Kano: April 23, 2012. Pope Benedict XVI on Sunday bestowed the honour of Papal Dame of the Order of St. Gregory the Great on the Managing Director of the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), Oluremi Oyo.
Honoured alongside her were the wife of the governor of Kaduna State, Mrs. Amina Yakowa and Prof. Esther Oyeyi of Bayero University, Kano.
The medals were presented to the new Dames on behalf of the pope by Most Rev. John Osa, the Bishop of the Catholic archdiocese of Kano.
In a papal message presented Most. Rev. Osa at the ceremony held at Our Lady of Fatimah Catholic Church, Kano, the pope said: "Having listened with a willing spirit to the petitions made to me and accepting the request that you richly deserve some reward for your work for the Church and the good of Catholic affairs, we choose to make you and declare you Dames of The Order of St. Gregory the Great."
The message was signed by Tercisio Cardinal Bertone, Secretary of State at The Vatican.
In his homily, the Bishop thanked God for a hitch-free investiture and prayed that God would fan into a flame the gift He had bestowed on the recipients.
He also implored parents to take a cue from the parents of the award recipients by educating the girl child and moulding them to be successes in their endeavours.
Osa also called on Nigerians to support the transformation agenda of the Federal Government, stressing that Nigerians would not benefit from the agenda if they did not give it their support.
He urged the recipients to live exemplary lives in the area of governance, in their offices and in the community.
The order of St. Gregory the Great is the most recognisable and the most frequently bestowed Papal award.
Pope Gregory the XV1 founded the Order on Sept. 1, 1831 in two divisions; the military and civil divisions.
The Holy See bestows the honour on well deserving lay members of the Church as a mark of recognition of their talents and contributions to the service of the Church and society.
Present at the investiture were the spouse of Dame Oluremi, Vincent, that of Dame Amina, Gov. Yakowa and that of Dame Oyeyi, Raphael.
The Pope on Sunday also bestowed Papal Golden Medals to Mrs. Bennie Ikhena and Mrs. Angela Bejide making them Ladies of the Catholic Church. (NAN)