Opinion

Bishop Ezeokafor Applauds Aniakor’s Family for Building St. Anthony’s, Abba at Thanksgiving Mass

. . . Blesses St. Ann’s Mortuary, Abba

By Uche Enem

At the thanksgiving Mass of Emma and Maureen Aniakor on 13 July 2019, the Catholic Bishop of Awka, Most. Rev. Paulinus Ezeokafor praised Aniakor’s family who single handedly built St. Anthony’s Catholic Church, Abba

The event started with a concelebrated Mass led by Bishop Ezeokafor, who thanked God for the gift of life upon Aniakor’s family. Filled with joy and gratitude, the Bishop thanked the family and praised them for their immense efforts in building the church. He said it was God that makes a man to think in the line of charity as he charged Christians to bless people with their possessions. The bishop recounted how the church started and praised them for their doggedness and courage to stand firm during trails and challenges.

In his concluding part of the homily, the Bishop said that we should leave a positive name before departing earth; adding that true giving comes from sacrifice and dedication. He thanked God for those who contributed in sacrificing their lands and laboring for the church. During the mass, the bishop blessed the family members of Aniakor and prayed for grace and strength to push further. He thanked the community members and the Parish Priest of St. Paul’s Abba, Rev. Fr. Cajetan Obiekezie and the Vicar, Rev. Fr. Alphonsus Iloekwe, for their commitment to see to the completion of the church.

Emma Aniakor & his wife, thanked God for giving them the grace to accomplish their promise. He said that true giving comes with great sacrifice adding that God has granted all their request since they began the project. He thanked Rev. Fr. Michael Anozie for all the denials and sacrifices he went through to see that the foundation of the church was possible. He thanked Isaac & Luke Aniakor, his brothers who stood by him through thick and thin.

In a special way, he thanked his mother, MaryJane Aniakor & his uncle, James Aniakor for their prayers and sacrifices to him. He said that the intention of the church was to help people and encourage them to go to church. He thanked members of Umugama Ire community and other villages in Abba town for their support to him and his family. He thanked Fr. Obiekezie, Fr. Iloekwe & the Catholic Community for all their labour to the church.

The Parish Priest, Fr Obiekezie, welcomed all and thanked Aniakor’s family for their support to the Church. He prayed for them and encouraged Christians to emulate such life style.

Earlier before the mass, the bishop blessed St. Ann’s Mortuary, Abba, and reminded Christians that death is inescapable. He said that no one knows when they will depart the earth and charged Christians to live a worthy life on earth. He recounted how St. Ann’s Hospital & Maternity started and encouraged workers to do their best in maintaining the hospital and mortuary. He thanked the Parish Priest. Fr. Obiekezie, members of the CWO, CMO and other statutory bodies present at the opening ceremony. He thanked the Manager of the Hospital and the Vicar of St. Paul’s Abba, Rev. Fr. Alphonsus Iloekwe, for his input and contribution.

Side View of St. Anthony’s Catholic Church, Abba and St. Ann’s Mortuary. Inset is the signboard description of the services the hospital offers
Cross section of people at the Mass. 1st left is Hon. Sir Pete Ibida, member representing Njikoka II State Constituency, Anambra State
Inside view of St. Anthony’s Abba
The Bishop blessing Martha Aniakor (Mother) and James Aniakor (Uncle) during the Mass
Emma & Maureen Aniakor giving their vote of thanks during the Mass
The Parish Priest of St. Paul’s Abba, Rev. Fr. Cajetan Obiekezie, giving his vote of thanks
Group photograph at St. Ann’s Mortuary after the official opening and blessing of the mortuary by Bishop Ezeokafor
The official opening of St. Ann’s Mortuary by the Catholic Bishop of Awka, Most. Rev. Paulinus Ezeokafor. Extreme left is the manager of the Hospital, Rev Fr Alphonsusu Iloekwe
Altar Servers of St. Paul’s Abba, entertain the audience with their dance steps
Friends and well wishers in a group photograph with Aniakor Family members.

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