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History Origin of Block Rosary Crusade in Nigeria, founder of Block Rosary Crusade, about block rosary crusade in Nigeria, who is the founder of Block Rosary Crusade

HIGHLIGHTS ON THE BLOCK ROSARY CRUSADE IN NIGERIA

Source - Block Rosary Crusade
History and Spirituality

Block Rosary Crusade is an indigenous pious society whose aim is to propagate the Fatima message in 1917.

Late Oblate Eusebius Oguizu started the Block Rosary Crusade in Urualla, Ideato North Local Government Area of Imo State, with the inspiration of the Holy Spirit in the year 1956 at No. 29, Arondizuogu Street, Aba, Nigeria. Two years later, in 1958 precisely, the center was transferred to No. 21, Arondizuogu Street, in Ndiegore Catholic Mission (an Outstation of Christ the King Parish but now Our Lady of Lourdes Parish, Aba.

The Society, Block Rosary Crusade, was an offshoot of Late Oblate Oguizu's C.C.D work, in which he introduced praying the Rosary and reciting the Litany of the Blessed Virgin Mary, after teaching Catechism. Oblate Eusebius began the Block Rosary Crusade with twelve (12) Children, of which the names of Benedict Ezuma, Theresa Ezuma, Catherine Ezuma, Rooseline Okeke, Emmanuel Oguegbu and Victoria Ejor can vividly be recalled. The few adults that joined the Society then were Charles Ahanekwu, Simeon Ifezue, Joseph Obiorah, Christopher Obi, Matthew Agonsi, Cyril Nwangbo, David Onwusoro and Late Michael Okokwo.

Strangely, the Society had no name at inception. It was always being described with the way she carried out her activities - praying the Holy Rosary, Catechism, reciting the Litany from House to House, every evening. Oblate Oguizu had a little bell with which he used to summon members to prayer. He soon got a pamphlet from the United States of America in 1958, titled "weekly Block Rosary " so he named his movement "Block Rosary" with the motto: "Prayer and Penance" as directed by Our Lady of Fatima in 1917.

THE INITIAL EXPANSION OF THE BLOCK ROSARY CRUSADE...

After staying at the Center, 29, Arondizuogu Street for almost a Year (1956 - 1957),  the group began her initial expansion.

Another Center was opened at No. 44, Ohanku Road, now No. 5, Akunwata Street, Aba in 1958. With the creation of this second Center, there arose the need for some guiding rules for the members. To this effect, the two Centers held meeting at Mr. Godwin Onwujiobi's house, to bind themselves together and plan a common strategy from 1959 - 1960. From that time onward, more Children, Youths and Adults became interested in this Society and more Centers were opened in various Streets of the Town. Within a short while, the Centers numbered 13, so the increase in Centers and number of people made it impossible to continue to hold meetings in private houses. The members therefore decided to start having meeting in Our Lady of Lourdes Mission Premises. Out of 13 Centers established then, 10 were under Our Lady of Lourdes, while 3 were under Christ the King Catholic Church. These Centers are located at No. 8, Akuobu Street, 65, Port Harcourt Road, and 7B, Obohia Road respectively.

The first official election of the Block Rosary Crusade in Nigeria was held in 1961 and the following people were elected

  • President - Mr. Francis Nwafor
  • Vice President - Late Oblate Eusebius Oguizu
  • Secretary - Mr. Bede Igwe
  • Assistant Secretary - Mr. Joseph Obiorah
  • Treasurer - Late Mr. Christopher Emegwalu
They were all members of Our Lady of Lourdes Parish, Aba. They did marvelous work and made the best of Block Rosary Crusade with the help of Rev. Fr. T. Walsh, who always encouraged them in all their doings, especially during the 1962 crisis of the Block Rosary. Late Rt. Rev. Dr. A.G Nwedo, C.S.S.P., Bishop of the Diocese then, gave standing Orders and encouragement to the above named officers.

In the same 1962, Block Rosary Crusade kept expanding to other parts of the town and villages. The first place it gained ground was at Amawon Oboro in Ikwuano/Umuahia Local Government Area. It was introduced there by a transporter, Mr. Linus Nwachukwu, a member of Our Lady of Lourdes Parish, Aba.

In 1965, another administrative body was formed in C.K.C. Delegates were sent from Our Lady of Lourdes Parish to help them organize better. 

Election was held and the followings emerged as

President - Late Mr. Silvernus Onyeji
Vice President - Mr. Francis Olisa
Secretary - Mr. Francis Okafor, now Obijaku
Assistant Secretary - Mr. Fidelis Ohagwa
Treasurer - Mr. Frederick Iwuchukwu

This expansion began in earnest in 1967, at the wake of Nigerian crisis. It was at this time that the Block Rosary Crusade spread to so many places like Abagana, Nnobi, Urualla, Nnewi, Osina, Ajali, Obodoukwu, Igbere, Ama Okwe-Item, Ezinihitte - Mbaise, Umunkpei, Mbuntungwa, Ehime, Obowo, to mention a few. Through some members who took risk to spread the message of Our Lady of Fatima, Aba - the host town of the Block Rosary Crusade, sent letters to the newly established Centers.

When the Civil War broke out and became intense in 1968, the towns became deserted. The members who spread to every nook and crannies of the Country established Centers wherever they find themselves. This is how Block Rosary Crusade spread throughout the Country, and to West Africa at large. Many of those who championed the spread of the message of Our Lady of Fatima in these places died, especially as a result of the War. (May their Souls and the Souls of all the faithful departed through the mercy of God, rest in peace, Amen.)

After the War, Block Rosary Crusade, like every other thing in the Eastern States went into a lull, due to hardship, fear and military activities. The lull lasted for about 1 year and in 1972, Umuahia Diocese (as Aba was under Umuahia then) was operating on Zonal basis as Aba. Umuahia and Okigwe later decided to unite and this resulted to the formation of a Diocesan Committee. The founder, Late Mr. Eusebius Oguizu became the first President, Mr. Berth Ahamefula was the Vice president, the Secretary was Mr. Michael Okafor, now Obijaku, Mr. Michael Ike was the Assistant Secretary, Mrs. Theresa Okere was the Treasurer and Mr. Patrick Ekop was the Publicity Secretary.

The then Bishop, His Lordship, Late Rt. Rev. Dr. A.G. Nwedo, C.S.S.P, granted the request of the Diocesan Officers, giving the Block Rosary Crusade a diocesan recognition by appointing Late Rev. Fr. B.I. Nwolu as the first Diocesan Chaplain in 1974. He left no Stine unturned as he lead the Block Rosary Crusade in the way that pleases God from 1974 - 1982.

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