Bishop Okoye Seeks Support for Peter University

…As Awka Region Priests Reaffirm Priestly Vows

Bishop Okoye Seeks Support for Peter University

…As Awka Region Priests Reaffirm Priestly Vows

By Chioma Ndife and Precious Ukeje

The Auxiliary Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Awka, Most Rev. Jonas Benson Okoye, last Wednesday, March 31, 2021, called on believers, clergy and laity, to make contributions towards the completion of Peter University, an academic institution project of the diocese under his care.

Delivering a homily at the 2021 Chrism Mass/Cathedraticum of Awka Region at St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Awka, the Catholic prelate expressed the hope that academic activities would begin in the institution by September this year, noting that the National Universities Commission, NUC, was happy with the structures on ground when they visited.

He however, enjoined the congregants to make contributions towards the completion of standard laboratories, as well as some other facilities which, when made available, the institution could commence activities.

Bishop Okoye appreciated them for turning out en-masse for the Chrism Mass/Cathedraticum, while reminding everyone that they had roles to play in the attainment of the Church’s goals.

Following the Mass was the renewal of vows to the bishop by priests in the region, where, the prelate said, the priests renewed their vow of obedience to the bishop and their commitment to serve God’s people; blessing of oil for the sick; Catchumen and Chrism, which Bishop Okoye described as a symbol of the manifestation of the Church’s work, adding that it brought mercy to Christians.

‘Chrism oil blessed in the Holy week is made for the whole diocese to be in unity with the bishop. Therefore, any of the oils blessed is for the manifestation of the work of Christ in the Church,’ he said.

The bishop continued: ‘The Chrism Mass reminds us of our oneness in Christ through baptism and its holy anointing made possible by the ministry of the bishop and his priest.’

Harping further on the importance of the Chrism Mass, the cleric who enjoined the priests to always bear in mind that the work of Christ was theirs,’ said it was a key moment in which the unity of the bishops with his priests which formed the presbyterate, was manifested and renewed, adding that they had been anointed to do the work of God.

The bishop explained that the blessed oil was different from other oils used for cooking and other functions. He added that when the need arose, the Church empowered a priest to bless oil for continuous service in the church, and that the different oils for the sick, of catechumen and chrism, had different uses.

He charged priests to know that their ministry was one where they allowed the Spirit of God to do the works of God through them; saying that they were mere instruments for the work of God.

Bishop Okoye reminded them of their responses to the Bishop’s questions during their ordination and the promises they made, to which the Bishop gave consent and approval.

The Chrism Mass was followed by Cathedraticum by all parishes in the region, where St Mary’s Catholic Parish, Awka, led with 130 cows.