CATHOLIC YOUTH ORAGANIZATION OF NIGERIA (CYON)

Motto: Let your light shine.

About Us

Catholic Youth Organisation of Nigeria (CYON) is the umbrella body that unites all the youths of the Catholic church. Our goal is to support each other in growing our faith and other aspects of life.

Our Logo

Dove with a branch : A sign of purity and bearer of good news.

Pairs of hands : The hands of the youth recovering from above.

Gold or Yellow Colour : The Church color

Green Colour : Fruitfulness and nature

For God and For Youths..... Through Christ

Patron Saint

Charles Lwanga was a Ugandan convert to the Catholic Church who was martyred with a group of his peers and is revered as a saint by both the Catholic Church and the Anglican Communion. Wikipedia

Born: 1 January 1860, Buganda, Uganda

Died: 3 June 1886, Namugongo, Kampala, Uganda

Feast: 3 June

Canonized: 18 October 1964, St. Peter’s Basilica, Vatican City by Pope Paul VI

Major shrine: Basilica of the Uganda Martyrs, Munyonyo Martyrs Shrine

Patronage: African Catholic Youth Action, converts, torture victims.

Aims and Objective

  1. The primary aim of the organization is the spiritual development of youth through personal prayers, Bible and spiritual readings and participation in the sacramental apostolic life of the Church.
  2. To foster unity, progress, equality, co-operation, love and understanding among the youths at the parish level.
  3. To live a Christ-like life and encourage one another by reading the word of God, practicing what we preach and participating in the sacramental life of the Church.
  4. To promote and defend Catholic doctrine (faith), tenets and principles through service to God and humanity and by other justified means.
  5. To do such other things that are collective and incidental to the above objectives.
  6. To promote Catholic identity and encouragement through the inculcation of Catholic doctrines and practices as contained in the traditional and teachings of the Catholic Church.
  7. To support and be loyal to the constituted authority of the Catholic Church in her mission to the world.
  8. To implement the decisions of the parish as advised by the priest in charge of the parish.
  9. To co-ordinate the activities of the Catholic Youths at the parish level in such a way as to make meaningful impact on the development of the Church and the nation.
  10. To promote and strengthen Catholic Youth Organisations at parish level through rallies, lectures, seminars, retreats and related activities.

Youth Anthem

At a time like this

When we come together

From the East and West

From the North and South

When we come together

In the name of Jesus Christ

O Lord Arise and Shine (x2)

Meeting

General Meeting Every first Sunday of the Month Immediately after 9AM.

Activites

  • Bible Studies; Every Tuesday
  • Movie Night; Every Second Sunday of the Month @ 6PM
  • Sports and Sanitation every first Saturday of the Month
  • Young Asks; Faith, Career, Vocation, Relationship Talk and Skill Acquisition: Quarterly.

Our Executives

  • President:

    Mr. Samuel Ayodele Bello

  • Vice-President:

    Mr Gabriel Ajogu

  • Secretary

    Mr. Sunday Dansu

  • Assistant Secretary

    Miss Vivian Obindim

  • Financial Secretary

    Mr. Victor James

  • Welfare Officer

    Miss Perpetual Idu

  • Director of Social

    Mr. Hillary Atune

Handover to New President

Our Executives

  • Public Relations Officer

    Miss Dorcas Emmanuel

  • Provost 1

    Mr. Peter Ajiji

  • Provost 2

    Mr. Albert James

  • Faith Formator

    Miss. Grace Ogbebor

  • Chaplain

    Rev Fr. John Oscar Obi

  • President Emeritus

    Mr Paul Mgbebe

  • Former Secretary

    Mrs. Philomena Ebeneme

History of Catholic Youth Organization of Nigeria

Following the concern of the Catholic Bishops conference of Nigeria (CBCN) that the Catholic Youths of Nigeria celebrate the International Youth Year (IYY) declared by the United Nations in 1985, several meetings of Chaplains responsible for youth affairs, and Youths leaders from the various dioceses of Nigeria were held to plan for a National Catholic Youth Rally. The first of these meetings was held at Awka in March, 1985 and presided over by the then outgoing Bishop Chairman of the Catholic Bishop’s Commission for the Laity, and Bishop of Akwa Rt Rev. Dr. A.k. Obiefuna. Subsequent meetings were presided over by his successor, the Bishop of Okigwe, Rt. Rev. Dr. Anthony Ilonu. This move coincided with an earlier demand for recognition and accreditation sent to the Catholic Bishop’s Conference of Nigeria by a protem national executive of the Catholic Youths which was formed out of a national meeting held in Benin in December, 1983. The Benin meeting was a first move initiated by the youths, to nationally bring together the various parish based Catholic Youth movements existing in the dioceses. The Youth Movement had for long existed in the various parish and diocesan levels without national coordination and cohesion.

The request for recognition and accreditation was being considered by the Bishop Chairman of the CBCN Commission for the Laity when the issue of the IYY celebrations came up in 1985. The attendance at the 1985 meetings was much more broad. Thus to create a neutral ground for a fresh start, the forming national executive elected in Benin in 1983 was dissolved at one of the Chaplains/Youths meeting held at Akwa on 8th May, 1985. Under the guidance of His Lordship, Rt. Rev. Dr. A. Ilonu, a management committee of six youths (two each from three ecclesiastical provinces) was set up for a fresh start. Three Chaplains (one each from the three ecclesiastical provinces) were selected to guide the youths. Following the acceptance, during the meeting, by Ogoja Diocese to host the proposed national rally, the Ogoja Diocesan Youth Chaplin, and one Youth from his diocese were both co-opted on the committee. Their names are as follows: Fr. Michael Cunnane (Ogoja) Convener and chairman. Mr. Julius Achia (Ogoja). The provincial youth representatives are: Messers G. A. Loratim-Uba (Makudi). Patrick Uloneme (Sokoto), John Aichie (Benin), Patrick Edebor (Ondo), Samuel Okolocha (Akwa), Anthony Allagoa (Port Harcourt). The Chaplains are: Fr. Chris Utov (Makudi), Fr. Mike Okodua (Oyo) and Fr. Gregory Adibe (Onitsha).

The committee was subsequently charged with the following task:

  • Preparing and presenting a draft constitution for ratification
  • Planning and organizing the National catholic youth IYY Rally to take place at Ogoja from 28th August to 1st September, 1985.

The committee was successful in handling these tasks. The result was a massively attended catholic youth IYY Rally held at Ogoja during which the draft constitution of the CYON was passed, and national officers elected. The CYON was thus finally born and accredited by the CBCN at Ogoja in 1985.

The year 1985 therefore marked a profound development in the perspective of the church’s effort to reach out to her youths in a more concrete way. The church had always been accused of focusing more on the wisdom of elders and neglecting the enthusiasm, energies and potentials of the young. Of course the church had demonstrated concern for youths through her education effort in the establishment of schools and encouragement given to such school based bodies as the Young Catholic Students Movement (YCSM) and the Nigerian Federation Of Catholic Students (NFCS). This encouragement was however seen to be restricted to the sector with the parish, the basic forum of ecclesial and apostolic activity, receiving less attention in the Youth apostolate effort. Infact Devout Catholic Student on passing out of school could not find any youth forum to further their apostolic participation and Catholic Action. Realizing, as the Vatican Council States that; ‘The young should become the first apostles of the young, in direct contact with them, exercising the apostolate by themselves among themselves, taking account of their social environment; “they found it difficult to fit into most of the existing adult dominated parish organizations. Most began to claim they could get on very well on their own, and went to church only on Sundays. Some began to claim they knew all about the faith, had for long experienced it all and no longer believed in it. The situation has been stated by Fr. Kaigama:

“On the socio-religious level, young people cannot easily find their role within the church especially within the present parish structures. They do not feel involved because in the parish almost everything is done by and for adults. There is hardly any option for the young, and if there is, it comes last which means that it is not a priority”.

On passing out from school therefore, the young could not feel the addressed within the context of his experiences. Many even got inclined or tempted to reject God, or lost a meaning in life or began seeking new models in pseudo – charismatic movements, or began drifting to mushroom churches, or engaged in drugs and other ills.

Another factor, very much related to the factor of over concentration to the school based youth apostolate at the detriment of the parish based, that led many to form the opinion that the church had neglected the youths was the takeover of church schools. It seemed as though the church had been incapacitated in that respect and with less attention previously focused on the parish youth apostolate, the opinion of church neglect of youths apparently received an overwhelming confirmation.

The takeover of church schools by the government, a deliberate policy hatched at a World Islamic Festival held in the early 70s, aimed at dubiously destroying Christianity, and perpetrated in Nigeria in the disguise of improving the quality of education by some Moslems in the influential government positions, was a ploy that severe the communication link between the church and her young. This ploy swept through the nation like typhoid fever in the mid-70s and was pursued with extra vigor in the northern part of the nation. Most youths in schools could therefore not be reach and those already out of school were being negatively influenced by the forces of modernization, the machinations of dechristianization, and simply did not see devotion to their faith as fashionable. Meanwhile the youths had no organization in the parish to, so to say, own, hold to, or youthfully identify to.

History of CYON in Our Lady of Perpetual Help V.I

Our Lady of Perpetual Help Catholic Church Was established in 2010, within the period CYON was only recognized at Parish level, and as such was coordinated by interested persons as a way of bringing young people together, then towards the end 2011 a more organized care taker committee was set up, headed by Mr. Andrew Nwogu, as the Coordinator, assisted by Mr. Mgbebe Paul, who later became the Coordinator as at when the then coordinator got married. And in August 2015, the Archdiocese of Lagos through Lagos Island Deanery conducted the first official Parish CYON Election.  The executives came on board on the 30th of August 2015, been Sunday in our Parish OLPH where the election was conducted and inauguration of the newly elected executives took place on the 11th of October, 2015 towards the closing of Mass, by Very. Rev. Fr. Henry   Omonisaye, the then Parish Priest. While our introduction to Lagos Island Deanery, took place on the 25th of October, 2015.

The election brought in the following persons:

NAMES POSITIONS
MGBEBE PAULPRESIDENT
ANYANWU STANLEYVICE PRESIDENT
NWOKOLO PHILOMINAGENERAL SECRETARY
BEM BARTHOLOMEWASST. GENERAL SECRETARY
IGIRI JOHNFINANCIAL SECRETARY
SIMON PAULPUBLIC RELATIONS OFFICER (PRO)
LYDIA IBEWELFARE
OKEME AROMEPROVOST (1)
REV. FR. TERSEER EMMANUEL CMFPARISH CHAPLAIN
VERY. REV. FR. HENRY OMONISAYE CMFPARISH PRIEST

However, in August 2016 the then assistant Secretary Mr. Bem Bartholomew passed on, because of a brief illness. May his Soul and the Souls of all the faithful department through the mercy of God rest in Peace, Amen. Same year, we appointed Mr. Samuel Ikenna Onyejiaka after some consultation from the higher Council who after his active contributions, as the assistant Secretary relocated 30th of May, 2017. Same year again, this time with a bye Election we got another assistant secretary Miss. Adukwu Stella who is still on board. While our then Welfare, Miss. Lydia Ibe became the Deanery assistant Secretary and was replaced with Miss. Nnacheta Rosemary, who was very active until work could no longer permit her to carry out her duties effectively, thereafter, with due consideration she was replaced with Miss. Idu Perpetual, who is the current Welfare until this time.

On the same note, we appointed the Provost 11, Mr. Tatah Augustine, to assist Mr. Arome Okeme, and Mr. Atune Hillary the DOS came on board as a result of the fact that there was now a need for a Faith Formator, and our current Parish Priest, Very Rev. Fr. Julius Olaitan suggested that instead of bring additional Executive,  the task should be given to one of the existing Exco which we explain that we were still lacking the post of a DOS, and with his approvals, brought in Mr. Atune Hillary, as the DOCS and the Faith Formator. On the same vain, Mr. John Igiri the financial secretary got married in 2017 December, and was replaced with Mr. James Victor, as the current financial secretary.

On completion of a tenure another election was conducted on 19th August 2018, as mandated by the constitution which ushered in new set of executives as follows;

NAMESPOSITIONS
BELLO SAMUEL AYODELEPRESIDENT
AJOGO GABRIELVICE PRESIDENT
OGBAJI MICHAELGENERAL SECRETARY
DANSU SUNDAYASST. GENERAL SECRETARY
VICTOR JAMESFINANCIAL SECRETARY
OBINDIM VIVIANPUBLIC RELATIONS OFFICER (PRO) 1
CLETUS OBIORAPUBLIC RELATIONS OFFICER (PRO) 2
IDU PERPETUALWELFARE
ATUNE HILARYDIRECTOR OF SOCIALS
EBERE NELSONPROVOST 1
AJIJI PETERPROVOST 2
AKPE GERALDFAITH FORMATOR
REV. FR. JULIAN EGUWATUPARISH CHAPLAIN
VERY. REV. FR. JULIUS OLAITANPARISH PRIEST

Following various factors ranging from change of job, complete relocation within and out of Lagos of the following executives; Akpe Gerald, Ebere Nelson and Cletus Obiora, there was a bye election to replace the vacant positions. Along the line our chaplain Rev. Fr. Julian Egwuatu travelled out of the country for further studies and was replaced by Rev. Fr. John Oscar Obi.  Hence the current executives.

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