By Michael Nnebife , Onyinyechi Ekoyo, Vivian Ononiwu and Faith Ogudu
The Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Awka, Most Rev Paulinus Chukwuemeka Ezeokafor, has commissioned a modern multipurpose hall singlehandedly built by a young philanthropist, Engr Sir Michael Onyekachukwu Nwabueze, at St Benedict’s Catholic Church, Enugwu-Ukwu in Njikoka Local Government Area, Anambra State.
While commissioning the N8.4 million modern multipurpose hall on Sunday, 12th November 2023, Bishop Ezeokafor described Sir Nwabueze’s kind gesture to his home church as a pure manifestation of think home philosophy in its entirety.
The Bishop while commending Nwabueze, urged the faithful to leave good legacies for which they would be remembered long after they had gone.
The prelate added that this would also be a stewardship account one would have to give to God on the last day.
He expressed the belief that Nwabueze’s kind gesture was not that he had much, but because he prioritized service to God.
He therefore commended Nwabueze, praying God to bless him and his family continually.
Earlier in his homily, the chief shepherd of Awka Catholic Diocese, reminded the faithful of the need to get themselves fully and well prepared for the second coming of Jesus Christ.
This, the chief shepherd said, required wisdom and knowledge of what God wanted, without losing focus like the five wise Virgins who took containers full of oil for their lamps while waiting for the arrival of the bridegroom as Christ illustrated in the Parable of Ten Virgins.
He therefore admonished the faithful to be always prepared and remain focused as the five wise virgins, so as to avoid the second coming of Christ eluding them as the five other foolish virgins in the parable.
He also advised the faithful to always ask for grace for wisdom and live out their faith in truth and good deed.
Most Rev Ezeokafor extolled the pace of progress and growth of St Benedict’s Church, commending the Parish Priest, Rev Fr Evaristus Okafor, and the parishioners; even as he urged them to continue unrelentingly, to support the work of God in the parish.
In his remarks, the Parish Priest, Rev Fr Okafor, appreciated the bishop for his concern, love, and passion for St Benedict’s Parish.
The parish priest also thanked the scores of priests who included the Chancellor of the diocese, Rev Fr Charles Ndubuisi; the former Chancellor, Rev Fr Francis Chidume; the guests, who included the member representing Njikoka I Consistency in the Anambra State House of Assembly, Hon Chidi Ibemeka, among other friends and well-wishers of the church, for honouring their invitation to the epoch-making event.
The cleric who recalled how the project began, expressed special gratitude to the family of Sir Michael Nwabueze, assuring them of God’s reward and blessing.
In an address of welcome read by Ms Francisca Nwafor, and presented to Bishop Ezeokafor during a reception ceremony held to entertain the guests, the parish further expressed gratitude to the bishop for what they described as his laudable achievements, especially the commencement of academic activities at Peter University, Achina.
In an interview, the Chairman, Catholic Men’s Organization of the church, Mr Ikechukwu Nnatu, said the occasion was a thing of joy, which, he added, indicated that St Benedict’s Parish was moving to a greater level.
For her part, a former President, Catholic Women’s Organization, CWO, of the church, Lady Dr Nonye Okoye, whose regime initiated the idea for the erecting of the multipurpose hall, was overwhelmed with joy. While congratulating the CWO of the church, Lady Dr Okoye thanked the benefactor, Sir Nwabueze, praying God to reward and bless him more.
The church also used the occasion to honour Sir Nwabueze with an award of recognition.
Receiving the award, Nwabueze thanked the church and expressed readiness to continue to invest his resources in service to God.
In his closing remarks, the Chairman of the occasion, Chief Sir Augustine Ebisi, appealed to other affluent members of the church to emulate Nwabueze.
Different cultural dances by the CWO, Block Rosary Crusade of the Parish, among others, added glamour to the occasion.