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Members of the Knights and Ladies of St John International (KSJI) have been called upon to address the challenges facing the Order to make it more vibrant in its vocation to the service of the Church and humanity in general.


The call was made by the Secretary General of the Catholic Secretariat of Nigeria (CSN), Very Rev. Fr. Ralph Madu while delivering a lecture at the 40th anniversary celebration of the association held recently at the Daughters of Divine Love Retreat and Conference Centre (DRACC), Emene, Enugu State.


In his 11-page thought provoking presentation, Fr. Madu, who is a Brigadier General and immediate past spiritual Director of the Order, went down memory lane giving the checkered history of the order from inception in 1976, its successes, goals and objectives as well as challenges which need to be addressed to make the Order more proactive in its spiritual and charity works in the service of the Church.


He also spoke on the significance of the celebration of 40 years anniversary as a prelude to the Golden jubilee anniversary of the Order. Using several biblical instances to buttress his point the CSN Secretary General noted:  “This Ruby Anniversary known as 40th anniversary is a great landmark.  The lecturer also outlined some of the successes achieved by the Order as national body and in the different Commanderies bringing succour and happiness to the people of God, especially the needy; and serving the Church invaluably in essential areas of her pastoral responsibilities.


However, as the order moves towards her golden jubilee anniversary, Fr. Madu noted the challenges that are not in the progressive interests of the Order, particularly at commandery level and urged that these should be addressed in the interest of the common good for all goal of the Order. Areas addressed by the lecturer in his presentation included: concise chronicle of KSJI Nigeria, unshakable faith, co-relation between faith and achievement, cohesive apostolate, charity, greatest theological virtue and preparation for a firm future.


Areas of concern identified by Fr. Madu included: need for standardization of the mode of recruitment into the order, “in such a way that all aspirants have the same length of formation; need for radical formation to propel proper management skills in some presiding officers, as lack of this leads to haphazard management which affects sustainability of projects; and need for proper meaning of leadership.


The lecturer also abhorred the formation of cliques, often along tribal lines, divide and rule syndrome and other related group formations that could be inimical to the invaluable role of the order in the Church and the society.


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