Nigeria. Pentecost rally for young people

From 17 to 18 May 2024, the Catholic Diocese of Osogbo, Nigeria, organised a Pentecost Rally and Youth Day for all the young people of the diocese, on the theme: The Holy Spirit, strength of youth.

The programme included a procession, recitation of the rosary, a thematic teaching on ‘The Holy Spirit, Strength of Youth’, praise, theatrical and cultural performances, a penitential service, adoration, a doctrinal forum and the Diocesan Youth Day (DYD) Mass at St Leo’s Catholic Church in Okenitea.

This year, the dioceses of OYO and Osogbo marked the 50th anniversary of CYON (Catholic Youth Association of Nigeria). The Catholic Youth Association of Nigeria was founded in the former Diocese of Oyo by Bishop Julius Babatunde Adelakun, Bishop Emeritus of the former Diocese of Oyo, in 1974. Its aim was to prepare young Catholics for leadership. It is a great joy to see that some of the young people involved are now bishops, priests and religious.
The Pentecost gathering was one of the events organised to mark this 50th anniversary. The procession, which lasted 1.5 hours, started at St Mary’s Ayetoro Catholic Church and ended at St Leo’s Okenitea Catholic Church. This solemn event attracted a number of young people from other denominations.

The thematic teaching on ‘The Holy Spirit, strength of youth’, the penitential service, adoration and the doctrinal forum were led by priests from the diocese. The young people had the opportunity to talk and ask questions about their understanding of the Holy Spirit. Group sharing lasted 30 minutes, led by the Daughters of the Holy Spirit and the DHS postulants, who joined the various groups for effective contribution and interaction … and enriching, according to the young people.

Theatre and cultural performances were presented in the deaneries with the active participation of young people endowed with talent and skills! Penance services and adoration of the Blessed Sacrament were marked by a high level of decoration. A good number of young people took part in the sacraments of confession and the Eucharist, bearing witness to their profound spiritual maturity. Holy Mass was celebrated by the Bishop of the Diocese of Osogbo, Mgr John Akin Oyejola, during which he gave the young people the opportunity to ask questions about their faith and other aspects of their lives – young people who were open to talking about their difficulties at home and in the Church. The bishop encouraged them to take part in the faith-deepening programme that takes place on Sundays before Mass in every parish in the diocese.

In all, 265 young people, along with 9 Daughters of the Holy Spirit, 2 DHS postulants and 3 Sisters of St Michael the Archangel, took part in this unique rally!

Sister Chibuzor Onyeananam, DHS, Osogbo diocesan youth coordinator.
Published on 24 May 2024