By Chioma Ndife
Blessed Iwene Tansi Major Seminary, Onitsha, Onitsha South LGA, Anambra has intensified plans towards the completion of her chapel project in line with its resolution to provide the seminarians a conducive place for the worship God.
Plans for the completion of the chapel project whose foundation was laid on May 1, 2017 was evident through the self-help projects of the seminary and fund raising organized by the school management on Sunday, January 20, 2019 during 2019 patron feast of the Blessed Cyprian Iwene Tansi, the seminary’s Patron Saint.
Speaking to Fides, the rector of the Seminary, Rev. Fr. Emmanuel Dim expressed optimism that the chapel through the support of the seven dioceses that make-up Onitsha Ecclesiastical province would be completed within a period of one year. He explained that sixty Million, Two Hundred and Sixty Six Thousand, Nine Hundred and Twenty Naira (60,266,920.00) had been spent on the chapel project which had reached its roofing stage, saying that about fifty four million, eighty seven thousand, two hundred and twenty naira according to estimate by professionals in the field of building would be used to complete the project.
The rector called for support from all and sundry to assist the management achieve its intention of providing a befitting chapel for the seminary, noting that it was not proper for a seminary to exist without a chapel. He pinpointed other needs of the seminary to include an administrative, library and an auditorium complex. He maintained that the seminary without sustainable help from public spirited individuals cannot carry out its needed projects especially at the period when foreign mission aids beliefs that the church in Nigeria has come of age.
He expressed his profound appreciation to all the bishops in the province for their steady support which had kept the seminary going and the auxiliary bishop of Awka Diocese, Most Rev. Jonas Benson Okoye for coming to be a part of the seminary feast. He praised that contributions of Governor Willie Obiano of Anambra State, saying that his efforts led to the roofing and tarring of the main avenue and access roads within the seminary.
Also speaking, the Auxiliary Bishop of Awka Diocese, Most Rev. Jonas Benson Okoye extolled the Rector, Fr. Emmanuel Dim for his managerial acumen, doggedness and zeal which he employed in transforming the seminary within 5 years of his appointment as the rector. He identified the difficulties involved in the present day formation of human character and commended the seminary formators for the great work they were doing in the seminary that had marked the Seminarians different from those in secular university. He explained that any deficiency in the seminary formation would bring about deficiency in the church and called for suitable support from all to enable the formators deliver the needed qualitative training required by the would-be priests.
In his reflection titled: the compassion of Christ, Bishop Okoye emphasized the need for people to always bring Christ into whatever they set up to do, saying that the presence of Christ brings divine settlement.
Drawing from the gospel reading of changing water into wine by Christ, the Catholic prelate noted that any attempt not to provide the required wine would be a monumental disgrace to the couple. Following the example of Jesus in terms of wine intake according to Bishop Okoye wasn’t an excuse for one to get drunk. He pinpointed the dangers that relate to such habits among other tendencies that was not required for the catholic priesthood.
He identified the need for priests to be concerned about people’s feelings and conditions, saying that such would draw them closer to the reason of their calling into the priesthood. He urged the seminarians to follow the steps of their patron saint, Blessed Cyprian Michael Iwene Tansi and created the needed impact required in society.
Addressing the seminarians, CEO of Pachuks Construction Limited, Prince Chuma Okolo beckoned on the seminarians to heed to the advice of the bishop to become good priests for the benefit of all after their formation in the seminary school. He highlighted the importance of a chapel to seminarians under formation, saying that its existence would help the spiritual development of the seminarians.
In his remark, the chairman of the occasion, Chief Izuchukwu Onugbolu represented by Mr. Emeka Obinwa itemized the benefits which one stands to gain from donating to church projects and called on all to donate willingly for the chapel project.
Highpoints of the celebration which witnessed the presence of various captains of industries include donations for the chapel project, presentation of gifts among other cultural dance performances.