Celebrate the Aged While Alive –Bishop Okoye

. . . As Chikelus Hold Thanksgiving for Mom’s Successful Surgery

By Chioma Ndife

The auxiliary Bishop of Awka Catholic Diocese, Most Rev. Jonas Benson Okoye, has beckoned on Christians across the nation to develop the habit of celebrating and taking great care of their aged ones rather than doing so at their death.

He made the call while commending the children of Mrs. Ifeoma Theresa Chikelue for celebrating their mother’s life after the major surgery which she embarked upon during the Thanksgiving Mass organized in honour of Mrs. Chikelue at St. John’s Catholic Church, Umuokpu-Awka.

He noted that celebrating and taking care of one’s aged parents was part of obeying God’s injunction, saying that such attracted divine blessing from God and humanity. He gave longevity as one of the benefits which an individual would derive by celebrating the aged.
Enumerating the difficulties mostly encountered by some aged individuals, he beckoned on care givers to treat the aged with the love and care which they deserved.

The auxiliary bishop who had been a crusader for less expensive funerals, alongside the Catholic Bishop of Awka Diocese, Most Rev. Paulinus Ezeokafor, suggested to the wealthy members of society to embark on projects that would touch the lives of others during such celebrations, rather than spending extravagantly on food and drinks which he said added no value to people.

According to Bishop Okoye, structures such as health centres, skill acquisition centers, library, among others, when erected during the celebration of life of one’s parents, became monuments for which those individuals would be remembered for in many years to come. He argued that most exotic foods, drinks and gifts which most rich people provided for such celebrations when converted into cash could be used to transform more than a hundred lives and draw such people out of poverty.

Speaking to Fides at the celebration, the celebrant’s son and Parish Priest of St. John’s Parish, Umuokpu-Awka, Rev. Fr. Peter Chikelue, noted that celebrating their mum alive was part of their responsibilities and stressed the importance of the celebration. He argued that it was worthwhile for children to celebrate their parents alive rather than holding such celebration at funerals, noting that such strengthened the life duration of the concerned persons.

Also speaking, the celebrant’s elder brother, Ichie Anthony Okechukwu Ezewasili, thanked God for the success granted to his sister during the major surgery. He described the celebrant as a woman of good nature and noted that her back to life party was greatly celebrated by the children among others due to her personality. He advocated for people in their various places of life to be good and treat others with utmost respect, saying that such style of life went a long way in determining how such a person would be perceived in a given place.

For her part, Miss Ifeoma Chikelue, one of the celebrant’s daughters, explained that the celebration was a way of thanking God and testifying the goodness of God in the life of their mother. She said that the day’s celebration would not have been possible if not for the mercies of God.

The celebrant, Mrs. Theresa Chikelue, who was full of life, danced and glorified God all through the celebration for restoring her health back. She prayed God to bless her children more abundantly along with others who took part in the celebration.

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