It was a week- long celebration as the Pacelli school for the blind and partially sighted children marked its Diamond Jubilee on Friday, June 10, 2022 with fanfare starting with the Mass at the School’s Chapel celebrated by Very Rev. Msgr. Bernard Okodua the Episcopal Vicar of Lagos Region and Parish Priest of St. Anthony Catholic Church, Gbaja, Surulere, Lagos, assisted by some priests. The first reading was taken by Shade Mukadaz using the braille while the gospel and homily was taken by Very Rev. Fr. Sam Okwuidegbe, SJ. In her opening remarks, at the impressive reception, the school principal, Rev. Sister Onyeneri, HHCJ welcomed to the event dignitaries which included the Mother of the Day, Her Excellency, Dr. (Mrs.) Claudina Ibijoke Sanwo-Olu, ably represented by Mrs. Olufunlola Adeniran, and Captain Muyiwa Oguntoyinbo, Chairman on the occasion, among others.
Also present, were the Director of Education for Catholic Schools, Very Rev. Msgr. Jerome Oduntan, Msgr. Anthony Erinle, Dean of Surulere Deanery, Very Rev. Msgr. Patrick Obayomi, Dean, Ikeja Deanery, the School Chaplain, Rev. Fr. Sam Okwuidegbe and Rev. Frs. Kevin Odey, SJ, Parish priest, Ss. Mulumba and David, Lawanson and Andrew Edobor. The Superior of the Handmaid of the Holy Child Jesus, HHCJ, Mother Germaine Ocansy, HHCJ and the General Councillor, Sr. Patricia Ohahi also graced the occasion. In her comment, the Superior of the Handmaid of the Holy Child Jesus said she was delighted to be part of what she described as memorable event in the great institution. She noted that the school has achieved so much within the period of the Diamond Jubilee as it has graduated over two thousand students.
Highlight of the event was the distribution of packs of note books to the students by the Managing Director of Rovin Diagnostic Services. Pacelli school for the blind and partially sighted children is a brain child of the then Catholic Archbishop of Lagos, Hale Leo Taylor who was concerned about the growing number of visually impaired children without education. The school come on board on June 1, 1961 with four pupils, two boys and two girls with Rev. Sr. Mary de Chantel as the first Head Teacher. The school was officially opened on June 16, 1962 by Hon. D. C. Ugwu, Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Education, and blessed by His Grace, Archbishop H. Leo Taylor.
The closing ceremony held on Saturday, June 18, had as Special Guest of Honour, Hon. Desmond Elliot. In her closing remarks and vote of thanks, Sr. Onyeneri, HHCJ said one of the students, Maria Kasali on the 30th of September 2016 was inaugurated as Member of the Assembly of Lagos State Parliament by the Lagos State Commissioner of Women’s Affairs. The day was also graced by the representatives of the Handmaid Private Catholic International School, Aguda, and St. Catherine’s Catholic Model Private School, Surulere, Lagos. The event came to a memorable end with Rev. Fr. Sam Okwuidegbe, SJ, giving the final blessing.