By Chioma Ndife
Upon the completion of bishop’s court for the Catholic Diocese of Awka, the Metropolitan See of Onitsha Ecclesiastical Province, His Grace, Most Rev. Valerian Okeke, last Tuesday, July 28, blessed the court located at Adazi-Nnukwu in Anaocha LGA, Anambra State.
The newly blessed Bishop’s court will provide a residential abode for the Auxiliary Bishop of Awka Diocese, His Lordship, Most Rev. Jonas Benson Okoye.
It will be recalled that Bishop Jonas Benson Okoye, upon his ordination as a Catholic Bishop and subsequent appointment as the Auxiliary Bishop of Awka Diocese, had been residing at Agba Village, Ekwulobia before the creation of Ekwulobia Diocese.
Fides gathered that the construction of the Bishop’s Court at Agba Village, Ekwulobia, was embarked upon by then Awka Diocese when Bishop Okoye assumed duties as the Auxiliary bishop.
The subsequent creation of Ekwulobia Diocese however created the need for a new Bishop’s Court as the one at Ekwulobia would serve as the residential abode for Bishop Peter Ebelechukwu Okpaleke of Ekwulobia Diocese, thus leaving Bishop Okoye with no place of residence.
Blessing the Bishops’ Court, the Archbishop of Onitsha, His Grace, Most Rev. Valerian Okeke, thanked God for the speedy completion of the new court which would house the auxiliary Bishop and noted that conducive apartment would help the bishop to contribute qualitatively in the affairs of the Church.
He disclosed that the residential house would serve the Catholic Diocese of Awka in various capacities and appreciated the various individuals that made the project a reality.
Earlier while welcoming the Bishop of Onitsha Archdiocese, the Catholic Bishop of Awka Diocese, His Lordship, Most Rev. Paulinus Ezeokafor, thanked the Metropolitan See of Ontisha Province for accepting the responsibility of blessing the Bishops’ Court officially for use.
He disclosed that Archbishop Okeke who was at Awka Diocese for the Onitsha Ecclesiastical Bishop’s Meeting, accepted to bless the Bishops’ Court before the commence of the meeting.
Bishop Ezeokafor who marveled at the speedy completion of the project, said the Awka Diocese reached across to many individuals who assisted in making the project to become a reality.
In a remark after the blessing of the Bishops’ Court, the Auxiliary Bishop of Awka Diocese, Most Rev. Jonas Benson Okoye, identified the various captains of industries, politicians, entrepreneurs, among others, that assisted the diocese in completing the project.
He explained that it was difficult for the diocese to reach out to people for assistance when the project began, as it was in the heat of coronavirus outbreak which kept the economic activities and financial flow of most people at a standstill.
He revealed that the project was completed in due time because most individuals reached out to the diocese and supported with various building materials and other resources. He maintained that such acts of charity reduced the money which the diocese added in the project.
He thanked the various individuals for their contributions, saying that it was effectively utilized to provide a residential abode for him.
The event which complied with the COVID-19 directives, was attended by all the bishops in Onitsha Ecclesiastical Province alongside different captains of industries, politicians, priests and representatives of the Catholic men, women and youths in Awka and Ekwulobia Dioceses.