By Chioma Ndife
St. Joseph’s Catholic Church, Nibo, Awka South LGA, has held a N50M fund raising ceremony for the completion of her church project. The event which took place, October 20, was a culmination of efforts by the Parish Priest, Rev Fr Paulus-Maria Okafor, and his parishioners to get the church project up and running ahead of its dedication, reports Chioma Ndife.
The launch, which coincided with the 10 years anniversary of the parish’s creation, was an opportunity for the parishioners to appreciate God for the gift of the parish, which, they said, started like a mustard seed.
Fides gathered that the project is expected to be completed and dedicated by 2021.
Speaking at the occasion, the Catholic Bishop of Awka Diocese, His Lordship, Most Rev. Paulinus Ezeokafor, explained the need for people to contribute qualitatively towards the growth of the Church. He described the act of partaking in building a dwelling place for God as a privileged responsibility which people should grab with both hands.
Bishop Ezeokafor who marveled at the turnout of people, especially those from St. Paul’s Parish, Uga; Fr. Paulus-Maria Okafor’s former parish, attributed such solidarity to Fr. Okafor’s contributions to the development of the Parish. He therefore urged the parishioners of St. Joseph’s, Nibo, to give their parish priest the required support, pointing out that their support was necessary for the priest to perform optimally.
He appreciated the various individuals and groups that pledged money for the project and called on them to redeem their pledges to ensure the immediate commencement of the project.
Earlier in his homily, Bishop Ezeokafor emphasized the need for people to devote time to God and develop strong faith as it was necessary in obtaining God’s favours. He called on the faithful to always bear in mind that God’s time was the best and exercise patience after praying to God.
He commended the achievements which the parish had recorded within her 10 years of existence, noting that the various achievements indicated the faith of the parishioners.
Speaking to Fides, the Parish Priest, Fr. Paulus-Maria Okafor, explained that the launch was to enable the parish to roof the church building and prevent possible collapse as a result of environmental causes. He disclosed that the parish had set 2021 as the time frame for the dedication of the church building, saying that such could only be possible through support as the parish currently lacked the financial capacity.
He appreciated Bishop Ezeokafor for being the first to donate towards the church project, noting that the bishop’s N50, 000 donation had brought in others.
Also speaking, the Chief Launcher, Chief Charles Okey Nwankwo, highlighted the numerous benefits which people stood to gain from taking part in building a house for God and said his invitation of some individuals to the parish to support the intention was part of his race towards making heaven.
Chief Nwankwo expressed optimism that the church project would be completed by the middle of next year and called on Nibo indigenes to pool resources for the actualization of the project.
For his part, the Chairman of the occasion, Chief. Vincent Izuagba, called on individuals in the parish to brace-up and galvanize support for the church project, saying that everyone had a part to play towards its realization.
The 10th Anniversary and launch which attracted individuals from various places had cultural displays by various groups in the parish as highpoints of the celebration.