To discuss the above subject matter, the elucidation of the following key words namely: Youth, CYON, and marriage is very important. First and foremost, who is a youth? A youth is one who is between the age bracket of 18 and 30 at a period /stage. By implication, someone who is above 30 years old is no longer a youth. In Catholic Church, as from age 30, one is qualified to be either a member of the Catholic Men Organisation, Nigeria, CMON or the Catholic Women Organisation, Nigeria, CWON, depending on their sex too. Then, the acronym CYON? It means Catholic Youth Organisation, Nigeria, and it is the second stage of the Catholic Church recognised organisations. CYON is the next stage after MCA. Lastly, what is marriage? Marriage is a unique institution where, when, and why couples get their certificates signed and issued to them before the official commencement. The success of any marriage mainly depends on God, the parents, the Church , the couples and the society.
It is strongly advised that couples should endeavour to eschew third party insurance among other things if their marriage must succeed. The general appeal to would be couples, is that they should always put God first in making a choice partner, preparation for marriage, the marriage ceremony and during the marriage as well. Most broken marriages have been attributed to lack of the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ in such marriages. A non-Catholic pastor was caught soliloquising , ”If only the Catholics had Known the value of what they have as the “Holy Rosary”, they would not have been running to non-Catholic churches for whatever reason”. A non-Catholic young man and woman who got wedded to former CYON members during somnambulism, were also caught saying , ”If only CYON members had known the place and role of their CYON membership as the bedrock of Catholic couples easier way and manner to attain spiritual equilibrium, they will always endeavour to ensure that they get married to themselves without much ado”. From the above both statements, one can deduce that whatever any CYON member is searching for in Sokoto is right in his (so ko to).
Unfortunately, cow does not know the importance of its tail until where, when, and why it is being cut off. CYON members do not have to marry from any other church apart from the Catholic Church. Ironically, today, the ratio of non-Catholic men and women who get married to Catholic men and women is higher than that of the Catholic men and women who get married to nonCatholic men and women. The few non-Catholics marriage with our CYON members either drag them to their former Church or remain there alone, invariably, making their children to be on the fence. This implies, that the place and role of Catholic Church organisational structure namely: The Missionary Childhood Association, MCA, the Catholic Youth organisation, CYON, the Catholic Men Organisation, of Nigeria, CMON and the Catholic Women Organisation, CWON are neither advantageously used nor appreciated too. Any candid child who successfully follows the ladder from MCA to CYON will either end up being either a CMON member as a man or CWON member as a woman too. Unfortunately, Catholic Church organisational structural spiritual ladder that could serve as platform during their quest for salvation are neither spiritually followed nor appreciated by many Catholics.
Thus, positive parental, priests and pair groups influences; age; sex; spiritual consciousness, knowledge and understanding of quest for salvation are some of the major determinants of a young Catholic either men or women inability to integrate from CYON membership to either CMON or CWON member. On “Why CYON members do not get married to themselves in Nigeria”. Some of the reasons are stated as follow :Consciousness syndrome; Youths inability to discover themselves, know themselves, know what they want, where they want, when they want it and how they want it in the course of their quest for salvation on earth; obviously created vacuum in the line of the Catholic Church created and recognised organisational structure; non recognition of the place and role of CYON as the bedrock of attainment of spiritual equilibrium if CYON members marry themselves; parental failure in the spiritual upbringing of their children and ensuring that they married themselves as CYON members; peer group negative influence due to non-association with CYON members; parents inability to justify their roles-they neither play their role nor encourage their children to either be part of CYON or participate in CYON organised activities: Priests (some of them ) pay more attention to the physical mentorship of CYON members instead of the aspect of their spirituality; poor participation in CYON activities- like meetings and programmes for example, during the Youths Week; CYON members way and manner of comportment most especially in the Church, CYON members misunderstanding of the word “ love “ and their abuse of it and the parents either consciously or unconsciously institutionalised discrimination based on classification among CYON members as a result of which even the children of patrons do not attend CYON activities and inability of both CMON and CWON members to enlighten CYON members on why they should get married to themselves to be able to sustain their membership drive.
However, CWON is doing her best in this regard as she always instantly identifies with any young Catholic wedded woman during her marriage by presenting her a wedding gift “CWON” wrapper. To get our youths interested in MARRYING from the Church we –must arrange and get good programmes for their likeness, they need to meet often on Social and Spiritual platforms. To ensure that CYON members get married among themselves ,all hands must be on deck, that is the Church, Catholic priests, parents, patrons, peer group themselves, and the society should endeavour to walk and work as a team -that is together everyone’s achieves more. Thus, any of these categories who fail to ensure that CYON members get married among themselves is not only failure of he/she, is also not to be addressed as candid ambassador of the Catholic Church and our Lord Jesus Christ. For the sustenance of quest for salvation in the Catholic Church, it is highly recommended that CYON members ideally get married among themselves. Such act and practise among them, could help to drive their spiritual equilibrium as Catholic couples of common CYON backgrounds.
• Dr. Ransome Ibie Oboh is a parishioner of St. Ignatius Catholic Church, Magboro, Lagos. firstname.lastname@example.org