It is significant that after many years of the presence of the Dominicans in Nigeria, the Lay Dominican Fraternity gathered for the first time to have a Provincial Chapter. This Chapter was convoked by the Promoter of the Dominican Family, Fr Joseph Osunde, OP, and hosted by Blessed Jordan of Saxony Pro-fraternity, St. Paul Parish Oyigbo, Rivers State, from 14th – 18th August, 2019. The host Prior, Fr Michael-Alex Okondu-Ugba, OP, and the host Pastor, Fr Dominic Mbomson, OP, welcomed the delegates in their addresses.
The Chapter was aimed at Rebuilding a United Lay Dominican Fraternity in the Province of St. Joseph the worker, Nigeria & Ghana. An extensive session of discussions revolved around the New Directory, Roles and Responsibilities of Religious Assistants and Election of the First Provincial Council. There were valuable comments and contributions. The fruitful gathering was also an opportunity to share with the Vicar of the Provincial, Fr Felix Onemheghie, OP, representing the Prior Provincial, Fr Richard Ogedengbe, OP. He celebrated the Mass of the Holy Spirit to prepare the minds of delegates, encouraging them to rely on the Holy Spirit for direction in making the right choices.
The delegates and observers present were from the following fraternities: St. Rose of Lima, Yaba; St. Vincent Ferrer, Ibadan; St. Raymond of Penyafort, Mafoluku; Blessed Jordan of Saxony, Oyigbo; St. Pius V, Ekiadolor and; the Dominican Young Hearth Movement. The election was conducted before the following brothers, Fr Felix Onemheghie, OP, (Vicar of the Provincial), Fr Joseph Osunde, OP, (Promoter), Fr Moses Arung OP, (Assistant Promoter/Religious Assistant), Br. Jude-Thaddeus Anyaegbu, OP, (Formator), and Br. Raphael Ameh, OP, (Formator).
The following persons were elected into the Provincial Council: Prof. (Mrs.) Adenike Emeke, OP - Provincial President (St. Vincent Ferrer fraternity, Ibadan); Dr. (Mrs) Ogochukwu Promise, OP - Vice-President (St. Rose of Lima, Yaba); Mr. Carlton Ileka, OP - Secretary (St. Rose of Lima, Yaba); Mrs. Lilian Amataobi, OP - Syndic (Blessed Jordan of Saxony, Oyibo) and Mr. Gaston Santos - Ex-Officio (St. Rose of Lima, Yaba). Each of the newly elected officials took the oath of office at the Sunday Mass celebrated by Fr. Felix Onemeghie, OP. The Promoter, Fr Joseph Osunde, OP, congratulated the newly elected officers. In his closing remark, he stated that, "the vision of Fr. Taiwo Emmanuel, OP, on the rebirth of the Lay Dominican Fraternities in the Province is now a reality...." He encouraged the members to be radically committed to their call as Lay Dominicans. The newly elected President in her inaugural speech urged members to actively join the Order in her preaching mission by moral, spiritual and financial support.
In Dominic we claim to be, throughout the world one family and a living heritage we share, let us praise the Lord for he has done wonders in our Province.
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