By Ugo Aliogo
The Knight of St. Mulumba, Lagos Metropolitan Council has inaugurated the Youths arm of St. Mulumba (YSM) group with the sole aim of laying a solid foundation for the growth of the Catholic Church in Nigeria.
Speaking at the inauguration ceremony in Lagos recently, the Deputy Metropolitan Grand Knight, Sir. Don Ezeh, said the formation of YSM was informed by the need to keep the church strong, vibrant and resilient through the coming years.
According to him, the decline of Catholic Church in favour and vibrancy in the United Kingdom and Europe from where the missionaries came with the holy gospel to Nigeria 150 years ago, holds great lessons for the catholic youths.
Ezeh stated: “Thinking about the future of the church and our society, we must invest time and treasure in our youths of today. We will nurture and groom them to take over from us and continue the laudable journey of providing strong leadership in various Catholic Laity Organisations, supporting in a special way the Catholic Church and the Society.”
He enjoined the youths to see the YSM initiative a worthy mission that needs strong commitment and sacrifice to make it work.
He hinted the Church’s commitment to the spiritual formation and growth of youths, adding that they plan to ensure by design that the YSM programme activities would reinforce spiritual formation in a manner that would prove spiritually enriching for the youths.
Continuing, he said: “Spiritual formation/growth activities and focus on reinforcing strong morals and ethics, and key catholic training perennial habits such as mastery of the Rosary/Mysteries and regular Catholic prayers and songs, the habit of visitation to the Blessed Sacrament, active participation in Adoration, Station of the Cross, Confessions, informed dialogue and the search for inspiration in meditation and the exemplary lives of the saints and the lives of iconic world leaders that have impacted and inspired humanity.”
Ezeh also unveiled plans to train and empower youths to enable them develop multiple skills to face the present day economic realities, stating that to achieve this, the council has concluded arrangements to provide youths access to Information and Communication Technology (ICT) training, which would include Microsoft package, Corel Draw, Internet Search skills and desktop publishing.
Ezeh said that the empowerment programme would be based on individual aptitude, capacity and preferences.
He explained that the ICT training would be followed by other life skills development programmes, which would include computer servicing, video and photography; website design and hosting; printing, production of magazine, fashion design, confectionaries, public speaking/debates; coaching/mentoring supervisory and leadership networking skills.
“In addition to the above, we hope from time to time to invite subject matter experts to share their years of experience and insight with our youths to expand their competitive and entrepreneurial vision and horizon. Through this programme, we will strive to make our youths very relevant and competitive in employment and as entrepreneurs in contemporary Nigerian society and beyond. It is our hope that they will excel and be beneficiaries of various world class youth empowerment programmes that get advertised from time to time in the creative industry,” he stated.