2020 Annual General Meeting of the Nigeria Conference of Women Religious (NCWR) and Conference of Major Superiors of Nigeria, CMSN (Men)

The 2020 Annual General Meeting of the Nigeria Conference of Women Religious (NCWR) and Conference of Major Superiors of Nigeria, CMSN (Men) which brought together Major Superiors from Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life in Nigeria was held at the Catholic Pastoral Centre Port-Harcourt, Rivers State from 12th to 18th of January 2020 with the themes: Safeguarding and Protection of Minors and Vulnerable Adults/Nigerian Youths in the face of the present situation: Immigration, Drugs and Fundamentalism.

Sr. Veronica Openibo, SHCJ the Society Leader of the Sisters of the Holy Child Jesus and Dr. Roseline Okoli, a lecturer, University of Nigeria Nsukka gave an inspiring and challenging presentation. The opening Holy Mass which took place at Our Lady of the Holy Rosary Chaplaincy, CIWA was presided over by the Most Rev. Patrick Eluke, Auxiliary Bishop of Port-Harcourt and the Most Rev. Hilary Dachelem, CMF, Bishop of Bauchi, who is also the Bishop Chairman, CBCN Committee for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life.

Very Rev. Fr. Isaac Dugu, the Director, Department of Pastoral Agents, Catholic secretariat of Nigeria who was present during the occasion commended the chosen topics for discussion during the conference and encouraged the Major Superiors in their concern for the wellbeing of the children, vulnerable adults and the youth. The Acting Rector, Very Rev. Fr. Prof. Jude Asanbe and the CIWA community exceptionally and beautifully hosted the opening ceremony, which was held in CIWA. Other dignitaries who were present at the Conference were, the Diocesan President, Catholic Women Organisation, Port Harcourt, President, Catholic Youth Oganisation of Nigeria, Port Harcourt, Chief Imam, AbdusSalam Abiodun AbdulLateef, of Nasrul-Lahi-L-Fatih Society, Port Harcourt branch.

At the separate meetings of the Conference, NCWR formally welcomed six new members to their Conference. As part of the welcoming ceremony, the President of NCWR Mother Mary Claude Oguh, IHM in her words of exhortation encouraged the new members to remain focused on the mission and Motto of NCWR (Unity for Love and Service) as they serve their Sisters in their respective Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life. The new members received the NCWR robe while a lit candle was handed on to them as a symbol of holy illumination of truth, justice and unity.

At the end of the conference, each Religious Institute was encouraged to come up with Child Protection Policy, dedicate a more organised and focused pastoral outreach to our young people and pay intentional attention to the vulnerable adults in our society. Still on the outcome of the Conference, Religious Institutes reminded themselves of the urgent need to re-focus on quality initial formation with careful selection of quality formators and content of formation.

Finally, The President of NCWR in line with the Holy Father's Document on Care of the Mother Earth (Laudato Si) strongly encouraged individual Congregations to wage war against pollution of the environment through better management of refuse and eradication of excessive use of plastic products, reckless cutting of trees etc. Awareness programmes and Seminars are to be organised to achieve this.

The Conference was successfully concluded with a strong Communiqué which was issued on January 17, 2020 and a Holy Mass presided by very Rev. Fr. Stephen Dedua, the Diocesan Chancellor of Port Harcourt. While we appreciate all who contributed immensely towards the success of this 2020 AGM, we specially thank and appreciate Conrad Hilton Funds for Sisters for their part Sponsorship of the AGM.

Pictures from the Annual General Meeting: