During our trip and time in Nigeria, we had some of the most wonderful experiences of our lives.
As we got the privilege of spending time with the amazing people of Enugu and Owerri, we found them to be warm, kind, resilient and yes, pro-life to the core.
It was as if every single encounter we had was a balm to the soul and a shot in the arm at the same time.
But one of the highest points of our journey happened on a bright Sunday morning when our gracious Host, Archbishop Anthony Obinna, of Owerri Archdiocese, took us to Mass(worship) with him to a rural Catholic parish in a small village called Orodo.
To get to Orodo, we journeyed an hour on the dirt-road ,passing by small scenic villages, catching a glimpse of rural Africa and seeing the glorious beauty of nature in the African landscape. But the summit of our experience was in meeting the people of Orodo and experiencing first-hand their vibrant faith and their inexplicable joy.
The men, women and children we met at this local Catholic parish did not have much in terms of material wealth but they had more zest and grace than anyone you’ll ever know. And they welcomed us with the warmth and cheer of real family.
Their faith and fervour were palpable. Their zeal and passion for God was abundantly obvious.
Their music was as melodious as any grand choir in any part of the world.
The Mass, which lasted for all of 5hours, was a profound faith experience that will remain emblazoned in our hearts for years and years to come.
And as the Catholic way of worship is universal, we prayed, we sang, we danced and we listened to the Liturgy along side everyone else. Yes, we sat, stood and knelt with everyone else! So we got to see what we already knew in our hearts – that the Church is a family with one worship and one love for God. In America , Africa , Europe or anywhere else, the worship is the same, from Orodo to Ottawa the Liturgy is the same – pristine and life-giving.
And we counted it a real blessing for us to experience this in the midst of pure joy and in the embrace of true catholic family that transcends race and nation!
At the end of that Sunday, the remarkable faith in God and firm fidelity to the Church that we witnessed in this small village gave us real food for thought as we compared it with the heart-breaking dissidence and disobedience that we see all the time among some Catholics in the wealthy developed world. We thought of the misguided Catholics who have capitulated to the Culture of Death and so have accepted the new norm of premarital sex among the singles, the artificial contraception among the married , the fallacy of abortion as a right, the sexualisation of the society, the attack on natural marriage and the deconstruction of the family. Indeed, the crass desensitisation to non-negotiable moral issues among some people of faith in the West is a real cause for sadness.
But the ultimate tragedy however is that the developed world, in its anaemic and declining faith, is undermining the faith of the African people as they try very hard to force-feed them with the newly concocted Western values through various objectionable aid projects being launched across the Continent under the guise of poverty alleviation programs.
So after experiencing real and authentic faith in Africa, we wholeheartedly decry this insidious move from the western elite!
Because the joy we saw in the people of Orodo is worth preserving.
Because their values are worth upholding.
Because their children’s innocence is worth protecting.
Because their women’s dignity is worth defending.
They have absolutely no need for the new and nauseating government-promoted casual-sex culture. They certainly can do without the so called global and universal “Sexual and Reproductive Health” agenda which is a road-map to a world completely immersed in toxic sexual depravity.
They have their rich vibrant faith , healthy marriage culture ,strong family ties, authentic love and joy in abundance that keep them more content than even the wealthiest people in the wealthiest nations of the world.
So please raise your voice with ours to demand that the faith and values of the African people be respected by the donors and decision makers of the Western world.