By Ifeoma Ezenyilimba
The Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Ekwulobia (CADEK), Most Rev Peter Ebere Okpaleke, has urged the people of God to build what he termed families of love and unity for God.
Bishop Okpaleke, who made the call in his homily of the concelebrated Holy Mass to mark the 2020 Annual Feast and Harvest Thanksgiving & Bazaar of St John’s Parish, Igbouukwu, Aguata LGA, Anambra State on December 27 (the Feast of Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph), enjoined all to unite for love.
He described the feast of Holy Family, as a day set aside for families of God to celebrate love; pray and seek the special grace of God for the members of their families, dialogue for the betterment of their families and members, and bring back those who might have gone astray.
The Catholic prelate at the event, blessed the Divine Mercy Chapel of Perpetual Eucharistic Adoration that was built and donated to the parish by Chief Martin Ike and Family, and administered the Sacrament of Confirmation on over 100 faithful.
He commended the donor of the chapel and others, who had contributed to the growth of the new parish for their goodwill. This was even as he congratulated those that received the Sacrament of Confirmation. The bishop urged them to be embodiments of actions that bear true witnesses to Christ, in line with the gifts of the Holy Spirit which they received.
Bishop Okpaleke, who prayed for God’s bountiful and unexpected blessings on all in the year, 2021, tasked Christians on life of strengthened faith.
The bishop, who cited the ongoing special year of St Joseph, as declared by the Holy Father, Pope Francis, called on all to dispose themselves to the mercy of God. He noted that it was only by encountering the mercy of God especially, in the Sacrament of Reconciliation, that one would experience truth and tenderness of God.
According to the Catholic prelate, the Holy Father had on the 150th anniversary of Blessed Pope Pius IX’s declaration of St Joseph as Patron of the Universal Church, proclaimed December 8, 2020 to December 8, 2021 (Solemnity of Immaculate Conception), a special Year of St Joseph.
He encouraged all to learn from St Joseph, who had been described as a father of tender love and care, go for confession and say the prayer for St Joseph, among others, so as to obtain the indulgence, attached to the Special Year of St Joseph.