-lauds initiators of Zaria Diocesan PMS Maiden Scholarship Quiz and Skill Acquisition Competitions
The Catholic Bishop of Zaria, Most Rev. George Jonathan Dodo pasted sweet and lasting memories on the minds of all twenty-eight animators of the Holy Childhood Association (HCA) of his diocese when he presented each of them with an award of recognition for the services that they have been rendering to the Church through the body at the 2021 Holy Childhood Association/Young Missionary Movement Christmas Carols which took place in Our Lady Queen of Peace Parish, ABU Samaru Zaria on Saturday, 4th December, 2021.
His Lordship assured the children of the Baby Jesus’ love for them and charged them to share their gifts and blessings with other children.
The animators who went about their normal business could not conceal their excitement when the group’s director, Rev Fr Patrick Bako Zichiyang announced His Lordship’s intention to acknowledge their varying investments in the lives of the children.
“The bishop has a surprise for all the animators,” Fr Zichiyang declared. “It is a token of something to put in your house in recognition of what you have been doing for the children. It is not easy to take care of little children.”
Earlier on, at the same venue, Bishop Dodo commended the organizers of the ‘PMS Maiden Scholarship Quiz and Skill Acquisition Competitions for HCA and YOMM’ and thanked them for marking the year’s Mission Sunday in such manner but tasked them to stretch the initiative beyond its present level.
“There are always new designs of things that were done yesterday,” the Chief Shepherd enlightened. “What we just witnessed today is a very simple expression of what God told the Israelites to teach their children about their religion so that the children will grow to do the will of God.
“PMS has seen successes recorded but we are faced with the challenges of what to do better in the future. The sky will be your limit if you continue. Begin to compile the reports of what you have done while your memories are still fresh.
“Look at the areas of success and things that could have been included to make it more successful. Send the reports and the pictures to the national and I believe they will send them to Rome and other countries will learn from us.”
The spiritual leader lauded the donors from whose resources the scholarships and cash reward were pulled. He noted that there are no competitions without competitors and praised participants at both the quiz and skill acquisition competitions, even as he encouraged those who did not emerge winners to work harder next time.
Thanking Bishop Dodo for giving the body a hundred percent support, the Diocesan Director of PMS, Rev. Fr. Patrick Bako Zichiyang, whose one year in office coincided with the event, revealed that he decided to have the event on a Mission Sunday as a way to make people feel the impact of the Church’s mission and that of the missionaries who evangelized them – resulting in access to faith, western education, and vocations to the Catholic priesthood and religious life and to matrimony.
On executing his bishop’s task of sustaining the legacy, the director indicated that “if we have more sponsors, the diocese will give scholarship to more kids, but we are constrained financially.
“The aim is to support and encourage our children by telling them that the Church cares about their faith, formation and upbringing – but some parents are yet to release their children to join the Holy Childhood Association and YOMM. Some parishes do not even have any of these associations despite the efforts we have been making.”
At the end of the quiz competition that involved eleven parishes and entailed questions on Christian Religious Knowledge, English Language, Mathematics and Spelling Bee, scholarships for completion of secondary education were awarded to two children – the overall winner of the competition – twelve year old daughter of a soldier who lost his life to insurgency in defense of the nation and a JS III student – Miss Catherine Zirra from Good Shepherd Parish Graceland, Zaria and an orphan from St Peter’s Rumi, Mr. Luka Simon while a cash reward of twenty thousand naira only (₦20,000.00) was given to the overall winner of the skill acquisition, Mr. Isaac John from Christ the King Cathedral, Sabo Gari who sketched a portrait of the Spiritual Father of Cathdiza Family.
By Olivia Obijiaku