21 March 2017
By Ann Schulte, SHCJ
“Sr. Ngozi Eguh Society of the Holy Child Jesus,” the name was read out, and Sr. Ngozi went forward to receive her award from His Grace Most Rev. Dr. Alfred A. Martins, the Archbishop of Lagos. All clapped, but there was especially loud clapping from the small group of SHCJ sisters there to support Sr. Ngozi!
This ceremony took place at the Church of St. Philip and James, Lekki on Sunday March 12, 2017. Each year the Archdiocesan Laity Council gives awards to those who have contributed to the growth of the Archdiocese in one way or another. This year there were eight priests and three sisters given awards and 167 lay people taken from the Archdiocese and the different deaneries. The beautiful newly built and consecrated church was filled with the awardees and their supporters from all the various deaneries.
Being a Sunday, a number of SHCJ sisters were involved in their parish duties, but there were representatives from the four Lagos communities there to support Sr. Ngozi. The 11 a.m. Mass was concelebrated by the Archbishop with the Monsignori and priests present, with lively singing from the choir. After the Mass, all went outside to their variously designated “canopies” and the Awardees to their own canopy, with blue and red chairs, that the MC kept on telling us were for the awardees and their spouses only, other supporters, were to go to the canopies allotted to their deaneries. The priests and sisters present, not very many, were also allowed to use the red and blue chairs for which they were grateful.
There was also the ceremony of the Launching of the “Laity Courier Magazine”, to help support the work of the Laity Council, and we were told that one urgent need was for a new bus, as their 20 year old bus, was really beyond any more repairs! As we returned home we were all happy that Sr. Ngozi’s many years of service in Lagos Archdiocese had been recognized with the award, given by the Laity Council.