By Mercy Hill
The Catholic Diocese of Awka on Saturday, April 13, 2019, organized a liturgical seminar for Catholic faithful with the aim of evangelization and proper understanding of the Catholic faith and doctrines.
The seminar which was held at St. Mathew’s parish, Amawbia had in attendance, over thirty participants who were drawn from various parishes in Awka region. The need for proper and enhanced evangelization and understanding of the Catholic faith and doctrines was echoed, through a vast discourse on the theme: Liturgical Inculturation : Nerve Center Of The Church’s Faith Culture Integration.
Addressing the participants who represented the Catholic Women Organization (CWO), Catechists, Choristers, Altar Boys and other church organizations during the seminar, Fr. Martin Anusi exposed the people to the historical background, processes, principles as well as the application of inculturation. He noted that inculturation was the insertion of the gospel in the heart of the determinate culture. He went further to say that Christ came to the world, lived like men but without sin, grew in the Jewish culture, taught the message of salvation in his language with parables and stories the people were familiar with, thus showing inculturation to have a root from Christ. He went further to say that Christians should be able to inculcate the culture and tradition of the community into the church’s liturgy in order to guarantee durability, acceptability and also to make Christ and his teachings of salvation understood by people of various cultures.
Adding to the topic, Fr. Michael Muonwe said that the effects of inculturation have been felt in the church today through the introduction of vernacular into liturgy, use of symbols and arts, musical instruments as well as many others. He further explained that any authentic inculturation must be founded in the theology of incarnation of the son of God.
One of the participants who contributed to the discourse, Mr. Chidi A. Okoye said that the hallmark of inculturation was for Christians to imbibe the good aspect of the people’s culture into the liturgy to make the people feel at home and welcomed to the liturgy.
Another Participant, a catechist at Sacred Heart Parish, Ngozika Housing Estate, Awka, Mr. Ray Nwokike commended the priests for the well organized lecture and urged the participants to replicate this in their various parishes.
Fr. Chidebere Obiora appreciated the Parish priest of St. Matthews, Amawbia, Fr. Valentine Ofomata and other priests present while he encouraged participants to propagate the teachings and apply it to their daily activities in their various communities.