Posted by Tony Eluemunor | 21 August 2014 | 6,992 times
Nigeria’s efforts to sustain her frontline position in the comity of nations received a boost when Dr. Dan Anaebo Okekenta was elected world Vice-President of the Catholic Order of the Knights of St. John International (KSJI) in Columbus, Ohio, USA. He thus became the first Nigerian to attain the rank of Lieutenant-General and Supreme 2nd Vice President of Knights of St. John International, the third highest office of the highly respected Catholic Order in the entire world.
The convention, also attended by the female arm of KSJI, the Ladies Auxiliary, which would have held in Nigeria but for the insecurity challenges facing the country, had the theme of “With God All Things Are Possible”, and had over 10,000 attendees from all corners of the globe, including hundreds of Nigerians. Governor John R. Kasich of Ohio State, in an address, said that since 1879 when the KSJI headquarters came to the United States, the Knights “have diligently sought to care for the spiritual, social and physical needs of members and neighbours. Your dedication to your communities is remarkable, and you should be proud of the impact you have made. We commend your dedication to religious action, education, charitable benevolence, fraternalism, athleticism, patriotism and community. Your dedication to the mission of KSJI has made our world a better place.”
Giving his special blessings, The Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Columbus, Ohio, said that the KSJI presence “is a vital sign showing others how to help build the Kingdom of God in our world.”
Relishing the touristic opportunities the convention provided as Abuja’s loss became his city’s gain, Mr. Michael B. Coleman, Mayor of Columbus, reminded the convention attendees that shops, galleries, eatries, Science and Art Museums, Columbus Zoo and Aquarium, etc where money could be spent to enrich the cities businesses.
Nigeria was also in contention for the next KSJI Biennial Convention, which will be held in New York City, USA in 2016, if the security challenges in Nigeria have not ended.
The Nigerian male and female delegations led by Major General Anslem Okafor and Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Lady Viola Onwuliri and included Brig-General NNN Nwanesi, Rev. Fr. Raph Madu and hundreds of others.
KSJI is one the three major Orders of the Lay Catholic Knights in the world, and was founded centuries ago and re-established in USA in 1870. The Religious, Para-military, Humanitarian and Social Order of Chivalry, is famous in her charity works, church development, educational and humanitarian projects around the world.
Within the last 24 years, Okekenta has been serving as an officer of the Order in many capacities, not limited to Parish, Archdiocesan and National levels. He has been a member of the Supreme council since 2003 till date.
Other elected officers of the supreme council are; Supreme President-General Dale Gossiaux, 1st vice President-Lieutenant General Ton Deluca, Supreme Secretary/Adjutant General-Lieutenant General Ton Zdanowicz, Treasurer-Lieutenant General Terry Mc Cann. Others are Trustees Major Generals Martin Bela and Ghana’s Dennis Adjei, a Justice of The country’s Court of Appeal, and Inspector General-Major General James Gibbon. They have all been installed and have commenced work.
•Photo shows Dr. Dan Anaebo Okekenta.
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