Welcome to the official website of Our Lady of the Holy Rosary Chaplaincy, Catholic Institute of West Africa, Rumuibekwe, Port Harcourt, Rivers State, Nigeria.
Our Lady Of The Holy Rosary (OLHRC) Catholic Institute of West Africa (CIWA) Rumuibekwe, Port Harcourt began as a private chapel of CIWA where a handful of worshippers from nearby locations joined the priests and religious in this theological community in morning masses. It served as a private chaplaincy until its elevation to a public Chaplaincy in 1997 with the name "Immaculate Conception Chaplaincy". That name was later changed to "Our Lady of the Holy Rosary Chaplaincy (OLHRC)" by the then Local Ordinary - Bishop A. O. Makozi for spiritual reasons.
As a private chaplaincy in the early 1980's, Masses were celebrated in the Chapel on the floor of the Institute's Administrative Block. The congregations that gather for the Eucharistic celebration formed a Planning Committee to interact with CIWA authorities on their behalf. With the Fellowship that commenced within CIWA premises in the early 1990's, the number of people that attend Masses increased rapidly and over-flowed the Chapel and alternative places were used for Masses; occasionally, in the students' refectory and later outside, under canopies. That was the time the congregation began to be called the CIWA Worshipping Community.
As the faithful increased and interacted, ideas on how to enrich the liturgy were generated and that was how the idea of forming a choir for the chapel was conceived. Hitherto, liturgical songs were either intoned by Rev. Sr. Professor Teresa Okure, a lecturer in the institute or one Mr. Ben lbeh now of blessed memory. The then Rector of the Institute, Rt. Rev. Msgr. Cyriacus Mbah used to encourage volunteers to join the choir to further make the liturgy more lively and edifying.
As the thirst for deeper spirituality grew among the Christ's faithful who heard of the won ders and miracles at the "CIWA fellowship" as the prayer meetings conducted under the spiritual guidance of Rev. Fr. Dr. Joseph Brookman Amissah and anchored by Mrs. Ann Amene, a firebrand, gifted and eloquent Christian mother with a pentecostal zeal and ably supported by a dedicated core group members. This structure took the fellowship to the highest level where thousands of Catholics and non-Catholics from within and outside Port Harcourt became adherents with attendant mix-up of doctrines. As the prayer meeting "CIWA fellowship" came to be known, thousands and thousands of Christians of all religious hues, thronged the CIWA ground to get a piece of the anointing. In order to accommodate the large crowd of people, canopies were set in the open field and worshippers were exposed to the vagaries of the weather. This did not shake their faith in any way but instead hardened and boosted same. The fellowship was not just big in size; it was committed and action-oriented in its psychology. That was why when it resolved to embark on any stage of the multi-purpose hall (MPH) construction, as the church building was known then, it moved with one spirit and accord and accomplished it at record time.
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