…Awards 16 First Class
By Anselm Alita
All roads led to Bigard Memorial Seminary, Enugu on Thursday, the 19th March, 2020, as the institution celebrated her 49th convocation ceremony.
The event which brought together the philosophy and theology graduands of the institution who completed their final exams six months ago.
It was attended by very high profile personalities, family and friends who had come to felicitate with the graduands for their remarkable strides during their four years stay in the institution.
The ceremony which actually began on the 18th March, 2020 with the homecoming of the graduands, followed by a novelty football match at 4:00 p.m, followed by the evening prayers and dinner.
The main activities of the event began on Thursday, 19th March, 2020 with a solemn mass at 9.00, presided over by the convocation prelate Rt. Rev. Dr Geoffery Igwebuike Onah, the Catholic Bishop of Nsukka Diocese.
In the course of the mass, the convocation prelate said that we thank God for his mercies and guidance and goodness to us, for the successes for which we gathered to celebrate, and show gratitude for the various landmarks made, and also for the grace to keep moving forward.
At the end of the mass came the procession of the formators, lecturers and the graduands into the seminary auditorium where the convocation ceremony actually took off.
In his keynote address, the convocation prelate, Rt. Rev. Dr. Geoffery Igwebuike Onah, hammered on the danger Christianity is passing through.
He kicked against adorego-adoration, where the gospel is commercialized; the Islamization of Nigeria and the agenda of the Fulani people and pentecostalism.
In his words, “If the only thing we can do as Christians is to fight the evil spirit and our enemies, I will tell you that the gods of our forefathers did better. Any version of Christianity that emphasizes only miracles and solutions to material problems will die when the people can solve their problems on their own. Christianity is endangered and is within.”
“The version of Christianity that is now popular in Nigeria, de-Christianizes the Christians. You cannot Islamize Christians unless you first de-Christianise them, and the version of Christianity in Nigeria is de-Christianizing Christians”
The keynote address was followed by the convocation lecture by Rev. Fr. Cyriacus Okpalike. This was followed by the presentation of certificates to the graduands by the convocation prelate.
In the philosophy department, 9 students were awarded Summa cum laude probatus (first class honours), 50 students were awarded the magna cum laude probatus (second class upper), sixty students were awarded with cum laude probatus (second class lower), while five students were awarded with Bene Probatus (third class). The Valecdictorian for the philosophy department was Mr. Jeremaiah Egbosimba, with an average of 97.73.
In the Theology department, 7 persons were awarded the summa cum laude, 36 magna cum laude probatus, 36 cum laude probatus, 11 Bene probatus, 1 probatus. The valectorian of the theology department was Rev. Fr. Emmanuel Nwafor, with the average score of 97.61.
The ceremony ended with the Episcopal blessings of the convocation prelate, which was followed by a group photograph of the formators, the lecturers and the graduands.
This was followed by reception, as the graduands moved to their different venues accompanied amidst throngs of joy by family, friends and well wishers.