By Amaka Olua
The Catholic Bishop of Awka Diocese, Most Rev Paulinus Ezeokafor, 27 October, paid a pastoral visit to St Mary’s Catholic Church Awka, Awka South L.G.A Anambra State, where he confirmed 549 deserving faithful.
Leading in the Concelebrated Holy Mass, Bishop Ezeokafor stated that perseverance and persistence were the most important things in the life of a prayerful child of God, noting that prayer was the key point of communicating directly with God, for God listened to his children who were in agony and pains.
Drawing from the Sunday reading, Bishop Ezeokafor, recalled the story of the Pharisee and the tax collector who came to pray and the Pharisee was counting all his good deeds and despised the tax collector who was also there for prayers. The bishop said that anyone who exalted himself would be humbled, while the humble would be exalted.
He said that every human being was a sinner before God, and urged them to pay attention to the voice of God. This was even as he admonished those who praised themselves on their good deeds and criticized others, pointing out that it was the God rewarded everyone according to its deeds.
Bishop Ezeokafor reminded the faithful of God’s injunction to people not judge so that they would not be judged, reiterating that they were sinners before God.
He then commended the parish priest, Rev Fr Peter Eche, and all the parishioners for their support and contribution towards the ongoing projects in their parish.
He urged them to join hands together with their parish priest to actualize the ongoing projects in their parish, just as he appreciated them on their massive support during the Cathedraticum. He charged them to extend their support towards the diocesan projects, especially the Peter University, still under construction, saying that the university would be the place where their children would acquire quality education which would help them in future.
He advised parents to nurture their children to make them better children in their family and society at large, noting that many parents had failed in their responsibilities in the upbringing of their children.
Speaking at the event, the Parish Priest, Rev Fr Dr Peter Eche, thanked Bishop Ezeokafor for his fatherly love towards their parish. He commended him for his selfless service to the diocese, recalling that the bishop’s last visit to their Parish was in 2015 and prayed for God’s wisdom, understanding and protection to the shepherd of God’s flock.
He then appreciated all the Rev Fathers that came to celebrate with them, while thanking the parishioners for their unending love and support towards the ongoing projects in their parish.
In his opening remarks, the chairman of the occasion, Hon Iruka Ezeokeke, commended the Catholic Bishop of Awka Diocese, Most Rev Paulinus Ezeokafor, for his tireless efforts in the diocese and also thanked him for visiting them officially.
He also appreciated their Parish Priest, Fr Eche, for his selfless efforts in actualizing some of the projects in the parish. This was even as he advised the faithful to support and contribute towards the completion of the Church building, saying that God would reward them for their good deeds.
Hon Ezeokeke, then advised the newly confirmed faithful to be Christ like as they had received the Sacrament of Confirmation which had made them soldiers of Christ.