Bishop Ezeokafor Makes 2nd Pastoral Visit to St Jude Thaddeus’ Parish Awka

…Tasks Parish on Church Building

By Ifeoma Ezenyilimba

Five years after his first pastoral visit to the parish, the Catholic Bishop of Awka Diocese, Most Rev Paulinus Chukwuemeka Ezeokafor, last Sunday, May 30, made his second pastoral visit to St Jude Thaddeus’ Parish, Awka, during which he assessed the growth of the ten-year old parish and raised 242 parishioners as soldiers of Christ through the Sacrament of Confirmation.

Speaking at the 2021 pastoral visit which fell on the Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity, Bishop Ezeokafor who had his assistant secretary, Rev Fr Daniel Eduzor; the chancellor of the diocese, Rev Fr Francis Chidume; among others in his entourage, said he was delighted over the growth of St Jude Thaddeus’ Parish which was among the first parishes he created in 2011 as a bishop.

L-R: Parish Vicar, Rev Fr Joseph Obianuo; Education Secretary, Awka Diocese, Rev Fr Maximus Okonkwo; Parish Priest & Judicial Vicar, Awka Diocese, Rev Fr Hilary Odili BenEzenwa; Catholic Bishop of Awka Diocese, Most Rev Paulinus Ezeokafor; Dean, Awka 2 Deanery, Rev Fr Anthony Udogu; Chancellor, Awka Diocese, Rev Fr Francis Chidume and Parish Vicar, Ss John & Paul Parish, Umubelle, Awka, Rev Fr Kilian Ike, after the Mass.

He charged the parish to kick off the processes for a befitting church building that would be fit for the beautiful Reverend Fathers’ Rectory and chapel already in place. Pointing out that the parish was almost overdue for a permanent church building, the bishop announced his readiness to give automatic approval to the building plan once submitted.

In his homily, Most Rev Ezeokafor described the Most Holy Trinity as the central point of the faith and spiritual life of the Church. According to him, the prayer life of the Church began and ended with the Holy Trinity which were the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.

The Catholic prelate, who based his reflections on the readings of the Most Holy Trinity Sunday, noted that it was due to the fact that the life of the Church and her faithful revolved around the Holy Trinity that the faithful were at the reception of the Sacrament of Initiation, baptized in the name of the Most Holy Trinity.

Recalling the ministry of God the son, Jesus Christ, who worked in the name of God, the Father, and after his ascension, sent the Holy Spirit, the comforter, to his faithful, the bishop explained that there was one God who had three equal and co-eternal persons. He added that the mystery of the three persons which Saint Augustine tried to comprehend was beyond human understanding.

Some of those that received the Sacrament of Confirmation with their sponsor, Chief & Mrs Patrick Shanchi Nwokike; the parish catechists; Bishop Ezeokafor and Fr BenEzenwa.

The bishop noted that the Most Holy Trinity was God in the person of the Father, who created man in the person of Jesus Christ the Saviour, who gave his life for the salvation of man and in the person of the Holy Spirit, the comforter. He urged all to learn and live out the virtues of love, unity and collaboration from the Holy Trinity.

According to him, such love of the Holy Trinity would spur Christians to stand out as ideal ambassadors of their families and communities, as well as true witnesses of Christ in words and actions. Bishop Ezeokafor, tasked all on a life of love for the good of the Church and one another, which, he said, indicated that the Feast of the Most Holy Trinity had yielded worthy fruit in them.

The parish, in her address of welcome which was signed by the Parish Priest, Rev Fr Hilary Odili BenEzenwa; the Vice Chairman, Parish Council, Hon Leo Nwuba, and the Secretary, Parish Council, Ifeoma Madueke, commended the bishop for his advocacy against excessive funerals, as well as for good governance and justice for all in the state and Nigeria.

St Jude Thaddeus’ Parish, in the address, equally appreciated Bishop Ezeokafor for his consideration and fatherly love which he demonstrated in the lower grade eight level he approved for the parish.

Presentation of gifts to the bishop by various groups and families, as well as dance presentations, were highlights of the event which had the Transition Committee Chairman of Awka South LGA, Hon Leo Nwuba, as the chairman of the occasion.