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Catholic Diocese of Awka News

Priests are Called by Christ – Bishop Ezeokafor at Chrism Mass/ Cathedraticum

By Michael Nnabife, Ifeanyi Ndukwe and Ogochukwu Nwaokafor

The atmosphere was heart-warming and solemn at Assumption Catholic Church, Nimo, the headquarters of Nimo Region of the Awka Catholic Diocesan, on Wednesday, 5th April, 2023, as the priests, the religious, and the lay faithful, including the Diocese’s institutions domiciled in the region, converged in the church to reaffirm their vows and support to the Diocesan Bishop’s projects with monetized cows and many gift items in celebration of this year’s cathedraticum.

The parishes, organizations, institutions, and individuals of the region, took turns and danced enthusiastically to the altar to present their cows and items to the Diocesan Bishop, Most Rev Paulinus Ezeokafor.  The presentation, which was highly competitive, saw Ave Maria, Nawfia; St Anthony the Evangelist, Enugwu-Ukwu; and St Theresa’s, Enugwu-Ukwu, taking the first, second and third positions with 200 cows, 62 cows and 60 cows respectively.

The annual event which doubled as Chrism Mass, was presided over by the Diocesan Bishop, Most Rev Ezeokafor.

Speaking in a homily during the Mass, Most Rev Ezeokafor said the essence of the event was to remind the Catholic faithful of the need to strive for excellence in discharging their duties; renewal of priestly vows by the priests and to support the Diocesan project for progressive service to God.

The Bishop stated further that the renewal of priestly vows by the priests would remind them and the lay faithful of their responsibilities to each other and advised them to symbiotically assist themselves for all to make heaven on the last day.

He reminded the priests that their three major duties were to teach, to sanctify the faithful, and to take the custody of the Church.

The prelate, who described priesthood as a call for a special holiness among the holies, urged the priests to live out Christ in their lives, urging them to avoid any act capable of tainting the reputation of priesthood for the salvation of mankind.

He further admonished the priests to desist from economic ventures and partisan politics, saying those were prohibited by the  Canon Law.

The Bishop appreciated the entire members of Nimo Region for their support and expressed satisfaction with the infrastructural development at Assumption Parish, Nimo.

While thanking God for His grace, Most Rev Ezeokafor however expressed deep concern over the series of hardship Nigerians passed through but encouraged Christians to remain steadfast in faith in God with hope tomorrow would be better.

He also announced to the faithful that the National Universities Commission, NUC, had given approval to Peter University, ACHina-Onneh, owned by the Dioceses of Awka and Ekwulobia, to commence academic activities.

Earlier, the Episcopal Vicar, Nimo Region, and Priest in charge of Assumption Parish, Nimo, Rev Fr Shedrack Anunwa, thanked God for making the occasion a huge success. He welcomed and appreciated all in attendance, especially Bishop Ezeokafor, for his good work in the Diocese, praying God to continue to bless and give him grace for more work.

In an address of welcome, the Secretary of the Region, Rev Fr Anthony Muo, also thanked the Bishop for his fatherly care for the faithful in the Diocese. He eulogized the bishop’s style of philanthropy, describing him as a good shepherd of the flock of God.