. . . as St. Anthony’s Celebrates 10 years Anniversary
By Uchechukwu Enem
The Catholic Bishop of Orlu Diocese, Most Rev. Augustine Ukwuoma has dedicated St. Anthony of Padua, Amamputu, Uli in Ihiala LGA of Anambra State on 10 January 2020.
At the Dedication Mass, the Bishop explained to Christians the symbolic importance of dedicating the Church. He said that the dedication rites signify its holiness and God’s total presence in the church. He warned against ungodly practices and activities in the church; adding that a dedicated church, should be a place of worship and to seek the face of God.
The Chairman of the Parish Pastoral Council, Nnaoma Vitalis Ibeabuchi and the Chairman of the Dedication Committee, Sir Evaristus Ugo Abba, said that the foundation of the church was laid 10 years ago. They noted that during the instability of the church, many left the church. They noted that fund was a major challenge during the building process of the church.
According to them, the dedication was a good sign to the community.
The Grand Knight of Holy Cross Sub-Council, KSM Bro. Nnamdi Placid Uliagbafusi, said that the dedication ceremony calls for inner reflection and self-examination. According to him, the church went through many trials and that is why the dedication was very symbolic in Amamputu.
Speaking at the occasion, the PRO of Awka Diocesan Catholic Men Organization, Sir. Augustine Nnabuife told Fides that the event was successful because of the collective efforts of the parishioners and community members.
A Former Member in Anambra State House of Assembly, Hon. Simeon Ohajianya, commended the present Parish Council led by Rev. Fr. Augustine Ifediba. According to him, the parish council and the parishioners made so much efforts to ensure the church was completed within 10 years.
The President General of Uli Progressive Union, Engr. Tobias Obiagazie, KSM, said that the community members were delighted over the church building and the dedication ceremony. He said that through the dedication of the church, it shows that God, not only present in the church but also in the community. The welcome address presented by the Parish Pastoral Council of St. Anthony’s, showed that St. Anthony was established in 1912 but was inaugurated in 2009. The address thanked so many people who sacrificed a lot through land donation, cleaning of the church and those who engaged in the early evangelization for the growth of Catholic Faith in Uli.
Within the 10 years of its inauguration, the church has completed the perimeter fencing of the church premises, restructured and renovated the Parish House, built CMO Hall extension with annexed conveniences. The parish has also completed the Chapel of Adoration and the Grotto.
Also, the parish has installed the solar-regulated bell, provided the statues of Jesus Christ, Virgin Mary and St. Anthony of Padua.
The address thanked the Parish Priest and Past Parish Priests for their efforts and contributions in promoting the Catholic faith in Uli. The Address also thanked all the statutory bodies and members of the dedication committee who stood firm amidst challenges to ensure the church was dedicated.
In his remarks, the Parish Priest, Fr. Ifediba, appreciated all for their numerous contributions to the church. In a special way, he thanked the Bishop, who gave the entire parishioners the instruction to dedicate the church building in his last pastoral visit to the church. He said that prior to his coming as a parish priest, the church witnessed so much instability that the parishioners felt they were abandoned. He thanked God that the parish is now witnessing reawakening as every society and group are getting on their feet
The Nimo born priest thanked all the past Parish Priests, the dedication committee, the Parish Pastoral Council, all the statutory bodies and societies in the church. He thanked the traditional ruler of Uli, Igwe D.O Onyekonwu (KSJI) for his Impressive donation and support to the church.