On Mother’s Day for Catholics in Nigeria, Mothers Urged to Be “models to their children in virtue”

Archbishop Ignatius Ayau Kaigama with members of the Catholic Women Association during Mother’s Day 2024. Credit: Catholic Archdiocese of Abuja

Archbishop Ignatius Ayau Kaigama of Nigeria’s Catholic Archdiocese of Abuja has urged mothers to live a life of virtue and be role models to their children.

In line with the February 23 directive by the Catholic Secretariat of Nigeria (CSN) that Mother’s Day 2024 in the West African nation be celebrated “on the Sunday immediately after the Solemnity of the Annunciation”, Archbishop Kaigama presided over Hoy Mass to mark the annual celebration at St. Donald’s Karu Parish of his Metropolitan See on Sunday, April 14.

In his homily, the Nigerian Catholic Archbishop said, “To all mothers, as we celebrate you today, I urge you to continue to bear witness to Christ in your various homes and the society at large.”

“Be true mothers who are models to their children in virtue,” he emphasized, and explained, “Mothers are the hearts of the family and the designers of the family. Mothers have an important role in the children’s growth.”

He further said, “We recognize your place and the irreplaceable role you play in the life of the home, and we do not take that for granted.”


Archbishop Kaigama said he found inspiration from Pope Francis’ message in his 2015 general audience address that “a mother is a life-giver” and called upon Nigerians to celebrate all mothers, alive or not.

He went on to caution Catholic mothers against gender ideology, and instead take pride in their duties and responsibilities, saying, “That is what God calls you to”.

“Do not try to be men or to want to be like them. Accept your role gladly and exercise it diligently,” he said, referring to the April 8 Declaration of the Vatican Dicastery for the Doctrine of Faith (DDF), “Dignitas Infinita” on Human Dignity, which he said affirms “the difference between male and female as being real, inviolable, and a gift from God.”

The Local Ordinary of Abuja Archdiocese since November 2019 imparted his blessings upon mothers under his pastoral care, saying, “May God bless you and strengthen you to carry out your responsibilities to the glory of God.”

In his April 14 homily, Archbishop Kaigama called upon Christians in Nigeria to heed to Jesus Christ’s call to be witnesses of his resurrection.

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He explained, “A witness is someone who speaks from firsthand experience of what has happened. Like the apostles, we must be courageous to stand up for the truth of the Gospel and not just to stand for a while, but to remain standing, come what may.”

“We must not be ashamed of bearing witness to the truth of the Gospel. Whenever we allow the world to shut us up from proclaiming the Gospel, we are saying that the story that the world has is more important than the story of the resurrection,” the Nigerian Catholic Church leader said on the Third Sunday of Easter.

“As Christians, we cannot go through this world without wounds and scars. Our faith must be kept burning,” he further said, referring to the Gospel passage in which Jesus shows his hands and feet, which had wounds, to his apostles.

As Christians, he said, “when we take up our responsibilities, we will be wounded, because the world will hate us.”

“A burning faith can result in either of two things: a balanced faith that translates into good actions; or a fanatical faith that translates into violence, killing, maiming, and destroying property without the slightest compunction,” the Catholic Church leader, who started his Episcopal Ministry in April 1995 as Bishop of Nigeria’s Jalingo Diocese said.


He went on to urge the 476 candidates he was about to confer the Sacrament of Confirmation to be soldiers of Christ, strong in their Christian faith amid challenges in their country.

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