS present to internalize the values gained in the cause of the weekend programme, and to take the Goodnews home to those who could not come. He also thanked the entire Bigard Seminarians for their active and sincere involvement in the NFCS weekend programme. The closing prayer was said by the moderator of NFCS Bigard Chapter, Rev. Fr. Remigius Ibudialor
SUNDAY 13TH MARCH
The 2016 NFCS program was successfully brought to a closure with a Holy Mass, which had Rev. Fr. Damian Udechukwu as its principal celebrant. The Sunday of the fifth week of lent was concelebrated by many other Bigard Formators, with the Bigard Chapel filled to the brim. This Holy Mass marked both the thanksgiving for the successful end of the NFCS weekend, and also a thanksgiving for the successful performance of Bigard Memorial Seminary, Enugu in the All Nigerian Major Seminaries Games held at Ss. Peter and Paul Seminary, Bodija, Ibadan.
In the spirit of the Lenten season, and in line with the message of NFCS, the principal celebrant, Fr. Udechukwu in his homily dwelt on the power of forgiveness. He proclaimed that to forgive someone without forgetting the wrong, is void of virtue.
With the end of the Holy Mass, the NFCS programme was brought to a successful end, and this was followed by the departure of the participants back to their various institutions.