NIGERIA, Michael Okpala •
Thanks to the Blessed Mother, youthful hearts are daily being drawn to the Shrine, and in Nigeria, the mission is spreading and expanding almost hourly. And what is the secret? Like Fr. Kentenich would have said, it is because of the action and presence of the Blessed Mother in Shrine through the Covenant of Love; this is a cause of great joy, and we are happy. Fr. Paul Nwachukwu, who is in-charge of the Schoenstatt Movement in Nigeria and the Rector of the Shrine, is doing a lot of work in Nigeria.
The 2017 Youth camp, which was held at our retreat center, had a special emphasis. This is particularly important, because the number this year beats the previous years’ records. This year we noted about seventy participants. It was a six (6) day event from the 27th of August to the 1st of September 2017. This year the theme of the youth camp was “Youths and Self-Actualization” with the motto: “Self-education for self-actualization.” We find the goal and necessity of self-education as pertinent especially at this time; Fr. Kentenich said it is, “an imperative for our time.” In the 1912 Pre-Founding Document, one would clearly understand why Fr. Kentenich was described as a prophet. In the 1912 Pre-Founding Document, he said: “One does not need much knowledge of the world… to realize clearly that our time, with all its discoveries, cannot remove our inner emptiness…However, one world, one that is eternally old and yet eternally new, a world – the microcosm, the world in miniature, our own interior world – remains unknown and unexplored.”
This fact is elicited in the glaring prevalence of vices of mass-mindedness, suicides, genocides, violence, same- sex unions and the like. These are rife because of the absence of self-education.
There were series of talks and seminars and some of the topics explored were: “The relevance of self-education for youths, in the light of the Pre-Founding Document,” “Youths and relationship: The good, the bad, the ugly,” “Goal prioritization, time management and effective use of social media (profiting from social media),” and, “Restart your life: restart Nigeria.”
In addition to the talks and seminars, there were extra-curricular activities like dances, plays, films, and talent displays.
The youth camp recorded a huge success this year as many found relief and motivation in the talks given. Thanks to the Blessed Mother for her miraculous activity in our Shrine. At the close of this summer camp, everyone left joyful and spirit-filled.
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