Nigeria Christian Mothers Welcome Fr. Joseph
From Archconfraternity Director
Fr. Joseph Tuscan, OFM Cap
Since accepting the position of director for the Archconfraternity of Christian Mothers one year ago, I’ve been getting to know the members which include several foreign countries where the organization is truly thriving. This past January and February I had the joy of spending four weeks making the first-ever visitation of the Christian Mothers in Nigeria from our Province. The Christian Mothers have been in Nigeria for 99 years and will celebrate their centenary on September 15, 2020, the Feast of the Sorrowful Mother. They have asked me to join them for that celebration which I hope to do, God willing.
The Confraternity numbers into the thousands of members in Nigeria and they are quite active. They are generously supported by the Episcopal Conference of Nigeria and they, in turn, support the education of future priests (the Mothers pay for the education of three priests every year in each diocese where they're represented). In fact, the Mothers in the Lagos Archdiocese paid for the Seminary education of its current Archbishop - he's standing with representatives and the Confraternity officers in the photo above.
I was blessed to celebrate Mass for several large gatherings of the Christian Mothers in Benin and Lagos and there were at least 800 to 900 members present at both events. I had the opportunity to visit with the papal nuncio and many of the Bishops in order to discuss my role with the confraternity in Nigeria. One of my other goals was to strengthen the bond between the Christian Mothers in Nigeria and the United States.
I began in the capital of Abuja, then Benin and Lagos, where I also had the opportunity to visit a remote and recently established diocese called Auchi. I was warmly received by the bishop there and had the opportunity to address the women at his Cathedral in order to initiate a new confraternity there.
During the month, I was accompanied by Fr. Andrew Dodo from the Diocese of Kaduna who is the national director of the Christian Mothers in Nigeria, and a brother Capuchin, Michael Abugourin, OFM Cap., who graciously joined me throughout my stay.