By Chioma Ndife
The Catholic Bishop of Awka Diocese, Most Rev. Paulinus Ezeokafor, has inaugurated Catholic Lectors Association of Nigeria, Awka Diocese (CLANAD), to ensure proper delivery of liturgical readings during the Holy Mass across the diocese.
Bishop Ezeokafor who inaugurated the association on Sunday, March 31, at St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Awka, tasked members to live exemplary lives in a bid to motivate others to draw closer to God.
The diocesan bishop who was represented by the Chancellor of the Diocese, Rev. Fr. Francis Chidiume, while leading in the Concelebrated Eucharistic Celebration that coincided with the Mothers’ Sunday, appreciated God for the gift of mothers in various homes and communities as he reeled out the benefits which society derived from mothers.
Inaugurating members of the association, Fr. Chidiume tasked the members to practice the scripture which had been assigned to them before coming to read same at the altar. He maintained that proper reading of God’s words at all liturgical celebrations would enhance in-depth understanding and effective comprehension of the scripture. He argued that such proper understanding would help in revealing the hidden riches imbedded in the scripture and draw people closer to God.
He thanked the pioneer Chaplain of the CLANAD, Rev. Fr. Polycarp Okoye, for the manner in which he had been piloting the affairs of the association instituted in the diocese to achieve the unifying goal of proper reading and understanding of the scripture.
He also appreciated members of the association who had volunteered themselves, time and resources to serve God and humanity through reading of the scriptures. He assured them of God’s unlimited blessings which would overshadow their lives in no distant moment, saying that God never forgot his true servants.
Speaking to Fides, the pioneer chaplain of CLANAD, Rev. Fr. Polycarp Okoye, noted that the association had been in existence in all the provinces nationwide and was formerly known as Lay Readers Association. He explained that CLANAD was inaugurated as a body in the diocese after its inauguration in the province where the diocese belonged to.
He explained that sequel to the inauguration, CLANAD members must now ensure that readings at Mass, among other liturgical celebrations, were carried out effectively. He urged them go into the world and proclaim the good news of Christ in accordance with the slogan of the association and reading the word of God at the altar.
He said that proper practice was required by the members to develop their reading skills for the scripture message to be driven home. He also said the inauguration would help to draw more members to the association.
Also speaking, the President of CLAN, Onitsha Ecclesiastical Province, Obi Flevian Harris, noted that the inauguration would help in the propagation of the gospel message of Christ. He beckoned on them not to relent in their service to God, saying that they might reach the demand of reaching heaven through rendering service to the Church.
For her part, the president of CLANAD, Mrs. Jacklyn James Obiakor, expressed conviction that the inauguration would spur members to develop their reading skills better in accordance with the national constitution. He disclosed the intention of the association to introduce constant and steady practice to make the members better.
She called on members to always bear in mind the position which they occupied.