About 1,700 members of the Catholic Archdiocese of Lagos were inducted into the Catholic Men Organisation (CMO), at Saint Gregory’s College, Ikoyi, Lagos.
Over 3,000 Catholics witnessed the three-day spiritual exercise.
The event, which was the 2019 annual conference and 17th anniversary of the CMO, had the theme ‘Let’s Continue with Christ.’ It was endorsed by the Archbishop of the Metropolitan See of Lagos, Most Rev. Alfred Adewale Martins, represented on the occasion by Monsignor Bernard Okodua.
Martins called on the inductees and CMO members in general to be like Jesus, who practised what he preached, even when he knew that his teachings would eventually lead to his death.
The Archbishop, who was impressed with the turnout of participants at the event, cautioned that it was not enough to be inducted as CMO members, but that a Catholic man should be a leading example.
“He must not practise the maxim that says, ‘if you can’t beat them, you join them.’ Corruption and evil practices are what has kept Nigeria where it is today, but I want to remind you that evil did not start today. There was corruption in the days of Noah in the Bible. But Noah stood his ground; he was alone, building the Ark of God. He was mocked and derided; yet he continued to do what was right in the sight of God.”
Martins explained that Catholic men ought to be resolute like Noah, who disregarded the criticism against his upright stance in obeying God.
“He did not care what people would say about him. He was a leading example and a shining light through which the world was saved in a time of destruction. What about Lot in the Bible? Lot was living in Sodom and Gomorrah. The city was practicing different kinds of atrocities, including sodomy, yet Lot stood out; serving God and doing the right things. He did not say because everyone in the city was practising evil, he would join them. When destruction came, his family was saved even though his greedy wife died.
“Most of us are greedy as Lot’s wife. That is why we acquire wealth primitively. Brethren, we should pray seriously for Nigeria, so that the country does not become another Sodom and Gomorrah.”
Earlier, Rev. Fr. Daniel Nwankwo, the chaplain of the CMO, Lagos Archdiocese, warned CMO members who indulged in evil acts to repent or risk the wrath of God.
He stated: “Some of you sitting down here are hiding under CMO and Christianity to perpetrate evil. Some of you have stained your hands with blood. Some have killed, done many rituals and abominable things so as to get rich quick. Many of you are sleeping with your apprentices through the anus for moneymaking rituals. Many of you, including some priests, are bringing shame to the Catholic Church.
“Some are sleeping with other people’s wives, committing adultery, as if God is not watching. Some of you cannot plant in the church or the organisations where you work, but you destroy what others have planted. I want to remind you that, if you don’t repent, whatever killed others who committed the same offence will still kill you.
“As CMO members, you should stand against injustice and be leading examples for people to emulate.”
On his part, Rev. Fr. Ben Okoro, during his talk, charged Catholic men to be good shepherds, as exemplified by Jesus, who laid down his life for his sheep.
According to the renowned preacher: “We can never be exactly like Jesus, but we should strive to be like him. Jesus, as the Good Shepherd, laid down his life for his sheep. As a CMO member, you are a husband, and husband is a shepherd, but the question is, are you a good shepherd that is ready to do anything good within your power for your family?
“You should not shy away from your responsibilities as a father and husband. Be a light and a leading example in your families. If every father is responsible and impacts it on their families, the world would be a better place to live in. Many of you fathers are not responsible; you kill your destinies with careless drinking. I am not condemning alcoholic drinks, because, if you trace the history of where Jesus turned water into wine, it was not non-alcoholic, but he did not say we should get drunk. Drink responsibly and don’t kill your family’s destiny with drinks and cigarette smoking.
“Stop humiliating your wives and disgracing your children and Christianity with your bad behaviours. Always know that people are watching you. So, be a shining light to all.”
The event was concluded with the inducted members taking the oath to be faithful to the commandments of God and to defend the Catholic doctrine.