2020 MOTHER’S DAY MESSAGE BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE CATHOLIC WOMEN ORGANISATION NIGERIA [CWON]

Dear mothers, this year we approach God with great thanksgiving for yet another opportunity to celebrate Mother’s Day. This year’s celebration comes after the Solemnity of the Annunciation on 25th March when the Angel Gabriel announced to the Blessed Virgin Mary that She would be the Mother of God. While blessing God for allowing us partake in this motherhood, it is yet another opportunity to reflect on our lives as mothers and how we follow in the footsteps of our Blessed Mother; her humility, meekness, prayerful life, discerning spirit, patience, etc.

In spite of the fact that we face the Covid-19 pandemic with varying degrees of restrictions on human activities in our dioceses, we thank God for His mercies and steadfastness. The corona virus pandemic currently ravaging our world has awakened in us the need to intensify our prayer to God to protect our land from further spread of this virus, heal the sick, protect the medical personnel, console the families of those who have died and grant the dead peaceful repose. These are trying times. Covid-19 is real and must be taken seriously in our part of the world.

The President General of the World Union of Catholic Women Organization (WUCWO), Maria Lia Zervino, in her message on the corona virus wondered how we could live out our WUCWO resolutions in this special Lent. The drastic reduction in human materialistic and individualistic activities as a result of lockdowns has given way to cleaner air and cleaner seas but will we be able to find new alternatives to heed the cry of the planet by applying the principles of Laudato Si’?

The President General further urged us to try to “transform this tragedy into an opportunity to improve our families in the face of this difficult situation and take care of the most vulnerable members? Will having children at home, married couples sharing many more hours than usual, the elderly in solitude, and the young overcoming their desire to be together give us the opportunity to deepen our family relationships, improve our ties and strengthen the family institution, as Amoris Laetitia teaches us? Will we succeed in giving a positive meaning to our use of time and social networks? Will we succeed in eliminating violence and discrimination against women (Evangelii Gaudium 212) as we try to overcome this pandemic? I am sure that we will take steps forward if we take advantage of this Lent to educate ourselves to respond to the call to holiness.”

During the recent meeting of Pope Francis with representatives of the World Union of Catholic Women Organization (WUCWO), the Pope noted that: “It is women who carry the Church forward without holding official positions.” And so we should.

In Pope Francis’ Urbi et Orbis Blessing on March 27, 2020 in the light of corona virus, the Holy Pontiff asked the world the question Jesus Christ asked the Apostles when their boat was caught up in a storm in the sea of Galilee and they were frightened: “Why are you afraid? Have you no faith?” The Pope said that like the disciples in that boat the storm exposes our vulnerability. We forget what matters and seek the ephemerals. He says the Lord is calling us this Lent to seize this time of trial to choose what matters and what passes away It is a time to get back to God.

 

In Conclusion, I end with the Holy Father’s exhortation to women of WUCWO to move forward on the path to holiness with courage, but also with craziness. He said: “Without craziness there is no holiness.” He told women to “take charge with courage”. As mothers, we must be on the front line of the fight to keep this virus at bay by taking special care of the family and endeavouring to turn this tragedy into opportunities.

We must heed the government’s advisory on the Covid-19 to stay safe, Where celebration of Masses in the Church is suspended, please adhere strictly. Stay at home and follow Masses daily as listed below:

Follow Pope Francis’ Mass through Vatican News on the internet.

Catholic Television (CTV)- Monday to Saturday at 6am, 12pm and 6pm

Sunday masses at 8am, 12pm and 6pm (also on AIT) [CTV can be watched on FREE-TO-AIR SATELLITE TV ON NIGCOMSAT and can now also be watched on Channel 170 of OURTV platform. We can get this channel on the STRONG DECODER or TREFONICS DECODER through any DSTV installer.]

Lumen Christi – (Channel 350 on DSTV Decoder)

EWTN – (Channel 348 on DSTV Decoder)

 

As women of faith and prayer, we should not lose our joy and a sense of humour at this time. May Our Mother Mary, Health of the Sick, Comforter of the Afflicted and Star of the Tempestuous Sea intercede for us.

I wish us all a happy Mother’s Day!

Through Mary our Mother, we succeed!!

 

Mrs. Cecilia Nwanneka Okolo
National President
Catholic Women Organisation Nigeria