By Ifeoma Ezenyilimba
As the difficulties caused by coronavirus pandemic, lockdown Endsars protests and other anomalies in 2020 have continued to affect the masses, the Vicar General of the Catholic Diocese of Ekwulobia (CADEK), Rev Fr Prof Anthony B.C. Chiegboka, has identified contemplative life as well as powers of the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist and the Holy Rosary, as what everyone should hold on to as to succeed and excel in 2021.
Rev Fr Chiegboka, who stated this in his homily of the concelebrated Holy Mass to mark the priestly golden jubilee anniversary of the first Dean, Faculty of Arts, Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu University, Anambra State, Rev Msgr Prof John Paul Chukwuemeka Nzomiwu, at St Mary’s Catholic Church, Nnokwa, Idemili South LGA, Anambra State, on the 2021 Feast of Mary Mother of God, Friday, May 1, stressed the need for everyone to make the best out of the new year, 2021.
The homilist, who recalled the victory of the Holy League in the battle of Lepanto on October 7, 1571 due to the power of the Holy Rosary, urged the faithful to pray at least a decade of the Holy Rosary daily, for God to save Nigeria, the world and the masses from disaster.
Pointing out that the Church fixed January 1 of every year as the feast of Holy Mary Mother of God, due to the great honour which God gave to Virgin Mary, the vicar general, who is also a professor of Religion and Society, Nnamdi Azikiwe University (NAU), Awka, urged all to seek the intercession of the great mother of God always.
Fr Chiegboka, who took the congregation through the various feasts which the Church honoured Holy Mother Mary with, noted that the Catholic Church had always placed the Virgin Mary at the forefront of intercession for the faithful.
He added that the Feast of Mary Mother of God, also marked the end of Christmas Octave in the Church’s calendar, and coincided with the celebration of the World Day of Peace.
Fides gathered that the golden jubilee celebrant, Msgr Prof JPC Nzomiwu, fondly known as Okaa Oburu Uzo, was the first parish priest of St Patrick’s Parish, Awka, before the creation of Awka Diocese. He later headed the preparation for the consecration of the first bishop of Awka Diocese and the inauguration of the diocese which was held on February 5, 1978, became the first cathedral administrator, the first chancellor and the first secretary of Awka Diocese, with the power of a vicar general.
Highlight of the celebration was the presentation of four books which were authored by an indigenous Catholic priest of Nnokwa, Rev Fr Hyginus Ebere Nwandu, in honour of Msgr Nzomiwu’s golden jubilee anniversary.
The books, as authored by Hyginus Ebere Nwandu, were, “The Bishop Must Hear This”, “A Salesman of the Good News”, “The Death Sentence’s Alternative”; “Too Precious To Rust”; and “The Bishop Must Hear This, Behold His Messenger”.